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PDF Software

PDF software enables viewing, creating, merging, and manipulating files in PDF format. PDF software is related to Document Management software and Productivity software.

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Xodo is the all-in-one PDF solution to view, edit, convert, annotate, merge & sign documents across all devices in one secure platform. Learn more about Xodo
Xodo is the all-in-one PDF solution where you can convert, edit, annotate, merge, sign documents, and more across all devices in one secure platform. Work more efficiently and make your job a lot easier with access to 30+ advanced PDF tools in a simple, secure, and easy-to-use platform. Learn more about Xodo

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
United Kingdom Local product
Convert your PDF files to a variety of formats including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, JPG and PNG. Modify and secure PDF files from your PC Learn more about Wide Angle PDF Converter
Wide Angle PDF Converter allows you convert, modify and secure your PDF files safely on your own PC. The app converts PDF documents to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, JPG, PNG, EPUB and other formats. You can also secure files with password protection, set permissions for collaborators and add watermarks. Merge multiple PDF documents, or split documents into individual pages. Add bookmarks and attachments for easy navigation and file sharing. All conversions are performed locally on your own PC. Learn more about Wide Angle PDF Converter

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Automatically generate professional-looking PDF documents in seconds with Jotform Enterprise. Learn more about Jotform Sign
Automatically generate professional-looking PDF documents in seconds with Jotform Enterprise. Whether you need to create a contract, generate a payment invoice, or build a custom consulting proposal, our PDF Editor helps you edit documents and create polished documents with the data you collect. Share, store, and edit PDFs directly from your browser. With our easy-to-install integrations, you can automatically send your PDF documents to cloud storage platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox. Learn more about Jotform Sign

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Automatically generate professional-looking PDF documents in seconds with Jotform Enterprise. Learn more about Jotform
Automatically generate professional-looking PDF documents in seconds with Jotform Enterprise. Whether you need to create a contract, generate a payment invoice, or build a custom consulting proposal, our PDF Editor helps you edit documents and create polished documents with the data you collect. Share, store, and edit PDFs directly from your browser. With our easy-to-install integrations, you can automatically send your PDF documents to cloud storage platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox. Learn more about Jotform

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Adobe Acrobat Reader is a cloud-based PDF viewer that enables users to read, print, search, and annotate PDF documents.
Acrobat Reader is a free PDF viewer software that lets users view, print, share, comment on, and annotate PDF files. Key features include viewing PDFs on small screens, editing PDF text and images, comparing PDFs, redacting sensitive information, sending PDFs for e-signature, converting PDFs to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, adding password protection, and integrating with Microsoft 365. The software works on Windows, Mac, and mobile devices. Learn more about Adobe Acrobat Reader

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Create, edit, convert, sign, and combine documents with Adobe’s all-in-one PDF and e-signature solution.
Adobe Acrobat is the all-in-one PDF and e-signature solution trusted by Fortune 500 companies. With Acrobat, you can create, edit, convert, share, sign, and combine documents – all from one Adobe platform. You can build seamless digital experiences that enable your team to collaborate and work from any device, anywhere. Acrobat solutions are also designed to integrate with apps you use every day, including Microsoft 365, Google, Workday, and more, so you can get things done in the flow of work. Learn more about Adobe Acrobat

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Free app to manage PDF files, alone or in bulk, over the web. Merge, compress, sign, split and convert PDFs within seconds.
Free app to manage PDF files, alone or in bulk, over the web. iLove PDF offers a toolkit to merge, compress, sign, split, convert, watermark, and unlock PDFs within seconds. iLovePDF also converts from/to main Office formats such as Power Point, Excel and Word. Learn more about iLovePDF

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Bluebeam 2D & 3D PDF markup solutions connect external apps, automate workflows, and allow you to share data across devices.
Elevate your construction projects with Bluebeam's suite of 3D architecture solutions that provide seamless, Cloud-based collaboration tools for your entire team. Why wait for updates when you can have real-time, on-the-go access to every component of any project? Edit both 2D and 3D PDFs with smart tools designed to help your team improve quality, stay on budget, and easily create takeoffs and accurate bid proposals. Learn more about Bluebeam Revu

