Individuals, SMBs, and enterprises use PDF editors to create, edit, and convert PDFs. In a market filled with many different types of PDF editors, it can be difficult to choose the best one for you or your business.
We’ve written this guide to help you understand the main differences between PDFelement and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. Below, we describe how each solution differs in terms of features, pricing, usability, and the customer type each is best suited for.
All of our recommendations are based upon extensive research, and dozens of hours spent hand-testing the leading PDF editor software platforms. The details of our research process can be found on our PDF editor category page.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC was rated higher than PDFelement because its platform is more advanced and its features are more robust. PDFelement was rated lower because its platform is less feature-rich and its features are not as robust.
This breakdown shows our review criteria and the ratings that PDFelement and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC received for each category.
|Criteria||Analyst Rating||Features||Usability||Pricing||Customer Support|
|Adobe Acrobat Pro DC||91||10||8.5||8.5||8.5|
When compared to Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, PDFelement is more affordable. PDFelement offers a half-yearly plan that costs $49.99. This averages out to ~$8.33 per user per month. PDFelement also offers a free PDF editor plan. In contrast, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC costs $24.99 per user per month.
PDFelement and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC offer standard PDF editor features. This includes tools for PDF creation and conversion, content editing, and PDF review and annotation. Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC offers higher quality features, but PDFelement is more feature-rich when it comes to review and annotation tools.
Overall, PDFelement is better for those who prefer an intermediate PDF editor platform and require a wide range of review and annotation tools. We also recommend it to those who have a smaller budget for PDF editors.
Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is an advanced, PDF editor platform that is feature-rich. We recommend it for larger businesses who have a large budget. We also recommend Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to those who use other Adobe products.
Here’s a few key differences between the solutions to determine which is best for you:
- You want a free PDF editor plan
- You want to create PDF templates
- You want freehand drawing and callout boxes as review and annotation tools
- You prefer an advanced, all-in-one solution
- You want a PDF editor that integrates with Microsoft 365, Google Drive, Dropbox or Zapier
- You want to insert e-signature fields into your document
Table of Contents
- Comparison Summary
- PDFelement & Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Price Comparison
- PDFelement & Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Feature Comparison
- PDFelement & Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Top Feature Comparison
- Bottom Line
PDFelement & Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Price Comparison
Overall, PDFelement is much more affordable than Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. PDFelement’s most expensive plan costs $8.33 per user per month and offers a free PDF editor plan. In contrast, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC costs $24.99 per user per month.
PDFelement Pricing Details
PDFelement’s pricing depends on whether you are an individual, business, or purchasing for education, or a bundle pack. It also depends on whether you are purchasing a yearly, half-yearly, or perpetual license for PDFelement products.
However, right now you can save up to 50% if you purchase PDFelement products. PDFelement also offers a limited free version of its PDF editor.
|Plan Type||Yearly Plan Pricing||Perpetual License|
|Individual||PDFelement Pro: $129.99|
|Team||PDFelement Pro: $109 per year||PDFelement Pro: $139|
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Pricing Details
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s pricing ranges from $14.99 to $24.99 per month depending on if you purchase an individual or a business plan. You can save up to ~43% if you purchase an individual Acrobat Pro DC or Acrobat Standard DC plan. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC also offers a 7-day free trial of each of its Acrobat Pro DC.
PDFelement & Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Feature Comparison
PDFelement and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC offer standard and advanced PDF editor features. This includes creating and converting, content editing, and reviewing and annotating PDFs.
As you can see below, PDFelement is much more feature-rich.
|Feature||PDFelement||Adobe Acrobat Pro DC|
|Freehand drawing tools||Yes||No|
|PDF template library||Yes||No|
|Creating PDFs from scratch||Yes||Yes|
|Scanning documents into PDFs||Yes||Yes|
|Converting PDFs into Word documents, PowerPoints, and Excel spreadsheets||Yes||Yes|
|Editing & Resizing text||Yes||Yes|
|Editing & Resizing images||Yes||Yes|
|Redacting sensitive information||Yes||Yes|
|Mobile PDF editor||Yes||Yes|
PDFelement & Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Top Feature Comparison
Below we analyze in-depth the three main PDF editor feature categories included in PDFelement and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC – creating and converting, content editing, and reviewing and annotating PDFs. Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is more robust in all of these categories, but less feature-rich in review and annotation tools.
