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About PDFelement

#1 Adobe® Acrobat® alternative: PDFelement is your all-in-one PDF solution. Create, edit, convert, and esign PDF files in a better way.

Learn more about PDFelement

Pros:

This software is a great alternative for anyone that is looking to function with .pdf files. The Adobe suite keeps creaping up in price and this software works very well as a functional alternative.

Cons:

Conversion to MS Word does not work well. Even if you have run OCR on the document before converting, it sometimes inserts entire pages as images instead of editable text.

PDFelement ratings

Average score

Ease of Use
4.3
Customer Service
4.1
Features
4.3
Value for Money
4.3

Likelihood to recommend

8.1/10

PDFelement has an overall rating of 4.3 out 5 stars based on 421 user reviews on Capterra.

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Filter reviews (421)

Jose
Jose
Business Change Manager. IPMA. PMP. in Panama
Verified LinkedIn User
Computer Software, 1,001–5,000 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

PDFelement, a cross-platform solution to comprehensively manage PDF documents.

5.0 2 years ago

Comments: PDFelement is a platform that has proven to be very reliable, with import, export, and character recognition mechanisms of exceptional quality. It has all the features that we could require for PDF document manipulation and many more, which makes it one of the best selections on the market.

Pros:

One of the biggest advantages of PDFelement is the possibility of converting multiple formats to PDF, in addition to being able to export them again without any complications and with excellent quality in that conversion process. On the other hand, after opening a document on this platform, we can practically do anything, such as incorporating images in different formats, professional quality text editing, electronic signature, and much more.

Cons:

In PDFelement, we can create, edit and collaborate on PDF files in one program without the need to invest a lot of time in the learning curve. Currently, the PDF format implies the use of a portable and universally used document format, in addition to the fact that the file size is considerably reduced, highlighting the security mechanisms associated with this format. On the other hand, the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature in PDFelement actually makes the scanned text editable and facilitates transcription between heterogeneous formats considerably.

Mohammad
Mohammad
Technical Office Engineer in Kuwait
Verified LinkedIn User
Civil Engineering, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

A Cost-Effective, Robust PDF Processing Utility

5.0 2 years ago

Comments: It's a real breeze utilizing the software thanks to its plenty of features & ease of use. Will certainly stick to using the software for the foreseeable future.

Pros:

The plethora of features the desktop & mobile variants of the software presented on the ribbon interface makes it easier to find the desired function.

Cons:

Auto-updates running in the background (especially on computer start-up) increases the temps & usage of my Athlon 200GE office machine. While the software itself is silky-smooth, the consequently stressed-up dual core CPU has led the machine to stutter the Windows interface just for a few moments before everything goes back to normal (i.e. till the short update is over).

Melissa
Admin in US
Environmental Services, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Good Alternative to Adobe

3.0 2 years ago

Comments: My overall experience has been good. Hopefully the issues brought about by recent updates will be fixed soon and the experience will continue to be very good!

Pros:

It has tons of features! It makes creating a fillable form nearly effortless, it can recognize scanned documents, convert PDF files to Word and several other programs, has full editing capabilities, and basically can do almost everything Adobe can do for less money.

Cons:

It is missing a few features that would be helpful. When you combine PDF's to create a new file it doesn't add the existing bookmarks, which is annoying but not a deal breaker. Until recently it was just smaller issues like that, but since a recent update we have been having more problems with it crashing and altering data in documents after they were saved.

Wondershare Response

2 years ago

Hi Melissa. Thanks for sharing your experience and we appreciate your recognition of its function and interface. It is unusual for PDFelement to work in that way as this software supports adding the existing bookmarks after combining PDFs to create a new file. Regarding the crash issue when you are processing large files, please update to the latest version to check if it helps. If not, you may drop an email with more details at [email protected]. We'll put your case in the 1st priority and do the needful assistance for you ASAP. It is our ultimate pursuit that users can use our software happily! So we hope there would be a chance for us to further look into your issue and fix it, thanks again!

Johanne
Owner in US
Insurance, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 1-5 months
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Review for Free Gift (prefer a Windows Version Please)

4.0 5 years ago

Comments: I like pdfElement. So far it's introduced no malware into my Mac like the Adobe and extensions were causing. With the exception of this survey request, I've received no replies to my questions via email to your customer support team. This is not acceptable.

