14+ Best Adobe Acrobat Alternatives in 2024

14+ Best Adobe Acrobat Alternatives in 2024

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Are you looking for the best Adobe Acrobat alternatives in 2024? This article will have you sorted! Or if you simply want our top pick, go for SodaPDF.

Our Top Pick
Soda PDF:-The Easy-To-Use & Affordable Adobe Acrobat Alternative
$48 / Year

We found SodaPDF to be an easy and affordable option, allowing us to edit, merge, convert, compress, sign & secure our documents in just a few clicks. This is our top pick for the best Acrobat alternative.

  • Easy to use
  • Great value
  • Multi-platform support
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With the invention of the Portable Document Format (PDF) file, Adobe happens to be the forerunner of software enabling easy editing and sharing of this particular file format.

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The Adobe Acrobat version 1.0 was first released in 1993 priced at $50 per user. Since then, lots of Acrobat versions have been released with new features making their way into each version.

However, since the standardization of the PDF format in 2008, there emerged a lot of new players in the PDF apps and software market rubbing shoulders with Adobe. PDF users look to find alternatives to Adobe for a variety of reasons depending on their PDF requirements.

In this article, we’ve listed the best alternatives for Adobe Acrobat DC (DC stands for “Document Cloud”) along with their features, pricing, and pros and cons. The internet and app stores are loaded with dozens of PDF editors and software offering a range of features.

However, we made sure to only include the best Adobe Acrobat competitors and alternatives to help you choose the one that fits your needs.

If you’re a student, check out our guide on How to get an Adobe student discount and our Adobe Creative Cloud pricing guide.

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What are the Best Alternatives to Adobe Acrobat DC?

The following are the best Adobe Acrobat alternatives:

  1. Soda PDF — Best value Acrobat alternative (Get 65% off here) – Easy and affordable!
  2. Nitro PDF Pro — Best all-in-one Adobe Acrobat alternative (Free Trial)
  3. LightPDF — A great Acrobat alternative that is available both online and offline
  4. UPDF — An all-in-one powerful Adobe Acrobat alternative (Get 54% off here)
  5. Foxit Phantom PDF EditorBest Adobe Acrobat alternative PDF editor overall
  6. PDF-Xchange Editor — The most budget-friendly Acrobat alternative
  7. Smallpdf — Best Acrobat alternative in customer support
  8. PDF Studio — Most intuitive Acrobat alternative
  9. Sejda — Best in premium features for free
  10. SwifDoo PDF — Best lightweight PDF editor
  11. DocuSign — Best Adobe Acrobat alternative for signatures
  12. PDFelement — Best alternative with enterprise-grade
  13. FineReader — Best alternative for business
  14. pdfFiller — Best comprehensive PDF software

You may also be interested in the best PDF to Word Tools, the best PDF editors, and the complete Adobe Software List.

Adobe Acrobat Discount (Get 65% Off) or Free 7-Day Trial

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If you don’t find an Adobe Acrobat alternative, we have an exclusive discount with Adobe CC that offers 40-70% off Adobe’s apps, including Acrobat, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom.


Best Adobe Acrobat Alternatives 2024

1. Soda PDF – All-in-One PDF Software (Get 65% discount)

Image credit: SodaPDF

Best value Acrobat alternative + best system compatibility

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We were delighted to discover Soda PDF, a robust Adobe Acrobat alternative that offers features for efficient PDF document management.

Soda PDF simplifies tasks such as merging multiple PDFs into a single file or splitting large documents into more manageable parts.

It impressively facilitates PDF conversion to various formats, making content compatibility a breeze.

During the review of this software, we also discovered that Soda PDF enables us to create new PDFs from scratch or edit existing ones with ease, ensuring content accuracy with its built-in spellcheck.

The software’s bookmarking capability enhances document navigation, while the Format Painter tool maintains consistent formatting throughout. Soda PDF further supports form creation and filling, facilitates interactive experiences, and includes markup tools and comment features for easy collaboration.

With electronic signature support, password protection, and permission settings, it excels in document security. Its OCR functionality enhances document digitization, making scanned content searchable and editable.

Finally, setting Soda PDF as the default PDF application ensures seamless document handling, making it an excellent choice for all PDF-related tasks.

