PDFelement Pro

Like image editing software, anything related to PDFs has a tendency to be expensive and complicated – either that, or limited. PDFelement Pro is none of these things.

At just under US$100 (about £80, AU$130) it may not be considered exactly cheap, but it's very well-priced when compared to the competition. The fact that it's available for Windows, macOS and iOS is a real bonus for individuals and businesses who need a PDF solution that works on different platforms.

PDFelement Pro can be used to convert numerous file types to PDF format, and conversion is also possible the other way (PDFs can be transformed into editable Word documents or ebook format, for instance).

You can edit unprotected PDFs directly via an interface that works much like a word processor or desktop publishing tool, create PDFs from scratch, make PDF forms, and make use of the OCR component to convert scanned images into editable documents.

For some reason the OCR feature is made available as a separate download, but this is a minor quibble really.

Despite support for commenting, revisions, password protection and Bates numbering, everything in PDFelement Pro is make so simple and accessible that just about anyone will be able to use the software to its full potential, and that's to be commended.

User experience

PDFelement Pro is a little strange in that its chunky interface means it doesn't really feel like a 'pro' product. That's not to say it's bad, but in some ways it makes you feel as though you're missing out.

In reality, PDFelement Pro is an Office-inspired program that has a great workflow. Editing the text of existing PDFs is dreamily simple, and there are sufficient DTP-style tools to cater for most of your text and image adjustment needs.

Despite its looks, the familiarity of the interface is highly appealing, but it's the business-level tools – such as advanced data extraction for spreadsheet analysis – that make this an incredible buy.

The competition

Need a PDF editor but don't have the cash for premium software? Check out our guide to the best free options.

Mark Wycislik-Wilson
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