Programs for creating, editing and converting PDF files

Creating, editing, and converting PDF files are essential tasks in various industries and professions. There are numerous programs available to accomplish these tasks, each with its own set of features and capabilities. In this guide, I’ll discuss some popular programs for creating, editing, and converting PDF files, along with their key features, pros, and cons.

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Creating PDF Files

Adobe Acrobat DC:


Adobe Acrobat DC is a comprehensive PDF solution that allows users to create, edit, and convert PDF files. It offers advanced features such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition), digital signatures, and form creation.

One of the key features of Acrobat DC is its ability to create PDF documents from various file formats such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and more. This functionality allows users to convert their files into universally accessible PDF format, ensuring compatibility across different platforms and devices. Additionally,

Acrobat DC offers advanced options for customizing the conversion process, such as adjusting settings for page layout, fonts, and images.

In addition to its core features, Acrobat DC includes tools for securely sharing and distributing PDF documents. Users can protect sensitive information by applying encryption, password protection, and digital rights management (DRM) controls to their PDFs. The software also offers options for redacting sensitive content, ensuring that confidential information remains hidden when sharing documents with others.


Industry standard, robust feature set, reliable performance. Adobe Acrobat DC is a powerful solution for creating, editing, signing, and managing PDF documents. Its comprehensive feature set, intuitive user interface, and seamless integration with other applications make it a valuable tool for professionals in various fields, including business, education, government, and more. Whether you need to create a simple PDF or collaborate on a complex document workflow, Acrobat DC provides the tools and capabilities to get the job done efficiently and effectively.


Expensive subscription model, may be overwhelming for casual users. Furthermore, Acrobat DC provides tools for optimizing PDF files for web and mobile viewing, ensuring fast loading times and smooth navigation on different devices and screen sizes. Users can compress large PDFs, convert colors to web-friendly formats, and enable accessibility features to make their documents more inclusive and compliant with industry standards.

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Microsoft Word (with Save As PDF feature)


Microsoft Word allows users to create documents and save them directly as PDF files. It offers basic formatting options and is widely used in business environments. Acrobat DC further enhances productivity with its automation capabilities through Adobe Document Cloud services.


Familiar interface, part of Microsoft Office suite.

Cons: Limited PDF editing capabilities, may not preserve complex formatting. Another important aspect of Acrobat DC is its support for electronic signatures.

With the built-in e-signature functionality, users can sign PDF documents digitally, eliminating the need for printing, scanning, and mailing paper copies. Acrobat DC offers several options for creating and managing

electronic signatures, including drawing signatures using a mouse or stylus, importing scanned signatures, and using digital certificates for added security.

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LibreOffice Writer


LibreOffice Writer is a free and open-source word processing program that supports PDF creation. It offers a range of formatting options and compatibility with various file formats.

LibreOffice Writer is a powerful word processing software that offers a comprehensive set of features for creating documents of various types, ranging from simple letters to complex reports and manuscripts. As an open-source alternative to commercial word processors like Microsoft Word, Writer provides users with a free and flexible tool for their document creation needs.


Free, open-source, cross-platform. LibreOffice Writer is a versatile and powerful word processing software that offers a comprehensive set of features for creating and editing documents of all types. Its compatibility with various file formats, intuitive user interface, extensive formatting

options, and advanced features make it a compelling choice for individuals, businesses, and organizations seeking a free and flexible alternative to commercial word processors.


Limited advanced features compared to proprietary software.

In addition to its extensive feature set, LibreOffice Writer is continuously updated and improved by a vibrant community of developers and contributors. This ensures that users have access to the latest features and improvements, as well as ongoing support and assistance through online forums and documentation.

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Google Docs (with Save As PDF feature)


Google Docs is a web-based word processor that allows collaboration and saving documents as PDF files. It offers basic formatting options and integration with Google Drive.


Free, cloud-based, collaboration features. Formatting options in LibreOffice Writer are extensive, allowing users to customize the appearance of their documents to meet their specific requirements. From font styles and sizes to paragraph formatting and alignment, Writer provides users with a wide range of tools for creating professional-looking documents.


