Apart from a handy free reader, Adobe offers two paid PDF editors.

They are nothing short of a gold standard for these types of software tools. Not only that, but they are a significant step-up from the free version.

But, one question remains: which one should you go for?

Well, Acrobat Standard vs Pro DC dilemma is rather common among amateurs and professionals alike. Many of them swear by Standard DC version and argue it does the trick. Indeed, it allows you to create and edit PDF files.

However, the truth is you miss out on some advanced features. And it’s not like the Pro version is much pricier either. So, here is a guide to help you find out which tool is the best value for your money.

Cut from the Same Cloth

Adobe Acrobat Reader is a free solution commonly used to open and print PDF files.

Alas, it can’t do much else than that, certainly not manipulate the PDFs. This is why so many people consider Standard DC and Pro DC versions. Both of them come in the form of desktop software and offer a consistent user experience (UX).

DC in the name stands for document cloud, which brings us to our first point.

Users gain access to Adobe Document Cloud service for sharing and storing files. This feature, in combination with comments and markups, enables effortless collaboration on documents.

Moreover, one can utilize the Adobe Sign service. This feature allows you to sign and collect legal electronic signatures via any device.

Now, despite sharing these similarities, the two options also differ in some important ways. Here lies the key to figuring out which is the best solution for you.

A Case for Standard DC

The standard package offers a basic feature set.

It’s designed predominantly for personal use. Essentially, it’s possible to create, view, edit, sign, and convert PDFs. Among other things, this entails turning Microsoft Word files or images into PDF and the other way around.

What is more, Standard DC is capable of combining multiple file types into one PDF.

As for the editing toolset, it spans basic functionalities. These are:

  • Add
  • Delete
  • Reorder
  • Extract Pages
  • Editing images & text
  • Bookmarks
  • Headers
  • Watermarks

As you can see, this feature stack covers all the key bases. Even small businesses can make do with it and never get tempted to order a Pro version. However, there are definitely some drawbacks to be aware of.

For instance, you can’t count on enhanced editing and compare two PDF documents side-by-side. Finally, notice you can run it only on Windows versions 7, 8, and 10 and have to forgo editing on your smartphone.

Pro DC Value Proposition

The Pro version includes a variety of advanced features, such as OCR.

As the name suggests, this tool is tailored to professional and business users. It can do everything Standard DC does and more.

The extra functionalities come in the form of:

  • Optimizing PDF
  • Adding bates numbering
  • Creating technical PDF (in AutoCAD or Visio)
  • Adding audio, video, and intractable objects

Furthermore, one of the main selling points of Pro iteration is compatible with mobile devices. You can use them to carry out most tasks that desktop environments allow.

Next off, Pro DC has the ability to convert scanned paper documents into PDF. It recognizes a host of different languages. These files are searchable are editable too.

Redacting sensitive information is another thing to underline. Namely, you might want to keep some details from certain viewers and only the Pro version lets you do that. Standard DC just permits permanent removal.

To wrap this segment up, Pro DC is compatible with all Windows versions Standard tool supports. On top of that, it also supports Mac OS X (versions 10.9 – 10.13.)

How Much Do I Need to Pay?

Let’s now compare the two in terms of prices.

Acrobat Standard goes for $12.99/month or $23/month. Pro version costs $14.99/month or $25/month. The fluctuations you see are linked to the length of your contract (monthly or annual plan).

An extra two bucks are by no means a large difference that would impact your budget. We would say it’s more than fair compensation for extended capabilities.

Of course, we shouldn’t forget both options are considerably more expensive than the free version. In the case of an annual contract, you have to stick with your decision for quite a while.

And over those 12 months, you end up paying $155.88 and $179.88, respectively.

The good news is Adobe runs promotions from time to time. Keep an eye on those to score great deals.

Reaching the Decision

Ultimately, the answer to the question of which is better for you isn’t clear cut.

Neither version is a one-size-fits-all solution. Pro, for instance, is a no-brainer for Mac users. But, Windows users that need only basic editing are inclined to go for the Standard counterpart.

Then, you have Windows users who either want advanced editing capability or need Acrobat for business purposes. They are better off picking Pro DC.

Lastly, if you just do one thing well, it makes more sense to choose something else altogether. Acrobat can’t even open some types of files, such as XML. You would have to find another platform to do this.

Here is how to convert XML to PDF via a simple solution that doesn’t come from Adobe’s workshop.

The lesson to draw from his section is clear. You want to do your homework and get your priorities straight. Once due diligence is done, go out there and purchase the reliable PDF workhorse.

Acrobat Standard vs. Pro: Time to Make Your Choice  

Acrobat’s two flagship tools are some of the most robust PDF editors around.

Yet, both PRO and Standard DC are financial commitments. They aren’t created equal and suit different use cases. There’s no need to overpay for bells and whistles you barely use.

So, do yourself a favor and take a deep breath.

Assess your needs and weigh the pros and cons of both products. Make an educated decision and resolve the Acrobat Standard vs. Prodilemma for good.

If we had to choose, we would commit to a Pro plan. The reason is simple: you get a lot more for a meager difference in price.

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