Creating & Converting PDFs
It’s important that your PDF editor platform lets you create and convert your PDFs in one central location. This is especially true if you manage a large number of PDFs at once. Overall, each platform offers their own PDF creation and conversion advantages.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and PDFelement let you create blank PDFs, scan your documents into PDFs, and merge and split your PDFs. You can also use both platforms to convert your PDF files into Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoints.
An advantage of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is that it lets you upload a variety of document types to convert them into PDFs, whereas PDFelement only lets you upload PDF documents to create PDFs.
An advantage of PDFelement is that it offers a free PDF template library. This includes resume, newsletter, invoice and letter PDF templates. Uploading a template from this library is advantageous because PDFelement includes form field recognition. This allows you to automatically edit them and insert text.
Content Editing PDFs
Content editing a PDF involves editing its text, images, including headers and footers, and including e-signatures. Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is more robust for all of these features.
Your PDF editor should be able to accommodate your text editing needs. Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s text editing tools are more robust than PDFelement’s.
You can use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and PDFelement to change the font, color, size, and typographical emphasis of your text. However, unlike PDFelement, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC lets you also create bulleted and numbered lists and adjust the spacing between lines of text.
Images enhance the readability of your PDF documents by offering visual breaks and supporting specific sections of text. Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and PDFelement offer robust image editing tools, but Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s are slightly more robust.
Both solutions let you resize, rotate, crop, and replace images with other images without it interfering with the structure of your PDF document. However, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC also lets you:
- Adjusting the horizontal and vertical orientation of an image
- Arranging whether an image sits in front or in the back of another image or text
- Aligning images based on their left or right side or top or bottom
Many PDF editors let you insert, request, and track electronic signatures into your PDFs. Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s electronic signature tools are advanced, whereas PDFelement’s are basic.
Page organization can affect how those who read your PDF interpret your content. Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s page organization tools are slightly more robust than PDFelement’s.
Both solutions let you drag & drop pages to reorder them, and insert, rotate, and split pages to save into separate files. However, Adobe Acrobat Pro DCalso lets you insert page numbers and replace pages without it interfering with the structure of your document.
Reviewing & Annotating PDFs
Once you’ve finished editing your PDF’s content, you’ll likely need to review and annotate it. Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s review and annotation tools are of higher-quality than PDFelement’s.
Commenting is an easy tool that you and those in your organization can use to collaborate on a PDF. Overall, we recommend using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s commenting tool over PDFelement’s.
Unlike PDFelement, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s commenting feature lets you reply to other comments and @mention people in your comments. Being able to mention those in your organization helps ensure that certain see the comments they need to see.
You can use highlighting to easily indicate important information in your PDF. Overall, we recommend using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s highlight tool over PDFelement’s.
Both solution’s let you highlight text that you’ve embedded using the platform. However, unlike PDFelement, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC also lets you highlight text that’s already been included in your PDF document.
Unlike Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, PDFelement offers callout boxes as a tool for reviewing and annotating PDFs. Callout boxes help important pieces of information visually stand out, more so than highlighting. Overall, this feature is robust and dynamic in PDFelement.
As shown above, PDFelement lets you resize your callout boxes and adjust the positioning and length of their arrows. This is useful if you need to call out a small piece of text or information that is in an inconvientant area in your PDF, like in the middle.
Freehand Drawing Tools
Unlike Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, PDFelement lets you freehand draw over your PDF. This feature is useful if you want to handwrite notes or markings onto your PDF. Overall, this feature is basic, but effective in PDFelement.
PDFelement lets you adjust the color, opacity, and size of your freehand drawing tool. However, a disadvantage of this feature is that you cannot resize or move your drawings after you’ve made them.
Overall, PDFelement is best for those who need a well-rounded, intermediate PDF editor solution. We also recommend it to those who want a more affordable PDF editor and need a wide range of review and annotation tools.
In contrast, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is best for larger companies, with larger budgets for PDF editor solutions. We recommend it to those who need an advanced, all-in-one platform, and use other Adobe products like Adobe Sign, and Adobe Scan.