The Best Nitro PDF Alternatives and Competitors

Business   •  Oct.21, 2022

NitroPDF alternative

Ever since the world went digital to save paper and to increase the ease of doing business, PDFs have become the gold standard for documentation. Having a great PDF editor is something is essential to professionals, students, and parents alike. Nitro PDF is one program that is generally accepted as one of the best options available, especially now that it has acquired PDFpen for Mac.

If you’re not the biggest fan of Nitro PDF and want to get a PDF editing program that provides better features without suffering the same drawbacks, make sure to read this guide till the end. We’ve done the testing to help you make an informed decision about which of these Nitro PDF alternatives could best suit you.

Alternatives for Windows

  • PDFelement – Best User Experience
  • Abbyy FineReader 16 – Best Powerful OCR PDF
  • PDF Architect 9 – Great for Professional Use

PDFelement – Best User Experience

If you’re a Windows user and looking for a robust PDF editing tool with a great UI to create, edit, manage and secure your files, you don’t need to go further than PDFelement. With PDFelement, you can generate, protect, and organize your files, and it’s so good that it has become one of the most popular document management software systems for both individuals and corporations. With the help of its unique capabilities, PDFelement allows you complete control over your material, giving you the freedom to edit it while maintaining the consistency of your document’s style and format.


There are several features available in PDFelement for editing documents. In addition to creating PDFs from different file types, you may alter the font family and size of the text, make it bold or underlined, highlight specific passages, and even make numerous structural adjustments. This makes it an excellent option for individuals who frequently need to convert huge volumes of files and want a straightforward and rapid solution, especially when combined with its advanced batch operation capability. The application can automatically extract data from documents after scanning them and running through its OCR engine. Documents can also be divided into distinct ones, password-protected, and split into separate ones.

Great UI

The user interface of PDFelement places all of the program’s primary features in sizable clickable tiles on its Home screen. Starting at this point, you can quickly edit, produce, convert, combine, or batch-process PDFs. The documents that have been accessed most recently are listed at the bottom. A toolbar resembling that seen in Microsoft Office is at the top of the document interface and contains critical functionality, including commenting, editing, converting security, and page management. Any of these can be clicked to reveal a second toolbar with all the choices for that specific function.

Access to a library of PDF templates is also made available via the toolbar. You can plainly go where you want to go with streamlined UI in a few clicks, and it is successful in that endeavor. In almost all other aspects, working with a PDF is the same as in earlier editions. Each document launches in a separate tab. You can add bookmarks, read comments, manage associated files, open thumbnails of all the document’s pages, and do text searches within the PDF using a toolbar that runs down the left side of the screen.


PDFelement costs $79.99 per year for an individual license. Still, you can get a bundle package for $100 a year, including an iOS version.

For a deep look, read our full PDFelement review here.

Abbyy FineReader 16 – Best Powerful OCR PDF

ABBYY Fine Reader 16 is among other suitable software applications that integrate PDF editing and optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities. No other tool even approaches its potent combination of PDF, OCR, and document comparison features, let alone blends those features as lucidly and seamlessly.


Functionality at Its Peak

Although FineReader has a simple and uncluttered interface, you can drill down to a comprehensive range of tools and choices. Three separate windows make up the main menu: one for opening and converting already-existing files, another for producing new documents from your scanner, and a third for document comparison. The feature set for fundamental PDF editing in FineReader is similar to that of Adobe Acrobat, Nitro Pro, and other high-end PDF programs.

In addition to many other things, you may make forms, digitally sign documents, obfuscate text or images, add watermarks, apply Bates numbering to PDFs that contain several documents, each with a unique page number, and much more. In contrast to Acrobat, FineReader also shows a list of all search results in a sidebar panel, making it simple to scroll through the list and find the one you’re looking for. The Abbyy FineReader 16 also has some of the best OCR technology and recognition built into the program, allowing you to convert images to text quickly. And the list doesn’t end here, as you can also make some great document comparisons using FineReader 16 to save time and effort. Read our full review of Abbyy FineReader 16 here.


Abbyy FineReader 16’s subscription for its users starts from around $97 per year.

PDF Architect 9 – Great for Professional Use

In recent years, several PDF editors have been available on the market, making it a very crowded industry. PDF Architect, since it has been in circulation for some time, has established quite a solid reputation in this industry. Although its current iteration, the PDF Architect 9, may not be the most well-known PDF editor on the market, it is renowned for being more stable and reasonably priced than some other, more well-known solutions. Regarding licensing and purchasing this product, you can also make use of a free edition of this app, which, despite having some capability limitations, is still useful for highlighting the key aspects of the software. There are numerous premium tiers in the paid category, including Standard, Professional, and Professional + OCR.


High Standard in the Industry

PDF files can be edited in several ways, and you can quickly convert them from other formats to PDF. You can alter the document in many ways, add comments, turn scanned photos into editable text, and use various other tools that are often included in a PDF editor. There are several excellent extras, including the Format Painter, which Office users should recognize immediately. As we’ve already said, the only notable feature that isn’t available is the ability to electronically sign documents.

It is simple to mistake one of Microsoft’s tools for PDF Architect since its user interface appears to have been created to match the design language of Microsoft Office. Similar to Office, PDF Architect is slick and user-friendly. It presents its interface in a way that makes it simple to move around and travel from one place to another. It shouldn’t be too difficult to locate the feature and understand how it operates as long as you know what you’re attempting to do and roughly where it should be.

