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SmallPDF review

The lightweight, online, conversion king of PDF editors

SmallPDF Review Hero
(Image: © SmallPDF)

TechRadar Verdict

SmallPDF is great for converting PDFs or for using one tool at a time. However, if you have a lot of different kinds of edits that require different tools, SmallPDF starts to show its weaknesses.

Pros

  • +

    Cloud-based

  • +

    Independent

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    14-day free trial

  • +

    Offline mode support

  • +

    Converting to and from PDF

Cons

  • -

    No text editing

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    Only a 14-day trial

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    Offline mode is an extra $2/month

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    Tools are difficult to navigate between

If you work with PDF files regularly, then a premium PDF editor (opens in new tab) can be an excellent investment to help speed up your workflow. SmallPDF (opens in new tab) is an online PDF editor with a wide variety of tools to help you edit, convert, encrypt, merge, sign PDFs and more.

In addition to working with PDF files online, the company also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS as well as a desktop app for Windows. While SmallPDF features plenty of tools, is it enough for your needs? 

Pricing

(Image credit: SmallPDF)

Plans and pricing

SmallPDF has two main promoted plan designs. First up is the Team plan (opens in new tab), designed for 2-14 people to use. Secondly, the Business plan (opens in new tab) is designed for 15+.

The team plan is $7/month per user, billed annually. The Business Plan simply is listed as having custom pricing that is tailored for your business.

With a few clicks and digging a little deeper, I was able to find that they also have a free plan (opens in new tab) for one person, and a $9/mo per user, billed annually as a Pro plan (opens in new tab).

A quick glance shows that the Pro plan is for lack of a better way to describe it quite simply a team plan but for one person. 

Features

(Image credit: SmallPDF)

Features

Split up into six main categories, SmallPDF has 21 tools that users can interact with. 

First up, the “Convert & Compress”, then “Split & Merge”, then “View & Edit”, “Convert from PDF”, “Convert to PDF”, and “Sign & Security”.

Convert & Cut includes three tools, Compress PDF, PDF Converter, and PDF Scanner.

Split & Merge includes two tools, Split PDF and Merge PDF — pretty self explanatory there.

View & Edit includes five tools, Edit PDF, PDF Reader, Number Pages, Delete PDF Pages and Rotate PDF.

Convert from PDF includes four tools, PDF to Word, PDF to Excel, PDF to PPT, and PDF to JPG.

Convert to PDF includes the same tools as convert from PDF but reversed. So with this tool we can go from Word, Excel, PPT, and JPG all to PDF.

Lastly, Sign & Security includes the final three tools: eSign PDF, Unlock PDF, and Protect PDF.

Interface

(Image credit: SmallPDF)

Interface and in use

SmallPDF has a cloud based platform, yet they also have an iOS app, Android app, Scanning app, Windows app and a Mac app. As of October 1, 2021 the MacOS App however is no longer supported. There are also Dropbox apps, G Suite apps and a Google Chrome extension for using this app.

Interface

(Image credit: SmallPDF)

While using SmallPDF I found myself slightly confused on where everything was. It simply felt like things were in a convoluted place. Once I found whatever tool I wanted, it worked well but then if I wanted to utilize another tool it was a whole new adventure to find that tool.

One thing I found very interesting about SmallPDF is that they have a place to integrate SmallPDF via a PDF embedded to any website allowing users to quickly view, work with, and download PDFs via SmallPDF.

Support

(Image credit: SmallPDF)

Support

SmallPDF has a full help desk on their site with an FAQ set up with additional ability to write in another question and/or suggest a new feature.

The frequently asked questions are quite helpful for a plethora of basic questions, however the more detailed questions will require further assistance. For these questions, SmallPDF has a contact form that allows for file uploads, categorical questions, and a textbox to ask whatever questions you may have.

Final verdict

SmallPDF is by no means the most elaborate PDF editor out there. However, it has found itself in a unique niche where it is just lightweight enough that it can be a great solution for many. Yes, there are some things about this tool that aren’t perfect and are a little confusing or difficult to use. But, in the midst of that, the price is pretty good, features are individually solid, and the app is relatively small and quick. 

For those that have simple tasks, especially if it is a simple single task, SmallPDF could be a real contender. However, for users looking for a more complex, heavy hitting PDF tool, SmallPDF might not be enough for you, but then again, if you can get used to the interface and how the application operates, maybe you’ll join Facebook, Hilton, Verizon, Taxfix, and the other companies that use SmallPDF.

Collin Probst
Collin Probst

Collin is the B2B Hardware Editor for TechRadar Pro. He has been in journalism for years with experience in both small and large markets including Gearadical, DailyBeast, FutureNet and more.