Here are the pricing details for Soda PDF:

  • Soda PDF Home Plan: $48 / year or $10 / month
  • Soda PDF Premium Plan: $84 / year/user or $15 / month
  • Soda PDF Business Plan: $120 / year or $20 / month
  • Soda PDF Enterprise Edition (perpetual license): $159

**Get 65% off SodaPDF here**



➕ Easy to use ➖ Crashes on new updates sometimes
➕ Variety of features for a low-cost PDF editor
➕ Multi-platform support


2. Nitro PDF Pro / Productivity Platform

Nitro Productivity Platform
Image credit: Gonitro

Best Adobe Acrobat alternative

The major features of Nitro PDF are to create PDFs and combine files.

This PDF software includes standard features like converting documents to Word, among other functions. Some of the additional features include multi-party signing, mobile signatures, watermarking, task progress tracking, and multi-language.

Furthermore, Nitro Pro PDF editing software can be integrated with cloud storage tools like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, and Microsoft Office, enabling users to use the editor while working on Microsoft apps. You can get your hands on the software at a one-time cost of $179.99 per feature or at a monthly fee of $9.99.

Also, you can opt for a free trial without credit card details on sign-up.

Though Nitro PDF Pro doesn’t offer a free version, unlike Soda PDF, it distinguishes itself with a notable feature: customizable templates.

The presence of customizable templates in Nitro PDF Pro stands as a game-changer, offering users the power to tailor and streamline their PDF tasks.



➕ Integration with top workplace tools ➖ Support restricted to pro users
➕ Easy collaboration
➕ e-signature workflows


3. LightPDF

LightPDF User Interface. Image credit: LightPDF

A great Acrobat alternative that is available both online and offline

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LightPDF is a full-fledged PDF software and browser-based app that is available on the website, desktop, and mobile devices. LightPDF emphasizes powering up your work and doubling your productivity without exerting much time and effort.

This is because, it offers highly-developed features like PDF conversion, digital signature, annotation, password-protect, OCR, merge, split, and more.

With LightPDF, you can collaborate with your team and colleagues in the most efficient way. It has a sleek interface that is beginner-friendly and organizes your documents with its cloud-based services.

Also, you can share your files and make real-time edits by sending links via email or any social media platform.

Personal Subscription – $13.99 (Weekly Pass); $149.99/$2.08/mo (6 years); $59.99 annually/$5/ $5/month; $19.99 (billed monthly)

Business Subscription – $79.95 (1 year) / $129.90 (2 years)

When comparing the first two options on our list, Light PDF stands out for its user-friendly approach, as all of its online tools are not only free but also easy to use without any limitations.



➕ Completely free online PDF tool ➖ Not supported on Linux
➕ Supports auto-save and share
➕ Available on web, desktop, mobile


4. UPDF – An Easy and Cost-effective PDF Editor (Get 54% off here)

UPDF. Image Credits: UPDF

An all-in-one powerful Adobe Acrobat alternative

A PDF editor isn’t necessary just for businesses but also for home users, and if you are looking for the best all-in-one PDF editor, UPDF is our ideal choice for you.

We were surprised by the UPDF features, which include most of the tools found in Adobe Acrobat at a lower cost, such as signing, editing, merging, OCR, conversion, compression, annotation, and document protection.

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UPDF is compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, and it’s available for free download. In contrast to Adobe Acrobat, which caters primarily to professionals, UPDF’s user-friendly interface is a welcome feature for newcomers.

If your preference is for a PDF editor that launches swiftly, simplifies document saving, and expedites tasks, UPDF should be your top choice.

Much like Adobe Acrobat, UPDF also offers cross-platform functionality. However, we were astonished to discover that UPDF stands out as one of the best Adobe Acrobat alternatives, providing these premium features without any charge to users.

Nonetheless, it’s important to note that while UPDF boasts similar functionality to Adobe Acrobat, beginners may find it disappointing that the free version automatically adds a watermark when saving PDF files.