On that point, another fantastic thing about PDF Architect is that it has tonnes of support available straight away, and there is never a lack of knowledge when you need help using a certain function or are stuck. As we previously mentioned, finding your way around the options doesn’t take long, especially if you’re coming from Office. And suppose you do need to contact support personnel. In that case, you can anticipate that your problems will be remedied swiftly and easily. If you are worried about that element, this is one of the finest tools you can pick right now because the organization has a reputation for the quality of its support services.


There are multiple tiers of subscription in this application. Still, the subscription to PDF architect 9  starts at $69 a year per user.

Alternatives for macOS

  • PDF Expert – Best User Experience
  • Adobe Acrobat DC – Best Powerful
  • Foxit PDF Editor – Best for Business

PDF Expert – Best User Experience

Although the Preview app for macOS has a strong PDF editor, iOS devices lack a native PDF editor. Users are thus forced to look for third-party solutions, with Readdle’s PDF Expert being one of the most well-liked options. Whether you’re using a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, the editor enables you to generate, edit, annotate, organize, sign, and protect PDFs. The settings for any annotation or editing tool you choose will appear to the right of the page.

Highlights of the User Experience

With the comprehensive annotation tools provided by PDF Expert, you may highlight text and add marginalia, notes, stamps, and shapes. When signing contracts, invoices, and other papers, you may scan your signature using the keyboard or trackpad on your Mac, the camera on your iPhone, or an Apple Pencil on your iPad, then sync it across all of your Apple devices. Additionally, the editor supports forms, automatically identifying and highlighting required fields.

You can redact text when working with sensitive documents by deleting it or hiding it behind a black box. Or, you can restrict access to the file by using a password. With just a few clicks, you can add or remove pages, reorder pages by selecting and dragging them to a new spot, and manage your pages easily. It converts PDF files into Microsoft Office formats, plain text, or picture files. It can turn scanned documents into editable text with the touch of a button, which is quite a nice touch from the developers. Read our full review of PDF Expert here.


PDF Expert has two types of packages for its users. If you only wish to use this application on your Mac, you can get a lifetime license for $139.99. However, if you want to be able to use this program on your iPad and iPhone etc., you’ll need to get a subscription that costs $79.99 a year.

Adobe Acrobat DC – Best Powerful

It’s rather simple to convert a document from Microsoft Word or Google Docs into a PDF. But what if you wish to mix different files and documents into one PDF? That is a task that Acrobat DC makes incredibly simple. That’s not all, either. You can start a PDF creation from a blank page, from material copied to your clipboard, or directly from scanned images. There are many sub-options to assist you in generating your PDF in the manner that best suits you, and all of these options are clearly given out in the interface.


Greater Functionality than Nitro PDF

Adobe Acrobat DC is a dream for editing PDFs. And when it comes to editing or creating PDFs with Adobe Acrobat DC, it’s not only feasible but also incredibly simple and clear. Pages can be added, removed, and rearranged. The same is true for editing, adding, and removing text and images. Your pages can be numbered. Watermarks, bookmarks, headers, footers, links to other documents, and links to web pages are all possible inserts. You can add article boxes, take away backdrops, and attach files. A PDF can be divided into several files. Images can be rotated, sent to the front or rear, and brought to life. If you make any mistakes, you can just use Control-Z to start over.

Regarding other features, you can use Adobe Acrobat DC for things like comparing PDF changes and sharing and collaborating on PDFs with others via links or emails. You can also search the scanned documents in Adobe Acrobat DC for your required passages, etc. Not only that, but you can also add audio, video, and 3D objects to your PDFs via this tool. You can also redact sensitive content from your PDFs with just a few clicks easily and simplistically.


Adobe Acrobat DC can either be subscribed separately for $12.99 a month or with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

Foxit PDF Editor – Best for Business

For a seamless and efficient workflow, the Foxit PDF software understands the need for comprehensive PDF solutions. This program allows PDFs to be created and modified in ways that traditional PDF tools cannot. PhantomPDF is the ideal solution for personal and professional use because it has all the functions you need in one location and never forces you to leave the app’s interface. Depending on the functionality needed, Foxit PDF Editor is offered in Standard and Business editions to accommodate the demands of every user. Since it can be used on desktop, mobile, and web platforms to support online and offline use, reliability is also a middle name for this tool.

Useful Features for Businesses

Foxit PDF Editor has tried to stay up with the competition from solutions like Nitro PDF by offering strong and thorough features that provide easy administration of PDF files. By offering a variety of editing options that are far more extensive than those offered by other PDF applications, Foxit PhantomPDF elevates PDF editing to a whole new level. This is the aspect of the instrument that stands out the most. In a vastly superior package, you get all the usual tools and functionalities inherent to any top-of-the-line PDF software. Foxit software enables you to convert between PDF and other file types based on the task at hand while you’re not editing PDFs. By doing this, the source file can be opened easily in PDF format on any platform, and the data cannot be changed without much effort.

There are two versions of Foxit PDF Editor: Standard and Business. While Standard provides the most essential capabilities, the Business edition is comprehensive. It adds all the additional features an enterprise would need from its PDF software. Such features include high degrees of compression when producing PDFs from scanners, advanced PDF editing tools, information redaction options, integration with Microsoft Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS), document cloning and enforced tracking, online Connected PDF protection, and many more.


Foxit PhantomPDF requires a one-time fee of $159.


After reading this article and going through the features of the softwares discussed above, we hope you’ll be able to choose which application or softwares would be the best option for you. We’ve discussed great Nitro PDF alternatives for both Windows and macOS users, so hopefully, one of these options will be great for your situation. We also have advice about Top OCR Apps for Mac and Windows.

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