Pros:

I like the "page" layout that allows moving of pages within the document and inserting new pages.

Cons:

1. The inability to "word search" within documents (or at least I haven't figured it out) . 2. The on screen "docusign" signature feature. I cannot figure it out and it is not user friendly to set up document signatures! Very complicated and cumbersome. 3. The inability to have one license (Mac or Windows) to serve me. I have to use 2 different operating systems (one for Mac and one for laptop WIN) in order to access each of the 34 carriers' platforms/systems. Having to purchase 2 separate licenses is costly and one license should permit at least 2 systems or 2 systems of differing platforms. 4. Customer support/communications: non-existinet

Wondershare Response

5 years ago

Thanks for your support and distinguished feedback. I will record and forward it to the relevant department and update this as a customized option. Any further problems or concerns, please don't hesitate to submit a ticket to http://support.wondershare.com/#/contact. The customer care team will email you a solution within 24 hours. If you didn't receive the email, you will find the email in your trash box. Could you please tell me your ticket number?

Tolu
Tolu
Digital Marketing Strategist in Nigeria
Verified LinkedIn User
Marketing & Advertising, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

A cheaper and Good Alternative to Adobe

4.0 3 years ago

Comments: Overall, am impressed with this software. It is a solid alternative to Adobe Acrobat. I have had no need for Adobe since I got the license. I really do not like using it as a reader though, I still prefer the adobe reader. But for any pdf editing task, it has worked perfectly fine for me.

Pros:

Easily edit text and tables in pdf documents OCR function is really amazing. I did try it for an old book I had and I could easily edit the scanned pdf fast and easy. Easily convert my pdf documents to ppt or word or even jpg files I can merge and combine documents easily I can easily make clean and clear annotations using pdfelement Most importantly I can easily encrypt and protect my files and the batch encrypt features makes it easier to achieve this if you have a lot of d The interface is simple and intuitive. You can easily find your way around all the features without needing any special tutorials.

Cons:

No monthly payment, you need to get the 6months plan or the 1 year plan Can't fill out forms on an ios

Makeni
Makeni
Aerodrome Fire Officer I in Nigeria
Verified LinkedIn User
Aviation & Aerospace, 10,000+ Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Best PDF Viewer, Editor, and Converter for Office and Professional Use

5.0 2 years ago

Comments: It is an all-in-one PDF Software for users who need a Professional PDF Software for viewing, editing, converting, signing, and so many other mind-blowing features for in Office Administration, Accounting, Graphic Design, Tech Professionals, Digital Marketers, etc.

Pros:

1. The PDF editor is the most impactful PDF Software I have used as it makes viewing, conversion, and file editing smooth. 2. The product is easy to use for new users, and navigation through its panels are pretty easy as well.3. It can be used to Read PDF, Annotate PDF, Create PDF, Combine PDF, Convert PDF, Edit PDF, Compress PDF, Organize PDF, Create PDF Forms, Sign PDF, Protect PDF, Batch Editing of PDF, PDF OCR, and Extract PDF Data.

Cons:

The drawback about the product was slow loading time when launching the product from my laptop.

Aman Preet
Aman Preet
Developer in India
Verified LinkedIn User
Biotechnology, 10,000+ Employees
Used the Software for: 1-5 months
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Pros and cons of PDFelement

4.0 last year

Comments: Over-all experience with PDFelement is been quite good as it has given us all the editable and merging power related with PDFs based on our requirements

Pros:

The main reason behind choosing PDFelement is how it merged and appended different files together without loosing the quality of the same and also it can edit the PDF so that for smaller corrections we don't have to re-convert the files along with that it has all the other generic functionality as well

Cons:

Customer support and deployment of documents in other platform are the two regions where I feel PDFelement should work more on so that they can reach to that perfection level that it will become one of the best in market.

Shannon
Shannon
CEO in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Farming, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

I love this program

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: It has helped me be able to make brochures for the shops that carry my products. I can help them with advertising and make it work for their settings.

Pros:

I love the ease with which I can take apart PDFs, redesign, and put them back together. It is intuitive to use, and I've enjoyed playing with the features! I so appreciate the helpful tips that the company sends through email as well.

Cons:

I'm not that techy or design-savvy- it does exactly what I need it to do, and I don't need a lot of experience to figure it out. No cons as far as I am concerned.

Wondershare Response

5 years ago

Thank you so much for your amazing feedback! :) We do try our best to offer the best support we can, then try improve on it more. Let us know if you need any help! We are here for you.

