Adobe Acrobat DC

Adobe Acrobat provides desktop and mobile services for PDF editing

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Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is an application that is used to create, edit, manipulate, sign, print, organize, and track PDF files. PDF (Portable Document Format) is the standard file format used to distribute and share documents across platforms. Before PDFs, compatibility issues made it difficult to share files with other platforms or software programs.

Adobe invented the PDF file format in the early 1990s to enable electronic documents to be sent to anyone regardless of the platform or software used to view and print documents. Later the company developed the Acrobat software that is used to edit and create PDFs.

Adobe Acrobat DC

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

Acrobat Pro DC tools

Acrobat Pro DC for Windows and Mac 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 PDFs available on all devices, is included in both Acrobat DC subscriptions, as is Adobe Sign, a service used to sign legal documents with digital signatures.

The Pro version of Acrobat contains additional features that are not found in the Standard version. For example, Acrobat Pro DC 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, and replace images and text.
  • Fix typos and change fonts.
  • Save PDFs as Microsoft Word, Excel, and 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, and RTF files while 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

While Acrobat DC is used to create PDF files, Acrobat Reader DC is a free download at the Adobe website and is used to view and print 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.

Acrobat Reader DC

Acrobat DC can open and interact with all types of PDF content including multimedia and forms, and it connects with Adobe Document Cloud so it can be used on computers and mobile devices.

Acrobat Reader DC is a stand-alone application. An Acrobat Pro or Standard subscription is not required to use it.

Acrobat Reader Mobile App

The free Adobe Acrobat Reader mobile app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices.

Acrobat Reader iOS app

Uses for the Acrobat Reader mobile app include:

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

With a subscription to one of Adobe's online services, the Acrobat Reader mobile app 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, and rotate pages.