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Adobe Reader Vs Adobe Acrobat: Head-to-Head Comparison

Adobe Systems is a world-famous name for PDF tools, and when we look for Adobe PDF tools, Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader make the two most popular names. Since today most documents are edited and shared digitally, both are essential, but the similarities and differences in these make selecting one a little confusing.

So, if you are also confused about which one to select between the two, our Adobe Reader vs Adobe Acrobat comparison will help you along with way with all the details, including basics, features, prices, and more.

Part 1. What is Adobe Reader?

Thanks to the cross-platform program, you can view PDF documents on your computer and smartphone and read them using Adobe Reader. You may use it to complete forms, comment on documents, sign and certify forms, and a whole lot more in addition to reading and printing PDF files.

Also Read: Can Adobe Acrobat Reader Edit PDF?

Part 2. What is Adobe Acrobat?

Adobe Acrobat is a PDF viewer and converter tool with much more capabilities. You can generate and modify texts and pictures in PDF documents and have access to Adobe Reader's capabilities with Adobe Acrobat.

The Standard edition of Adobe Acrobat has all the tools you'll need, while the Pro version has more advanced features like generating PDF portfolios, forms authoring, designing actions, and more.


As evident, Adobe Reader provides limited PDF reading and basic editing functions, while Adobe Acrobat comes with a high price tag. For users seeking an all-encompassing, AI-powered, and cost-effective PDF editor, UPDF is the ideal choice. UPDF stands out as a comprehensive AI-powered PDF editor with powerful capabilities to handle all your PDF needs seamlessly. It can edit, convert, annotate, read, AI summarize, AI translate, and AI explain PDFs, making it a versatile solution for all your document requirements. You can download it for free or check its pricing here >>

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Part 3. Adobe Reader Vs Adobe Acrobat Features

Adobe Reader comes with the most basic features for PDF documents, while Adobe Acrobat brings an in-depth experience for its users. There are 2 Acrobat versions where Standard has fewer features than the Pro version. Below is a detailed feature comparison between the three Adobe tools.

FeaturesAdobe ReaderAdobe Acrobat StandardAdobe Acrobat Pro
View, Print, Fill, Sign PDFView, share, store, fill, sign PDF documentsBasic PDF viewing features with additional functionalitiesAll basic features with advanced capabilities
Take Notes in PDFHighlighting, sticky notesText commenting, annotation, etc.Same as Adobe Acrobat Standard
Online PDF StorageAdobe Direct CloudAdobe Direct CloudAdobe Direct Cloud
Convert PDF DocumentsNot possibleConvert different formats to PDFConvert different formats to PDF
Edit PDF DocumentsNot possibleEdit text, images, contentsEdit text, images, contents
Combine PDF DocumentsImpossiblePossiblePossible
Add Objects in PDFCannot add logos, images, audio, etc.Cannot add logos, images, audio, etc.Add images, audio, logos, etc.
Automatic PDF OptimizationNo automatic size optimizationNo automatic size optimizationAutomatic size optimization
Built-in OCR SupportNot availableNot availableConvert images, scanned docs to editable, searchable text

From this table, we can conclude that Adobe Reader is only good for people who want to view PDF documents, study them, or print them. On the other hand, Standard Adobe Acrobat is good for light editing features, while Pro Adobe Acrobat gives you complete control over your PDF documents.

Part 4. Adobe Acrobat Vs Reader: Price

When selecting one between Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader, price is the decisive factor for many people. If that's the case with you, here are the prices for these two tools and all their plans. Adobe Reader has no versions, while Adobe Acrobat has Standard and Pro versions.

