PDF Architect review

Go beyond creating PDFs with this capable of PDF editor

PDF Architect Review Hero
(Image: © pdfforge)

TechRadar Verdict

PDF Architect doesn’t shine with anything extraordinary, but it does its basic job more than fine. A lot of work has clearly gone into organizing the interface and ensuring that the tool is packed with as many features as possible, and the developers have done a good job researching the market and identifying underserved niches. The interface will feel familiar to anyone coming from Office or other popular document suites, and it’s intuitive enough to allow you to quickly find everything you need in a few clicks. PDF Architect is also great for those who need to use it on less powerful computers as it has relatively low hardware requirements.


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    Lots of features for every need

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    Works well on older machines


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    Premium versions don’t give you access to all features, some need to be purchased separately

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We’ve seen lots of PDF editors on the market in recent years, and it’s become quite the crowded field. There are some products by large, renowned companies, as well as smaller suites aimed at people with more specific needs. In general, there’s something for everyone in there – it’s only a matter of identifying the ideal tool for your own needs. And while it can take a while to find the perfect offer among all programs on the market at the moment, it’s well worth the effort if you are going to be actively using it in your daily work.

PDF Architect has been around for a while now, and the program has already built a reputation. It may not be the most prominent PDF editor on the market at the moment, but it’s known for its affordability and stability compared to other, more commonly mentioned products. At the same time, users seem frequently disappointed at the way pricing tiers are organized, though this is something that we’ve seen in other tools as well, and is not particularly unique for PDF Architect.

Discover more of the best Adobe Acrobat alternatives in our round-up


There are three paid plans that are all priced annually per user (Image credit: pdfforge)

Plans and pricing

There’s a free version, which is a bit limited in functionality but still works well for demonstrating the program’s main features. There are several premium tiers – Standard, Professional, and Professional + OCR. It’s worth noting that the two Professional tiers can occasionally be found cheaper than the Standard one, especially around holidays and other times where promotions are common. The Professional version comes with everything included in Standard, plus reviewing, commenting, and document security. The last tier, as the name implies, also adds OCR to the mix.

A notable feature that has to be purchased separately is the ability to e-sign documents. This may be a huge disappointment to those who need a PDF editor primarily for working with official documents, in which case an alternative tool might be a better option. Still, PDF Architect does cost noticeably less than other tools without the e-signature option, so it evens out somewhat.


Create, view and edit PDF files with ease using PDF Architect (Image credit: pdfforge)


You can edit PDF documents in various ways, and can convert other formats to PDF with a few clicks. You can apply different transformations to the document, add comments, convert scanned images to editable text, and various other standard features that you’d expect from a typical PDF editor by default. There are some nice goodies in there, such as the Format Painter, which should feel very familiar to Office users. As we mentioned above, the only noteworthy missing option is the ability to e-sign documents, for which you need to pay extra.


If you're familiar with Microsoft Office, you'll be right at home with PDF Architect's user interface (Image credit: pdfforge)

Interface and in use

The interface of PDF Architect seems to have been designed to mimic the design language of Microsoft Office, and can easily be confused with one of Microsoft’s own tools. Like Office itself, PDF Architect is smooth and intuitive, and presents its interface in a way that’s easy to navigate and get from one point to another. As long as you know what you’re trying to accomplish and where the feature should roughly be, it shouldn’t take you too much effort to get to it and figure out how it works. The comprehensive help database will make that even easier.


There are a number of support articles as well as an active community forum for PDF Architect (Image credit: pdfforge)


On that note, another great aspect about PDF Architect is that it comes with lots of help right off the bat, and there is no shortage of information when you’re stuck or need guidance on using a specific feature. It doesn’t take long to figure out how to navigate the menus, especially if you’re coming from Office as we described above. And if you do need to get in touch with support specialists, you can expect your issues to be resolved easily and quickly. The company has gained some reputation for the quality of their support services in particular, so if you are concerned about that aspect, this is one of the better tools you can choose right now.

The competition

PDF Architect has quite a lot of competition, between Adobe Acrobat and various other smaller tools. Still, it’s managed to carve out its own niche just fine, and enjoys a solid place on the market right now. There are some things for which it’s definitely better to try PDF Architect instead of other tools, and you’ll get a sense of what the program can and can’t do pretty quickly after experimenting with the free version. For its price though, it definitely manages to stand out from the competition and offers a solid package that will fulfill most, if not all, of your requirements.

Final verdict

PDF Architect is a great choice for those who need a reliable, advanced PDF editor with lots of extra features and a stable, reliable interface. The program keeps getting updates on a regular basis, and its developers are clearly determined to push it even farther. As long as you don’t explicitly need e-signatures – or are willing to pay extra for that feature – it should have everything you need to keep your documents organized and looking great.

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Stefan Ionescu

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.