12 Adobe Acrobat Alternatives To Edit PDF Documents

Don’t have Adobe Acrobat? Don’t worry — here are 12 great Adobe Acrobat alternatives to edit PDF documents.

Adobe Acrobat Alternatives


Many people love using Adobe Acrobat PDF Editor, and rightfully so.

It is a great, feature-rich editing platform, but it can be costly in the short or long run for some users. That’s why we will show you 12 alternatives to Adobe Acrobat, with features that will get the job done.

So, the main question some of you may be thinking is, is a PDF editor necessary?

12 Adobe Acrobat Alternatives To Edit PDF Documents

                                                                  Source: Giphy

Why Do You Need A PDF Editor?

PDF editors are innovative and user-friendly (most of the time). This all makes PDF files easier to work with and adjust to our needs/wants. 

For example, it is usually impossible to edit a PDF with a word processor, but you can make important changes to a PDF quickly if the need strikes, when using a PDF editor. 

Take advantage of the various features provided to adjust the size of text, document format, layout, and document type.

With a PDF editor, you can convert hard copies into digital copies, through efficient scanning capabilities that most PDF editors possess. Some editors also have OCR (Optical Character Recognition), which means that the scanned copy can immediately be copied into text, at the click of a button. 

PDF editors also have powerful and fast features that can give users control over their documents. These features include electronic document management and security of the files even after some other users have downloaded them.

Things to Consider When Choosing A PDF Editor

So, why take the time to search for a suitable PDF editor? 

The simple answer is that you want an editor that meets your specific needs. 

However, with the diverse collection of PDF editors you’ll find online, it may be difficult to pick just one. This article highlights some of the key things to look for when choosing a PDF editor.

1. Ability to Create, Convert, Edit, and Export PDFs

A PDF editor’s primary function is to create, edit, convert, and export PDFs. It creates PDFs from scratch, digital documents, and scanned hard copies. When choosing a PDF editor, you should first look for creating PDF files from different sources.

A decent PDF editor should convert various file types, from pictures to HTML to Microsoft Office documents, without altering its default formatting. Another feature a PDF editor must-have is the OCR software technology, allowing users to search and edit the PDF text.

Also, a PDF editor must have a feature to convert PDFs to other editable formats, including plain text, Microsoft Word, or HTML, without changing the file format, graphics, or hyperlinks.

2. Ease of Use

This feature is one of the critical things to consider when choosing a PDF editor. It is essential to select an editor that’s simple enough for users of all levels of expertise. 

Users will never progress to more complicated features if basic actions are difficult to complete. 

The PDF Editor you select should present all of the most frequent functions in a familiar interface that makes learning to use it a breeze.

3. Security Features

Most establishments create confidential documents weekly and need security features to restrict the files’ accessibility to only a few individuals. These features include:

  • Password protection
  • Content redaction
  • Permissions settings

When choosing a PDF editor, it’s better to select one that allows you to set up some security attributes on your confidential documents, including the ability to revoke access even after publishing or sharing the document entirely. 

Adobe Acrobat PDF Editor Alternatives

If you’re thinking of switching from Adobe Acrobat PDF editor and are not sure which one to pick, here are 12 excellent alternatives with beneficial features:

1. PDF Reader 

pdf reader

                                                      Image Source: PDF Reader

Kdan Mobile’s PDF Reader is one of the many valuable and effective products developed for its customers. Some of its main features include:



It is an all-around excellent PDF editing tool, with many PDF solutions under one umbrella. 


This PDF Reader works on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. This PDF solution is available to anybody with a working device. All your important documents are stored safely in one easy-to-access place. 


PDF Reader is also serious about protecting the environment with its paperless online environment, making sure you never have to worry about losing track of any documents and keeping all your documents in a safe place. 


There is a free download option available, with in-app purchases, three pricing plans.


  • The PDF Reader ‘Standard’ at $89.99. 
  • PDF Reader ‘Pro’ at $119.99. 
  • Volume Purchase where price is determined based on business needs. 


All of these above purchases are once-off payments and do not require monthly payments. 


Add in PDF functionality to your apps with PDF Reader’s SDK, allowing you to view, edit, and annotate PDFs within most applications across iOS, Windows, Android, or the Web. Like the native apps, the SDK has various features, such as watermarks, page editing, and more.




  • Easy to use
  • Free option available
  • Helpful features 
  • Different formats for converting




  • Tools can differ across platforms


2. Nitro PDF Pro

nitro pro

                                                    Image Source: Nitro PDF Pro 

Nitro PDF has solutions that are comprehensive and effective when it comes to PDF editing. The interface is seamless and intuitive, making navigation easy. 

One of Nitro PDF’s key features is its ability to have signing workflows for use on all devices. The e-signature functionality allows for easy and efficient editing of PDF documents. 

