Best alternatives to Adobe Acrobat DC Pro
Many suppliers of free PDF tools have ‘professional’ products which you have to pay for. Foxit (tinyurl.com/p3znuj3) offers PhantomPDF Standard ($89, around £60) and Business ($129, around £85), and Advanced PDF Editor ($99, around £65). The Standard edition (below) has all the facilities of the free Reader, plus editing capabilities. It is possible to edit paragraphs and sometimes whole pages of text, although it doesn’t flow like a word processor document, which can be irritating. PDFs can be saved as Word and Excel documents, and .rtf and .txt files, though.
Nitro PDF (gonitro.com) has a free Nitro Reader and also Nitro Pro ($120, around £80), which enables you to edit text, images, pages and documents. You can also annotate them with sticky notes, drawing tools, stamps, and so on. Pages can be inserted and deleted, PDFs can be split, watermarks added, and headers and footers inserted. Nitro Pro isn’t exactly cheap, but if you want to edit the contents of PDFs, it’s easier using this than in PhantomPDF. Nitro Pro isn’t perfect, but it comes close and you can easily change the text, styles, fonts, colours, and so on.
Microsoft Office does a reasonable job of both writing and reading PDF files. It is particularly good at opening Office files saved as PDFs and they can be edited and saved as Word files or PDFs again. Like the other pro tools, it isn’t perfect, but you do get an editable Word document. It isn’t free, of course, but you may already have it and not realise that it can open PDFs so you can edit them.
One other tool we recently tested that does the job well is Nuance Power PDF 2, which isn’t free either. It’s a PDF editor and convertor that matches Acrobat Pro – pretty much feature-for-feature – while offering useful extras like a more flexible search and a more familiar Office interface. And at £79 inc VAT for the standard version it is well priced. Worth checking out.
Nitro Pro S