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Cloud-based PDF Reader that provides authors with solutions to manage document comments, alerts on versions and password protections.
Services include: ConnectedPDF Security - grant and revoke document access. ConnectedPDF Document Management - Track to see who opens your document and what they do and notify readers of new updates. ConnectedPDF Collaboration - Elevate your teamwork with connected reviews or send requests to others to get a file. Learn more about Foxit PDF Reader

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
An all-in-one online PDF editor, built-in e-signature and fillable form builder.
pdfFiller is a GDPR compliant online PDF editor, e-signature manager and fillable PDF form builder in a single web app. Edit and e-sign PDF documents online, create fillable PDF forms and send them for signing. Share documents via email, social media or host them on your company's website. Fax, print or send PDFs via USPS right from your pdfFiller account. Get completed copies of submitted and signed PDF forms and automatically extract data to an Excel file, CRM or database. Learn more about pdfFiller

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Smallpdf serves 50+ million monthly users with 20+ PDF tools in 24 languages. It's the first and only PDF software you'll love.
Made in Switzerland, the land of watches, banks, and clean design, Smallpdf is an award-winning company that offers a suite of clever document management tools for everyone—for work, for home, for life. Founded in Switzerland in 2013, Smallpdf provides a simple, secure, and reliable answer to the world's PDF challenges, and has become the most loved and trusted PDF software on the planet. We’ve served over a billion users in 24 different languages since 2013, and in every country in the world! Learn more about Smallpdf

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Nitro is a global SaaS leader in PDF software, document management and electronic signatures.
Nitro is a global SaaS leader in PDF software, document management and electronic signatures (eSign). Its industry-leading business intelligence and analytics product measures ROI and quantifies sustainability efforts, all supported by a best-in-class customer success and change management support team. With more than 3 million licensed users and 13,000+ business customers across 157 countries, Nitro serves 68% of the Fortune 500. Learn more about Nitro

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
With Publuu, you can easily and intuitively create an interactive flipbook from your PDF files.
With Publuu, you can easily and intuitively create an interactive flipbook from PDF. Convert a PDF to flip, customize it by adding your branding, selecting background, colors and inserting interactive hotspots. Make your flipbook SEO-friendly and share it with your readers by embedding it on your website or sending it via email or social media. Engage your customers and check their reactions in real time! Learn more about Publuu

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
#1 Adobe® Acrobat® alternative: PDFelement is your all-in-one PDF solution. Create, edit, convert, and esign PDF files in a better way.
PDFelement is a one-stop PDF solution powered by AI. Fast, smart, affordable, and easy way to manage (.pdf) documents across desktop, mobile, and web. It provides a great user experience and is an excellent alternative to Adobe® Acrobat®, making it perfect for individuals and small businesses. The mission is to stay at the forefront of PDF technology, constantly innovating and improving our product to meet the evolving needs of our users. Learn more about PDFelement

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Free PDF conversion tool that comes with access control, PDF/A file support, digital signature, and automated PDF printer capabilities.
Free PDF conversion tool that comes with access control, PDF/A file support, digital signature, and automated PDF printer capabilities. Learn more about PDFCreator

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
ABBYY FineReader PDF is a universal PDF software for efficient work with documents - both PDFs and scans - in the digital workplace
ABBYY® FineReader PDF is a PDF tool for working more efficiently with digital documents. Powered by ABBYY's AI-based OCR technology, FineReader PDF integrates scanned documents into digital workflows and makes it easier to digitize, convert, retrieve, edit, protect, share, and collaborate on all kinds of documents in the digital workplace. Form creation added in the latest release. Learn more about ABBYY FineReader PDF

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Online File Converter for Office documents, JSON, XML, PDF, images, video, audio, and other files. Support for 50+GB JSON and XML files
Online File Converter for office documents, PDFs, images, video, audio, and other files. Converting large files up to 50+ GB. Public REST API is available. With Conversion Tools, it is possible to Convert Large XML files to Excel, CSV, JSON. We offer Custom Converters development to provide you with a solution to convert files based on your business requirements. Supported formats: - Office documents (Excel, Word, PowerPoint) - PDF files - Images - Video - Audio - OCR for images and PDFs - Data Learn more about Conversion Tools

