University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Advertised as an all-encompassing solution, it seems great for heavy-duty PDF users. Read More rather than using the web version. I think this will give me the most accurate comparison. That is, for free.
No, I’ve switched to an open source alternative. I can’t be the only person who imagined the office of the future, free from the confines of the eight and a half by eleven sheet or A4, for my international friends , would have long since arrived. Instead, we’ve managed to land in an intermediate state of not paperless, but less paper. It could be worse. Between a trusty scanner, email and various other communication tools, and getting really good at organizing my digital archives, I’m not totally unhappy with where we are today.
And I do occasionally admit to reading a paper book, sending a postcard, or gasp printing something off to give to someone else. Until the world moves a little further from paper, print-ready file formats will continue to permeate our digital landscape as well. And, love it or hate it, PDF, the ” portable document format ,” seems to be the go-to format for creating and sharing print-ready files, as well as archiving files that originated as print.
For years, the only name in the game for working with PDF documents was Adobe Acrobat, whether in the form of their free reader edition or one of their paid editions for PDF creation and editing. But today, there are numerous open source PDF applications which have chipped away at this market dominance.
And for Linux users like me, a proprietary application that only runs on Windows or Mac isn’t an option anyway. Since PDF files are used in so many different situations for so many different kinds of purposes, you may need to shop around to find the open source alternative to Adobe Acrobat that meets your exact needs.
Here are some tools I enjoy. Both Firefox and Chromium , the open source version of Google’s Chrome browser, come bundled with in-browser PDF readers, so an external plugin is no longer necessary for most users. Scribus , Inkscape , and GIMP all support native PDF export, too, so no matter what kind of document you need to make — a complex layout, formatted text, vector or raster image, or some combination — there’s an open source application that meets your needs.
Editing PDFs Ah, this is where things start to get tricky. Or at least where they used to. The world has changed a bit and it turns out that recent versions of LibreOffice Draw do a fantastic job of editing PDF files, and not just adding and deleting pages as you might expect, but for editing text and images as well so long as your PDF was created directly from a source document and not from a scan.
It’s not perfect, and I’ve had it choke up on a few more complex documents, but I’m still impressed with what a good job it does on many of the documents I’ve had to work with. Inkscape , too, does a good job with opening documents created elsewhere, and may be a more intuitive choice if your document is heavy on graphics. We know these aren’t the only choices in town. Do you work with a lot of PDFs? Have a favorite application to help you along the way?
Let us know in the comments below what you use and why it works for you. Are you interested in reading more articles like this? Sign up for our weekly email newsletter. Linux desktop enthusiast. Raspberry Pi tinkerer. Data analysis and visualization geek. Occasional coder. Cloud nativist.
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Support for PDF version 1. Version 6 was criticized for its performance. Adobe Acrobat 6 is slow to load and use. The Acrobat 6 plug-ins for web browsers were also criticized for suffering from bad performance and potentially rendering one’s web browser non-responsive.
VIDEO: Adobe Acrobat version history
Adobe Acrobat XI for Mac, free and safe download. Adobe Acrobat XI latest version: Adobe’s professional PDF authoring and management tool. Released in , DC is the twelfth version of Adobe Acrobat Pro to be released. It is available as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe Acrobat XI Pro was the eleventh iteration of Adobe Acrobat Pro, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is a free PDF viewer that allows you to read, print, and annotate PDFs. 9. Jan. Adobe Acrobat Pro 7 – Vollversion kostenlos in deutscher Version Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X.