PDFelement Review 2023

wondershare pdfelement

Highlight:

  • PDFelement includes all of the functions that can be found in the more expensive Adobe software but has added AI features to assist in producing clear and error-free content.
  • PDFelement is often more affordable than Adobe Acrobat, making it a cost-effective choice for individuals and small businesses who need PDF editing capabilities without a hefty subscription fee.
  • Available for Windows/Mac/iOS/Android.

Helpful review: “I would give it about a four out of five on a scale.

Before using PDFelement, I was using the free version of Adobe Acrobat, and it was working for some stuff, but I still needed more features, which Adobe blocks behind the paywall. So I switched to PDFelement, which was super affordable, and had all the features that I needed for the basic use case scenarios, and it did a really good job at doing all the basics really well.

I chose PDFelement because of the job that it does at recognizing text in a PDF that wasn’t really meant to be editable. So when you go into a PDF and you just want to edit some text, or even pull an image out, or replace an image, it was pretty easy to do that and makes those types of jobs really quick and easy.

It was pretty easy and straightforward to implement PDFelement, because I’ve already used Wondershare programs in the past. All I needed to do was log in, pay for the upgrade, and then just download the software and get into it, and it was pretty straightforward from there. I would recommend it if you’re looking to get PDFelement and implement it in your organization or just for individual use.

However, if you’re using a lot of Adobe products, I probably would gear towards the Adobe Acrobat program, just because if you create something in the Adobe ecosystem, you’re likely using Adobe fonts and then those are kind of difficult to convert over when you’re using a different PDF editor.

So it kind of depends on the ecosystem you’re in. If you don’t really use a lot of Adobe products outside of that, then I think PDFelement would be much more cost-effective and better overall.

Pros: 

– The toolbar is neatly organized, providing quick access to essential tools such as editing text, making annotations, highlighting important parts, filling forms, and signing documents.

– The drag-and-drop functionality for file management is a game-changer, making tasks like merging, splitting, and rearranging pages a breeze.

– Managing large numbers of documents, undertaking searches of mutilple documents for key terms/words, tagging content to find information later, creating document libraries, rapid searches through a large set of PDF files, checking text content, ideas for rephrasing text based on the AI tool.

– The accompanying mobile apps make it easily accessible on multiple devices. By using PDFelement on my phone, I was able to easily scan as many documents as I want with ease. Then, I can immediately AirDrop or email the file to myself, allowing me to upload the PDF on my computer instantly!

PDFelement includes OCR technology that can recognize text in scanned documents and images, making them searchable and editable. Adobe Acrobat also has OCR capabilities, but PDFelement’s OCR is competitive in terms of accuracy.

PDFelement allows users to easily edit PDF documents, including adding or deleting text, images, and pages. This is beneficial when you need to make updates or corrections to PDF files without having to recreate them from scratch.

PDFelement provides robust conversion capabilities, allowing you to convert PDFs to various formats and vice versa. It supports popular file formats such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.

PDFelement enables users to create PDF documents from various file formats, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more. This feature is helpful for converting documents into a universally compatible format for distribution or archiving.

– PDFelement is good with users who already have products from Wondershare.

Cons: 

– I don’t like that sometimes the program could be slow or laggy (especially when I’m handling large or complex PDF documents) and I’d have to restart it. Didn’t take too much time, but still an inconvenience.

– It might take some time to become familiar with the interface and features. While PDFelement is generally considered user-friendly, some users, especially those who are accustomed to Adobe Acrobat, may find a learning curve when transitioning to PDFelement.

– Lacks some advanced PDF functions seen in Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Optimizing performance, adding advanced editing and conversion features, improving collaboration options, and increasing integration with cloud services would be valuable enhancements that could make PDFelement an even more complete and effective solution for PDF document editing and management.

– Certain limitations in document signing and the insertion of low-quality files have been noted, as these tasks are considered routine. Also, there is a decrease in the quality of photos during the digitization process.

– At the present the cost of using the AI function of PDFelement is a little on the high side if you are an occasional user.

ON TO A FRIEND’S REVIEW:

PDFelement works well as an alternative to Acrobat Reader, but is far more powerful. Using this software you can perform many of the functions found in the much more expensive Acrobat DC Pro version. Once you get the hang of the interface you can indeed edit files rather than just perform reviewing functions. You can add or remove text, add pictures, create forms, change the page order or add/remove pages. I use the Mac version: there is also a free version for iPhone: I guess the iOS format is free because trying to do more complicated editing on a small screen is pretty limiting.

PDFelement regularly receives upgrades. The latest version integrates some AI features.

I have the PDFelement 7.6.version of the software. Originally, I thought I had purchased a permanent license but it expired after a year, so you should check whether you are getting a subscription or ownership version before committing to a purchase. Subsequently, I purchased a permanent license. I’ve found that converting and editing files can do strange things sometimes to fonts, even if you change to a common one such as Aria, resulting in many letters becoming joined together and therefore illegible. It’s therefore a good idea to reopen it after saving a file (perhaps in Acrobat Reader) to check that the font hasn’t garbled. You need to be aware that sometimes background images, lines etc on existing files cannot be edited in this software. I think this happens when they have been added as watermarks (e.g. DRAFT). If you need a more powerful editor for the graphics side of things rather than the ability to create forms, you may prefer to use Photoshop or Affinity Publisher.

I used PDFelement to work on a number of book projects that would otherwise have required InDesign Acrobat DC Pro in order to edit the contents. It saved a lot of money for this work as the alternatives are expensive and INDesign in particular has a steep learning curve.

—Travis W.

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About the author

My name is David Zhao. I've been working in the SaaS industry for almost a decade, and my experience with software goes back even further. Because of this, I have a deep understanding of how software can enhance both our work and personal lives. I'm excited to share my professional perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of various software.