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Flipsnack is the fastest PDF to flipbook converter on the market. Easily create & publish your catalogs, brochures, magazines and more.
Flipsnack is the fastest PDF-to-flipbook converter on the market. This online publishing solution allows you to bring your PDFs to life, transforming them into life-like publications with a 3D flip-page effect. Alternatively, you can use our Design Studio to easily create engaging flipbooks from scratch. Bring your printed catalogs to digital customers while embracing a more sustainable and cost-effective path for your business. Powerful features like shopping buttons, videos, GIFs, enticing p Learn more about Flipsnack

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
PDF solution for creating industry-standard PDF files that uses virtual printer for document preview, conversion, and printing.
PDF solution for creating industry-standard PDF files that uses virtual printer for document preview, conversion, and printing. Learn more about PDF-XChange

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Power PDF Advanced lets you create, convert, edit, share and secure PDF files. Buy it once and own it forever.
Over 10 million users trust Tungsten Power PDF and choose this leading PDF application without being held hostage by subscription fees. Tungsten Power PDF Advanced is a powerful and intuitive tool designed for businesses to create, convert, edit and share PDF files. With Power PDF Advanced, your organization can optimize productivity and securely manage the document lifecycle, helping your business work more collaboratively and seamlessly across devices and platforms. Try it for free today! Learn more about Tungsten Power PDF

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Soda PDF Anywhere is the first full-featured PDF solution available both as a desktop and a web-based app.
Soda PDF Anywhere is the first fully functional PDF solution available both as a desktop and a web-based app. Users have the freedom to access features on any device with a web browser, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. It comes equipped with innovative features specifically designed to increase productivity, including PDF conversion, editing, reviewing & security tools, a reputable e-signature solution, Bates numbering, cloud integration, and much more. Try it free today! Learn more about Soda PDF

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Streamline document processes and workflows with tools that feel like second nature and work just how you'd expect them to.
Lumin is cloud-based pdf editing & document workflow software founded in 2014 and headquartered in New Zealand. Operating globally with more than 75 million users worldwide, there's a Lumin user located in almost every continent in the world - including Antarctica! Lumin offers seamless integration into G-Suite and boats a range of intuitive digital tools to add eSignatures, text, highlights and more to your PDF documents in the cloud. Streamline document processes and workflows with tools that feel like second nature and work just how you'd expect them to. Use Lumin for study, work, and life. Lumin is free to download and use, or you can unlock advanced features and functionality from just $9 p/m. Business and Enterprise plans are available and easily scalable to suit your team. Learn more about Lumin PDF

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Reading, Note taking and Document Analysis app winning Editor’s Choice from Apple & Microsoft "PDF Editor with Superpowers, FastCompany
The first Reading, Note taking and Document Analysis app to win Editor’s Choice from both Apple and Microsoft. "PDF Editor with Superpowers" FastCompany. For professionals whose work involves analyzing complex sets of documents; to study, analyze and reach conclusions. LiquidText is an active reading and note taking tool where all your documents, highlights, annotations and underlines are in the same workspace as your notes and lets you make dynamic visual connections across content and notes. Learn more about LiquidText

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
PDF Technologies is a leading software provider of affordable, secure Out-of-Box PDF solutions on desktop, mobile and online tools.
As the best alternative to Adobe® PDF solution, PDF Reader Pro is a PDF powerhouse that will fulfill all your document needs. We offer free Trial and education plans, as well as PDF Technologies’s Software Development Kits (ComPDFkit/SDKs) to help developers reduce costs. ► Join Volume License Program to Lower IT Investment: https://www.pdfreaderpro.com/vpp-purchase-program ► Manage Team License with PDF Tech Admin Console: https://www.pdfreaderpro.com/vpp-purchase-program Learn more about PDF Reader Pro

