Skip to main content

PDFelement Pro review

Everything you need to create, convert and edit PDFs

Our Verdict

Just about everything about PDFelement is beautiful – looks, functionality, features. Simply wonderful stuff. If you though PDF editing and creation was a pain, prepare to think again.


  • Familiar, Office-style interface
  • Create, convert and edit PDFs with one tool
  • Great OCR option


  • Toolbar buttons are huge
  • Can be very slow at times
  • Lacking some advanced layout options

Like photo editors, PDF editors have a tendency to be expensive and complicated – either that, or limited. PDFelement Pro is none of these things.

At just under US$100 (about £80, AU$130) it may not be considered exactly cheap, but it's very well-priced when compared to the competition. The fact that it's available for Windows, macOS and iOS is a real bonus for individuals and businesses who need a PDF solution that works on different platforms.

PDFelement Pro can be used to convert numerous file types to PDF format, and conversion is also possible the other way (PDFs can be transformed into editable Word documents or ebook format, for instance).

You can edit unprotected PDFs directly via an interface that works much like a word processor or desktop publishing tool, create PDFs from scratch, make PDF forms, and make use of the OCR component to convert scanned images into editable documents.

For some reason the OCR feature is made available as a separate download, but this is a minor quibble really.

Despite support for commenting, revisions, password protection and Bates numbering, everything in PDFelement Pro is make so simple and accessible that just about anyone will be able to use the software to its full potential, and that's to be commended.

User experience

PDFelement Pro is a little strange in that its chunky interface means it doesn't really feel like a 'pro' product. That's not to say it's bad, but in some ways it makes you feel as though you're missing out.

In reality, PDFelement Pro is an Office-inspired program that has a great workflow. Editing the text of existing PDFs is dreamily simple, and there are sufficient DTP-style tools to cater for most of your text and image adjustment needs.

Despite its looks, the familiarity of the interface is highly appealing, but it's the business-level tools – such as advanced data extraction for spreadsheet analysis – that make this an incredible buy.

The competition

Need a PDF editor but don't have the cash for premium software? Check out our guide to the best free options.