Adobe Acrobat DC Review (Compare before Buy)!

Open File

Adobe Acrobat DC is an all-in-one PDF document management solution by Adobe, the pioneers of the PDF document format. It is easily a gold standard among all the PDF applications available today with no small thanks to its recent software update. In this Adobe Acrobat DC review, we will be breaking down this long-standing application to see what makes it tick and the places where it falls short in this competitive environment.

Adobe Acrobat DC Overview

What is Adobe Acrobat DC?

Adobe Acrobat DC is Adobe’s answer to the rise of sophisticated PDF management software as the world is ever-increasing its reliance on document digitization. Thanks to its most recent update, Acrobat DC has reliably integrated all the tools that a modern worker can ask for all the while keeping to its old aesthetic identity.

Familiar Face

A familiar face hiding a sophisticated framework

Adobe Acrobat DC is not to be mistaken for the free PDF viewer that is Adobe Reader DC. Acrobat is premium to the core, visibly reflected by its price tag of €15.59 per month. It is a heavy and sophisticated software allowing its users to easily view, create, edit, secure and export documents on the fly.

On top of that, the application takes full advantage of the entity that is Adobe Cloud to store share and secure your coveted documents. This online integration also takes advantage of platforms like Microsoft Office and Google Docs seamlessly.

Adobe Acrobat DC Details

Website: https://www.adobe.com/acrobat.html

Discussions: https://helpx.adobe.com/support/acrobat.html?promoid=KH8NVH79&mv=other

Supported Languages: Adobe Acrobat supports all major languages across all regions of the globe (as of version 11). To know more details on supported languages and installers please click this link: https://www.adobe.com/devnet-docs/etk_deprecated/tools/AdminGuide/language.html

Overview of Features

    • Create, Edit and Customize PDF documents in any way you can imagine.
    • Convert PDF documents to and from other popular file formats (Word, Excel, Images, Web Pages, etc.).
    • Most processes can be done in batches.
    • Provides extensive online support for registered users.
    • Cross-platform application support is available.
    • Document security is a prime focus. Has every level of security from watermarking to digital certifications.
Scan OCR

A good OCR is a staple in all Adobe Acrobat products

Company Details

The innovation behind the PDF document format can all be credited to Adobe. Their motto “Great experiences have the power to inspire, transform, and move the world forward. And every great experience starts with creativity.” has served them to create an unwavering creative platform that the world is all too familiar with.

Home Page: https://www.adobe.com/
Address:
Corporate Headquarters: 345 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95110-2704.
Tel: 408-536-2800
Fax: 408-537-6000

They also have other offices in North American and also spanning the world, Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and South America. (Source: https://www.adobe.com/about-adobe/contact/offices.html)

Adobe Acrobat DC Review and Comparison

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Ratings Breakdown

Our Verdict After Testing

With the credit of innovating the PDF document format under its belt, Adobe has every opportunity to create a solid PDF document management application. And living up to their (and our) expectations we have Adobe Acrobat DC. While the application itself may not be the outright best on our list, it can easily achieve a podium finish under the right circumstances.

Not much has changed in terms of outlook and functionality. Adobe Acrobat DC sports that traditional PDF viewing layout it always had. Common and priority PDF tools are readily available on a side panel whereas all the tools that are available in this heavy-set application are neatly tucked under a separate TOOLS tab.

Tools Page

Some returning and some new faces in the Tools tab

The OCR capabilities of the application live up to our staunchest expectations. That, coupled with the plethora of tools and options available, Acrobat DC’s potential for document customizability is sky-high. We will be brave enough to say that it is on par, if not better, than the likes of Foxit or Nitro in some cases.

From the landing page itself, we have noticed Adobe’s newfound emphasis on document security. Not saying that security wasn’t there before, but the new version of Adobe Acrobat DC puts a spotlight on it.

And all of these capabilities are integrated seamlessly by Adobe Cloud and online support. More details later in the article.

