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Group test: what's the best PDF software?

The best PDF tools you can install

PC Advisor reviews the best PDF tools you can install.

5. Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise 7

Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise 7
  • Reviewed on: 19 November 10
  • RRP: £171 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

Still, for basic PDF creation and editing, PDF Converter does a perfectly adequate job. You can add notes, create forms, and password-protect files, of course. For those functions and many more, you can get work done about as easily as you can with Acrobat X Pro. And if you don't need SharePoint integration or redaction capability, you can opt for Nuance's PDF Converter Pro 7, which omits those features but costs a lot less. So then the question becomes, do you really need Acrobat X Pro to accomplish all of your PDF tasks, or can you get by with PDF Converter Enterprise 7 (or one of either product's variants)? If price were no object, there's really no question - Acrobat X is a more capable, more polished product. But if you're trying to squeeze your nickels or your PDF tasks are modest, PDF Converter Enterprise 7 is a good choice.

4. Foxit Phantom PDF Business

Foxit Phantom PDF Business
  • Reviewed on: 28 November 11
  • RRP: $129 (around £77 - prices are quoted in US$, and ex VAT)
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

All this power doesn't come cheap, at $129 (around £77 - prices are quoted in US$, and ex VAT). But if you need a power tool for PDF creation and are willing to pay, this is the one to get.

3. Blueberry PDF Form Filler

Blueberry PDF Form Filler
  • Reviewed on: 21 June 12
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

Few computers lack a copy of Adobe Reader, or some similar product. Some Reader competitors include advanced features for searching, editing, stamping, and amending your PDFs. However, Blueberry PDF Form Filler is the best way to get around Adobe's file permissions: If you can open the PDF, you can add to it and save the file with PDF Form Filler. For occasions when that's all you need, Blueberry PDF Form Filler is a great tool to have.

2. PDF-XChange Pro 2012

PDF-XChange Pro 2012
  • Reviewed on: 29 May 12
  • RRP: €58 (around £46)
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

If you don't want the hassle of multiple programs, or if your employer expects you to use Microsoft Office, PDF-XChange Pro 2012 is a great alternative to Adobe Acrobat X Pro.

1. Adobe Acrobat X Pro

Adobe Acrobat X Pro
  • Reviewed on: 21 October 10
  • RRP: £441 plus VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

Acrobat X Pro strikes me as a substantial upgrade. With Adobe software, such upgrades often involve a substantial learning curve - but in this case, Adobe has done well in making its upgrades more accessible to the nonprogrammers among us. Acrobat X Pro is a much-easier-to-use application that can bring in different types of content and display it in a consistent interface, with greatly improved collaboration tools.

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