Qamba Knowledge Base

What PDF Editor should I Use or Buy?

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Did you know Adobe Acrobat Pro is not the only tool that can edit PDFs? As PDF is an open standard anyone is allowed to make software to edit it.
While Adobe Acrobat Pro is a popular option as Adobe initially was first to develop the PDF file standard, there are competing alternatives that are worth considering, especially if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative.

First things first, the naming of Adobe’s various PDF software can get a little confusing together.
They also renamed their software not too long ago adding more confusion.

So, as of 2021-04, these are the common adobe PDF apps and their prices:

Adobe Reader DC – Free, good for document signing and filling out documents, no editing capabilities, outside of basic markup.
Adobe Acrobat Standard DC – $18.69 Per month (if annual commitment), Allows you to edit, combine, add or delete pages, reorder them, etc.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC – $21.99 Per month (if annual commitment),  Everything Standard can do along with the ability to read scanned text images, ability to redact information or hide from specific viewers, extends editing to mobile device, allowing editing features on phone.  
Adobe Acrobat DC for Teams – $24.99 Per Month, same as Adobe Acrobat Pro DC but you can reassign and manage licensing, so if you just want to give someone access to it temporarily, you can move a license between people.

If you are goin for an Adobe option, it’s likely you’re going to want Adobe Acrobat Pro DC for teams to get the full benefits. It’s a bit more than Pro, but allows you to reassign and manage licensing a bit easier, instead of staff having to sign up for individual adobe accounts and having to keep track of who has what licenses, and how to manage paying for them.

“An Individual subscription is a single license meant for use by one user. A Team subscription allows a business to purchase more than one license and manage those license(s) among users in an admin console.”

It’s worth reviewing if you need any of the other adobe apps such as photoshop or InDesign. If you get the Creative Cloud “All Apps” plan this includes all of adobe’s design apps (photoshop) and Acrobat Pro.
At $76.99 a month (annual commitment) this includes Acrobat Pro and all the other popular Adobe Apps.

Recommendation if you have to use Adobe software:
If using the free Adobe Reader DC to fill out PDFs is not suitable and you want to add capabilities such as editing or creating forms. You should either look to get a subscription to Adobe Acrobat DC for Teams($24.99 Per Month, annual commitment) or an “All Apps” subscription to creative cloud, ($76.99 monthly, annual commitment). Keep in mind if you sign up for annual or monthly as you may want the flexibility of cancelling if you no longer need access.

Recommendation if you are open to alternatives:
We’ve had multiple customers report great success with alternatives such as PDF-XChangeEditor and Foxit’s PhantomPDF.
Both end up being dramatically cheaper than Adobes $300 per year cost for Acrobat DC for Teams, with PhandomPDF coming in at a one time cost of $234.80 and PDF X-Change even cheaper coming in at only $59.50 USD for a perpetual license.

Both have very good free trials that you can use to test out to see if they will do what you need them to do. Which is worth investigating considering the price difference between Adobe and X-Change would be over $1000 over a 4 year period for each license you get.

PDF X-Change even offers bulk discount pricing if buying more than 2 licenses.

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