Pros

+ Lot of customizability options for any type of PDF document. Create, edit and convert your documents in any way.
+ Seamless integration to the Cloud. For storing, sharing, or commenting on any document.
+ A familiar face. Dedicated users will be happy to have the overall outlook to remain the same after all these years. That without sacrificing performance.
+ Very Fast. The heaviness of the software does not negatively affect performance in any way.
+ Brilliant OCR. Fast and capable for any type of scanned document.

Cons

Pricey Subscription. The pricing model is very premium compared to other applications of the same level.
Has variety but lacks depth. Especially in terms of file conversions, Acrobat DC does not offer many fine-tuning options that many of its competitors do.

Comparison to Similar Products

User Experience

Our overall experience with Adobe Acrobat DC has been solid. Adobe has tried its best not to change the overall feel that we got from previous versions of the product, but that also means that not much innovation went into it.

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From a visual perspective, the application is all too familiar. You are presented with a zoomed PDF file upon opening with the tools in their respective positions (more on that in the next section).

If you open the application directly, the landing page tries to be as intuitive as possible, suggesting tools that you may have used recently or guesses on what you might be using. Personally, it would have been better if we could have customized this panel, but it comes close.

User Experience

Seamless document customizability

A standout experience has to be Acrobat DC’s collaborative features. Like many other software organizations, Adobe has realized the importance of cloud integration for its applications going forward. Acrobat DC provides seamless and secure sharing, storing and request processes for all its users.

And if by chance you are still finding it difficult to use, or have troubleshooting issues, Adobe provides its users a multitude of support options both integrated into Acrobat DC and online.

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User Interface

The slight lack of innovation that was talked about in the previous section turns to a boon in this regard. Especially for returning users. This helped Adobe Acrobat DC easily take third place in this category.

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This familiar interface really helped us, the long-time users of Adobe PDF products, to easily navigate to our desired tools and functions. But that doesn’t mean improvements aren’t there.

Landing Page

Adobe Acrobat DC’s landing page is better than ever

Right on the landing page, we can see a summary of our recent interaction with the application. On the left-hand panel, you will notice some changes, namely the Starred tab. Here, you can “star” your favorite documents to easily access them from your desktop or mobile application.

Other notable, and convenient, options on this panel are the Document Cloud and the Shared tabs. We quickly became fond of this new landing page layout.

But, as usual, the meat of Adobe Acrobat DC’s capability lay under the Tools tab. This type of access to the available tools can only be seen with Adobe which presents to set itself apart from the rest rather than make it better.

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Document Customizability

Adobe Acrobat DC has strong document customizability options on par with the other premium-level applications. However, it doesn’t have anything to make itself stand out and thus positions itself around the lower top-half on our list.

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Acrobat DC’s edit options have been more than satisfactory. Editing both text and images was easy and intuitive, with enough options to get even the most precise editing tasks done. Be it resizing or changing to any type of font, or resizing or rotating images, Acrobat DC has it all.

For most everyday office tasks, the options tend to do the job well enough. But considering the premium price point of the application, we would have liked to see deeper options. Of course, if you are looking for even more fine-tuning, you can always convert the PDF to a Word document (with the Export option) to take advantage of Google Docs or MS Word.

Acrobat wouldn’t be Acrobat without a decent OCR, and it delivers. We were able to scan and text recognize most documents with ease and pretty quickly as well. However, in the case of larger or heavier files (with a lot of blurs or heavy distortion or scanning multiple files of the same quality at once), Acrobat DC has been known to crash a few times.

Scanned PDF

A very capable text recognition function

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Security

Right from the landing page, we can see the apparent focus of Adobe towards sharing and security. It is refreshing to see how our top choices all have a more than a satisfactory emphasis on document security. It makes us realize how people are becoming more reliant on digitization.

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With these many options available, Adobe Acrobat DC looks to cover all grounds when it comes to securing and sharing your digital documents.

Secure and Share

A lot of choices to secure and share documents

However, there isn’t much to talk about regarding these features, mainly due to them working as intended. The visibility of these options in Acrobat DC has helped their usage.

