PDF Expert vs Adobe Acro­bat: Which PDF Edi­tor Is Bet­ter on Mac

Parth Shah

Now that work from home is the new norm, you would want to invest in a capable PDF Editor on your main work machine. You may ask why? Using a PDF editor, you can fill out necessary forms, sign that NDA agreement, add stamps, highlight relevant paragraphs in an e-book, and even use stamps to approve or reject a proposal. While the Mac ecosystem offers plenty of excellent PDF editors, two options always come on top – PDF Expert and Adobe Acrobat Pro.

PDF Editing on Mac

Both PDF Expert and Adobe Acrobat are solid, feature-rich PDF editors for Mac. While they offer every possible function for PDF editing software, the overall experience of using them could be different. Both the software have their take on interface design, cloud integration, and more. How about we compare them to see which one deserves to be on your Mac dock?

In this post, we will compare PDF Expert to Adobe Acrobat Pro on Mac. The comparison will cover the user interface, features, export options, cloud integration, price, cross-platform availability, and more. Let’s get started.

Cross-Platform Availability

PDF Expert is developed by a company named Readdle. It’s mostly known for developing productivity tools for the Apple ecosystem. PDF Expert is available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Adobe Acrobat is accessible on every platform, including iPhone, Android, Windows, and Mac.

User Interface

User Interface plays a major role in any PDF editing software. After all, you won’t want to spend most of your time finding that hidden option in a rather confusing interface. Thankfully, PDF Expert and Adobe Acrobat have done a commendable job with presenting a user-friendly interface and easily accessible options.

Starting with PDF Expert, every option and feature is thoughtfully laid out. You don’t have to go through dozens of menus to find a relevant feature. The app is mostly divided into two sections – Annotate and Text. I like how PDF Expert offers several themes, such as Day, Night, and Sepia. Out of them, Sepia is my favorite as it delivers a book-like experience with a light brown background.

Pdf expert ui

Adobe Acrobat Pro’s home screen might look busy to new users. I like how Adobe offers a bunch of options when you select a PDF file in the app. You can directly share PDF, sign PDF, edit, or even organize it from the home menu.

Adobe ui

I also like the menu icons. They look better compared to PDF Expert and serves the purpose.

Edit a PDF

Let’s talk about the editing capabilities of both software. When you open a PDF in Adobe Acrobat, it takes you to the main editing interface. You get a bunch of options to choose from the side menu. One can add images, manipulate text, add web links, crop PDFs, add header and footer, watermark, and more.

Adobe ui 2

Acrobat also allows you to combine files before finalizing the editing process. I like all the options on the right side than the top. Well, that's my preference, and yours might differ.

Adobe editing

Adobe also offers fill & sign options. I think it's a mature solution with all the bells and whistles. You can add a signature, initials, and even small details required in forms like cross marks, bullet points, etc.

Adobe sign

PDF Expert offers several annotate tools. You can use highlighters, strikeout, and even underline tool with several colors. The options allow admins to make or call out changes instantly. I hardly use the Pen tool though. My favorite function is Notes. You can attach a note to any part of the PDF. It’s useful when reading an eBook or reviewing a research report.

Pdf exprt highlight

PDF Expert delivers a better e-sign experience than Adobe. You can virtually sign your signature using a trackpad. I like it and prefer the solution compared to Adobe. The color options are limited to Purple, Black, and Blue.

Pdf expert sign

Other options include the ability to add text, images, links, and even remove the sensitive information using the Redact tool.

Pdf expert note

Other Features

Adobe also offers stamps function, and it’s nicely categorized in categories such as dynamics, signature stamps, and standard business ones.

Other features include scan and OCR, comments functions to point out changes. I like the compare files option, which allows you to compare the edited PDF file with the original one.

Pdf expert stamps

PDF Expert’s stamp menu offers a better built-in choice. Of course, you can make custom stamps as well. You can also add a password to a PDF. Overall, when it comes to the number of features, Adobe has the upper hand here.

Share and Export

Adobe wins this round comfortably. In Adobe Acrobat, you can export Word file, Spreadsheet, Image, and even plain text in PDF file format. Adobe also offers a way to invite others to make edits to a PDF. It’s blissful while working on group projects and wants everyone to take a look and review the PDF file.

Adobe export

PDF Expert pales in comparison here. There are limited sharing and export options.

Price

Readdle is offering seven days of free trial for PDF Expert. After that, the whole suite costs $80. Adobe Acrobat comes with a free trial of 7 days as well. It costs $15 per month. The software is a part of Adobe Creative Suite of apps for which the subscription costs $60 per month.

Wrapping It Up

Are you still confused between the two? Allow me to simplify it for you. PDF Expert has better UI, more editing features, and it overall feels intuitive to use. Adobe marches ahead with several export options, and the sharing capabilities are unmatched compared to rivals. But when it comes to pricing, PDF Expert’s one-time purchase will be cheaper in the long-term. Which one are you are going to choose, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Next up: Looking for a more comprehensive list of PDF editors on Mac? Read the post below to find the top five PDF editors for Mac.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

Read Next
Top 5 PDF Editors for Mac
Also See
#comparison #mac apps

Join the newsletter

Parth Shah

Written By

Parth Shah

Parth previously worked at EOTO.tech covering tech news. He is currently freelancing at Guiding Tech writing about apps comparison, tutorials, software tips and tricks and diving deep into iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows platforms.