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption
Cross-platform PDF converter, creator, and editor with OCR, electronic and digital signatures and AI-powered PDF to Excel conversions.
Able2Extract Pro 19 is a business-grade PDF converter and editor with OCR. It enables users to convert data from PDF files to fully editable Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, AutoCAD, OpenOffice... It can batch process multiple PDF files at once (OCR included), create universally compatible PDFs from 300+ formats, add electronic and digital signatures to PDF, edit PDF text and images, split and merge PDF, compare any two printable documents and much more. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Learn more about Able2Extract Professional

Features

  • Convert to PDF
  • Merge/Append Files
  • Digital Signature
  • Annotations
  • Watermarking
  • Encryption

PDF Software Buyers Guide

PDF Software is a type of software that makes the viewing, creating, and merging of PDF files possible. PDF has become one of the more commonly-used document formats in the business world over the past decade, making the ability to handle them a crucial part of doing business. PDFs are a standardised file format, so any PDF software will work with PDF files, regardless of whether that software was initially used to create the file.

There is a lot of variation between different PDF software offerings, with the net result being that the only real “core” feature that can be expected in all software solutions is the ability to view PDF files. Many will also provide the ability to create and edit PDF files, while others will have more specialist functionality, such as merging multiple PDFs into one (or splitting one into many). Some software solutions—such as those provided by the creator of the PDF file standard—provide a complete feature set for handling PDF files.

The ability to view, create, and manipulate PDF files provides obvious benefits to businesses these days, with the ability to read PDF files being arguably a critical feature for a business to have access to. Many software packages will provide the ability to automatically export the documents they produce as PDFs. Therefore, the ability to create these files is not as critical as the ability to read them. Being able to properly utilise PDF files also increases security, as documents in this format are more secure than many other types of document files.

This type of software shares many of the same areas of focus as other document management software, such as spreadsheet software; it is concerned with a specific type of file format, rather than a specific type of document. Indeed, PDF documents can contain a wide range of information, including spreadsheets, text documents, and presentations, though the software used to create the PDF file can limit what can be included in it.

Businesses looking to purchase PDF software need to consider many factors in their decision-making process, such as the specific features they need, licensing requirements, security concerns, and what the resulting documents will be used for. Generally speaking, for a piece of software to be included in the PDF software category, it will need to contain many of the following features:

  • The ability to convert existing documents to PDF files, allowing users to create documents in applications they are already familiar with
  • Editing existing PDF documents to change certain elements such as images and text blocks, as well as do things like combine and split files
  • Easily share PDF files with other people from within the software, maybe coupled with the ability for those users to leave comments on the file
  • Password protect PDF files to prevent them from being seen by individuals who were not meant to view them
  • Create documents for signing—such as contracts—that can be sent to the involved party to be digitally signed
  • Mobile applications that bring many of the more common features to mobile devices so that PDF files can be viewed, created, and edited on the go

What is PDF Software?

PDF software is used by businesses and individuals to view, create, and manipulate PDF files. PDF files are an essential aspect of modern business correspondence because they are widely used. This file standard was created by Adobe in the 1990s and has been widely adopted due to its versatility and security. While PDF software is needed to perform different actions, it is possible to view a PDF using free software, and commonly used software like browsers often can view PDFs built-in. This means that businesses can be sure the recipient of a PDF file will be able to view it.

PDF files also provide other features that often cannot be found in a single file standard, especially one so widely adopted. For example, a PDF file can contain a wide range of media, whereas other common file types—such as spreadsheet files—are more limited. Additionally, PDF files can make use of certain features, such as password protection and the ability to make parts of a document un-editable. Documents can also be set so that other users can leave comments on them without being allowed to edit the document itself.

Most businesses use PDF files to some degree in their correspondence precisely because of how widely adopted the standard is. It is also possible to convert documents from other file formats into PDF files, though this functionality may vary between different PDF software solutions. The fact that many browsers natively support the ability to view PDFs presents businesses with the option of putting PDF documents directly online for customers and other web users to view. Generally speaking, PDF files offer businesses several conveniences in correspondence with other parties that would be much more difficult—or even impossible—with other file formats.

What are the benefits of PDF software?