Adding Passwords and Certifications, eSigning and Redactions, Stamping and Watermarking, are all available for use, both offline and online (more in that in the next section). All of these features can be applied in only two clicks. The following is the summary of all the control options that can be applied by Adobe Acrobat DC:

Security Breakdown

If needed, you can further opt for securing your documents with the help of Adobe Experience Manager Document Security.

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Online Support

Adobe Acrobat DC’s online platform is pretty thorough. On the surface, it does seem to be on par with our heaviest hitters, but we can’t help but feel a little unease when using it, especially the clunky Chrome extension that comes with registering.

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Putting the extension aside, the rest of the services that Adobe provides are quite top-notch. Heading to https://documentcloud.adobe.com we found ourselves in an online platform complete with most of the basic tools that you can find on the desktop application. So, what does that mean?

It means that Adobe Acrobat, which was (and sometimes is) notoriously heavy-handed on your PC, can now perform some of its much-needed processes right here on your browser. But you still have to buy the subscription of course.

Online Landing Page

Document cloud landing page

As we may have gotten an idea from the previous section, online collaboration with an Adobe product has never been easier. This is again thanks to the Adobe Document Cloud. With it, you can share and request documents, signatures, and even certifications with any of your collaborators.

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Feature Showcase: Converting a PDF Document to Excel

File conversion is a must-have for any PDF application. With Excel documents being a core file format at any workplace, it only seems logical that a document management application can effortlessly convert to and from PDF and Excel file formats.

That said, let’s look at how Adobe Acrobat DC goes about achieving this:

Step 1: Open Desired File

Adobe Acrobat DC does not offer a dedicated convert button on its landing page nor does Adobe have any button called “Convert”. Conversion in Acrobat DC is done through the Export option.

So, to get started, you can directly navigate to the Tools tab and select the Export button in the first row of options. This will take you to the conversion page where you can choose your desired file or files to convert.

Export

Otherwise, you can open a file like so:

Open File

Or if you already have a file opened, you can find the Export option on the right-hand side panel. Clicking on it will immediately take you to the conversion page.

Export

Step 2: Convert

The following is the conversion page that you will be taken to after you have clicked on Export. Here you can see all the different formats of files that Adobe allows you to convert your PDFs to. Pretty diverse. For now, we will select Spreadsheet.

Export-Conversion

If you want to customize your export further, you can click on the cog icon on the right of the Microsoft Excel Workbook radio button.

Conversion Options

As you can see, even the deeper options panel does not have much to offer in terms of conversion customization. These options are pretty basic and can be found on most of the applications on our list.

After you are satisfied, go ahead and click Export.

Step 3: Check Your Converted File

No matter how powerful the application is, it is more than likely that the conversion will not be 1:1 (except maybe a couple on our list). Thus, it is always a good idea to check your resultant file and perform some fine-tuning on it.

The following is Adobe Acrobat DC’s result of conversion:

Convert Before

PDF document before conversion

Convert After

Converted .xlsx file

We can honestly say that it has done a pretty good job. Though it would have been better to be able to fine-tune certain aspects of the table during conversion. Perhaps on the next update, who knows?

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Pricing

Adobe Acrobat DC follows a standard subscription scheme:

Subscription Package  Price (€) per Month
Adobe Acrobat DC 15.59
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC 17.99

Pricing page (along with package differences): Link

Quite straightforward, no fine print. Though somethings can be said about the amount.

Final Words

While it does not take the top spot on our list, Adobe Acrobat DC is nonetheless a more than satisfactory PDF document management application built for the modern working man.

We have tested the application very critically through very tough everyday use. Because, as pioneers of the PDF document format, we expect Adobe to deliver us an application good enough to match its premium price point.

In conclusion, while the application may provide similar functionality as other top applications on our list which have much lower subscription fees, Adobe acrobat DC is still worth the investment thanks to its almost flawless document cloud integration, online support, and last but not least, brand reliability.


Further Readings

Mehrab Imtiaz

Mehrab Imtiaz

Greetings! I hope you have enjoyed reading my thoughts and opinions on this particular topic. I myself am a passionate writer at heart and having completed my major in Computer Science, with a few years of hands-on working experience, it was only natural that I'd be writing anything, and almost everything, technology.

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