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Acrobat DC vs. Acrobat XI: Which One to Choose?

If you often work with PDFs in your work, study, personal life, or hobbies, then you have probably seen Adobe Acrobat DC and XI while looking at PDFs. Acrobat DC and Acrobat XI are both very popular PDF tools from Adobe. Both tools are used to view, read, and print PDFs, but what are the major differences between them, and why should you choose one over the other?

In this article, we'll do a complete review of Adobe Acrobat DC and Adobe Acrobat XI, and discuss what each tool offers so that you can choose the best one for you.

Part 1. Acrobat DC vs. XI: A Detailed Comparison

Let's look at the specific details of Acrobat DC and Acrobat XI. You can use the chart below to compare and contrast the features that each tool has. We'll go into more detail in the next section.

ItemsAcrobat DCAcrobat XI
OverviewAcrobat DC is a PDF viewer and editor that lets you read, print, edit, and interact with PDFs.Acrobat XI is a PDF viewer that lets you read, print, and edit PDFs.
Special Features That The Other Does Not HaveCloud-based storage.
Convert images and other files into PDFs.
Supported by newer.
Operating systems.
Mobile support.
Collect signatures.
Subscription-based access.
Acrobat XI doesn't have any features that are special to it because it is an earlier version of a PDF reader
Shared FeaturesRead PDFs
Print PDFs
View PDFs
Basic editing features
Merge documents into a single PDF
Read PDFs
Print PDFs
View PDFs
Basic editing features
Merge documents into a single PDF
Released DateApril 6, 2015October 15, 2012
Acrobat Pro: $19.99 per month
Acrobat Standard: $12.99 per month 
Acrobat Pro: $23.99 per month per license
Acrobat Standard: $14.99 per month per license
InterfaceEasy to useA little complicated
Platforms SupportedDesktop, web, and mobileDesktop
Where to DownloadThe Adobe websiteNo longer available through Adobe, have to download through a third-party website

Part 2. Adobe DC vs. Adobe XI: Key Differences

The key difference between Adobe DC and Adobe XI is  basically that Adobe XI is an earlier version of the current Adobe Acrobat reader. Therefore Adobe DC is going to have a lot more powerful and new features, while Adobe XI will only have basic features, or features that are older.

Let's take a look at some of the key differences between Acrobat XI and Acrobat DC:

Acrobat XI:

  • Because this tool is older, it can sometimes be very slow to load and complete actions, especially with long PDFs or especially large files. This can take up a lot of space on your computer and cause it to run very slowly overall.
  • The interface is small and somewhat difficult to manage unless you're already very familiar with Acrobat XI.
  • With Acrobat XI, you can fill out fillable forms (but you cannot create them).
  • Acrobat XI is free to use, although you cannot access the direct download from Adobe anymore since they announced the end of life for this software.
  • There is no more technical support for Acrobat XI, so you may run into bugs or security issues.

Adobe DC:

  • Works with mobile devices and adapts your PDFs and PDF editing tools to be ideal for working on a mobile workspace.
  • Acrobat DC is cloud-based so if you save a PDF on one device, you can open it on another device.
  • Acrobat DC has advanced editing tools, such as creating fillable forms and redacting information.
  • Acrobat DC is currently the main PDF reader for Adobe and receives regular security and feature updates.
  • Acrobat DC is only available on a subscription basis, meaning you must pay for it every month instead of downloading and paying for it just one time.
  • You can export PDFs to some other file formats.
  • Acrobat DC is one of Adobe's major tools, so they regularly fix bugs and security issues.

Part 3. Adobe DC vs. XI: Key Similarities or Relationship

Adobe DC and XI do have some similarities, but they are very simple similarities (since like we said above, XI is really just an earlier, less robust version of DC).

Here are some of the similarities that Adobe DC and XI share:

  • With both of these programs you can complete simple editing tasks, like adding text or images.
  • With Adobe DC and Adobe XI you can easily view and read PDFs of any length (although with XI they may be slower to load).
  • With both tools you can do simple annotation and commenting, such as highlighting text and drawing shapes.
  • Both DC and XI allow you to print PDFs.

Part 4. Why Switch from Acrobat XI to Acrobat DC?

In 2017, Adobe announced the 'end of life' for Acrobat XI. Adobe Acrobat XI is an older program and is no longer being supported by Adobe, meaning they no longer do upgrades or patches for XI. Because Adobe is no longer supporting Acrobat XI, there may be security concerns with the program. Adobe is no longer doing security checks on Acrobat XI, so it might be easier for people to gain unauthorized access to your files and information.

Acrobat DC also has many more features that are useful in reading, editing, and creating PDFs. Acrobat DC works on all devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Acrobat DC also works with Adobe's cloud storage, so you can access and edit your PDFs from anywhere. It syncs your data across all devices, including any PDFs you've downloaded, and edits or changes that you've made to your PDFs.

Part 5. Why Should Not Upgrade to Acrobat DC from XI?

There is not really any reason why you shouldn't upgrade to Acrobat DC from XI. XI is currently a legacy software from Adobe, and they no longer support the tool, so most people have already upgraded to Acrobat DC or another PDF reader.

If you have been using Acrobat XI for a while and really love the software, you can continue to use it, but you will not be able to download software updates, bug patches, or any other updates for the software. Overall we don't recommend using Adobe XI because it's so outdated.

Part 6. The Best Acrobat DC and XI Alternative

Acrobat XI is no longer supported by Adobe, and the subscription for Acrobat DC is expensive, so if you want to find a better and cheaper tool for reading, editing, and printing PDFs, you can try UPDF. UPDF is a PDF reading and editing software and is generally much lower in cost than Adobe products (especially because Adobe is always changing their subscription prices). Additionally, the UPDF interface is much simpler and easier to use than Acrobat's interface.

UPDF has so many features that make it very easy for anyone to edit, annotate, create, and share PDFs, including powerful AI tools.

UPDF offers a free trial version. You can click the button below to download UPDF and test all its features!

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acrobat dc vs acrobat xi updf ai

With UPDF's AI tools, you can easily chat with your PDF and summarize and explain some of the most important and complicated information in it. You can highlight a difficult paragraph and ask the AI to explain the meaning of the paragraph, which is very helpful for students who are reading a PDF for class.

You can also ask the UPDF AI to translate any part of a PDF that you're working with. This is an amazing feature for anyone who works in an international office, or is learning a specific language and needs some content instantly translated without having to leave the PDF.

If you are creating a PDF, you can also ask UPDF's AI to help you create content for the PDF. This includes asking the AI for a content outline, writing a paragraph, or helping you brainstorm ideas to write about or include in the PDF.

If you want to learn more about UPDF, you can read this review or watch the below video guide.

Final Words

In this article we discussed Adobe Acrobat DC vs. Acrobat XI. Overall there are many features that Adobe Acrobat DC and XI have in common, such as the ability to read, view, and print PDFs, along with simple editing and annotation tools. However, Acrobat XI is an outdated tool that has been retired by Adobe, so it's recommended that you choose Acrobat DC instead of Acrobat XI (unless you have a very specific reason for choosing XI). However, if you want a more cost-friendly alternative to Adobe Acrobat DC, you can choose UPDF, which has robust tools for editing, annotating, and AI interaction. And the price is very cheap.  You can click the button below to download UPDF to test the software. If it is what you need, you can click the below button to upgrade to pro version with a big discount.

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