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When Portable Document Format came into play in the early s, a dream of having a versatile format turned into a revolution in data sharing as well as in the printing and publishing industries. In his paper, J. These documents could be viewed on any machine and any selected document could be printed locally.
This capability would truly change the way information is managed. They presented a PDF 1. In it was standardized as ISO That's how we got an excellent unified file format that easily combines various sorts of data from text to images , which you can store and share with any software, operating system, or platform without losing the original formatting. And its evolution continues to progress. Today the market offers all kinds of PDF-related solutions to choose from.
Its PDF-managing software has inspired many competitors to appear in the last few decades. It evolved the Acrobat Reader which used to only be a PDF viewer and very simple editor into a large suite of software, with both subscription-based and free solutions for viewing, sharing, signing, and editing PDF files. It includes several independent products:. Acrobat is a feature-rich solution irrespective of the subscription plan you choose. Both the Standard and the Pro versions have all the necessary tools for creating, editing, merging, splitting, printing, and converting files from PDF to other formats and vice versa.
And, of course, they include e-signing capabilities and provide tools for quick sharing. These features are also commonly found in most of the larger apps similar to Adobe Acrobat.
However, there are several significant features showing that Acrobat Pro lives up to its name — professional. It means that the program transforms scanned documents into editable PDF files and recognizes text as it is, not as an image. Besides, the Pro version also has a language recognition option that allows users to search for text in a particular language.
Among its features, there is also the ability to hide a part of a document that contains confidential information from some viewers. This statement is true for everything, from food and beverage to software. Despite the above-mentioned solutions having many essential features, users are often searching for an appropriate Adobe Acrobat replacement mostly because of its high prices.
But before you start searching for equivalents to Adobe Pro, ask yourself: What do you need to get done? How often are you going to use the application? Do you need desktop software or an online solution? Unlike most of the alternatives to Adobe Acrobat that provide installable desktop software and offer web service as an extra option, pdfFiller is an online-only PDF management solution.
The advantage of web-based services is that they don't require installation of any kind onto your computer and thus, are compatible with any operating system and device. You can also connect via your Google account or Facebook profile for faster signup. You can browse for it from your computer or mobile device, import it from the cloud Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box , take it from an email, from a third-party URL, or request a document from your partners or colleagues.
The interface is intuitive. However, it lacks such options as OCR and document comparison. You can sign your documents with an image of your handwritten signature, by drawing one, typing your full name, using a secure QR code, and even legally notarizing a form directly from the platform.
Some of the options are available from the right-side toolbar: watermarks, page and Bates numbering, and the ability to add fillable fields. When the document is ready, you can click the Done button and choose what to do next with your PDF. With the Link to Fill option, you can also publish the form on your website for everyone to fill out. Apart from the cloud PDF editing service, pdfFiller also offers applications for desktops.
For users who often find themselves completing their documents on the go, the tool also offers mobile applications equivalent to the Acrobat apps. Adobe Reader alternatives for Android are available on Google Play as well. After installing the app and logging into the account, you get access to your Dashboard and can manage files any time right from your smartphone. The Basic subscription plan for one user has all the key features needed for filling out, editing, signing, and sharing PDFs.
The Plus plan for up to 3 users offers more features for form creation and protection, file conversion, signing link generation, etc. The Premium subscription for up to 5 users has the most advanced functionality and grants access to signNow and US Legal Forms.
It is well- suited to individuals who want the freedom to complete tasks and access documents from anywhere: in the cloud, via a desktop program, or on a mobile application. One of the biggest and very popular substitute programs to Adobe is Foxit Software Inc with its many features. It was founded in China, and in they released their first Foxit Reader for viewing, signing, and annotating files in Portable Document Format.
Presently, the company offers a whole set of tools for generating and managing PDFs. Foxit Reader is unlimited in terms of time usage and free for download.
Any upgrade with additional features and extended functionality comes at a charge. Foxit PhantomPDF has several subscriptions to choose from after your day free trial expires.
These two plans are available for Windows users only. Its main difference from other tools is that it works exceptionally on Windows OS. Today, Nitro offers the following products:. The Nitro Pro software has several pricing plans. The paid subscription is a bit cheaper than the Acrobat Pro and their functionality is also generally similar.
So, Nitro Pro can be a real substitute to Acrobat Pro. The Nitro free version has fewer capabilities compared to the paid packages, so it corresponds to Adobe's free tool and is a good alternative to Acrobat Reader.
There are many other cheaper services like Adobe Acrobat available on the web. PDF started a revolution in how electronic information was sent and received. In the early s, there was a strong demand for a unified file format to properly work on whatever system and device, with whatever type of data.
Adobe Systems was the one who stepped up and saved the day. Adobe developed the first program for viewing and editing PDF files. During the first years, there was no real equivalent to Adobe Acrobat.
But with the PDF's development and popularity, the number of competitors has risen. Competition leads the market forward and speeds up technological growth. Today, there are hundreds of desktop and online solutions for PDF editing that keep improving their features and creating new approaches to PDF management. But does an ideal solution exist? For individuals, small companies, and large enterprises "the best solutions" differ a lot.
To find the one that perfectly suits you, try to analyze your needs: do you need a desktop application or a quick online service to work from anywhere? How often are you going to use it? What are your professional demands? If your goal is to constantly create many professional documents, like brochures, books, and others of that kind, a desktop program may suit you.
For more economical solutions, online tools are a better choice than installable software. Even though lacking some of Adobe's extended features, pdfFiller provides users with the highest capabilities, including desktop and mobile applications for any OS and device. Online platforms also offer many free Adobe Acrobat alternative solutions. These services are fast and easy-to-use but they lack some sophistication.
Their advantage is being accessible from anywhere, anytime. A great choice for agile teams. We can give you just a small piece of advice on how to make the most reasonable decision:.
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Integrations Salesforce. Edit PDFs, turn them into online fillable forms, host them on your website or send them for signing Edit online. Document hosting. Add annotations. All-in-one PDF software. A single pill for all your PDF headaches. Edit, fill out, eSign, and share — on any device. Start free trial. An Adobe Acrobat alternatives overview: how to choose a tool that works for you When PDF files first came out, there was only one software for processing them.
Now that the market offers hundreds of PDF management solutions, there's the freedom to choose, but the right choice comes hard. Compare the key market players to find the best Adobe Acrobat alternative for professionally managing your document workflows.
The Acrobat software family. Adobe Acrobat DC. A paid solution for managing files in Portable Document Format.