Abhinav
Abhinav
Graphics Expert in India
Verified LinkedIn User
Broadcast Media, 10,000+ Employees
Used the Software for: Free Trial
Reviewer Source

PDFelement: A wonderful app by Wondershare Team

4.0 last year

Comments: Overall it’s a great co-office tool, and can be the part for your essential bucket of day to day Softwares

Pros:

Because it is open source and available for both iOS and Windows backed with wide range of tools, I found PDFelement is a perfect companion

Cons:

It became slow over the period of time , and cropping the elements is little difficult to adopt. Though it’s my personal view and many users may like it the way it is . You are requested to check before invest

Dana
Dana
Owner, Educator in US
Music, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Easy to use pdf converter/editor

4.0 5 years ago

Pros:

The ease of converting pdf to Word or Excel files, and vice versa.

Cons:

Every time I open the software, it seems to take a long time to load.

Wondershare Response

5 years ago

Thank you so much for your amazing feedback! :) We do try our best to offer the best support we can, then try improve on it more. Let us know if you need any help! We are here for you.

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Media Production, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

PDFElement - Simply the best PDF reader

5.0 3 years ago

Comments: In my day-to-day life, PDFElement is a unique tool. Manipulating PDF documents with it is very simple. Creating a PDF document, editing, protecting and emailing it is so simple and functional that it doesn't even seem like the program is free. Its modern and attractive look, combined with the many excellent functions it has, make PDFElement the best PDF reader on the market.

Pros:

The PDFElement program is a robust, lightweight, functional and very complete PDF bed. It has excellent tools for viewing, manipulating and editing PDF files. With a very modern and intuitive interface, it is very simple to open a document, edit it and share it. The program has so many tools that it makes it a "premium" software for free. We can annotate PDF documents such as erasing text in documents, joining documents, compressing, capturing a photo of the document, adding images, protecting the document, among many other functions. Highlight for the OCR reader, which manages to transform closed PDF documents into editable documents, this is excellent. The program is very light and runs very well on any machine, being available for Windows and Mac. Among the several positive points, the following stand out: - Editing PDF documents, it is even possible to delete or insert texts; - Cloud sharing; - Add watermark; - Add background in the document; - Document optimization to make the file lighter; - OCR reader; PDFElement is my favorite PDF reader and I recommend it for all types of users, from the most basic to the most advanced.

Cons:

I don't see any negative aspects in the program, as it has so many tools that it is very difficult to evaluate it negatively. Perhaps the only point I would suggest would be to make the program available for Linux, due to the vast number of users of the operating system. In general, the software is so good that I can barely evaluate with any negative point.

Auda
Auda
Translator in Latvia
Verified LinkedIn User
Translation & Localization, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Advanced and easy-to-use tool

5.0 2 years ago

Pros:

I use PDFelement daily - to open, covert, edit, OCR, combine etc. files and love it. When you have the paid version, you can do almost everything you need to work with various document types. I like the insert/extract page feature. It helps me during my day-to-day job. When I need to translate a pdf document, first, I try to convert it to word, then start the translation process. In 7 out of 10 times, it really helps.

Cons:

I do not like that I cannot purchase the software license - I can purchase a subscription only. The software has a lot of updates and due to that, it sometimes crashes if the update is bad or needs improvements.

Mike
Advisor in US
Higher Education, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 1-5 months
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Excellent alternative PDF editor

5.0 last year

Comments: It served my needs exactly, when I didn't want to use that *other* PDF editor

Pros:

Love the ability to edit PDFs, adding text, images, or design features. Super simple interface, easy to learn and navigate.

Cons:

The free version adds a watermark, but that's to be expected. There's nothing about the full version that isn't good - it works great, and doesn't have any issues at all.

Christian
Medical Copy Editor in Rwanda
Publishing, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Affordable and best alternative to an expensive Adobe Acrobat

4.0 2 years ago

Pros:

Intuitive user interface and no learning curve if your familiar with Adobe Acrobat. PDF editing feature is easier that that of Adobe Acrobat. The mobile application is not as heavy as Abobe's, loading faster.

Cons:

The signature feature is not as sophisticated and advanced as the competition. PDFElement is still highly priced and their free applications that can provide most of the features even if they are not all features.

