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 Smallpdf vs. 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 Smallpdf because its more feature-rich and its features are more robust. Smallpdf was rated lower because it is limited in the features it offers and is overall a more basic platform.
This breakdown shows our review criteria and the ratings that Smallpdf 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, Smallpdf is much more affordable. Smallpdf’s most expensive plan costs $12 per user per month, whereas Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s costs $24.99 per user per month. Smallpdf also offers a free PDF editor plan.
Smallpdf 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 is superior to Smallpdf in every feature category because its features are more robust.
Overall, Smallpdf is better for individuals and small businesses who only need a basic solution. We also recommend Smallpdf to beginners and those with a smaller budget.
Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is better for larger businesses and who have a large budget. Its platform is more feature-rich and its features are of higher quality. 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 are a beginner when it comes to PDF editor solutions
- You need a more affordable solution
- You want freehand drawing as a review and annotation tool
- You prefer an advanced, all-in-one solution
- You want a robust mobile PDF editor
- You want to include personalized headers and footers
Table of Contents
- Comparison Summary
- Smallpdf & Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Price Comparison
- Smallpdf & Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Feature Comparison
- Smallpdf & Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Top Feature Comparison
- Bottom Line
Smallpdf & Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Price Comparison
Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is more affordable than Smallpdf. Smallpdf costs $24.99 per user per month. In contrast, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s monthly plan costs $12.49 per month.
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.
Smallpdf Pricing Details
Smallpdf’s pricing ranges from free to $10 per month. You can also save up to ~30% if you purchase an annual plan. Smallpdf also offers a 7-day free trial for each paid plan.
|Free||$0 per month|
|Pro||$12 per month|
|Team||$10 per license per month|
Smallpdf & Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Feature Comparison
Smallpdf 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, all of Smallpdf’s features are more robust than Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s. The only area where Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is more feature-rich is in review and annotation. This is because Adobe Acrobat Pro DC offers freehand drawing and callout boxes as annotation tools, while Smallpdf does not.
|Feature||Smallpdf||Adobe Acrobat Pro DC|
|Freehand drawing tools||Yes||No|
|Scanning documents into PDFs||No||Yes|
|Redacting sensitive information||No||Yes|
|Creating PDFs from scratch||Yes||Yes|
|Converting PDFs into Word documents, PowerPoints, and Excel spreadsheets||Yes||Yes|
|Editing & Resizing text||Yes||Yes|
|Editing & Resizing images||Yes||Yes|
|Mobile PDF editor||Yes||Yes|
|PDF template library||No||No|
Smallpdf & Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Top Feature Comparison
Below we analyze in-depth the three main PDF editor feature categories included in Smallpdf 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. However, it should be noted that both solutions are better suited for different customer types. For example; Adobe Acrobat is better for larger companies who have a larger budget and Smallpdf is better for individuals and small businesses with a smaller budget.
Creating & Converting PDFs
It’s important that you are able to create and convert your PDFs in one solution, especially if you manage a large number of PDFs at once. Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC features for this category are more robust.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and Smallpdf both let you create PDFs from scratch, merge PDF files, and split PDFs into separate files. You can also convert your PDF documents into Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoints with both solutions. An advantage of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC though is that you can also scan documents to create PDFs.
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.
It’s important that your PDF editor can accommodate your text editing requirements. When it comes to text editing, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC text editing features are more advanced and Smallpdf text editing features are more basic.
Both Smallpdf and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC let you adjust the font, color, and size on your text. However, unlike Smallpdf, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC lets you rotate your text boxes, create bulleted or numbered lists, and use numbers to adjust your font.
A major advantage of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is that you can also adjust a text box’s line and paragraph spacing. These allow you to further customize your text to match the aesthetic of your PDF.
Images enhance the readability of your PDF by offering visual breaks and supporting certain sections of text. Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s image editing features are is more feature-rich for image editing than Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
Both platforms let you resize images. However, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC also offers advanced image editing features including:
- Replacing images
- 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
Oftentimes you can use your PDF editor to insert, request, and track electronic signatures into your PDFs. Overall, we recommend using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC for electronic signatures rather than Smallpdf.
Both Smallpdf and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC let you insert, request, and track e-signatures. However, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC lets you include fields related to transactions, send reminders to those you’ve requested signatures from, and the platform is HIPAA compliant.
Page organization can affect how others interpret the content within your PDF. Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s page organization features are more robust.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and Smallpdf both let you drag & drop pages to reorder them, and delete and rotate pages. However, unlike Smallpdf, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC also lets you split pages into separate files, insert page numbers, and replace pages without compromising the position of your other pages.
Reviewing & Annotating PDFs
Once you’ve finished editing your PDF’s content, you’ll likely need to review and annotate it. Overall, we rank Adobe Acrobat Pro DC higher for review and annotation because it offers commenting and its features are of higher-quality.
Comments are one of the easiest ways for you and those in your organization to collaborate on a PDF. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC offers a cloud-based commenting feature that lets you drop comments anywhere in your PDF. You or those in your organization who also Adobe Acrobat Pro DC can also reply to any of these comments made.
Both Smallpdf and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC let you highlight text within your PDF to indicate important information. Overall, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s highlighting features are more efficient to use than Smallpdf’s.
Both Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and Smallpdf let you highlight text that is already embedded in your PDF and that you’ve inserted using each platform. However, as shown below, an advantage of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC’s freehand highlighting tool is that it automatically straightens your highlights. This saves you time because you do not have to spend time perfecting your freehand highlight.
Freehand Drawing Tools
You can use freehand drawing tools to insert handwritten style notes into your PDF. Smallpdf is superior in this category because Adobe Acrobat Pro DC does not offer a freehand drawing tool.
Freehand drawing tools are useful if you prefer to handwrite your notes. As shown above, Smallpdf lets you adjust the number of colors and weights of your drawing tool.
Overall, Smallpdf is best for those who are new to PDF editor software. We recommend it for individuals and small businesses who have a smaller budget.
In contrast, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is more expensive, but also a more advanced platform. We recommend it to those with a larger budget, and who also need an all-in-one platform with robust features. If you also use other Adobe products, like Adobe Sign and Adobe Scan, then you should consider Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.