8 Adobe Acrobat Alternatives & Competitors [2022 Top Picks]

Are you looking for the best Adobe Acrobat alternatives? We’ve got you covered.

In this post, we’re comparing the best alternatives for people who want to edit, e-sign, and export PDF documents. 

Let’s jump right into it.

The best alternatives to Adobe Acrobat – Summary

TL;DR

  • pdfFiller — The best Adobe Acrobat alternative overall.
  • signNow — The best Adobe Acrobat alternative for document signing. Integrates with pdfFiller.
  • Nitro PDF Productivity — The best alternative for enterprise-level organizations.
  • PDF-XChange Editor — The best free PDF editor alternative.
  • Smallpdf — The best alternative for beginners.

1. pdfFiller

pdfFiller Homepage

pdfFiller is one of the best—if not the best—Adobe Acrobat alternatives out today. It is available as an in-browser editor or as an app for Android and iOS devices.

It is the ideal solution for individuals or businesses that constantly have to sign or edit PDF documents and share PDF files with other users.

What can pdfFiller do?

With this PDF editor, you can make changes to PDF pages like inserting highlights, blacking out text, or erasing text altogether. You’ll also be able to fill out forms. 

And when you’re ready to share these PDFs, you can do so in a couple of clicks. You can send PDF documents through email, text, USPS mail, or fax. You can even have PDF files notarized online through your pdfFiller account.

It even allows its users to sign PDF files from anywhere — even while you’re on the move.

Using pdfFiller’s airSlate technology, you can automate document generation, contract negotiation, and e-signing without having to touch a single line of code.

There’s also a feature that lets users access an online library of state-specific legal forms for their convenience. Currently, the library has over 85,000 legal forms and forms packages including NDAs, real estate forms, customer contracts, and wills.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Users can automate PDF processesThere is a learning curve to using the tool
Easy to share files with other usersNot ideal for simple use cases
Web and mobile compatible

Pricing

The Basic plan is $8/month, Plus is $12/month, and Premium is $15/month. These prices are for the annual subscription though there is an option to pay on a monthly basis.

There is a 30-day free trial.


2. signNow

signNow Homepage

signNow is the best Adobe Acrobat alternative for document signing. With this PDF editor, you no longer have to print out documents to sign them. You’ll be able to do all of it electronically.

All users need to do is to sign up for an account, upload a document, and e-sign it. The interface is about as simple as it comes, uncomplicating the whole process.

One of the fantastic things about signNow is that you only pay for what you use. You’ll be able to save a great deal by not paying for features or services that you won’t use.

If you don’t have an e-signature ready, there’s no need to worry. signNow has a feature that’ll let you create one from your desktop or a mobile device. You can type, draw, or upload an image of your signature so you can start signing PDF files in minutes.

You also have the ability to organize your documents in groups and route them to recipients based on their roles in your organization. Should other members need to sign a document, you just have to share your documents using a link. That means you no longer have to add individual email addresses.

There are even custom branding options that’ll let users add their company logo to every e-signature sent. This is especially useful for those that are working with several clients.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Cloud-based software that lets you access the tool from anywhereYou’d have to pay for every user you’ll add to your subscription
There is a free version available
It lets you create a signature from within the tool

Pricing

The Business plan is $8/month/user, Business Premium is $15/month/user, and Enterprise is $30/month/user.

There is also the airSlate Business Cloud plan that costs $50/month/user with a 5-user minimum.


3. PDFelement

PDFelement wondershare Homepage

PDFelement is the best Adobe Acrobat alternative for those that want a PDF editor with a modern look and feel. 

People that are new to PDF editing should feel at home right away thanks to the intuitive user interface. Anyone familiar with editing a Word document should get the hang of it after a minute or two of using PDFelement.

With PDFelement, you’ll be able to add text to PDF forms. You also have the option to add shapes and images to a PDF file. Having the option to customize elements by size, color, and font is a huge plus.