Wondershare Response

2 years ago

Hi Christian. Thanks for your comprehensive review regarding PDFelement. If it is possible, would you please provide us with some similar examples showing the signature feature you want to achieve or customize? You may drop an email with more details at [email protected], then our product team can improve it in a more targeted manner. Thanks a lot for your time and patience!

Sebastien
IT in Bolivia
Accounting, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Excellent product but beware of "perpetual licence"

4.0 2 years ago

Comments: Second Best PDF creator editor on the market. Unfortunately, Wondershare announced, after one year of having purchased of a "perpetual" license, that my version will no longer be supported, and I must pay to upgrade. I will not upgrade.

Pros:

Easy to use. Powerful editing feature with almost any fonts. Annotations such as underlining, highlighting, arrows are great. Converting to Excel or MS Word will often give excellent result, especially when the PDF originated from MS Office.

Cons:

It is not almighty: some PDF from scanned documents cannot be properly processed by OCR. Some documents from infographics software result in badly constructed PDF and cannot be edited. Some PDF tables are too complex to be converted properly to Excel. Perpetual license entitles you to keep your version, but does not entitle you to major upgrades.

Anne
Anne
Owner in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Overall, an excellent alternative to Adobe products. Basic version has all I need on a daily basis.

3.0 6 years ago

Comments: This product saved me a substantial sum of money. I'm a professional writer and copy editor, and most of the client files I work with come to me in PDF format. Being able to make comments, insertions and deletions in the document saves me time and saves the client money. I can't afford to purchase the Adobe package, so this is a great alternative for me.

Pros:

It has the features I use the most: in-line text editing, ability to mark up client proofs and return in a format they can read, combine files, easily convert from other programs to PDF files and vice versa. If you've worked with other PDF software, this should be fairly easy to use. The pricing for the basic version is reasonable, and the combination of features and pricing is a good value.

Cons:

Some of the editing features aren't intuitive and/or easy to access/figure out how to use. The program freezes up on certain functions, and I have to close and re-open files to accomplish a task. There are too many updates. It seems like every time I open a file, I'm prompted to update. I wish the publisher would batch updates and/or think ahead more so that they could make numerous changes at one time instead of the dribs and drabs they come in.

Ujjwal
Ujjwal
Webmaster and Owner in India
Verified LinkedIn User
Computer Software, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 1-5 months
Reviewer Source

Probably the best PDF editor out there

5.0 6 years ago

Comments: PDFelement 6 is one of the best and also probably the best PDF editor I have ever used. The thing I loved about it the most is the UI, the functionality and the amazing extra functionality that it has. The OCR function for example is great to work with and it can easily recognize the accurate things from a scanned document using OCR easily.

Pros:

The whole PDF editing experience with PDFelement 6 is so seamless and easy that it feels like you're using Microsoft Word to edit your docx files. There are a lot of this that this PDF editor does right. 1. It has a very nice user interface and it is very easy to use. The program is designed and developed in such a way that there is very less of a learning curve before you learn the whole program. 2. Apart from being a PDF editor, this program also has other important functionalities like OCR, data redacting capability and more. 3. Converting the PDF files to other formats like docx, xlxs, and even pptx is very simple and the program does a decent job to convert these files. 4. Wondershare pushes out important updates for the program every once in a while and these updates make the program even better.

Cons:

There is not much of a downside to using this product but keep in mind that it is a PDF editor even though it has other functionalities like OCR etc. The conversion is good but it is not that great. The program does struggle a bit when it comes to converting complex documents like PDF to excel etc.

Matthew
Matthew
IT Director in US
Media Production, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: Free Trial
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Great Alternative!

4.0 5 years ago

Pros:

This software is a great alternative for anyone that is looking to function with .pdf files. The Adobe suite keeps creaping up in price and this software works very well as a functional alternative!

Cons:

I haven't found any items that I dislike. So far it has been working great.

Wondershare Response

5 years ago

Thank you so much for your amazing feedback! :) We do try our best to offer the best support we can, then try improve on it more. Let us know if you need any help! We are here for you.

Jeff
CFO in US
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

My experience has been mostly positive, but there are a few annoying things with the software

3.0 6 years ago

Pros:

It's affordably priced and a much better value for the money than Adobe Acrobat. Converting a document to Word format is simple. Excel conversion needs improvement.

