Adobe Acrobat Alternatives

Adobe Acrobat, as a pioneer in the PDF software industry, features a range of handy PDF editing and management tools. While the software remains one of the most popular PDF service providers, its expensive subscription cost or huge size makes many users turn to its alternatives. If you are seeking an Adobe Acrobat alternative, read this post.

As a PDF reader or editor is a necessity in the business world, it pays to learn which ones are best to use. That will save your money and effort greatly. Here, take a look at the list of 6 best-recommended alternatives to Adobe Acrobat.

  1. SwifDoo PDF (Windows)
  2. PDF-XChange Editor (Windows)
  3. Soda PDF 360 PRO (Windows)
  4. Foxit PDF Editor (Windows & Mac)
  5. PDFsam Basic (Windows, Mac, Linux)
  6. Sejda PDF Editor (Windows, Mac, Linux)

How We Review an Adobe Acrobat Alternative

Adobe Acrobat is a family of free and paid software, including Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, Adobe Acrobat Standard and Pro DC, with different tool suites. All of them take up much storage space on a computer. In view of that, we will introduce free, affordable, lighter, or feature-rich Adobe Acrobat alternatives. They are mainly reviewed based on the following aspects.

  • Functionality: this alternative software have some or most features similar to that of Adobe Acrobat, such as PDF editing, creation, conversion, and merging.
  • Pricing strategy: the price of each Adobe Acrobat alternative should be competitive.
  • Operating system compatibility.
  • Performance: we also take program performance (such as execution speed) into consideration.

SwifDoo PDF

Anyone looking to invest in cost-effective PDF software can try SwifDoo PDF. The software has most of Adobe Acrobat’s features and is much more economical. Like Adobe Acrobat, the program’s pro version is a PDF editor, converter, compressor, merger, etc. Its free version allows you to view, annotate, rearrange and delete PDF pages. It is the top recommended Adobe Acrobat alternative with free and premium features.

SwifDoo PDF is powerful and the pro version is offered at only half the price of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. It is super lightweight and responds quickly, saving you lots of disk space and time. By virtue of the superior price/performance ratio, it is the ideal Adobe Acrobat Pro alternative.


  • PDF editing, conversion, and many more features you want from Adobe Acrobat
  • Affordable pro version
  • Small memory footprint


  • Windows-only desktop software

Operating system: Windows 11/10/8/7/XP

Pricing: annual plan at US$5.75/month ($3.45/m for first year)

PDF-XChange Editor

The second Adobe Acrobat alternative on our list is PDF-XChange Editor. This is a comprehensive PDF application with 200+ features for you to perform a wide range of PDF-related tasks. You can use it to create, organize, protect, and edit a PDF without Adobe. The program’s plus version also helps fill out forms in PDF easily.

The reason why we recommend this software is that it can do almost everything Adobe Acrobat can do with a lower subscription cost. That makes it a great Adobe Acrobat Pro alternative. Moreover, its free version is deemed an Adobe Acrobat Reader DC alternative by many users.


  • Less expensive PDF editor
  • Come with a free version
  • Small, fast, and feature-rich


  • Lack of OCR, stamp and form creating and editing features available in the Plus version (US$72/year)
  • Old-fashioned user interface

Operating system: all MS Windows maintained by Microsoft

Pricing: US$56.00 billed annually

Soda PDF 360 PRO

Soda PDF is another Adobe Acrobat Pro alternative compatible with Windows. The software shares the majority of features with Adobe Acrobat but enjoys a more intuitive UI. It is one of the best PDF writers, readers, and creators. You can also edit, convert, OCR, e-sign, and compare PDFs with it. The batch processing process in this PDF program is much simpler to learn.

What’s worth mentioning is that this alternative to Adobe Acrobat Reader and Pro is a free annotator. Its integration with cloud storage services (OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote) enables you to save and sync your files instantly.


  • Both downloadable desktop and online versions
  • Connection with multiple cloud storage platforms
  • Ease of use


  • Not work smoothly sometimes

Operating system: latest Windows versions

Pricing: US$8.25/month for annual subscription

Foxit PDF Editor

Individuals and businesses can employ Foxit PDF Editor to manage and manipulate their PDF documents instead of Adobe Acrobat. The PDF program has many tools you can find in Acrobat, such as a PDF organizer, combiner, editor, and form filler. What makes it stand out is the full-fledged features and intuitive GUI compared with other competitors. You can purchase this software as an Adobe Acrobat Pro alternative for Mac or Windows devices.


  • Ability to convert PDF to/from various formats, edit text and images in PDF, etc
  • Tools for collaborative work, such as digital signature creator
  • User-friendly MS ribbon-style interface


  • No free version after free trial
  • The Foxit PDF Editor is cheaper than Adobe Acrobat but more expensive than many other counterparts

Operating system: Windows or Mac

Pricing: yearly plan at US$79.00

PDFsam Basic

For those who just need to merge, split, extract, or rotate pages of PDF files, PDFsam Basic is the go-to application. The Adobe Acrobat alternative is free, open-source, and available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Better than most other freeware, it allows you to organize PDFs in batches without limitations. Impressively, the program is tiny and works fast.

While it describes itself as open-source software, you need to purchase its premium features to convert, create, and edit PDFs.


  • One of the best free alternatives to Adobe Acrobat
  • Broad compatibility with major operating systems
  • Batch processing ability


  • No PDF editing, conversion, or more tools in the free version

Operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux

Pricing: None, US$79 per year for the Windows-based Pro version

Sejda PDF Editor

If you want to edit a PDF without using Adobe, Sejda PDF Editor is one of the best solutions. You can download it as a desktop program or access it online via a web browser. Both the desktop and online versions offer free service for most features. Combining PDF editing, conversion, compression, locking and more functions, Sejda is popular as a comprehensive software program.

The software is a cross-platform Adobe Acrobat alternative suitable for Linux, Windows, and Mac users.


  • Free and affordable substitute for Adobe Acrobat with one-stop shop for PDF manipulation
  • Web and desktop software available
  • Cross-platform availability


  • Run slowly for heavy PDF files
  • Free service with limits on daily tasks

Operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux

Pricing: US$63 billed annually


Among the listed alternatives to Adobe Acrobat, you can choose the most affordable, feature-rich, or smallest one. Each of them has its own strengths and weaknesses. Please note that the subscription fees for these software may fluctuate due to promotion or other reasons. Hope this article is helpful for you.

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