The platform has integrations with other workspace tools, like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. In addition to those integrations, Nitro PDF also has a Microsoft Office plugin that allows users to use Nitro PDFs features from any Microsoft Office Package.

Nitro PDF has a free trial available and two main pricing options. 

  • For Mac at $129.95 (one-time purchase). 
  • For Windows at $179.99 (one-time purchase). The prices are per user. 


  • Team collaboration tools 
  • E-signature feature
  • Effective integrations


  • Occasionally crashes 


3. Foxit Phantom PDF

                                                              Image Source: Foxit 

Foxit has been around for a while, and knows the importance of creating a functional PDF editor. Foxit Phantom PDF is a PDF editor, reader, and creator with annotation tools and many advanced features that will make your life easier. 

Foxit integrates with Google Drive, Dropbox, One Drive, and more. Some other impressive features of the software are its digital signature commenting, call-out boxes, text markers, and a whole lot more.

There is a free trial available for users and two main category pricing options.

  • The first is the ‘Perpetual license’, under which there are two other options, PhantomPDF ‘Standard’ at $138.99 and ‘PhantomPDF Business’ at $178.99. 
  • The second category is ‘Subscription’, under which there is the ‘PhantomPDF Standard’ at $13.99/month and $95.99/year and the ‘PhantomPDF Business’ at $14.99/month and $107.99/year. 


  • Range of features 
  • Affordable 
  • A straightforward PDF editing tool


  • Complicated UI at times 

4. EasePDF 

                                                       Image Source: EasePDF 


EasePDF has many useful features for handling your PDFs. Some of its main features include editing, compressing, merging, and compressing PDFs. EasePDF also converts your PDFs into different formats and vice versa, from word documents, excel documents, and more. 


A significant benefit of using EasePDF, is that it’s free to use and easily accessible online via most devices. It has universal conversion, meaning it works from Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, any device you have, rest assured you can edit with EasePDF. 




  • Easy to use 
  • Free 
  • Over 30 PDF editing tools 



  • Can be glitchy when working with large files 


5. Vectornator 

Vectornator is graphic design software that also has valuable and impressive PDF editing options. You can open your chosen file within the platform and select what you would like to edit from there. 

With Vectornator, you can place objects into your document from different sources, simply follow the instructions on the site and have fun editing your PDFs. If you are already an avid user of Vectornator, you do not have to look far and wide for a capable PDF editor. 

Vectornator is free to use and has a comprehensive feature platform that fits many needs. 


  • Easy to use 
  • Free
  • Effective and comprehensive features 


  • Advanced PDF editing features may not be available

6. PDFCandy

                                                      Image Source: PDFCandy


As the above image suggests, PDFCandy is packed with features to make handling your PDFs a whole lot easier. This PDF editor has got you covered, from converting to different formats to merging and resizing. 


The tools are easy to use, and you can upload files from Dropbox, Google Drive, or drag and drop into PDFCandy’s ‘viewer’ section. If you like a particular tool, you can add it to favorites and have easy access to your best tools whenever you edit. 


PDFCandy is free to use; however, the free version has limited features. There are three other pricing plans to choose from. 


  • The first plan is the ‘Web Monthly’ at $6/month.
  • The second plan is the ‘Web Yearly’ at $48/year. 
  • The third and final plan is the ‘We Lifetime’ at $99, one-time purchase. 




  • Easy to use 
  • Affordable 
  • Comprehensive features 




  • Free version has limited features


7. PDF Architect 

                                                   Image Source: PDF Architect 

PDF Architect is a PDF viewer and editor, allowing you to create, edit, and view PDF files. PDF Architect grows with you. If your editing needs are basic, then the free option or a plan with limited features is best for your needs. 

PDF Architect ensures that you never have features you cannot use, and it keeps this in mind with its pricing plans. 

There is a free version available, with limited features like rotating, merging, and deleting. There are three other pricing plans available. 

  • The first plan is the ‘Standard’ at $69/year/user.
  • The second plan is the ‘Professional’ currently on special at $45/year/user.
  • The third and final plan is the ‘Pro+OCR’ currently on special at $65/year/user. 


  • OCR scanning 
  • Value for money
  • Converts into different formats 


  •  Editing is not available in free version

8. Qoppa PDF Studio

                                                Image Source: Qoppa PDF Studio

Qoppa PDF Studio specializes in the efficient PDF document workflow. Users can create, review, and edit PDF documents, from Mac, Windows, and Linux. 

There are two apps Qoppa offers for Android: the free qPDF Viewer and qPDF Notes, which allow you to modify, sign, and annotate PDFs. This PDF editor has a standard and an extended version. 

Qoppa PDF is not free, the standard version allows you to configure passwords and access permissions, but digital signatures are only available in the Pro version. 

  • The standard version costs $89.00, it’s a one-time purchase.
  • The PDF Studio Pro version costs $129.00, it’s a one-time purchase.


