Review of the 5 Best PDF Viewers and Editors in 2024

Your firm may need a trustworthy PDF viewer if it handles many digital documents. PDF, or Portable Document Format, is a popular file type for sharing and reading documents in personal and professional settings. Special software can view, print, and modify these files on various devices and operating systems. We will briefly discuss the top 5 PDF viewers for Windows and Mac. We will also compare features in an easy-to-use chart to help people comprehend PDF reader differences.

If you are looking for the best PDF viewer for business, or just to use at home, our short guide will help you make an informed decision.

A Review of the Best PDF Viewers in 2024

There is a considerable number of PDF editors and viewers online. Some are available for free with a limited set of features, some require license registration or subscription. Some offer web access, some require download and installation on your device. The differences may be small, but they can be significant.

We will highlight each PDF software’s key features and benefits, helping you identify which one is the best PDF viewer for you.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe has a long history of providing the best PDF viewers and has been offering consistently high-quality products for two decades. An industry name, Adobe Acrobat is well known for being a well-rounded PDF viewer, and the Pro DC version is no exception.

Considered a golden standard, this software offers advanced features such as redacting sensitive information out of PDFs, as well as the ability to collect legally binding e-signatures.

It is definitely one of the top contenders for the title of the best PDF viewer of 2024, with a user-friendly interface and desktop, mobile, and online accessibility, making it a versatile choice for business users. The price may be a bit steep for some; Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is best suited for professionals requiring a wide range of features and open to a possibility of investing in a premium software solution. Alternatively, there is also a Standard edition of Adobe Acrobat, which differs largely:

  • Standard version is less expensive
  • The Pro edition allows collecting multiple e-signatures
  • In Standard, you cannot compare PDF files
  • There is no tool to remove sensitive information in the Standard Edition
  • The Pro edition allows users to create searchable PDFs
  • The Pro version has an option to add logos and watermarks to files
  • With Pro, you can create web forms and reusable e-sign templates.

Foxit PDF Editor

Foxit is another software known on the market for its powerful PDF editing capabilities, known to be one of the best PDF viewers. The Pro version offers the standard features of a solid PDF viewer and a range of additional tools. Among the options available in the PDF Editor Suite Pro edition are the option to integrate it with enterprise applications and cloud services (like Sharepoint, Enterprise Connect, One Drive, and more), to eSign documents, and to turn scanned documents into fully editable and searchable PDFs. It also has an AI assistant that can help analyze the text and check it for errors.

It is a perfect program to use on an everyday basis for business tasks, as its strong range of features simplifies document workflows for knowledge workers, teams, and partners.

Nitro PDF

Although Nitro PDF Reader is a rather simple program, it is still a good substitute for other PDF editing programs available on the market. With basic features like the ability to create (manual and in batches), edit, and view PDFs, as well as additional functions like password protection and exporting the contents to a TXT file, Nitro PDF Reader provides a user-friendly experience for those looking to efficiently manage their documents.

Nitro offers a subscription program for enterprise clients that includes advanced features such as electronic signatures, image extraction from PDFs, and file conversion to Microsoft Office formats. This makes Nitro PDF Reader a versatile option for businesses looking to streamline their document management processes.

FineReader PDF

ABBYY's FineReader PDF is another reliable option, especially good for users seeking the best PDF viewers for Mac and Windows. With a complete set of necessary tools for document creation, viewing, and editing, FineReader PDF would be a great core component of many businesses' workflow. Its seamlessly integrated OCR technology allows for accurate text recognition and conversion, making it a valuable tool for any project that requires digitizing paper documents.

With FineReader, business users can take advantage of 1 and 3 year subscription plans and bulk purchase licenses for multiple users to minimize the cost. FineReader PDF in the Corporate version offers extended CLI support, making it a great choice for organizations that want to be able to convert or compare documents directly from their DMS or ERP systems, without leaving their interface. The Corporate version also offers advanced editing options, extra security, and automated digitization and conversion, which the Standard version does not provide The Standard also does not have an option to compare PDF documents.

PDF Reader Pro

An AI-powered novelty in the PDF viewer market, there are many reasons why this software is perfect for professionals who need advanced features. It consists of all tools that might come in handy, from the basics like simple editing, annotating or converting, to more advanced features like text extraction, management console and multiplatform compatibility. A feature-rich solution, it also provides OCR capabilities for scanned documents, making it a valuable tool in a business setting.

The AI features of this particular software make it stand out from competitors - PDF Reader Pro can not only edit your files but also translate, rewrite, and proofread them! This allows for greater creativity, which may be desired in some business niches. It is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, so it is easily accessible across multiple devices and operating systems. The premium license is not as expensive as some of its competitors, and the free version offers just enough functions for basic, everyday tasks.

Comparison of Features

  Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Foxit PDF Editor Nitro PDF FineReader PDF PDF Reader Pro
Password protecting files Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Collaboration tools Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Redacting sensitive information Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Annotations/comments Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watermarking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Converting PDFs to other formats Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Merging and splitting files Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
E-signing PDFs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Edit text and images in the file Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
24/7 customer support Yes Yes Yes No No
Third party app integrations Yes, through pre-built API No Yes with Microsoft Office and Windows Explorer only Yes, to Office, cloud platforms, and more
User management In Adobe Admin Console No Through Nitro Admin Portal Yes Yes
Cross-system compatibility Yes, Windows and Mac Yes Yes, Windows and Mac Yes, Windows and Mac Yes, Windows and Mac
AI Assistant Yes Yes Yes No Yes, with multiple AI-based features
Perpetual license No Yes Yes No Yes

How do you choose a PDF viewer for your business?

Using a good PDF viewer can actually affect your business's productivity and efficiency. The most important factors to consider are your budget and your requirements. 

How much are you willing to spend on software with a particular set of functions? Are you willing to pay a bit more to get one of the best PDF viewers, or would you prefer to give up a few advanced features in exchange for a lower price? Free versions of most software offer the basic functions that should be enough for simpler tasks, but remember that for anything to be done faster and more efficiently, you will likely need to spend some money on a more advanced license.

Ultimately, it's important to weigh the cost of the license against the benefits it will provide for your business specifically. Just because a PDF viewer worked well for another company does not mean it will necessarily fit into your unique workflow and requirements. Take the time to research and compare different options before making a decision; consider using the free trials offered to test out the software before purchase.

Your requirements play a pivotal role here, too; to know which one will best suit your needs, you need to know what your priorities are in terms of functionality. Consider what features are absolute must-haves, and ask yourself if you are willing to invest in a more robust software solution for long-term benefits. If you do not need the extra features, maybe a less expensive license will suffice.