Being the company that invented the PDF, it makes sense that Adobe’s Acrobat software offerings are considered the industry standard. Adobe’s Acrobat Reader DC provides an excellent experience as a free PDF reader, offering useful basic features for viewing PDFs and for filling out and signing them. The paid versions of Acrobat DC give a wide array of tools and options for editing, creating, converting and sharing PDFs on desktop and mobile devices, as well as on the web.


Pros

  • Has more than enough tools and features for both home and professional users
  • Document Cloud syncing features are very convenient
  • Pro subscription includes access to desktop, mobile and web apps
  • Free Acrobat Reader DC is great for filling and signing
Cons

  • Paid versions are fairly expensive and require a recurring fee
  • Can be difficult to navigate for new users
  • Not as lightweight as comparable software

What does the Adobe Acrobat DC PDF reader do best?

With an Adobe Acrobat DC subscription, you have access to a whole ecosystem of products for working with PDF files. The DC in Acrobat DC stands for Document Cloud, and these cloud features are part of what sets Acrobat DC apart from other PDF software. You can use Document Cloud to access your PDFs and other document files from pretty much any device.

This makes working with PDFs convenient wherever you go. Whether on your computer at home, at the workplace, or on a mobile device while on the go you can access and edit all of your uploaded documents..

Documents can be shared with others through either Document Cloud, or other cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive. It’s even possible to have multiple users work on a shared online document simultaneously.

The sheer multitude of features is one of the main advantages Acrobat DC has, but they can also be a bit overwhelming for new users. You can create new PDFs, edit text in existing ones, rearrange pages, redact sensitive information, convert different file types to and from PDF, scan paper documents into PDFs and much more.

Adobe Acrobat DC PDF Reader features

There are many tools available, such as the Organize Pages tool, which allows you to rearrange pages with drag and drop functionality, as well as rotate, insert, delete and extract them. The Combine Files tool allows you to combine multiple files, even of different types, into one PDF.

For security options, there’s the Protect tool, which allows you to prevent opening, copying, printing and/or editing of files, usually with a password. The Redact tool allows you to both manually block out sensitive information and redact certain words and phrases or even certain areas across different pages.

With the free Acrobat Reader DC, there’s the ability to rotate pages, comment on, fill out and sign documents. With a free Adobe account, there are also some online features you can use, such as their compression tool for reducing the file size of PDFs.

Adobe Acrobat DC PDF Reader pricing

There are different pricing tiers for Adobe Acrobat DC, the most fully featured being the

Acrobat Pro DC plan which is $14.99 a month an annual commitment, or $24.99 without the commitment and also has a free trial. The Acrobat Standard DC can be either $12.99 or $22.99 a month. It does not include features like comparing differences between two PDFs or scanning documents into editable and searchable PDFs and is only on Windows.

There is no longer a way to buy a perpetual license for Acrobat DC, but the upside of having a subscription based product is that you will always have the latest updates, getting any improvements, fixes and feature additions without having to manually upgrade. If you’d prefer software with a one time purchase, there are several other great options.

What users have to say about the Adobe Acrobat DC PDF reader?

Most users have great things to say about Acrobat DC, the most commonly cited positives being the ease of filling and signing documents, the wide variety of features and the convenience of the cloud syncing and collaboration options.

For negatives, the most common is the high price and that the software can be confusing to use at first. Some users also say Acrobat can be slow at times, although this likely varies based on the system it’s being run on.

Software details

Adobe Acrobat has software available for Windows and Mac, apps for both Android and Apple mobile devices and their web-based tools.

Bottom line

While a bit pricey, Adobe Acrobat DC offers a comprehensive suite of tools that should meet the needs of anyone who works with PDFs.

Our score: ★★★★☆ 4/5

About The Author

Ryder Lund

Since he was young Ryder has been drawn to technology and had a knack for working with and learning about it. He often ends up being tech support for friends and family because of this, so it feels natural to him to help out others by writing guides on how to use it. He enjoys living in the Pacific Northwest where he is close to both nature and the bustling tech hub of the Seattle area.