PricingAdobe ReaderAdobe Acrobat StandardAdobe Acrobat Pro
Annual subscription with monthly paymentsYou can download it for free from the Adobe Systems website and use it for a lifetime.$12.99 per month with a yearly subscription commitment.$19.99 per month with a yearly subscription commitment.
Annual subscription with annual payments You can download it for free from the Adobe Systems website and use it for a lifetime.$155.88 annual payment making a monthly cost of $12.99 with an annual commitment.$239.88 annual payment making a monthly cost of $19.99 with an annual commitment.
One month subscriptionYou can download it for free from the Adobe Systems website and use it for a lifetime.$22.99 per month with a one-month subscription with no other commitments.$29.99 per month with a one-month subscription with no other commitments.
Lifetime subscriptionIt is free for lifetime usage.No lifetime subscription option is available with Adobe Acrobat Standard.No lifetime subscription option is available with Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Also Read: Adobe Acrobat Standard Vs Pro: What Are Differences?

Since Adobe Reader is free, it does not need trial periods or refund policies. Adobe Acrobat is paid no matter which version you choose. So, it offers a 14-day refund policy without deductions for both the Standard and Pro plans. However, when it comes to the trial period, that is only available with the Pro plan for a limited time of 7 days.


For users in search of a PDF editor with an unlimited trial period during the free trial, UPDF is the ideal choice. UPDF offers a comprehensive PDF editing experience with an unlimited-time free trial, providing access to premium features, including AI functionality. Download it through the button below.

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Part 5. Acrobat Reader vs Acrobat: Which One Is Better?

Acrobat Reader lets you read, print, and annotate PDF documents. Most people who need to read or print PDF files can get by with this, the most basic PDF viewer currently available for free.

Using the premium Acrobat PDF editor, you may generate, edit, sign, and share PDF files. Additionally, it has tools for handling forms, converting PDFs to various formats, and getting text out of PDFs. Although Acrobat is more costly than Acrobat Reader, it is a more powerful tool.

Part 6. FAQS About Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat

Since these tools are famous for their capabilities, people frequently ask questions about them. Here you can find answers to some of your queries as well.

1. Do I need Adobe Acrobat if I have Adobe Reader?

Yes, Adobe Reader does not come with editing capabilities. So, if you ever need to edit anything, you need Adobe Acrobat.

2. Can I have both Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat?

Yes, you can have both simultaneously. Adobe Reader can be acquired and used for free, while Adobe Acrobat will require you to either get a trial version or a subscription.

3. How do I install Adobe Reader and Acrobat?

You can download the setup from the official Adobe website or any other source compliant with Adobe. Then you can install the tools using that setup.

4. How Do I Get Adobe Reader to Open PDF Instead of Acrobat?

Right-click your file icon. Then select "open with". You can select Adobe Reader; the file will open with Reader instead of Acrobat.

Also Read: Top 5 Adobe Acrobat Alternatives Worth Trying

Part7. UPDF: The Best Alternative to Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader

If you want one tool that brings both functionalities, then UPDF is your best choice. It is a good tool for everyone with basic to professional PDF editing and viewing requirements. The best part about UPDF is its cloud document syncing across all your devices, including Macs, Windows PCs, Android smartphones or tablets, iPhones, and iPads. Above all, it brings an intuitively designed interface that makes working with PDF documents much easier. You can download UPDF here to check its interface and features.

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UPDF - The Best Alternative to Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader

Moreover, If you only need to view PDF files, it is completely free. And it is very cheap for the Pro version as it only costs USD39.99 for a yearly license and USD69.99 for a lifetime license. And one license can be used on Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone.

Also Read: Adobe Acrobat vs. UPDF, Which One is Better

Final Words

If you have basic PDF requirements like printing and viewing those documents, Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat will offer you the same experience. However, selecting the right tool is essential if you need advanced features. We hope this Adobe Reader vs Adobe Acrobat comparison is helpful enough for you to choose one that fits your needs perfectly.

Adobe Acrobat is a more feature-rich and advanced PDF tool with some in-depth features. On the other hand, Adobe Reader brings basics only. Since Adobe Reader is basic, saying that Adobe Acrobat can do everything Adobe Reader does won't be wrong. So, with all the details shared above, you can choose one easily.

And if you need to get advanced features for Adobe Acrobat, but feel the price is too expensive, you can try UPDF which offers the same features at a much lower price. You can check the price here. And before making the decision to buy UPDF, it is better to download the UPDF via the below button to test all features on your own.

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