Home » 7 Best Adobe Acrobat Alternative You Must Try in 2023

7 Best Adobe Acrobat Alternative You Must Try in 2023

by Aziz Arora
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PDF or Portable Document Format is pretty much the international standard for sharing documents. Unless edits are required, almost every document online is accepted and provided in this format. Today, it is an ISO 32000 standard format that is open and enormously versatile. In this Article, You Will Read About the 7 Best Acrobat Alternative.

PDF documents can be opened using a variety of tools like Adobe Acrobat, and other alternatives like Microsoft Edge, Google PDF Reader, etc. The official Adobe Acrobat software provides a plethora of tools for manipulating and handling PDF documents. But let’s be honest. It sucks!

Other Adobe Acrobat alternatives provide a much faster and easier way of handling PDF documents. Most of the time, you don’t need to make any changes in these files and even if you do, Microsoft Word does a fine job of it. However, if your daily needs include a powerful Adobe Acrobat alternative, read on as we discuss the 10 best tools like Adobe Acrobat.

What’s wrong with Adobe Acrobat?

I have always despised Acrobat Reader. First of all, it costs a lot. While a free version does exist, it is so ridiculously limited that you might be better off not using it at all. All useful features are locked behind a paywall. You can’t even export a PDF file to word or excel through the free software.

Further, it looks and feels old. And the pricing is exploitative. If you buy the standard plan, you are limited to using it on a Windows machine and not on Mac. For using it on Mac, you must buy the Pro plan, priced a few bucks higher. And this is not a one-time purchase. All Adobe Acrobat services are subscription-based, which means your wallet will be about a dozen bucks lighter at the end of the month.

And thirdly, Adobe locks you into their ecosystem just like Apple. All collaborative features are cloud-based, and file conversions have to be done online. Hence, we would recommend that you go through the following list of Adobe Acrobat Alternatives.

Here is the list of 10 Best Adobe Acrobat Alternatives:

Nitro PDF Reader

Nitro PDF Reader - Acrobat Alternative

Nitro PDF Pro is a powerful and affordable Adobe Acrobat Alternative Nitro that has received critical acclaim from several market research agencies. Over time, I have frequently come across the Nitro brand and thus, Nitro PDF Reader is safe and reliable.

Unlike Acrobat Reader’s subscription-style pricing, Nitro PDF is a one-time purchase, albeit a slightly expensive one. The individual license costs $179.99, while you can save as much as $431.98 if you purchase multiple packs. Each package provides integration with your Nitro Sign account so that you can manage signatures easily. Further, Nitro PDF can connect to major cloud storage providers like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive to store and access PDF files from your account.

The main features of this Adobe Acrobat alternative include PDF creator, convertor, annotator, as well as the ability to merge, sign, and protect PDF files from unauthorized access. Nitro PDF is also available for organizations at a subscription-based pricing model. One setback you must endure with Nitro PDF Reader is that the software is Windows exclusive and thus, not available on any other platform.

Sumatra PDF

Sumatra PDF - Acrobat Alternative

If you are looking for a completely free Adobe Acrobat alternative, Sumatra is the number one choice. The software is open-source on GitHub, which means there are no hidden costs. All features are available at no hidden costs.

Further, Sumatra PDF is enormously powerful owing to its ability to handle several document formats. You can use Sumatra to open PDF, ePub, Mobi, XPS, CBZ, and CBR files, and all these features are available within a package only about 8 Megabytes large. Further, if you want portability, Sumatra provides a portable version that you can copy on a USB thumb drive and use on whatever Windows system you want.

Sumatra has a simple, albeit outdated interface with retro aesthetics that some find cool. While I am a fan of modern layouts, Sumatra’s minimal interface does draw focus towards the document you’re working with and thus, this Acrobat alternative is amazing for productivity.

Quick Look for Windows 10

Quick Look - Acrobat Alternative

Another option for quickly reviewing a PDF file on Windows 10 devices is Quick Look. Quick Look brings Mac OS’s Quick Look features to Windows devices, and it can give you a quick preview of various file types, including PDFs. Note that this software is not affiliated with Apple. Quick Look is fully open source, and thus, free of cost.

You can download Quick Look from either the Microsoft Store or from GitHub Releases. You can also download nightly releases if you are into checking out experimental releases. To use Quick Look for opening PDF files, download and install it. It will spawn a background task that you don’t need to worry about. Then, select the file you wish to view and tap Spacebar on your keyboard. Quick Look will open a preview of the PDF in a popup window of sorts.