You can even insert links to PDF files. And if you need to have a watermark, you can add those too.

PDFelement is one of the PDF editors that you can use on multiple platforms. So whether you’re on a PC, Mac, or a mobile device, you should still be able to edit PDF files. There’s even a cloud option for those that want it though the cloud service is limited in terms of features.

Overall, PDFelement is a great option for anyone that wants a PDF editor that just works out of the box.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Has a clean, modern-looking user interfacePlans can be expensive for an average user
It can convert PDF files into other file formatsCloud service features are limited
Has features specifically for growing businesses

Pricing

There are different plans available for PDFelement. Some are for individuals, teams, the education sector, and there are also bundles.

As for the individual plans, there’s the Professional at $59.99/year and the Individual Bundle for $99.99/year.


4. Nitro PDF Productivity

Nitro PDF Productivity Homepage

Nitro PDF Productivity is one of the best Adobe Acrobat alternatives for enterprise-level organizations.

Aside from being able to e-sign documents seamlessly with Nitro’s Unlimited eSigning feature, you’ll have access to a powerful PDF editor. This will enable you to create, edit, and convert PDF files. 

The company also prides itself in being able to deliver a licensing solution that works with your company goals and objectives. And that it’s able to do so at a price that makes sense for most businesses.

So what else can it do?

You can perform PDf merges to condense collections of PDF documents into a single file for easier searches. You’ll also have an unlimited number of person-to-person signature requests.

There are also PDF templates available. That means you’ll no longer have to spend time on prepping documents, especially those that you have reused countless times.

There are two types of products that Nitro offers: Nitro Sign and Nitro PDF Pro. The former focuses only on addressing e-signature needs so it’s much more affordable while the latter is more of an all-in-one solution.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
It can scan documents and convert them into editable textThere are reports of the program crashing mid-use
Some users praise it for being a cost-effective solutionReports sometimes have formatting issues after converting documents
It’s able to combine multiple files into a single PDF

Pricing

Nitro Sign has three plans: Essentials ($9.99/month/user), Advanced ($19.99/month/user), and Premium (Custom pricing).

Nitro PDF Pro is a $143.99 one-time license per user. 


5. PDF-XChange Editor

PDF-XChange Homepage

PDF-XChange Editor is a feature-rich PDF reader and editor. And what makes it even better is that it is free to use with a path for paid upgrades if you want to add more functionality.

You can perform a lot of tasks using PDF-XChange Editor. You can do the usual — insert text into documents, create or remove links, create fillable forms, and more. It can handle most of the tasks that you’d normally need Adobe Acrobat to execute.

Of course, you can also add digital signatures to PDF forms. 

There’s also the option of converting PDF documents to Word format. However, this feature can also be used if you’re a paid subscriber. This is also true for creating fillable PDF forms.

This is about as simple as PDF editors come. If you want something breezy, this might be the tool for you.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
There is a free version availableThe free version has features that leave a watermark if used
Most of the features you’ll need are available in the free versionUser interface isn’t as user-friendly as other tools
It is packed with useful features

Pricing

There is a free version available. But if you want access to all of the features, you can purchase the PDF-XChange Editor: Single User ($56/year), 3 User Pack ($154/year), or 5 User Pack ($254/year).

There’s also the PDF-XChange Editor Plus: Single User ($72/year), 3 User Pack ($197/year), or 5 User Pack ($326/year).


6. Smallpdf

Smallpdf Homepage

Smallpdf is yet another great entry to this list of Adobe Acrobat alternatives. It’s a collection of tools that can make PDF editing as painless of a process as possible.

This PDF software will let you add text, shapes, and images to your PDF. You can even do freehand annotations if you want. You can create a signature and add them to the PDF file. And if necessary, you can request other people to sign your document.

You can also use Smallpdf to compress the size of your PDF file while retaining its quality. This tool also lets you convert images and GIFs into PDF. And if you have way too many PDF files on hand, you can merge these documents into one file.

