PDF editors on Windows recommendations

Hello - I hope this question is not outside the scope of the board.

I have to use a Windows 10 computer at work, and for PDF viewing and editing we have Adobe Acrobat 2017 and Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Occasionally both of these programs seem to have trouble with viewing text within completed PDF forms, i.e. a PDF that has free text fields for people to write within.

To add more ‘tools to the box’ (apart from bringing my mac to work) - are there any particular PDF editors/viewers on Windows that you recommend? Paid programs okay, but not after subscriptions.


Actually it’s neither related to Apple’s nor our products, therefore I’d say it’s highly outside the scope :slight_smile:


Disclaimer: this is a highly opinionated post, based on my personal experience. Others may have quite different requirements & experiences. My feedback on the three products specified is based solely on my requirements and should not be generalised.

You may well have to go for a try and see approach. Acrobat is the ultimate representative of correct implementation of the PDF standard; if it fails to render a PDF properly, it’s likely some piece of software has done something substandard to that PDF. So you’re probably looking for a viewer which conforms to the same shoddy implementation.

Finding the “right” one is difficult; I have more or less hated every PDF editor I have used in the past few years (which drove me back to Acrobat); the three I ended up using were PDFExpert (not available on Windows; liked it as a viewer and simple editor, but not powerful enough, failed at some basic editing tasks), PDFPenPro (which has an Edit tool and a Precision Edit tool and, well, I often couldn’t do either; not available on Windows) and PDFelement (also available on Windows; again, fine as a viewer, failed at some basic editing tasks). Whilst Preview on Mac often displays the behaviour you describe for Acrobat, I never saw that behaviour on PDFExpert, PDFelement or Acrobat.

To my knowledge Win10 by default uses Edge to display PDFs; have you tried opening one of the PDFs which doesn’t display properly that way?

I feel that way every day…

IMHO, from a Windows hardcore user at work, there are no good PDF annotator for Windows, not even Adobe itself.

For viewer, you can use Edge Chromium (the Windows WEB Navigator), and SumatraPDF. This last one is only a viewer, but is incredibly fast despite so ugly is.

I used, Drawboard PDF, from Windows Store: bloated, dramatically slow, but do its work.

Hi everyone - thank you for your comments.