Apple Preview vs. Adobe Acrobat DC: Should You Pay to Edit a PDF?
Over the years, there has been a quiet-but-present arms race between Apple’s Preview app and Adobe’s Acrobat Reader for PDF dominance. Controversy arises whenever a user has to open and work with a PDF file on their Mac, a long-running suggestion for both Mac and Windows users to download and install Adobe Reader.
Apple’s Preview app has come a long way with its PDF support, and for most people, it provides all the tools it needs. Adobe Acrobat could be a better app if you work with regular PDFs. Let’s take a look at the main differences between Apple Preview and Adobe Acrobat for PDF management.
Apple’s preview app is free and integrated with macOS. It started out as a small, simple jack-of-all-trades graphics app, and over the years it has become much more useful.
We used version 11.0 of the preview under macOS Monterey 12.4, which comes with editing tools that allow fairly easy markup of PDF files, as mentioned in this Apple Support document. Some edits you can make in PDF while using the preview include:
Easily move or rearrange individual pages in a multi-page PDF file
Combine and add pages
Highlight notes and specific text
Add size and text box
Correct the text
Fill out the PDF forms to fill out
Sign a document by creating a signature with your mouse, trackpad or pen
It’s not the perfect editing tool for editing PDFs outside of Adobe Acrobat, but it does get you there most of the way and reduces the need to sign up for Adobe’s subscription-based services.
Additionally, the preview loads quickly and opens almost every file format you can insert into it, including some amazing formats such as Adobe Illustrator, EPS, FAX, Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop, RAW and TIFF. Many of the edits you can make to PDF using markup can also be made to image files, and there are other image editing tools such as color adjustment (exposure, contrast, saturation sharpness, and more).
Preview is an excellent tool to open and export files in any file format. For example, you can open a TIFF and convert it to JPEG. Although the preview does not currently open .webp graphics file formats (and neither does Adobe Acrobat), it can be done by removing the file name “webp” file extension and changing it to “jpg,” “gif” or whatever file format is best for you. Works.
Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, Standard DC, and Pro DC
Adobe offers three apps for PDF. Acrobat Reader DC, Acrobat Standard DC and Acrobat Pro DC. First, here’s a quick summary of each app, then we’ll go deeper.
Acrobat Reader DC: This app is a lot like Apple Preview, but it has a small set of features. It lets you read, comment, sign and print PDFs. It tracks response notation. That’s it. It’s free.
Acrobat Standard DC: This app had more creation tools than Reader DC, such as editing tools, export tools, and more. $ 13 per month.
Acrobat Pro DC: More than just the standard DC creation tool, including the comparison tool, to convert scanned documents to PDF and much more. $ 15 per month.
Although Acrobat Reader DC and Acrobat Standard / Pro DC are connected to Adobe’s subscription programs, there are many good things to say about them. Reader speeds have improved in recent versions, and when the reader recalls the complete need to download and install Adobe Creative Cloud software in hopes of opening a critical PDF file, the reader can open current versions of DC and Acrobat Standard / Pro DC. And a wide range of file formats, including Microsoft Word documents, text files, HTML files, Corel WordPerfect files, OpenOffice and StarOffice files, 3D files, Autodesk AutoCAD files, Microsoft Project files, and various video formats.
Adobe has an annoying subscription request warning, no matter which Acrobat DC app you use. After opening your first PDF file in Acrobat and if you do not decide and do not click on the “Do not show this message again” box, Acrobat DC will try to make itself your default application for opening and working PDF files, promoting its follow-up ads. . Subscribe to the Adobe Acrobat DC Platform to gain access to the editing, markup, export and security features of your documents. These built-in ads can drive users out of their minds.
Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro DC subscriptions lead to the ability to clearly mark-up and edit PDF files, and may be part of a suite that works well with other Adobe programs such as Illustrator, Lightroom, InDesign and others. Your subscription fee allows access to features such as PDF editing, adding comments, text recognition, file conversion and signing requests in PDF format, creating a PDF file field that can be signed, and creating stapled forms. Web-based business.
If the rare need for a PDF editing tool seems too much for your Adobe subscription fee, there are other apps that allow you to edit large PDF files and offer paid one-end software. Scheme functions as a free, open source PDF reader and editor, and the excellent PDFPen software from Smile Software adds a comprehensive set of PDF editing and markup tools for a one-time payment of $ 80.
The last row
If your PDF requirements are limited to filling out forms, signing documents, and other basic functions, previews should suffice, and are available on every Mac. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is free but has a smaller set of features than the preview.
But Apple has embraced and embraced many of the functions of Adobe Acrobat in recent years, making Adobe an iconic brand name to professionals. If the demand for your PDF is more production-oriented and regular, you can use the tools provided in Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro DC.