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December 12, 2018

The 4 Best Apps for Viewing, Converting, and Generating PDFs

Not all computers speak the same language—and neither do we. So when you want to preserve the font, formatting, or content of a document across devices and apps, the portable document format (more commonly known as PDF) is the clearest and easiest choice for professionals.

There are a number of generators, viewers, converters, and editors that allow us to open and collaborate across PDFs, ranging from free online versions to software with all the bells and whistles. But which ones are the best for professionals who can’t afford to waste time on clunky tools? Here are four of the best PDF document generation and collaboration tools available today.

Best PDF Viewer: Adobe Reader

PDF viewers (also called readers) are what you’re probably most familiar with—apps to open documents, page through, highlight, and copy text from. Back in 1993, Adobe debuted its Acrobat Reader, pioneering a new type of document and an industry of digital document generation. Once priced at $50 per user, today, Adobe Reader is the global standard for PDF viewing. The best part? Users get all the reliability and ease of use from a trusted name for free. While deeper functionality is better left to pricier editors, Adobe Reader can help with basic functions like opening and saving PDFs, highlighting text, and even annotating with notes features.

Best PDF Converter: CloudConvert

If you can’t afford the slickness of a formal PDF editor, the next best thing is the PDF web converter, allowing you to change your otherwise “locked” document back into something editable. Free for up to 1GB of files and 25 conversion minutes per day, CloudConvert is a web application that touts being able to “convert anything to anything” across a whopping 218 file formats. Among similar web apps, CloudConvert’s appeal is its clean interface, ease of use, and ability to convert to PDF file in the cloud without the need to download large software files to your computer.   

Best PDF Editor: PDFElement

With the ability to edit documents across Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac, PDFElement is the people’s PDF editor. A great alternative to Adobe Acrobat, it’s as versatile as it is easy to use, whether at your computer or on the go. Perhaps the most notable feature is its Office-like interface, making it easy for new users to quickly onboard and start tweaking documents. While not a web tool that allows for real-time collaboration in the cloud, communicating edits and comments to other viewers is a breeze with sticky notes, drawing tools, and annotation capabilities.

Best PDF Generator: WebMerge

Any worthwhile text editor or document creator today (like Word or Google Docs) has the ability to “Save to PDF.” But the modern professional is often tasked with managing several documents at once, making manual entry or data integration a nightmare. WebMerge integrates with the most popular data sources to automatically pull in information to personalize documents and send as PDFs (or other file types of your choosing) to customers and prospects. Whether you’re uploading an existing PDF or starting from scratch with a WebMerge template, you can build your entire document online, create fillable form fields, pull in third-party data, and route it to the right person for viewing or digitally signing in just a few clicks.

Make Your PDFs Work for You

Your job may not require you to have every feature that modern PDF tools provide. But we’ve come a long way since the days of our PDF forefathers, and a number of apps exist for a variety of needs. One truth remains, though—document generation should make life easier, not harder.

If you’re often stuck performing manual data entry when you could be doing something else, it’s time to automate your PDF document generation. With fillable PDF forms, customizable templates, dynamic content, and easy data routing, WebMerge can streamline paperwork processes, no matter your industry. Try WebMerge for free with unlimited testing to start saving time and valuable resources.

5 min read

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