The benefits of PDF software are based on the ability to use PDF files in several ways, though the PDF files themselves provide the benefits. Furthermore, there are certain things that PDF software allows users to do that make those benefits attainable. Some of the more specific benefits provided by the use of PDF software within a business setting include:

  • Maintain a popular file standard: As mentioned above, PDF files have become one of the most commonly used document file formats in business. One of the advantages of a widely-used file standard is that a business can be confident that the recipient of any correspondence in that file standard will be able to read the file, which will save time and frustration on the part of both parties.
  • Simple creation thanks to conversion: Due to the popularity of PDF files, it is increasingly common for other applications to provide the ability to export to PDF. When this isn’t an option, the PDF software itself will often provide that functionality. One of the easiest ways this can be done is through a virtual printer, which takes the output that would ordinarily be sent to a printer and converts it to a PDF file. In this manner, any printable document can be converted into a PDF file. For businesses, this can mean a noticeable saving in training since users will not need to be trained to use a new software package to create certain documents and can instead continue using the existing software and convert the results.
  • File size reduction: Although not the case in all situations, PDF files can be smaller than their counterpart documents, especially when dealing with media-rich documents. As the most common use for digital documents is correspondence over email and other digital communication, having a smaller file size is beneficial, as it will send more quickly and take up less space in the recipient’s inbox. For an organisation storing millions of documents, PDFs can also represent a significant saving on data storage.
  • Security: PDF files can be password-protected, making it a more secure medium to send sensitive information through. Documents can also be made partially or entirely read-only, meaning only approved users can edit, or only parts of the document can be edited. These features increase the security of sending documents since the sender knows the document can’t be tampered with in a way that is not approved.
  • Integration of hyperlinks: The PDF file standard supports hyperlinks, allowing the sender to include links to addresses or other documents within the PDF file itself.
  • Future-proofing: Due to the versatility and ubiquitousness of the PDF file standard, it is highly unlikely that it will go away any time soon. This means that businesses can be sure their documents will remain accessible for a long time to come.

What are the features of PDF software?

The features of PDF software are focused on making it as easy as possible to take advantage of the many features that the PDF file standard provides. In many cases, this means bringing PDF functionality into other applications rather than having a feature in the PDF software itself. Furthermore, many features can be found in this type of software, though it’s important to note that the feature set of a given PDF solution can vary substantially from another solution. Here are some of the most common features of PDF software:

  • Ease of use: PDF files have become so widely adopted because they simplify many aspects of working with digital documents. Therefore, software solutions for working with PDF files often place high importance on user-friendly interfaces and simple controls. This should result in less training—if any—required to bring an employee up to the necessary level of technical ability to use this software.
  • Ability to view, create and edit PDF files: Naturally, the central feature of this type of software is the ability to view and manipulate PDF files. It is uncommon for PDF software to not provide the ability to view PDF files, but many solutions will also provide the ability to edit them. Creation can be done directly in the software in some cases, but it is more common to convert an existing document to a PDF (see below).
  • Straightforward collaboration functionality: Many PDF solutions will provide functionality for working collaboratively on a document. This includes things like being able to have multiple users working on the same document and having some way of clearly distinguishing between the users in that document.
  • Scanning and OCR functionality: Though businesses are moving away from physical documents, many still have to deal with hard copies regularly. Additionally, companies that have switched away from hard copies still often have legacy documents that they need to digitise. Some PDF solutions include the functionality to scan physical documents into the application so that the application can convert any scanned text into digital text for things like the search function.
  • Security features: Password protection and protected documents are common in business PDF use, so many PDF solutions intended for use in the business world will provide the ability to add these features to a document. Password protection completely locks the document to any user that doesn’t have the password, meaning they cannot view or modify the contents. Locking a document allows users to view it but prevents them from modifying it. It is also possible to lock certain parts of a document, such as in the case of documents intended to be filled out by a user. In these cases, the text of the document can be locked while the fields where the user must input information can be left open.
  • Convert to PDF: The ability to convert existing documents of other file types to PDF is probably the most common way PDF files are created. This method has the advantage of meaning users do not have to learn to use new software to create documents and can rather create the document in the software they are familiar with and convert the resulting document. Conversion can be done through the PDF solution itself. However, another common method is through a virtual printer (usually installed by the software), which allows any software with the ability to print documents to “print” to the PDF printer, which in turn outputs a PDF document.
  • Mobile PDF: The ability to view and modify PDF documents on the go is increasingly important as more and more business moves away from desktop computers and onto handheld devices like tablets and mobile phones. Having mobile capability ensures that a business won’t need to use additional software to work with PDF files on mobile devices.

