Want to quickly fill up a PDF form that you received in an email? Ideally, you will download the PDF, print it out, add details, and then scan it using mobile document scanners and send it back. It's time-consuming and requires the support of additional hardware. There are better solutions available now. You can opt for a dedicated PDF editor on Windows, which lets you fill up details, make changes, add stamps, protect it with a password, and even share with a colleague before sending it back.
Other functions of a capable PDF editor include signing documents, convert PDFs to different formats, integrate them into Microsoft Office apps for a smooth output, and more. Check our hand-picked compilation of the best Freemium PDF Editors for Windows.
In this post, we are going to compare two of the best PDF editors for Windows. The comparison will be based on UI, features, editing functions, export options, price, cross-platform availability, and more. Let us get started.
We are only talking about Windows apps here. But if you want to move to another platform in the future, you might want to enjoy the same apps macOS too.
It's a tie here. PDFelement is available on macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Adobe Acrobat Pro is also accessible on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. You can easily access and edit PDFs across all the platforms using Adobe Cloud (more on that later).
Both the apps offer modern and simplistic UI experience out of the box. Right from the home page, you can access all the necessary options like create, convert, combine PDF, and PDF Templates.
PDFelement's editing UI resembles Microsoft Office apps. Top ribbon menu with most of the functions and a tiny sidebar with editing options.
Adobe offers two menus to navigate on the home screen. The default page shows the recently added files, the ability to create new PDF, Adobe Cloud, and more.
The company has added Tools section which gives you access to frequently used options, such as Organize Pages, Edit PDF, Export PDF, scan, and OCR, and so on. I like Adobe’s iconography here.
Let’s talk about the editing capabilities of both software. Open a PDF in PDFelement and it will take you to the main screen of the app. Tap Edit and start making changes.
You can add image, text with various fonts styles and sizes, add a web link, and adjust the visible page in the PDF.
PDFelement also allows you to change the background color and add a new header and footer.
In terms of security, the software provides ability to add a password, sign documents, and save signature for future use. I like page view because with that you can quickly edit, rotate, delete pages before starting editing process. Everything is easy navigate, something many PDF editors miss out on.
When you open a PDF in Adobe Acrobat, it takes you to the main editing interface. You get a bunch of options to choose from the side menu. One can add images, manipulate text, add web links, crop PDFs, add header and footer, watermark, and more.
Acrobat also allows you to combine files before finalizing the editing process. I prefer Adobe’s editing menu over PDFelement. I like all the options on the right side than the top. Well, that's my preference, and yours might be different.
Adobe also offers fill & sign options. I think it's a mature solution compared to PDFelement. You can add a signature, initials, and even small details required in forms like cross marks, bullet points, etc.
PDFelement offers Form function, which allows us to create and edit form related changes. Users can extract data from Form fields and export them as a .CSV file.
I will still prefer a dedicated form builder tool like Google Forms for such a feature, but it's good to have a built-in form capabilities.
PDFelement has added comments function. You can use it to point out changes, add arrows, circles, and other shapes. You can also add stamps through the PDF pages. Thankfully, PDFelement offers a bunch of standard stamps. And of course, you can create your own stamp too.
Adobe also offers stamps function and it’s nicely categorized in categories such as dynamics, signature stamps, and standard business ones.
Other features include scan and OCR, comments functions to point out changes. I like the compare files option, which allows you to compare the edited PDF file with the original one.
PDFelement allows you to share the edited PDF file to Dropbox and Google Drive. You can also directly email the file. As for export, users can optimize the PDF file and convert it into Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file. You can also export it as a .epub or HTML file.
Adobe Acrobat primarily relies on Adobe cloud to store and share the files. It makes sense for teams invested in the Adobe ecosystem of apps. When it comes to exporting a file, the options remain the same as the PDFelement.
PDFelement offers 14 days of trial, and after that, it provides two options — Standard and Pro. PDFelement costs 4150-7700 BDT a year.
Adobe Acrobat provides 7 days of a free trial. After that, you can buy the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC for 20600 BDT and Adobe Acrobat Standard DC for 18240 BDT.
Both the PDFelement and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC are solid PDF editors. PDFelement is feature-rich, offers more sharing options, and flexible pricing. Adobe Acrobat Pro offers better and organized UI, a good number of features, and it makes perfect sense for people using other Adobe apps in routine.