  • Standard version is affordable
  • Works on a variety of operating systems
  • Efficient Android apps 


  • Pro version is pricey 

9. Smallpdf

                                                      Image Source: Smallpdf


Smallpdf is all about making editing PDFs easier than ever before. The tools are simple to use and understand, and the editing is fast. 


Smallpdf’s features include converting PDF files to different formats and vice versa, merging PDFs, editing and compressing PDFs, and using the eSign feature to sign off on important documents without leaving behind a paper trail. 


Manage all your documents under one roof with this simple PDF editing software. Smallpdf has a free trial option and a free version available, along with three other pricing plans. 


  • The first is the ‘Pro’ at $108/year.
  • The second is the ‘Team’ at $84/year.
  • The third and final plan is the ‘Business’ where pricing is determined based on business needs. 




  • Simple UI 
  • Easy to use 
  • Affordable 




  • Free version has limited features


10. PDF Expert

                                                     Image Source: PDF Expert 

PDF Expert is a PDF editor designed for macOS only and has an array of features. Its useful features include editing, adding text, updating text, replacing and removing images, and more. 

PDF Expert is easy to navigate and also has annotation options available for your PDFs. Make changes quickly to your files with the handy editing tools and fill out forms with ease. There are adjustable light settings to make reading your PDFs all the more enjoyable. 

The editing is powerful and fast. If you’re in a hurry, then this is an excellent option for you or your team. 

PDF Expert has a free version and three other payment options. 

  • The first is monthly at $12.49.
  • The second is annually at $49.99.
  • The third and final plan is the ‘Lifetime’ at $99.99, once-off. 


  • Simple UI 
  • Auto-hide option for tools 
  • Affordable 


  • Only available for macOS

11. Sejda PDF 

                                                     Image Source: Sejda PDF 


Sejda PDF is a simple PDF editing platform. You can add images, text, links, and signatures to an existing PDF document, edit, merge, compress, and so much more. There are over 20 different tools available for all your PDF needs. 

Sejda works on most operating systems and has modern web browsers making editing a breeze. You have the option to save your PDFs in Dropbox, Google Drive, or locally on your PC. 

Sejda PDF does have a free option, but there are three other pricing plans available.

  • The first plan is the ‘Web Week Pass’ at $5 for 7 days.
  • The second plan is the ‘Web Monthly’ at $7.50/month.
  • The third and final plan is the ‘Web Annual’ at $63/year. 

All of these options have their own additional features available. 


  • Desktop and online versions
  • Free to use
  • Simple UI 


  • The free version has feature restrictions

12. Master PDF Editor

                                               Image Source: Master PDF Editor 

This may be a simple PDF editor, but it is also powerful and fast. Master PDF Editor has more than enough features to help you reach your PDF editing goals. Modify images, text, annotate, create and fill in forms, place digital signatures, and more. 

Master PDF has multi-purpose functionality, and the platform allows you to view several documents at once, saving you time on high-volume editing. 

There are four pricing options for Master PDF Editor. 

  • The first plan is $69.95/person for 1-9 users. 
  • The second plan is $59.95/person for 10-35 users.
  • The third plan is $49.95/person for 36-99 users.
  • The fourth and final plan is $39.95/person for 100-500 users. 


  • Easy to use
  • Comprehensive features 
  • Supports PDF file conversion to other formats


  •  Watermark is not removable in the trial version

Should You Go With Free or Paid? 

Most PDF editors have a free trial version. However, the trial versions have limited features and capabilities. Therefore, there’s a massive difference between the features available on a paid PDF editor and the free versions in most cases.

Pros of Free Versions

  • You can test basic features of the PDF editor such as ease of use, user interface, basic text edition, and PDF conversion features before buying.
  • Most PDF editors have basic versions that have enough features for students and general office work.


  • You’ll need to pay to access the more advanced features like advanced file management and document workflow.

Paid Versions Pros

  • Paid PDF editors usually offer additional features that are not available in the free version.
  • Most paid versions usually have trial versions where you can have access to a few advanced features.


  • The advanced features available in the trial version often expire after the trial period ends.

Why Should You Consider Alternatives?

Sometimes, you don’t have to wait till something breaks before you fix or replace it. Therefore, while Adobe Acrobat is an excellent PDF editor, users might want to consider other options for the following reasons:

  • If you feel Adobe Acrobat no longer meets industry standards due to improving technologies, it might be time for a change.
  • If users find a cheaper alternative with equivalent features and capabilities, they might want to move on.
  • Users may also look for alternative tools if those alternatives are easier to use.


The world of technology is evolving, and so is the taste of the humans using them. Adobe Acrobat remains a relevant PDF editor, but many people have started considering other alternatives because of the high price. 

Some editors build on the advanced features of Adobe Acrobat and have improved on these features when creating their products.