Comparing Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader

What is the difference between Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat? The two PDF viewers are the most popular developed and distributed by Adobe Systems. Both are very essential tools in today’s electronic workflow used to view, print, comment, and search through documents with ease. But there are a few key differences. Primarily, the Acrobat is the more advanced version of the Reader with the ability to create and edit existing documents. This article explains the difference between Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat on various fronts.

What is Adobe Reader?

  • It is a free program developed by Adobe Systems to allow you to view, print, and comment on PDF files
  • Adobe Reader is now available for free download on Adobe’s website. It supports a wide range of operating systems including Linux, Mac, Windows, Android, and Solaris in almost 35 languages.
  • Great if you are looking for a more basic version with all the required features to work with PDF documents. This includes commenting on documents, converting PDFs to Word or Excel, signing and certifying forms, etc.). However, it lacks the ability to create PDFs.
  • It can’t be used to edit existing text or media.

What is Adobe Acrobat?

  • It is a more advanced and paid version of the Reader and the industry standard for viewing, editing, and creating PDF documents.
  • There are two versions: Standard and Pro. The Standard version is the lighter version of the Acrobat. It has all the features you’ll find in the Pro version with the exception of preflighting documents, creating PDF portfolios, forms authoring, creating actions, and more.
  • Acrobat is available to users on a subscription basis either monthly or annual only available for Windows and macOS (Pro only). With a NachoNacho account, you can purchase and manage a subscription for Adobe Creative Cloud (with 5% cashback) giving you access to several Adobe applications including Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  • It can edit existing text and media, and even add interactive features to PDFs.