Adobe Acrobat Pro review: The rightful king of PDFs
There’s a reason Acrobat is still the industry standard
A small part of us quite wanted to see Adobe Acrobat Pro’s throne usurped by one of the other PDF editors, but it’s the de facto standard for a reason. This, if you can stomach the price, is a simply fabulous piece of software.
Although it took the longest to install, users are immediately given the tools they’re most like to use on a daily basis: the highlighting, sticky notes and export functions sit front and centre, either on the main or right-hand toolbar. That means there’s no navigating through icon-strewn tabs in search of, say, OCR or watermarks.
Editing PDFs is a joy, with text boxes responding immediately to clicks and images moving around the page without a stutter. You can even tweak the character spacing and scaling – a product of Adobe’s position as the go-to for publishing professionals.
You can create a PDF from pretty much every format you care to name, as well as from your scanner, a web page or content in your clipboard. Likewise, exporting to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, JPEG, TIFF, PNG, HTML, RTF, TXT and XML takes just a few clicks.
Dig a little deeper and Adobe’s suitability for business use becomes abundantly clear. For instance, the Tracker tool lets you manage your PDF workflow, while a “Send for Comments” button allows you to type in an email address and ping off a file to a colleague or client, who doesn’t need an Adobe account.
Acrobat Pro’s OCR is outstanding, although enhancing pages and recognising text occasionally took longer than we’d like. It cleverly creates an on-the-fly font constructed from existing characters on the page, which meant we could create realistic-looking replacement text. The downside is when the characters aren’t there, Adobe uses an often clunky default instead.
Privacy-wise, you can set a password, “Remove Hidden Information” – such as metadata, comments, hidden text and overlapping objects – and encrypt PDFs with either a certificate or password. You can even pretend you’re a Cold War spy by compiling a “Security envelope” containing multiple documents.
So, after the best part of three decades, Acrobat Pro still leads the way, but it’s no longer alone: Nitro Pro and PDFelement are both notable – and cheaper – alternatives.
In This Article
- 1Take your documents digital with these PDF editors
- 2Wondershare PDFelement Standard review: An elementary choice
- 3Able2Extract Professional 15 review: Don’t bother extracting your wallet
- 4Adobe Acrobat Pro review: The rightful king of PDFs - currently reading
- 5Foxit PhantomPDF review: A phantom pain
- 6Nitro Pro review: Explosively good
- 7Sejda PDF Desktop review: Capable, but not killer
2021 Thales access management index: Global edition
The challenges of trusted access in a cloud-first worldFree download
Transforming higher education for the digital era
The future is yoursFree download
Building a cloud-native, hybrid-multi cloud infrastructure
Get ready for hybrid-multi cloud databases, AI, and machine learning workloadsFree download
The next biggest shopping destination is the cloud
Know why retail businesses must move to the cloudFree Download