Limited offline functionality, may have compatibility issues with complex documents. The user interface of LibreOffice Writer is intuitive and

user-friendly, making it accessible to both novice and experienced users alike. The toolbar provides quick access to commonly used functions such as formatting text, inserting images and tables, and adjusting page layout settings.

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Editing PDF Files


Adobe Acrobat DC offers advanced editing features such as text and image manipulation, annotation tools, and the ability to add or remove pages from PDF files. Users can streamline document workflows by integrating Acrobat DC with other business applications and services, such as Microsoft Office, SharePoint, and Salesforce. This integration enables seamless document exchange and collaboration, allowing users to access and work on PDF files from any device, anywhere, and at any time.


Comprehensive editing capabilities, integration with other Adobe products. Collaboration is made easy with LibreOffice Writer through its support for

track changes and comments. Users can track and review changes made to a document by themselves or others, making it easy to collaborate on documents with colleagues or clients. Comments can be added to specific sections of a document, providing feedback or suggestions for improvement.


Expensive subscription model, may be overwhelming for simple editing tasks. Writer also includes advanced features such as mail merge, which allows users to create personalized documents such as letters or labels by automatically inserting data from a spreadsheet or database. This can be particularly useful for tasks such as generating personalized letters or mailing labels for large numbers of recipients.

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Foxit PhantomPDF


Foxit PhantomPDF is a feature-rich PDF editor with capabilities for text editing, annotations, form filling, and document collaboration. One of the key features of LibreOffice Writer is its compatibility with various file formats, including Microsoft Word (.docx) and OpenDocument (.odt). This ensures that users can seamlessly collaborate with others who may be using different word processing software. Additionally, Writer supports exporting documents to PDF format, making it easy to share files while preserving formatting and layout.


Affordable pricing, lightweight software, wide range of editing tools. Additionally, Writer supports styles and templates, enabling users to apply consistent formatting throughout their documents and streamline the document creation process.


Interface may not be as intuitive as Adobe Acrobat. Users can also customize the toolbar to suit their specific workflow preferences, enhancing efficiency and productivity.

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PDF-XChange Editor


PDF-XChange Editor offers a range of editing tools including text and image manipulation, annotation tools, and the ability to add or remove pages from PDF files. Once a PDF document is created, Acrobat DC provides a wide range of editing tools for modifying its content. Users can easily add or remove text, images, and other elements, as well as reorder pages and manipulate document properties.

The software also offers features for annotating PDFs, including highlighting, underlining, and adding comments and sticky notes. These

editing capabilities make Acrobat DC a versatile tool for revising and collaborating on documents.


Intuitive interface, competitive pricing, robust editing tools.

Nitro Pro is a powerful PDF editor with features for text editing, annotation, and document collaboration. It offers a user-friendly interface and compatibility with other office software.


Some advanced features require upgrading to higher-priced versions.

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Converting PDF Files


Adobe Acrobat DC offers comprehensive PDF conversion capabilities, including conversion to and from various file formats such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. PDFelement is a versatile PDF editor that also offers conversion capabilities. It supports conversion to and from various file formats and provides tools for batch conversion.


High-quality conversion, reliable performance, integration with other Adobe products.Affordable pricing, intuitive interface, wide range of conversion options. Some advanced features require upgrading to higher-priced versions. Online converters provide a convenient way to convert PDF files to different formats without installing any software.


Expensive subscription model, may be overkill for simple conversion tasks.

They support a wide range of file types and offer simple user interfaces. No installation required, free for basic conversion, easy to use.

Dependence on internet connection, limited privacy and security


In conclusion, Choosing the right program for creating, editing, and converting PDF files depends on your specific requirements, budget, and preferences. Adobe Acrobat DC remains the industry standard for comprehensive PDF solutions, but there are plenty of alternatives available catering to different needs and budgets.

Whether you need advanced editing features, seamless conversion capabilities, or just basic PDF functionality, there’s a program out there to suit your needs. Take advantage of free trials and demos to explore different options before making a decision.