PDF program recommendation


I am using shareware for PDF reading and editing. But I need a good tool

Acrobat wants a monthly subscription, and I hate those kinds of deals. Want a perpetual one

Any recommendations?

What OS?

Chrome is cross–platform and a decent PDF viewer. Sumatra PDF is also decent but Windows only.

Editing is a different story though. PDFtk (freeware) and command-line PDFtk Server (open source) are useful to concatenate, shuffle, split and rotate pages.

I bought a perpetual license of Nitro PDF Editor recently. I had used it in the past at my day job as my daily driver, and I’ve been happy with it so far.

The website claims Windows 10, 8 and Mac compatibility. FWIW I’ve only ever used it on Windows 10.


And I don’t mind paying a good amount for it, I just need something that works

I was looking at Nitro, thinking “This looks really good!” and then when I went to download it I saw that it’s actually PDF Pen on Mac, which I’ve paid for and used for years whenever I’ve needed editing capabilities - it’s very good. I mostly use Skim for data sheet and general viewing, and Apple’s Preview when I need to sign something. There’s a big rendering lag in Nitro when zooming that Skim doesn’t have, and my old eyes need a lot of zooming.

Also have to keep the Adobe garbage around just for copy-protected UL standards :roll_eyes:

I used to have to install a PDF reader on non networked PCs. The Foxit standalone file was smaller than the Adobe downloader! Might be worth a look at their editor.

While we’re talking about datasheets, if you ever want to extract tabular data from a datasheet (pinouts, signal description etc etc) you may like using https://tabula.technology/. It’s java based and you can just use the java library or the python wrapper for the java library if you prefer. But I think it’s fine running in the browser as-is.


That’s amazing, thanks! Hope I remember its existence if the time ever comes that I need it :slight_smile:

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Yes, great tip that could save a lot of time

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Wow, that is a nice tool.

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Btw, I just re-learned Inkscape can open PDF files and edit text. I happened to need to remove the vendor’s name for a PCB from a PDF BOM this morning and Inkscape came to my rescue. It might have swapped proprietary fonts to open source fonts in the process, but I can’t tell in the final result.

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