Have a look at UPDF’s pricing plans:

Annual Plan  (with 60% off) – $ 25.99

Perpetual Plan (with 61% off) – 43.99

**Get 54% off UPDF here**



➕ Faster performance ➖ Free version will add watermarks
➕ User-interface design
➕ Budget-friendly


5. Foxit Phantom PDF Editor

Foxit Phantom PDF Editor - Best alternative to Adobe Acrobat
Image credit: Foxit

Best Adobe Acrobat alternative PDF editor

Foxit is a leading software provider of quick, inexpensive, and stable PDF solutions. This helps you view, annotate, fill out forms, and sign PDFs across desktop, mobile, and the web, no matter where you are. Reading PDFs is easier with Foxit, as it is accessible on any device. (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, web, Linux )

Add images, videos, and file attachments, and start collaborating and sharing with a variety of annotation tools. This alternative Adobe PDF editor lets you sign documents in your own handwriting; however, some users didn’t find this feature very exciting as the signature appears light in shade.

Foxit PDF Editor offers a range of pricing editions, with options spanning from $9.17 to $159. You can also take advantage of a free trial of Foxit PDF Editor. They offer different pricing options as well.



➕ Easy collaboration ➖ Signature functionality
➕ Easy to use for teams of any size ➖ Mobile application is a bit slow
➕ Reliable and affordable PDF editor ➖ Some fonts are not supported during conversion


6. PDF-XChange Editor

PDF-XChange Editor - Budget-friendly Acrobat alternative
Image credit: Tracker Software

Most budget-friendly Acrobat alternative

PDF-XChange Editor is one of the most advanced PDF editors out there with the latest industry-standard features like a virtual printer for document preview.

Some of the prominent features of this tool are annotations, encryption, PDF reader, merge or append files, watermarking, digital signature, and convert to PDF. However, the app can only run on Windows OS. Also, unlike most other tools, it does not offer free video tutorials for the users to get familiar with the advanced features.

The tool extends a free trial and free version for its users to try out their pro features. PDF-XChange Editor is priced at a one-time fee of $43.50. As a verdict, it is one of the best PDF management solutions available that lets users annotate, view, edit, add images, and do a lot more cool stuff with it, such as a user-customizable interface.



➕ Good for personal and business use ➖ Overwrites files on update
➕ Free version has decent features ➖ Some Acrobat features not available
➕ Affordable and reliable


7. Smallpdf

Image credit: Smallpdf

Best Acrobat alternative in customer support

Swiss-based Smallpdf is a suite of file management tools that provides a simple and secure solution to PDF editing. With this best Acrobat alternative, you can focus on enhancing the user experience as Smallpdf is best known for its easy-to-use interface serving more than half a billion users in 24 languages.

Smallpdf enables deployment in Cloud, SaaS, and web platforms and is supported on Mac and Windows, On-premise Windows, Android, and iOS.

Some of the top features include electronic signature, collaboration tools, annotations, conversion to PDF, digital signature, encryption, merge or append files, OCR, full-text search, and PDF reader.

Overall, it is the best PDF editing solution for businesses that require online and offline digital document processing. The Team Plan starts at $84 per year per user while the Pro Plan for individuals starts at $108 per year per user.

Smallpdf also offers a free trial and free version of the software for you to get the feel of using the powerful PDF edit features.



➕ User-friendly ➖ Occasional errors when converting PDF to other file formats
➕ Excellent customer support
➕ Seamlessly add e-signature


8. PDF Studio

PDF Studio
Image credit: Qoppa

Most intuitive Acrobat alternative

PDF Studio is regarded as one of the best and closest alternatives to Adobe Acrobat. It is a full-featured PDF editor offering full compatibility with PDF Standard and is supported on Windows, Mac, and Linux OS.

Some of the key features of PDF Studio include annotations, full-text search, side-by-side comparison, watermarking, forms management, OCR, e-signature, and merge or append files.

Overall, it is a robust and affordable PDF editor across operating systems. The PDF Studio Standard is priced at a one-time fee of $89 while the PDF Studio Pro would cost you a one-time fee of $129.



➕ Most premium features available ➖ Poor UI on the software
➕ Excellent customer support ➖ Doesn’t function well on Linux
➕ Reliable and user-friendly


9. Sejda

Image credit: Sejda

Best in premium features for free

Sejda is one of the rare PDF editors that offer premium features in its free version. It offers PDF edits on documents up to 200 pages long or 50 MB in size. However, quite obviously, the free version has some restrictions. You can only work on one document at a time and 3 tasks per hour.

Some of the pretty cool free features Sejda bets on are its editing and signing PDf file capabilities. Other notable features include changing and adding text to PDF, editing existing PDF text, adding images, creating links in PDF, annotation, and adding hyperlinks.

