The world is digital, and that means companies need a PDF and eSignature solution that makes it quick and easy to create, edit, and eSign critical documents.
But with several tools on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? To help, we compared two popular options—Foxit and Adobe—based on these criteria:
- Pricing and flexibility
- Features and functionality
- Customer support and success
- User satisfaction and ratings
The Adobe product suite is wide-reaching today, but when the company launched Acrobat in 1993, it was a flagship product and quickly became the default PDF reader across the web.
In 2011, Adobe acquired EchoSign (which became Adobe Sign), adding eSignature features to Acrobat and keeping pace with the continuing shift to digital.
Today, Acrobat is still the go-to PDF solution. The PDF reader is available for free, while Adobe offers a number of plans and packages for PDF creators.
Since Adobe launched Acrobat, many other PDF solutions have hit the market, including Foxit. The company launched with a goal to make working with PDF documents faster, more affordable, and secure.
Today, the company has more than 425,000 customers and 650,000 users across the globe. The PDF software comes standard on nearly a third of new Windows PCs and the company offers additional features and solutions, including eSignature.
With all the different packages, it’s hard to directly compare pricing for Foxit vs. Adobe. That said, Foxit’s bundle package—which includes both PDF and eSignature features and is available for just $149 per year—is far and away the best deal.
Foxit breaks down their plans into 3 categories: PDF editor plans, Foxit Sign plans, and a bundle option.
Here’s a look at Foxit PDF editor plans:
Here’s how Foxit Sign plans breakdown:
And here’s the bundle plan:
Adobe’s pricing breaks down into two categories: individual plans and team plans. Here’s what pricing looks like for Acrobat plans without eSign:
And here’s the pricing breakdown for bundled plans, with both PDF and eSign features:
Beyond a number of set packages, both companies offer custom plans for enterprise customers who need more flexibility and license volume.
When it comes to eSignatures, Adobe and Foxit both allot specific usage amounts for eSign features on each plan.
On the Foxit side, allotments are based on what they call “envelopes.” Foxit Sign includes 100 envelopes per year and Foxit Sign Pro includes 150 envelopes.
A single envelope can include any number of PDF documents and signature placements. It’s a great model for companies that send documents in bulk (mortgage closing packets, for example).
Adobe’s usage is based on individual documents (which can include as many signature placements as needed). All Adobe Sign plans come with 150 documents per user per year.
With both tools, if you go over your allotted usage, you’ll need to purchase additional documents or envelopes—on top of your regular subscription cost—to continue using eSign.
Since both companies use consumption-based pricing models that limit eSign usage, they can both be costly to scale across a large organization. That said, both do offer volume discounts for licenses and eSign usage—along with customizable enterprise plans—that can mitigate scalability issues for larger companies.
As capable PDF and eSignature tools, both Foxit and Adobe offer the bulk of basic PDF creation and editing features you’d expect, along with features for eSignature requests. Here’s a list of the main ones both tools include:
- Create PDFs from extensive file types
- Drag & drop PDF editor
- Batch create PDF files
- PDF form conversion
- Password protect PDFs
- Redact sensitive information
- eSign documents
- Request eSignatures
- Basic fields
- PDF templates
Beyond that, both Foxit and Adobe have prioritized more advanced, high-end and enterprise PDF features, like:
- Scanned image detection
- Optical character recognition (OCR)
- 3D rendering
- Rich media (including CAD and video) embedding
Foxit has made a conscious effort to expand their technology through acquisitions, leading to a huge upgrade across Foxit’s PDF solutions in 2020 and, today, they offer more advanced features than Adobe.
Some of the features Foxit offers that Adobe doesn’t include: an SDK, in-browser PDF editing and markup and additional markup and annotation tools.
On both the PDF and eSignature sides, Adobe and Foxit pass the major requirements for privacy, security and legal validity of their eSignatures. Both comply with the U.S. E-Sign Act and SOC 2—and both can be used in compliance with HIPAA requirements.
Foxit also complies with NIST-800-53 requirements for federal agencies, while Adobe complies with a number of additional certifications, including industry-specific requirements available to enterprise customers.
Here’s the full list of additional Adobe certifications:
- ISO 27001
- PCI DSS
- CSA STAR
- FDA 21 CFR Part 11
- FERPA- and GLBA-ready
Customer support and success
Foxit and Adobe have made significant investments in building out their self-service support resources. Customers of both companies can find answers and help using the products via:
- Support communities and forums
- Video tutorials
- User guides and manuals
Adobe also offers FAQs for product troubleshooting.
Beyond self-support, Foxit customers can submit a ticket to contact the company’s support team. On an anecdotal note, many Nitro customers who switched from Foxit complain that their support team is often slow to respond.
Adobe offers upgraded support to enterprise customers, which includes the option to create a case or start a chat with the support team. All Adobe Sign customers can access both phone and live chat support, too.
Plus, customers can opt to pay for high-touch customer success via Adobe’s Extended Service Offering, which includes a dedicated technical solution manager.
Both products integrate with a number of other business solutions to help their tools fit seamlessly into common business document workflows. Foxit offers 17 pre-built integrations including with popular tools like:
Adobe integrates with a larger number of other technologies, across a wider variety of business tools. With 88 integrations in total, Acrobat’s list of partners includes cloud storage providers like Google Drive, Dropbox and Box—along with other business apps like:
User satisfaction and ratings
According to third-party review sites like G2, Gartner Peer Insights and Capterra, Foxit and Adobe are both well-loved by their customers.
Foxit has a slightly higher rating on G2 (4.6 out of 5), which is based on 760 reviews. Customers rate Adobe an average of 4.5 out of 5 based on more than 2,000 reviews.
Here’s what Foxit customers have to say:
"I initially purchased FoxIt as an alternative to Adobe Acrobat because of the more affordable cost and offered a free trial. Once I began using it, it was a no brainer. It is extremely easy to use, thoughtfully organized, and has much more functionality than I would have expected."
"Foxit offers an affordable PDF solution with plenty of security and functionality for the average user at a decent price point. [...] It is capable of handling everyday business viewing, conversion, and editing jobs in a snap."
And here’s what customers say about Adobe:
"We have all had those moments. You have some PDFs, and you want to merge them together. You need to add text, page numbers, or signatures. You want to make a PDF an interactive form. With Acrobat, all this is possible. I love this tool because it allows you to be the master of [...] the almighty PDF."
"I have been working with Adobe Acrobat throughout my whole IT career. [...] There is no other product in this space that performs the same function with such ease and productivity."
Foxit vs. Adobe: which tool is right for you?
Hopefully the comparison above has helped you narrow in on which tool might be right for your company.
Here’s our high-level conclusion based on everything we evaluated above:
- Foxit is best suited for companies that send documents in bulk and need advanced PDF needs like in-browser editing or a SDK.
- Adobe is better suited for large enterprise companies and those with industry-specific security and privacy needs.
Nitro Productivity Platform™: a great alternative
If it doesn’t seem like either of the tools above are the right fit, we suggest checking out the Nitro Productivity Platform.
Nitro customers get all the enterprise-grade features of Adobe and Foxit—like custom branding, document templates and team collaboration—plus unlimited eSignature requests on all plans.
Here are some of the robust features included in the Nitro Productivity Platform:
To learn more about Nitro Productivity Platform, schedule a personalized demo with our sales team.
Or, you can dive right in and start your free trial today.