Cons:

I don't like that it always defaults to color printing, Every time it updates to a new version, Windows 10 reverts to making Edge the default app for pdf documents. Converting a document to Excel is far more complicated than it needs to be. It's very difficult to convert to Excel and keep the columnar format. The interface for editing a document seems very unintuitive to me.

Wondershare Response

6 years ago

Hey Jeff, Thank you for your feedback! Apologies for the printer issues - we've received a few similar reports and are looking into it so hopefully it'll be resolved soon. I've also experienced the same difficulty in getting Windows 10 to retain the apps I set as default. I read a bit into it and it seems as though it's not a problem restricted to PDFelement! Best, Rebecca

Jihye
Video producer in South Korea
Verified LinkedIn User
Media Production, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Excellent platform-integrated PDF editor, way to go

5.0 2 years ago

Pros:

Worked with Acrobat PRO on a MAC platform for years; the company's migration to PDFelement was not only economical but also incredibly practical. With MAC, the connection is significantly more seamless. The application is a "luxury" piece of software for free since it offers so many tools. Among many other features, we may annotate PDF documents by removing text, merging documents, compressing, taking a picture of the page, adding photos, and safeguarding it. Highlight for the OCR reader, which does a great job at converting closed PDF files into editable documents. The application, which is compatible with both Windows and Mac, is quite small and performs admirably on any computer. The following are a few of the many beneficial aspects that stick out.

Cons:

Setting up your own previewer for Microsoft Outlook and Explorer is required. There is a solution, but they won't recognise it, so they removed it from their blog (marking it as spam) since it made reference to a rival's product. When the question was forwarded to their email support, they didn't offer a recommendation or anything more than a simple "it's not supported" response. It was up to me to locate it.

Michael
Michael
Managing Director Cloud Transformation in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Banking, 201–500 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Document management and modification.

5.0 last year

Comments: We use it to manage our documents securely and to speed up the approval process for signatures and quotations.Overall it allows us to edit and generate documents, have pre-determined leads and keep better control of expenses and contract compliance.It helps to generate documents and update them as conditions change.

Pros:

I like that it allows us to speed up the approval of budgets for software and hardware purchases and upgrades, which is important because the IT sector is a sensitive area of investment for our company.Our work teams exchange documents with specifications and modifications very regularly so this tool is of intensive use for us.

Cons:

There is nothing I dislike about this software.

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Entertainment, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Better than other available PDF readers in the market; more free features and very user-friendly

5.0 6 years ago

Pros:

PDFelement has definitely surpassed other well-known PDF readers for me. It has more possibilities within its feature. Digital signatures, watermarking, conversion of text photos into PDF and other more features that is not available in other software. It looks cleaner as well, making reading PDFs easy for the eyes.

Cons:

There are a few glitches which are annoying, like how it would suddenly crash. And it is a little expensive for personal use, although pdf reading is free, other features can be used upon sign up.

Anna
architect in US
Architecture & Planning, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Buggy

4.0 5 years ago

Pros:

It's inexpensive, and has a lot of great features. You can simply use it to stamp signatures , you can draw on the pdfs and add text or photographs, you can hightlight etc, convert to OCR .... OR...you can write your own fillable forms.

Cons:

It's buggy. When editing or writing fillable forms, it tends to freeze up. The next thing on my list, is that it's slow to use to draw over pdfs. Re-selecting the tools manually is a drag. I wish you could set the tool as default unless reselecting

Tohibullah
Tohibullah
Business Owner in India
Verified LinkedIn User
Information Services, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Affordable PDF tool but needs to work on improving image recognition capabilities

5.0 6 years ago

Comments: An affordable PDF tool for our office needs.

Pros:

PDFelement is serving many of our document management needs such as getting documents signed by our clients electronically. Our branding has improved because of integrating PDFelement as part of our doument management.

Cons:

This software still needs to work on image recognition capabilities as there is ample room for improvement. Once we upload an invoice (say in jpg format), we expect the software to convert the same into text format with better accuracy.

Nikki
Broker Associate in US
Real Estate, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

PDF made easy

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: Has been great.

Pros:

Easy, intuitive layout. Optical reader great for businesses that need to edit image media into pdf documents. Works great in Mac & PC environment.

Cons:

One time license purchase can be pricey if deploying across a large number of machines. Have to pay to keep paying to upgrade to current version. Purchase of PRO version SHOULD give you free version updates in perpetuity. Incentive to buy the better package.