Overall, this Adobe Acrobat Pro alternative free program also offers pretty much all the basic PDF editing features of Acrobat. Nonetheless, you might face issues when editing a PDF with a unique font style. It is still an above-average free PDF editor given the wide range of features it offers.

To use Sejda to its full potential, you might want to buy a personal or teams & volume discounts plan. Web Week Pass is available for $5 for 7 days while the Web Monthly plan is priced at $7.50 per month. For access to Sejda Desktop software, you will have to buy the Desktop+Web Annual plan costing $63 billed annually.



➕ Premium features in free version ➖ Limited editing function in a unique font
➕ Online and desktop software available


10. SwifDoo PDF

SwifDoo PDF
Image credit: SwifDoo

Best lightweight PDF editor

SwifDoo PDF is a lightweight PDF editor with powerful features to edit files without technical knowledge.

You may use the tool to create or remove signatures, encrypt or decrypt PDF files, add or delete watermarks, add customized elements, extract TOC, compress the file, merge/split PDF pages, change the file’s structure/formatting, and more.

SwifDoo’s simple conversion tool makes it easier for you to convert your PDF files into different formats like HTML documents or Word documents.

As the tool uses minimal system resources, it is a perfect program that runs on any low-spec PC, which is something that Adobe Acrobat isn’t capable of. SwifDoo is updated regularly to fix any bugs or technical issues.

As for the pricing, this Adobe PDF editor alternative offers a free trial for the functionality and affordable paid plans, making it a great pick for editors and standard computer users.


11. DocuSign

Docusign. Image credit: Docusign

Best Adobe Acrobat alternative for signatures

Adobe Acrobat Pro though impressive may not be the most suitable option for most. And for those working with a budget, DocuSign is a great Adobe Acrobat alternative.

With the DocuSign app, your documents can be easily accessed and signed remotely. for people on the go who may require instant access to their files, this can be quite convenient.

Besides this, documents that are sensitive have an option for required credentials. DocuSign automatically saves all your documents so that you do need not to save them manually. With this Adobe PDF editor alternative you can also sign electronically with any device using the DocuSign app, making it accessible to all users.

So when it comes to avoiding trouble with paperwork and providing your signature on a variety of articles, DocuSign is one of the best acrobat alternatives to opt for.



➕ Send documents for signing easily ➖ Sometimes crashes before the document is generated
➕ Security and dependability ➖ Customer support is underwhelming and slow
➕ Send and receive paperwork easily              and instantly
➕ Autosave all the documents


12. PDFelement

PDFelement. Image Credits: PDFelement

Best alternative with enterprise-grade

As an alternative to Adobe Acrobat, the software PDF element is the best way to create PDF documents. Through this software, you can easily edit and convert PDF documents into various formats.

With a single button of ’Save’ you can export or save the changes you made in the document with direct access to the file.

It will also allow you to sign the PDF on Windows or Mac. Besides supporting various languages, the software provides functionality with an enterprise-grade. Since it is a free and efficient PDF editor, it will be a great pick for you.



➕User-friendly Software. ➖Managing many documents might be troublesome for some users.
➕Easy to add text or images to your documents.


13. FineReader

FineReader. Image credits: FineReader

Best alternative for business

If you are in search of an Adobe Acrobat alternative, FineReader is a better choice as a PDF software because this software has a great role in business activities.

Since the software is user-friendly, it will help you in making changes and modifying paper-based documents and files. Along with these, you can also extract various texts while scanning.

With advanced OCR technology, ABBYY FineReader will allow you to edit, scan, and reuse the contents from PDFs. Through this software, you can easily change your phone into a tool to scan and capture documents, books, etc.



➕Great OCR technology ➖Some experts might expect more flexibility
➕Helps in Edit, Scan and Reuse


14. pdfFiller

Best comprehensive PDF software

As a comprehensive software, it is one of the best alternatives for Adobe Acrobat. Through this alternative, the users can send and receive the PDF online.

This software can work for both personal and business purposes. With the help of different templates and formatting options, you can work on your files and documents.

With a free version of pdfFiller, you can work with limited features. But for more advanced features, you can upgrade to the paid version. One of the impressive features is that you can store signatures so that you can work anywhere easily.