What should be considered when purchasing PDF software?

When purchasing PDF software, it is essential to consider the needs of the business against the features included with the PDF software. One example of this is the ability to convert specific files to PDF—this may require special software if dealing with an obscure or bespoke file format, but in most cases, the ability to print to PDF will be enough. Here are more things to consider when purchasing PDF software for business use:

  • What features does the business need? Ordinarily, it would be best to consider the cost of the software first. However, when it comes to PDF files, the ubiquitousness of the file format means that many businesses may not even need specific software. As mentioned above, many browsers include the ability to view PDF files natively. Additionally, many free software solutions can add print-to-PDF functionality. For smaller businesses, these two aspects may be more than enough for what is needed.
  • How much does the software cost? For businesses that need more in-depth PDF features, the cost of that software will become more relevant, as it is unlikely that free software solutions will have the features that are required. In many cases, this will come down to a matter of licensing rather than an upfront cost of the software itself. Businesses will pay per “seat”, so the cost of the software will depend on how many instances of it the business will need to run.
  • Is the business working with physical documents? Businesses working with hardcopy documents—whether new documents that need entering into the system or archived documents that need digitising—will need a PDF solution that supports scanning and Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This allows users to scan physical documents into the software and automatically recognise any text in the document so that it can be searched or converted into a plain text document.
  • Does the business need collaborative features? For businesses that need to support multiple employees working on the same document, collaborative features will need to be included in the software solution. These features make it much easier to have several people working on a single document, either all at once or during different times of the day. It also makes it easier to work collaboratively when the team members are in various locations.
  • Does the software support any needed security features? Businesses using PDF files will often need to implement certain security features on their files, whether it is locking parts of the document to ensure they are not changed or password-protecting the entire thing to ensure no unauthorised users can access it. This is not something found in all PDF solutions, so it’s essential to ensure it is included in a potential purchase if needed.
  • Is the software being actively developed? The popularity of PDF as a file format has inescapably led to there being many software offerings to choose from, but not all of those developers have stayed the course. When choosing a PDF software solution, it is essential to ensure the developer behind that solution is still active. If possible, it is also worth considering how likely they are to remain active for the foreseeable future. This should reduce the chances of purchasing software that will quickly become outdated due to a lack of development. Of course, this shouldn’t be a problem with cloud-native applications.
  • Does the developer have an adequate privacy policy? Though less of an issue when purchasing standalone software that is deployed locally and does not connect to the cloud, businesses dealing with sensitive information should ensure the software they are purchasing or subscribing to has an adequate privacy policy around it. While this doesn’t guarantee that data won’t be intercepted, it should offer some legal protection if it is.

The most relevant PDF software trends are focused on improving the existing features commonly found in PDF software. As the underlying file format is widely adopted, there is an “if it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it” mentality around the software. This is not to say that innovation shouldn’t be expected. Some of the most relevant trends in this space include:

  • Optimisation for mobile devices: As mentioned above, businesses are using mobile devices more and more these days. Unfortunately, what mobile devices bring to the table in portability, they sometimes lack in ease of use, particularly when dealing with anything complex like a media-rich document. Software developers will likely be looking to improve the mobile experience for this reason.
  • Cloud applications: Like many areas of business and software, cloud-native applications and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is becoming the preferred mode for delivering software solutions. This is likely to continue in the PDF space as more software providers look to give users a reason to use their products.
  • Increased data efficiency: As previously mentioned, one of the advantages of using PDF files—mainly when those files contain a lot of images—is that PDF files are often smaller. The benefits of having a smaller file size coupled with the fact that mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular for business use means that software providers will continue to increase the efficiency with which PDF files store data, further reducing the file sizes involved.

Sources

The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in Capterra’s directory that offer them. The following sources were used for this document: