When choosing any software provider, it’s important to validate a number of options to make the best decision. In the PDF space, there are key players including Adobe and Nitro. While both provide excellent functionality, some key differences make the decision more apparent and pertinent for the right user.
This article will compare Adobe and Nitro.
Table of Contents
- Price Comparison
- Feature Comparison
- Support Options
Adobe is the PDF pioneer and positions Acrobat as the standard and innovation leader for PDF. Adobe offers two plans – one for Individuals and one for Businesses. The Individual plan includes Acrobat Pro DC and Standard DC and the Business plan includes Acrobat DC for Teams and Enterprises.
Founded in 2005 in Melbourne, Australia, Nitro’s team now spans the globe and works with over half of the Fortune 500. Nitro is ranked as the number one alternative to Adobe Acrobat, and has extended its platform to offer eSignature, analytics and document intelligence solutions.
When looking at pure PDF pricing comparisons, Adobe provides multiple pricing options for their Acrobat solutions.
Standard DC (Document Cloud) falls at $12.99/month ($179.88/year) while Adobe Pro DC is $14.99/month ($155.88/year). Teams is $16.99/month ($203.88/year) and Enterprise pricing isn’t publicly available. All Adobe Acrobat plans include the ability to collect legally binding eSignatures and
track responses in real-time.
Below is Adobe’s current Pricing and Packaging:
|Basic: Acrobat PDF Pack with e-sign||Essential: Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign||Advanced: Acrobat Pro DC with advanced e-sign|
|Essential: Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign for teams||Advanced: Acrobat Pro DC with advanced e-sign for teams||Enterprise: Adobe Sign|
|Multi-User||$16.99/month||$21.99/month||Not publicly available|
Both Nitro PDF Pro and Acrobat Pro DC are priced the same. For a one time license, the cost $179.99 for a one time license, is slightly more expensive than Standard DC. Nitro PDF Pro for Mac is slightly less expensive at $129.95.
Comparatively, the Nitro Productivity Platform (NPP) costs significantly less than Acrobat Pro DC and 25% and Acrobat Standard DC at $9.99/user/month and includes Nitro Sign Essentials, Analytics, Control Center and Customer Success. For more upgraded options, customers interested in NPP with Nitro Sign Advanced and Enterprise will pay more than they would if they purchased Acrobat Pro, Standard and Teams at $19.99 per user/month and $29.99 per user/month, respectively.
Both products are neck in neck in terms of functionality. Below is a feature list that both products incorporate:
- Create a PDF from virtually any document, image or file type
- Drag & drop to create and combine PDFs
- Insert, delete and organize pages in a PDF
- Combine multiple files and file types into one PDF
- Deep integrations with common systems including Office 356, Sharepoint 365, One Drive for Business, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive
- Copy and paste while keeping formatting intact
- Batch-create files
- Convert Word, PowerPoint and Excel files to editable PDF (and vice versa)
- Convert scanned documents into editable, searchable PDFs
- Convert PDFs to JPEG, TIFF or PNG image formats
- Convert web pages to interactive PDFs, complete with links
- Convert CAD files to PDF
- Extract text and images
Apply and Request Signatures
- Request secure, legally binding eSignatures (*Nitro Sign integration)
- Lightweight eSigning workﬂows, designed for speed and ease of use
- Apply your own eSignature
- Digitally sign and certify documents
- Send, track, and conﬁrm eSignatures with real-time notiﬁcations and analytics
- Easy mobile signing optimized for smartphones and tablets
- eSigning templates for frequently used forms
- Easily add documents and templates that your whole team can access (*Nitro Sign integration)
- Easily add electronic signatures to your documents via image or imprints
Build and Fill PDF Forms
- Static XFA form support
- PDF form creation and editing
- Easily create, ﬁll, sign, send, and store forms
Keep PDFs Secure
- Add password protection and permissions to PDFs
- Redact to permanently remove sensitive information from PDFs
- Create protected PDF ﬁles that restrict copying and editing
- Secure PDFs with Microsoft Rights Management Services (RMS) 2.0
- Encryption support for 64-, 128-, and 256-bit (with R6 support)
- Work with digital signatures including chain of trust support
- Manage digital signature proﬁles & certiﬁcates
- Create and manage digital IDs
- Batch security
- Document version tracking
Edit PDF Files
- Insert and edit text and images
- Insert and edit fonts, layouts and pages
- Optimize, shrink, and repair PDF ﬁles
- Visual rotation of images and pages
- Insert and edit bookmarks, links, headers, numbering, and watermarks
- Insert and edit Bates Numbering
- Create searchable and editable PDF from scans with OCR (Optical Character Recognition)
- Smart Alignment tool
- Copy and paste between applications
- Automatic text reﬂow and resize
- Scanned image detection with automatic deskew
Review, Markup and Annotate PDFs
- Highlight, cross out, and underline text with annotations
- Create annotations using sticky notes, text boxes, call-outs, pencil, and shapes
- Attach entire ﬁles as annotations
- Sort, manage, ﬁlter, and summarize comments
- Apply dynamic stamp annotations which auto-populate speciﬁc information
- Spell check
- Compare PDF ﬁles
- Advanced search allows for increased precision and contextual results
- Smart guidelines for Object Tool aligns shapes to ensure content is arranged properly
User Friendly Interface
- Familiar Oﬃce–style interface for easy adoption
- Familiar macOS–style interface for easy adoption
- Access your documents from your desktop, browser or mobile device
- Functional on touch-enabled devices
- Integrated Microsoft Oﬃce toolbar and shortcuts
- Outlook plugin to create PDFs from email
- Share via Apple Mail, Messages, Cloud services, or other apps
- Print reduction suggestions
- Smart tips & onboarding product tour
- Customizable home tab
- View Optional Content Group (OCG) layers
- Floating toolbar for easier access to editing tools
- Drag & drop documents into multiple windows
- Preview PDF ﬁles in Windows Explorer, Outlook, and web browsers
Easy IT Deployment and Management
- Lightweight deployment with thin, server and desktop options
- Support for App-V and managed servers
- Usage analytics for insights into printing activity and document workﬂows*
- Manage licenses, users, and services via online Admin console**
- NIST 800-53, HIPAA, SOC2 Type 2 certiﬁed
Adobe has high-end, Enterprise features like 3D Rendering, CAD and Video Embedding. Some organizations have power users that need advanced features, however the vast majority of users find the significant amount of features not as useful, and could find more savings in equipping the rest of their workforce with a more affordable solution like Nitro.
There are rich self-support resources on Adobe Acrobat Learn & Support that include options for getting started, tutorials and user guides. Beyond their self-support resources, Adobe offers Enterprise support and the ability to submit a ticket for help. Document Cloud for enterprise includes create a case, start a chat, or manage an existing case from the Admin Console's support tab if you're a System or Support administrator.
Nitro’s Customer Success team has deep product knowledge and is ready to guide you through every
step of your product journey with ongoing training and support. This minimizes the time to get users up and running and the simplicity of our product quickens user adoption.
While Adobe has a Customer Success organization, customers have to purchase this in addition to a paid plan and their minimum product spend to get a Customer Success Manager is considerably higher than Nitro’s, which makes it unattainable for the average customer.
Nitro offers premium support to Business and Enterprise users which includes a dedicated customer support rep. For online users, there are a host of self-serve options including Community Forum, Knowledge Base access, and User Guides.
Nitro users can access the Community Form to read Nitro announcements, ask questions other users can answer, or submit product improvement suggestions. For commonly asked product questions, workflows and known issues, a vast selection of help articles are available in the Knowledge Base. The Nitro PDF Pro user guide contains a host of articles for better product understanding. Walkthroughs, step-by-step user instructions and screenshots help any user understand Nitro PDF Pro and Nitro Admin features.
One of the greatest differentiators between the two companies is the attention to customer support. Nitro has won significant turnover business from Adobe, given the lack of personal attention and support for enterprise level accounts. Despite Adobe having the brand name and recognition, missing that personal touch tends to mean a lot in a business relationship.
Generally the feedback is well received for both products.
Here’s what customers said about Adobe:
“Adobe Acrobat DC is user-friendly, and it is easy to understand all of the tools within the program. I most often use the 'Prepare Form' and 'Edit PDF' functions. I love that it is so easy to create fillable forms that are easily added to any website or email to avoid messy handwritten forms or a delay in response that typically accompanies handwritten forms. Additionally, the ability to save a report or file as a pdf and edit it later using 'Edit PDF' is wonderful since I don't have to re-run reports, fix formatting, etc. all over again. I LOVE this product.”
“I LOVE the many different features of the program. You can do so many things in it that makes it easier to edit a document without having to use multiple programs.”
While Adobe has a big following, common complaints are related to the bloated nature of the product - with many excessive features that tend to slow down the performance of the application. The higher cost also comes up frequently.
Nitro seems to be a popular choice in comparison with Adobe. Said one Capterra reviewer,
“I couldn't maneuver with Adobe like I can with Nitro. Adobe just isn't user friendly, outdated by my standards and I just got tired of it not doing what I needed it to do. But Nitro, my God, it gives me the ease to do what I need it to do at the drop of a hat and when I print out my completed document/manual or convert it, everything is exactly how I want it to be.”
In October 2018, Adobe redesigned Acrobat to simplify the way documents are sent for signature, which caused considerable backlash from customers. GigaOm reports, Experienced Adobe users will feel at home with the Acrobat DC user interface, but the average MS Office user may struggle with the workflow, terminology, and structure presented in the user interface. Nitro customers have anecdotally told us that
Adobe’s frequent UI changes are frustrating.
One Capterra reader posted the following about Adobe: “Many aspects of the user interface aren't user-friendly. Options are set in side panes and not available by right-clicking like most users would expect. Bulk-edits to fields (text fields, forms fields, etc.) often aren't possible, and it takes a lot of clicks to complete what should be simple tasks, especially when trying to make document-wide changes.”
Nitro PDF Pro: A great alternative
Nitro PDF Pro delivers a feature-rich, robust PDF experience. The result is a highly proficient application that costs a fraction of Adobe, but also provides customers with the support they need. Try out a free trial of Nitro PDF today!