➕Easy to use software ➖Need subscriptions
➕Great in formatting docs and other files


How to Choose a Good PDF Editor?

Best Adobe Acrobat Alternatives

PDF has been the go-to tool for viewing and sharing readable files for more than two decades now. Individuals and businesses alike have been using Adobe Acrobat for viewing PDF documents but you can go only so far with Adobe Acrobat unless you opt for their pricey plans.

Therefore, more and more brands are getting into the PDF services market offering PDF users amazing benefits at much more affordable fees.

If you’re in the dilemma of choosing the right PDF editor, we’ve made your work easy with our most important considerations in a good PDF editor. Read on!


The most important feature a good PDF editor should have is an intuitive interface. Users, of all experience levels, must be able to perform the most basic tasks without any hassle or without having to look around for features in the interface.

So make sure you choose the PDF editor that puts the essential features on the familiar interface.

Ability to edit and create PDFs

This goes without saying, if you need more than just PDF reading capabilities, you need to opt for a PDF editor that comes with the ability to add text, images, videos, and objects. A smart PDF editor lets you change text size alignment and flow the text as you edit it.

Other key features include watermarks, electronic signatures, stamps, headers, footers, etc. Most software these days comes packed with these features at affordable prices.

Scan and OCR

To digitize paper documents, you need to connect your PDF editor to a scanner. By doing so, you can make most of your work paperless and store all the important files in a PDF format. If your PDF editor app allows this, look no further.

Once you scan your documents, you might also want to convert the text in the scanned documents as a distinct PDF file.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology identifies text from images, giving you a full-fledged text version of the scans. This text version can be converted to an editable PDF format.

Ability to collaborate

Collaboration is a must-have feature in a PDF editor, especially in the post-pandemic era where remote teams could work together on files and enable easy sharing between teams.

Your PDF editor must allow you to add multiple participants, share reviews, and annotate. Being able to open and view PDFs on the EMS Cloud Services shouldn’t be burdensome.


BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, an IT policy that supports and encourages employees to use their personal devices like mobiles, tablets, and laptops to access enterprise data and systems.

You need a PDF editor that has your back when you are away from your work system. With a PDF editor app, you can view, edit, and review PDF files anywhere, anytime. So look out for a mobile app for the PDF editor you’re interested in.


If you deal with confidential documents quite often, you should seek a PDF editor with password protection capabilities. This feature limits features like viewing the document, printing, filling forms, and editing. Go for a PDF editor which lets you change access permissions or even revoke access even after publishing and sharing the file.

Customer support

At some point, you might want to get in touch with the customer support and service team. Problems with products are common and a PDF editor is no different. A good PDF editor should come with proven quality customer service and care to help you get out of troubled waters.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get Adobe Acrobat Pro for free?

Yes, you can get Adobe Acrobat Pro for free as Adobe offers a 7-day free trial for the full version of the software. This allows users to explore the features to create and edit PDF files. It also convert files to PDF format and allows users to share PDF files.

Is Adobe Acrobat discontinued?

Adobe Acrobat Pro XI and Adobe CS6 were discontinued at UA on May 9, 2022

Which is the best free PDF converter?

Adobe is the best free PDF convertor. There are a lot of online options out there and pretty much all work the same way.

Does Windows 10 come with a PDF editor?

Windows 10 is equipped with Microsoft Edge to view PDF files. But, it is not a PDF editor. You will have to download and install a third-party application like Adobe to edit PDF files.

Is the DocuSign and electronic signatures legally binding?

Yes. Electronic signatures are legally accepted and valid in the United States under state laws.


Best Adobe Acrobat DC Alternatives Summary

While Adobe is certainly the market leader in PDF editors, PDF users are constantly in search of alternatives that provide more or less similar features as Adobe Acrobat at affordable prices.

Depending on your PDF requirements and system compatibility, you can choose the right PDF editor for you and your team. The above-listed apps should certainly help you find the one for you. Do you know any other worthy Acrobat alternative not on our list?

Please let us know in the comments section below.


Adobe Creative Cloud Discount – 40-70% Off

If you don’t find an Adobe InDesign alternative, we have an exclusive discount with Adobe CC that offers up to 40-70% off Adobe’s apps including Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, XD, and more.

See here for our guide to Adobe Creative Cloud Discounts.

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