Edit, create or manage PDF files? You can do this with a wide range of software. However, if a PDF file needs to be converted into another format or the scope of editing with standard programs is no longer sufficient, another solution is required. The best-known representative of this is probably the Adobe Acrobat software from the market leader. However, there are also a number of alternatives, such as the Foxit PDF Editor or PDFelement from Wondershare. Both are promising tools, which we put to the test in this post.
The First Impression
Both Wondershare’s PDFelement and Foxit PDF Editor are easy to find via search engine. However, while the trial version on the manufacturer’s site of the former can be downloaded quite simply with a click, the developer of the latter first asks for a handful of personal data including the name of a company. Thus, in our opinion, Foxit PDF Editor’s offer is aimed more at the business sector.
Nevertheless, we have installed both tools. After all, we want to find out what the respective software can do.
Test versions in comparison: PDFelement vs. Foxit PDF Editor
We don’t want to say too many words about it. However, for the sake of completeness, a comparison of both test versions is useful. Both PDFelement and Foxit PDF Editor have advantages and disadvantages. The latter can be used to its full extent during the test phase, but is unusable once it expires. Wondershare, on the other hand, grants the user unlimited access to the trial version. However, this can only be used to its full extent after the software has been purchased. These restrictions must be accepted with the trial version:
- Changes made to a PDF file will result in a watermark being added to each page of the document when it is saved.
- When a PDF file is converted to another format, such as Word or Excel, this process is limited to 2 pages. That is, should a file with, for example, 5 pages be converted, the trial version spits out only 2 pages.
- In addition, the user cannot use the OCR feature with the trial version, which means PDFelement may not recognize text passages in images reliably or at all.
Design of both opponents compared
In terms of design, Foxit PDF Editor comes out on top in our view after opening the software. The basic functions differ from each other in color and lighten up the user interface.
PDFelement, on the other hand, is mainly blue and white, which makes the interface look a bit retro, but also tidier. All in all, both programs convey a similarity to well-known office applications.
As a result, the menu navigation of both tools is similar. Nevertheless, Wondershare’s PDFelement seems to be a bit more intuitive in terms of this. The Foxit PDF Editor, on the other hand, seems a bit cluttered, but scores with larger icons. So up to this point, it’s all a matter of taste.
Basic Features & System Compatibility
Of course, we do not want to withhold the range of functions of both programs. However, it would go beyond the scope to highlight every single feature, which is why we have limited ourselves to the most important basics. Both Wondershares PDFelement and Foxit PDF Editor benefit from a wide range of features and are true all-rounders when it comes to handling PDF files.
|Features||Wondershare PDFelement||Foxit PDF Editor|
|Open and read PDF files||x||x|
|Edit PDF files||x||x|
|Edit PDF forms||x||x|
|Create PDF forms||x||x|
|Create PDF files||x||x|
|Tools such as pencil, shapes, etc.||x||x|
|Convert PDF to other formats||x||x|
|Insert E signature||x||x|
|Optical character recognition (OCR)||x||x|
The two rivals also shake hands on the subject of system compatibility. Both Wondershare PDFelement and Foxit PDF Editor are available for Windows and Mac respectively. However, the versions differ significantly between Windows and Mac. In addition, both tools can be installed and run on mobile devices with Android or iOS. In addition, both providers offer connection to a cloud.
For our practical test, we used the Windows version of the respective software.
Usability in practice
In the first step, we took a screenshot of our website and converted it into a PDF file using both programs. Wondershare PDFelement and also Foxit PDF Editor handled this task quite smoothly. After the image file has been converted into a PDF, both tools ask to start the text recognition or activate OCR, so that text sections in the document can be recognized and subsequently edited. For this purpose, a window opens in each case with a few basic settings.
After confirming the conversion by clicking Apply or OK, both tools start the process. After just a few seconds, depending on the length of the document of course, most of the text is editable. We quickly noticed that the Foxit PDF Editor performed much worse than Wondershare PDFelement. Some text fields are made unrecognizable or are simply not selectable. However, a text editor opens in the right sidebar, where simple functions such as the size of the font or the font itself can be set.
Wondershare PDFelement, on the other hand, recognizes a much larger portion of text fields, but also converts things that perhaps should not be converted. Accordingly, this tool also has room for improvement. Nevertheless, the recognized text fields can be edited in no time. Admittedly, our screenshot is now also not the measure of all things and complicates the programs text recognition.
Continuous text is not a big problem for both competitors and is usually output cleanly. In addition, it is important that the fonts that are in the document are also stored in the system. This way a better result can be achieved.
With the Add Text function, new text fields can be created and described in the PDF. Here, too, the two programs perform equally well. One difference, however, is that Foxit PDF Editor offers a few tools to choose from in the right margin of the page, and Wondershare PDFelement doesn’t reveal this format editing option until the writing has been highlighted. This is not necessarily a disadvantage, however, as it keeps the desktop nice and clear even on smaller screens.
All the functions of both tools are relatively intuitive to use, whether it’s inserting an image, creating or filling out a form, or converting to another file type. From our point of view, neither Wondershare PDFelement nor Foxit PDF Editor require advanced knowledge in handling PDF files. Both more or less do what they were designed to do.
Price makes the difference
One likes it more minimalistic, the other prefers to have the full range of functions directly in view. However, Wondershare PDFelement (Mac) comes up with a very big advantage over Foxit PDF Editor: The price/performance ratio. Wondershare’s PDFelement costs significantly less compared to its rival and offers largely the same features. In addition, the Foxit PDF Editor is currently only available in 10 languages, while the competition already has 12 up its sleeve. Furthermore, both providers offer different packages and options. And the payment models also vary depending on the user’s requirements.
Bottom line: PDF editors are useful
Since the PDF format has established itself as a standard, PDF editors are a real asset. Not only can they be used to conveniently convert quite a few documents of other types back and forth, but editing the PDF file itself becomes a breeze. This not only saves time, but also nerves. However, we have noticed that there is still potential for development in both programs, especially with regard to the OCR function. For us, Wondershare PDFelement is the current winner for this reason and not least with a clear UI and the price/performance ratio.