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PDFelement review

Can Wondershare's popular PDF solution really do it all?

PDFelement Review Hero
(Image: © Wondershare)

TechRadar Verdict

Wondershare PDFelement is a PDF editor without any fancy bells and whistles, and it does its core job fine. The application comes packed with all the standard features you’d expect from a modern PDF editor, while also offering some advanced options for those who need to do a bit more with their documents. Both regular users and those with more advanced needs should find the interface easy enough to navigate, and the comprehensive help provided with the program should bridge any gaps.

Pros

  • +

    Easy to use interface

  • +

    Variety of useful features

  • +

    Some advanced editing options

Cons

  • -

    Somewhat expensive

  • -

    Occasionally slow

The popularity of the PDF format has resulted in lots of different applications for PDF documents, and as a result, a wide variety of tools to work on them. Some PDF editors are very simple, offering little more than basic conversion features and perhaps some highlighting and other minor edits. Others are much more powerful, rivaling office suites in their editing capabilities. Finding a good PDF editor starts with identifying your own needs.

PDFelement lies somewhere in the middle between the two ends of the spectrum. While it’s not as powerful as some of the leading applications on this market, it’s not just a simple PDF editor either. It comes with various features that can be useful to a wide range of users, and can allow you to do some interesting things with your documents. However, it does suffer from having a higher price than most other tools in its class.

Pricing

There are two paid plans available for PDFelement and Wondershare also offers a free trial so you can test the software out before purchasing it (Image credit: Wondershare)

Plans and pricing

PDFelement is offered with a free trial that provides complete access to the application’s features for a limited time. Beyond that, there are premium subscription plans that can be paid either per year, or half a year. There are no monthly subscription options, although the site at least shows a preview of how much the selected plan would cost per month. PDFelement Standard costs $69/year, while the Pro version costs $79.

The application has received some criticism for its pricing, with comments pointing out that competing PDF editors typically cost less, and some of them even offer more features. Still, PDFelement is one of the better solutions on the market, and the ongoing support the application has received over the years can justify its price. Those who’re looking for something that will likely stay relevant for a long time will be satisfied. 

Features

You can edit, annotate, create and convert PDFs with PDFeditor (Image credit: Wondershare)

Features

PDFelement offers a variety of features for editing documents. Standard markup features are available – users can change the font family and size of text, make it bold/underlined, highlight parts of the document, and even make various structural changes. The tool can also create PDFs from other file formats. Combined with its advanced batch operation support, this makes it a good choice for those who regularly need to convert large volumes of files and want a convenient and quick solution for that.

Mobile

Work on PDFs on the go with the PDFelement mobile app (Image credit: Wondershare)

Documents can also be split into separate ones, protected with a password, and the application can automatically extract data from documents that have been scanned and run through its OCR engine. On that note, PDFelement does stand out with a reliable and robust OCR system that tends to work better than most of the competing solutions on the market. 

Interface

PDFelement has a simple and clean user interface (Image credit: Wondershare)

Interface and in use

The application resembles most modern office suites in its interface, and everything is exactly where you would expect to find it. Tools are sorted in several main tabs, with individual buttons providing access to specific features. Users who are familiar with document editing on a computer should have no problem navigating the menus of PDFelement, including those who want to do more advanced edits.

The only complaint we have in this regard is that the interface can occasionally seem a bit big, especially on smaller screens. There aren’t many options for configuring the application’s appearance, and if you don’t enjoy its style of using large buttons for everything, you might be a bit displeased. Other than that, there aren’t any major issues that stand out with the interface and presentation of PDFelement.

Support

Wondershare provides user guides and video tutorials for PDFelement on its website (Image credit: Wondershare)

Support

Wondershare is a well-known name in the field of small tools and utilities, and one of the features the company stands out with is the quality of their customer support. You can expect issues to get resolved quickly and with a knowledgeable attitude, and that’s if you even need to contact their support in the first place. Many of your questions will likely already be answered in the knowledge base, so take a look around to see if your issue is addressed.

The competition

There are various other PDF editors on the market, and some of them do offer more features than PDFelement for a lower price. Some options worth checking out include Foxit PDF Editor, Nitro, and of course, Adobe Acrobat. It’s hard to say whether PDFelement is objectively better or worse than many of those, because while it does lack in some areas, it stands out in other ways. The free trial should be enough for most people to gauge what the application has to offer and whether it’s suitable for their needs.

Final verdict

This is a well-designed PDF editor with various features that should keep most people happy, including some advanced users. While the application does lack certain features that are standard in other editors, it doesn’t leave anything critical to be desired. For the most part, it’s a more than adequate application with enough to satisfy the average user. If you’re looking for a long-term subscription though, you might want to explore other options, particularly editors that are offered for a one-time purchase as opposed to a recurring annual subscription. For a long enough period of time, PDFelement can actually get quite expensive, especially if you’re using the Pro version.

Need to convert more files? Check out the best PDF to Excel converters, best Excel to PDF converters and the best PDF to Word converters 

Stefan has always been a lover of tech. He graduated with an MSc in geological engineering but soon discovered he had a knack for writing instead. So he decided to combine his newfound and life-long passions to become a technology writer. As a freelance content writer, Stefan can break down complex technological topics, making them easily digestible for the lay audience.