There’s a good variety of PDF creator and editor tools out there, making it important to compare the market carefully before choosing something for the long run. Some premium tools come with lots of bells and whistles that can help you get the most out of your editing work, streamline and even automate common processes, and more. On the other hand, some tools are very simple and do just one or two jobs, but they do them well.
PDF24 Creator falls somewhere in the middle. While it doesn’t have all the fancy features of some premium PDF editors out there, it’s also surprisingly feature-rich for a program, making it one of the best free Adobe Acrobat alternatives out there.
The developers have obviously put a lot of effort into making their product as accessible as possible, as PDF24 Creator is one of the lightest editors on the market right now. It can easily run on weak computers, which, combined with its free price, makes it great for a wide range of users.
Plans and pricing
PDF24 is completely free. The company doesn’t offer any premium options at all, and there is just one single download option for the main application, no different versions. It also doesn’t install any additional software on your computer, as is common with other free applications on the market right now. The program can be used for all purposes without having to explicitly get a license from the developers, which is great for those who want to try it out in a commercial production environment.
PDF24 Creator comes with a good number of features, and it allows users to do all sorts of basic and even more advanced editing with ease. You can create a new PDF, merge existing ones, compress a PDF, convert a PDF to other formats, extract specific pages into a separate document (or otherwise split the document in different parts), optimize a PDF for different environments like the web, and extract different media from a document.
You can also apply OCR to a PDF, allowing you to convert scanned images to text that can be freely copied and edited further. This is a useful feature when working in an office setting, where you might frequently have to scan incoming documents and make slight adjustments to them as part of the processing pipeline.
Some nice additional features include the ability to spice up your documents with an overlay and page numbers, compare the contexts of different PDFs, and protect your documents against further editing.
Interface and in use
The interface of PDF24 is clean and intuitive, and a bit minimalistic in places. The application is designed around speed of use, and all important features are right where you would expect to find them. There are lots of different features packed in this package, so it can take some time to explore them all and figure out which ones you actually need in your work.
Something that might annoy some users is that the application offers most of its features in a modular manner, with completely separate interfaces isolated from one another. When you first start PDF24, you’ll be presented with a grid of editing options. Clicking on one will take you to the appropriate interface. This can make it a bit clumsy to go through lots of PDFs in sequence, but once you get used to the interface, it should be very easy to find your way around it.
The one downside of being a free application is that you shouldn’t expect much in the way of customer support. The developers have gone through a lot of effort compiling a help database that covers a large variety of topics, but if you get stuck and need actual human assistance, it can take a while to get a response. They do have contact options and encourage their users to make use of them, but you shouldn’t expect a speedy reply or any kind of priority treatment.
The fact that PDF24 Creator is free helps it immediately stand out from its competition, and there is practically no tool that can stand up to what PDF24 has to offer at the same price. There are some PDF editors that offer more advanced features and a smoother interface, but when it comes to core functionality, PDF24 Creator stands out easily. The program also works well on slower computers, which is always a nice bonus when comparing tools of this type.
PDF24 Creator gets the job done, and it does so with minimal hassle. The application works fast, and is reliable enough to be your main PDF editor if you need to do this kind of work on a daily basis. It’s also perfect for making small occasional edits here and there. If you want a professional PDF editor with lots of advanced features, there are better options out there. But in this corner of the market, PDF24 is uncontested, and easily your best bet.
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