Adobe Acrobat DC

Adobe Acrobat provides desktop and mobile services for PDF editing

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Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is an application for creating, editing, manipulating, signing, printing, organizing and tracking PDF files. PDF — Portable Document Format — is the de facto standard file format for distributing and sharing documents across diverse platforms. 

Before PDFs, sharing files with other platforms or software programs was much more difficult. Adobe invented PDFs in the early '90s with the goal of developing a format that enabled electronic documents to be sent to anyone regardless of their platform or software for viewing and printing. Later the company developed Acrobat software for editing and creating PDFs.

Adobe Acrobat DC

The Adobe Acrobat family consists of several components — some paid and some free — designed to access PDFs on computers and mobile devices.

Acrobat Pro DC tools

Acrobat Pro DC for Windows and Macs and Acrobat Standard DC for Windows are desktop products available as a Creative Cloud monthly or annual subscription. Both versions can be used to:

  • Create PDFs
  • Edit text and images in PDFs
  • Store, manage, and share files online
  • Convert documents and images to PDFs
  • Combine multiple documents and file types into one PDF
  • Password protect a PDF
  • Export files compatible with mobile devices
  • Insert, delete, and organize pages in a PDF
  • Add bookmarks, headers, numbering, and watermarks
  • Split a PDF by extracting pages
  • Collect group feedback in an online PDF with no reviewer login necessary
  • Mark with stamps such as Approved or Draft.

Document Cloud, Adobe's free cloud storage that makes your PDFs available on all your devices, is included in both Acrobat DC subscriptions, as is Adobe Sign, a service you use to sign legal and digital signatures.

The Pro version of Acrobat contains additional features you won't find in the Standard version. For example, using Acrobat Pro DC, you can compare two versions of a PDF to review the differences, turn scanned documents into PDFs that are searchable and editable, and permanently redact sensitive information. The Standard version doesn't have these features, among others, and has less advanced editing capabilities.

Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat.com

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is available as a component of several of the Adobe Creative Cloud compilations. In addition, both versions of Acrobat DC are available at Acrobat.com for a monthly or annual subscription fee.

Additional uses for Adobe Acrobat DC include:

  • Modify text formatting
  • Add, remove or replace images and text
  • Fix typos and change fonts
  • Save PDFs as Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint files
  • Get signatures and track responses in real time using the online service
  • Request signatures from recipients
  • Save PDFs and other working documents on the Adobe Document Cloud
  • Export PDFs as editable Word, Excel, or RTF files, maintaining fonts, formatting, and layouts
  • Work anywhere using the Acrobat mobile app to edit, sign, organize and comment on PDFs
  • Handle advanced prepress requirements

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Acrobat Reader DC

While Acrobat DC is used for creating PDF files, Acrobat Reader DC is a free download at the Adobe website for viewing and printing PDF files on Windows and Mac computers. With Acrobat Reader DC, anyone can open a PDF to view or print it. It can also be used to sign PDF files digitally and for basic file collaboration.

It can open and interact with all types of PDF content including multimedia and forms, and it connects with Adobe Document Cloud so you can use it on computers and mobile devices.

Acrobat Reader DC is a stand-alone application. You are not required to have an Acrobat Pro or Standard subscription to use it.

Acrobat Reader Mobile App

Acrobat Reader iOS app

The free Adobe Acrobat Reader mobile app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices. With the mobile app, you can stay connected from your phone or tablet and:

  • View PDFs
  • Collaborate with others
  • Scan and sync your signature or use your finger or Apple pencil to e-sign
  • Connect to your Dropbox account
  • Annotate PDFs using sticky notes
  • Use markup, underline, highlight, and strikethrough tools
  • Draw on screen with the drawing tool
  • Store and share files in the cloud
  • Receive activity notifications for files you share
  • Generate a link to share a PDF through email

With a subscription to one of Adobe's online services, you can also:

  • Create, convert, and edit PDFs
  • Open Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files inside the Acrobat Reader mobile app and convert them to PDFs
  • Delete, reorder, or rotate pages