Smallpdf also has a feature that will convert PDFs into editable Word documents. And you can convert PDF files into other formats as well like PPT and Excel.

The built-in PDF scanner will convert scans from your mobile device into PDFs.

You can add passwords to encrypt your PDF files for added security.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
There is support for users that are offlineHaving to switch from one tool to another is a bit cumbersome
Plenty of PDF file conversion optionsThere is an additional charge for users that want to work offline
You can compress PDFs without sacrificing quality

Pricing

There are two plans available. The Pro plan is $9/month/user (billed annually) while the Team plan is $7/month/user (billed annually).


7. Soda PDF

sodaPDF Anywhere Homepage

Soda PDF is a powerful alternative to Adobe Acrobat. Its main selling point is its ease of use. With this product, users will be able to modify PDF files easily.

With the PDF editor, you can change text in a document or erase it completely. You can also draw, stamp, and highlight sections of a document. If needed, you can even white out entire sections.

This PDF editor is also capable of merging and compressing files. Do you want to merge Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files into a PDF? You can with Soda PDF.

You can also make PDFs from scratch from a scan or URL. You can just as easily convert a Microsoft Office document like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files into a PDF. There’s even a batch convert feature to process multiple files simultaneously.

You have the option to e-sign a PDF document. And you can track a document as it makes its way to other signees. There’s even a way to send reminders so that everyone’s on the same page. 

Soda PDf can be used offline through a desktop app or be used through the cloud via any web browser. You can even save PDF files to Dropbox, Google Drive, SharePoint, or Evernote.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Clean and friendly user interfaceThere’s no mobile app just yet
There’s documentation available for first-time usersThe product can be sluggish at times
Great tools for converting PDF files

Pricing

The Standard plan is $6.75/month (billed annually), Pro is $8.25/month (billed annually), and Business is $16.67/month (billed annually).


8. Foxit PDF Editor

foxit Homepage

Foxit is ideal for those who need an alternative to Adobe Acrobat for simple PDF editing.

Foxit is a simple tool that allows users to create, edit, share, manage, review, and protect their PDF documents. This editor works on Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. There is also a cloud version.

This product lets anyone edit PDF files like a pro. It looks and works just like any word processor. That means users can quickly make changes even if they have little to no experience working with Adobe Acrobat or similar tools before.

There are built-in collaboration functionality but these are only available to those who have upgraded to the Foxit Pro version.

You can export PDFs to any popular file format including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, HTML, and RTF.

PDf pages can be organized to support a specific workflow. You can also merge several PDF documents together. Adding stamps, watermarks, headers, and footers is also possible.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
There is a one-time payment option that can save users money long-termThe user interface can be hit-or-miss for some users
Works on almost every platform (Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Cloud)Advanced collaborative features are only accessible in the Pro version
Users can share and collaborate in real-time

Pricing

The Foxit PDF Editor is available for a one-time fee of $159. The Foxit PDF Editor Pro is $179. It should be pointed out that there are monthly and yearly payment options available.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a good alternative to Adobe Acrobat?

Yes, there are several. You’re only limited by what your budget is and what your needs are. pdfFiller is our favorite alternative.

Is there a free alternative to Adobe Acrobat?

Yes. PDF-XChange Editor is one example but there are other options out there.

Is Foxit PDF Editor free?

Foxit PDF Editor has a free trial that users can download but it isn’t completely free.


Choosing the best alternative to Adobe Acrobat

We’ve discussed quite a few options.

Our top pick is pdfFiller. It’s a powerful platform that is best for most users. The platform makes it easy to create, edit, and manage PDF files online.

For those who need robust document signing as well, signNow is a great option. It’s from the same company as pdfFiller and they integrate perfectly.

If you’re looking for a free Adobe Acrobat alternative, PDF-XChange Editor is a good option, but be aware that it does leave a watermark. If that’s a deal breaker, one of the premium options above would be a better option.


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