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Adobe Acrobat - is there an alternative?

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My school is wanting to purchase Adobe Acrobat Pro.  They will only use it for creating, editing, and signing pdfs.  Is Acrobat the best piece of software for our needs?

Will probably only have 1 user at a time but would need more than 1 license and less than 5.  Windows version mostly with maybe 1 Mac,

I have looked at Foxit, Nitro, and some others.  With our Adobe educational pricing, their website pricing is not any cheaper than Adobe is.


While wraith808's suggestion for an alternative is a good one, how is the actual use case at your school?

Do you receive external PDF documents that require editing? Or does the school only create/edit their own documents?

In the latter case you can do without Adobe Acrobat (or alternatives) altogether. That is, if you want to spend time on getting PDF printer functionality to work as your school expects it to, they can create/edit the documentation they want in the native file formats from the software they use for creating that documentation and later on export it to the PDF printer to generate the PDF.

For documents with a rather simple layout and a few images you can do without Acrobat. Whether the efforts you spend on getting this to work weighs up against costs for getting licensed copies of Acrobat or alternatives is up to you and/or the school's accountant(s).

Personally, where possible I like to reduce anything I generate to text-based file formats during the creation/editing process and only after it's done, export it to the file format other users expect my data in.

While this could be seen as counter-intuitive, it doesn't have to be. The main reason behind this is that the software I create needs to support a lot of MS-Office versions, as in use functionality from these software packages without any form of user-interaction in automatic processes. With all the differences between versions and sometimes even between service-packs, it becomes a major headache getting the same results/output in all these different Office packages. So much so that I don't do it at all anymore. Whatever I need I (re-)create as script snippets in our software and make the process do the export to file format as  final step.

Consultants happy, because they see/get what they need in their Excel documents and admins are happy because without the (excessive) MS-Office overhead their servers can run much(!) more automatic processes on the same hardware with better performance. Even the scripters are happier, as initially it is more work, but in the end they do not have to take so many exceptions/workarounds into account (at least, I see less complaints in the version control comments).

Then again, what works for me...well, works for me, not necessarily for you.

-wraith808 (April 09, 2017, 08:51 AM)
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I've used PDF XChange Editor for many years, but recently I got to also install Acrobat Pro, so I made it my default app, to try it out. I found I much prefer PDF XChange Editor.

The only advantage I could find of Acrobat is that it seems to open files faster (or at least the app launches faster when you open the first file). But otherwise XChange is so much more user-friendly and customisable.

Arizona Hot:
I have never used PDF XChange Editor, I use LibreOffice Writer for my text formatting needs. It allows me to flow text around the pictures and output desktop publishing quality pdfs. If you use the Hybrid PDF option you can re-edit the pdf file as many times as you like(as far as I know). The resulting files can still be opened and read by Acrobat Reader normally(and presumably by other pdf readers).

Adobe Acrobat - is there an alternative?


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