Saturday, September 30, 2023

The Main Differences Between Acrobat Reader and Acrobat Pro

In this post, we are going to discuss the main differences between Acrobat Reader and Acrobat Pro. This information will be useful for users who can’t decide which program they should use for various PDF projects.

The invention of the new PDF software called Adobe Acrobat DC made a real furor in all around the world. Let’s have a closer look at the new features the latest adobe reader program can offer. Once you download it on your computer, you can be sure it will create a massive impression. Now you can get access to many different version of Adobe programs. This creates a bit of confusion when we have to choose. What are the similarities between Adobe Acrobat Reader and its Pro version?.

What is Adobe Reader?

Adobe Reader is a free program which comes with all operating systems like Windows, Mac OS, Android, Linux, etc. By using Adobe Reader, you can open and print PDF documents.

What is Adobe Acrobat PRO?

It is a premium program which enables you to edit, view, create, and do different manipulations with PDF documents. It is a cloud-integrated service that allows you to access materials and tools from anywhere in the world.


Both free and pro versions are excellent tools. They have a lot of similarities as well as dissimilarities. Now let’s have a look at the same points these two programs have:

  • They are compatible with all operating systems.

  • They have a user-friendly interface.

  • They support touch-enabled devices.

  • They allow viewing/printing PDFs.

  • They can both merge multiple documents in one PDF in a browser.


The main differences will be revealed to your below.

Comment Tools

When we speak about tools for editing PDF documents, we mean comments/ strikethroughs/insertions/highlights. All these features are called comment tools in Adobe programs. You should know that they are included in Acrobat Pro version and the latest versions of Acrobat Reader.


However, there is a considerable dissimilarity between these two Adobe programs. Using Adobe Acrobat Pro, you can easily create and print out comment; you can edit summaries, and even export comments/edits to the Microsoft Word program. If you plan to select/copy text into the comment pop-ups, you should choose Adobe Pro version.

Editing Tools

If you want to edit your PDF documents, you will need to purchase the pro version. It will allow you to do direct manipulation of text/images. You can add, move, delete, and rewrite text content. You can also add images, watermarks, headers, and footers. Unfortunately, these tools are not included in a free version Adobe Acrobat Reader.


Microsoft Word Conversion

Using Adobe Acrobat Pro, you get access to the export tool, which allows you to convert PDF documents to Microsoft Word as well as a lot of different formats. Unfortunately, Adobe Acrobat Reader does not offer this functionality to users without purchasing a special add-on package. If you work as a professional editor or writer, this is one of the essential features. It is the main dissimilarity between the two programs. So Adobe Reader will not suit your needs if you to convert PDF documents to Microsoft Word and edit your files with Word’s Track Changes tools.

Other Dissimilarities

Below you will find some additional features which you can access only if you have Adobe Acrobat Pro. You can do the following:

  • Combine several PDF documents;

  • Compare different files;

  • Organize/move individual PDF pages;

Password protecting data.


As you can see, your program choice to install a free Adobe Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Pro should be based on your needs and the work. If you need a program to convert PDF documents to other files formats frequently, compare them, or move pages within documents Pro version is what you really need.

Andy Debolt
Andy is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism. When he isn't writing Andy enjoys water sports and spending time on the golf course.


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