While this software is fully free, simple, and modern, Quick Look does not provide annotation or editing capabilities. You can only view the PDF. However, for those of you who only need to view PDF files, Quick Look is the number one contender since it can generate a quick file preview for a large list of file types.

Also, Check Best ebook Reader Apps

React PDF Viewer

React PDF Viewer - Acrobat Alternative

While we are on the subject of open-source software, let us discuss another Adobe Acrobat alternative: React PDF Viewer. This tool is an incredible option for those who are interested in React since it’s fully powered by React hooks. Written in TypeScript, you can see a live and fully functional demo of this project in action on its website.

You can install React PDF Viewer on any device using a quite simple command: “npm install react-pdf”. Once installed, it takes less than a few seconds to import a document using the import command. The layout is modern and aesthetically pleasing while simultaneously being minimalistic enough to not draw attention from what matters most: your document.

React PDF Viewer allows you to view documents, create documents, and even put pages inside existing documents. If you are native to React (see what I did there?), you will find yourself right at home here. However, those who aren’t used to programming and coding, or even those who are natural at programming but do not have knowledge of React, might find it difficult to use. Also, you cannot edit documents with this viewer.

Regardless, this is a quick and free pdf viewer that you can use as an Acrobat alternative since a license only costs about $49.


ARender - Acrobat Alternative

If you are looking for a one-tool army, ARender is your army (or tool)! ARender is a highly versatile and powerful document viewer from Paris, France, that works online and allows you to visualize, comment, and protect documents of all sorts. This is a remarkable tool just like Adobe Acrobat that works seamlessly right on the web without any hassle.

Of all the document viewers I have come across, ARender strikes me as the most versatile. It can open diagram files, document files, presentation files, spreadsheet files, images, and can even handle CAD images. ARender also includes basic editing tools like content redactor, document comparator, annotations, etc.

Note that ARender is most suitable for organizations looking for a visualization add-on to their electronic content management system. You won’t be able to understand the technical jargon if you’re just looking for a daily-use tool. Instead, developers and technical experts will have to get involved for ARender to be of any use to you.

If that sounds like your cup of tea, you can check out a live demo of ARender on its website and get in touch with its team. The company handles deployment and everything else and your organization won’t have to worry about a thing.



This heading is a bit inaccurate since Foxit is technically a company that manufactures PDF Reader and PDF Editor tools named after itself. While you can download and use PDF reader for free, the PDF Editor offers a free trial that you’ll have to pay a recurring subscription fee for. However, I still consider Foxit a better option than Adobe Acrobat.

Foxit has also brought the Foxit sign to the market. This can help you gather legally binding digital signatures on important documents without having to worry about the distance.

The company constructed its PDF reader and editor with professionals in mind and thus, these tools integrate well with several CRM systems. Secondly, Foxit has a simple and pleasing interface that doesn’t cause distractions and increases productivity.

A unique selling point of Foxit Editor is that it allows you to add headers and footers to your document. If you want to protect something sensitive, Foxit also allows you to add a watermark to your documents.

PDF Element by Wondershare

PDF Element by Wondershare

Wondershare is one of the most famous tech companies that manufactures software in the creative, productive, and tools & utility genre. It is one of the top-rated companies on Trustpilot and has received the Future Tech Award for the Best Creative Suite in 2020. Thus, it is no surprise that PDF Element made this element.

PDF Element is a robust and smart editor available across almost all platforms at reasonable rates. You can edit, rearrange, reformat, and create PDF documents. Further, the software comes with an optical character recognition system to extract text from files where directly copying text is not possible. Despite its sleek and modern layout that takes inspiration from the latest version of MS Office, PDF Element is compatible all the way back to Windows XP.

If you want to purchase this software as an individual, we recommend buying the perpetual license for the pro version instead of the subscription since it only costs around $129. A standard version with limited features is also available for $79.

Slim PDF Reader

Slim PDF Reader

This quick and simple tool from Invest in Tech PDF Solutions lives up to its name with a download size of just 15 Megabytes. Free from bloatware, and containing a minimal, functional interface, Slim PDF Reader is the perfect free Adobe Acrobat alternative.

The software comes with light and dark theme support, the ability to annotate PDF documents, and interactive form filling and signature verification. Further, its improved navigation helps in reducing distractions and confusion while handling large files.

This handy little tool is available for Linux, Mac, Windows, Ubuntu, and Fedora.


Adobe Acrobat has never been everybody’s favorite document. But there are hundreds of tools like Adobe Acrobat that can serve as functional and cost-effective alternatives to the infamous software. If you have used some of these, we would love to hear your experience via the comments section below. Toodles!

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