Recommendations by Kevin Tattrie

PDF Software

Portable Document Format (PDF) is an open standard for document exchange. This file format, created by Adobe Systems in 1993, is used for representing documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. Each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including the text, fonts, graphics, and other information needed to display it. The format is widely recognised and documents saved within this format often open without issue on a multitude of devices.

Adobe have a free PDF reader which you can download from here. Below you will also find software applications that are used to view, but also create PDF documents.


Recommended Free Option:


PDFCreator is a free tool to create PDF files from nearly any Windows application. When it comes to creating PDF files from any application, PDFCreator is one of the best known programs out there. You can also convert your documents and add encryption to secure them against modifications.

PDF Creator is a powerful full featured open source PDF driver. It allows for amazing control over creating PDF files and their attributes and security, as well as support for the PDF archive standard PDF/A.


  • Create PDFs from any program that is able to print.
  • Security: Encrypt PDFs and protect them from being opened, printed etc.
  • New: Digitally sign your PDFs to ensure that you are the author and the file has not been modified.
  • New: Create PDF/A files for long term archives.
  • Send generated files via email.
  • Create more than just PDFs: PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP, PCX, PS, EPS.
  • AutoSave files to folders and filenames based on Tags like Username, Computername, Date, Time etc.
  • Merge multiple files into one PDF.
  • Easy Install: Just say what you want and everything is installed.
  • Terminal Server: PDFCreator also runs on Terminal Servers without problems.
  • And the best: PDFCreator is free, even for commercial use! It is Open Source and released under the Terms of the GNU General Public License.
  • Supports Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Price: FREE


Recommended Low to Mid Cost Option:

PDF Suite Professional

PDF Suite is a feature strong well price PDF tool to facilitate the same functionality normally found in products with much higher costs. PDF Pro uses the most commonly used functions such as conversion, basic editing tools and markup tools but it is also a comprehensive, fully-featured PDF creation, conversion, editing, review and security package. You are able to easily create, combine, edit, secure, convert and collaborate your PDF files.


  • Export PDF to Word.
  • MS Office conversion Plug-in.
  • Export tables from PDF to Excel.
  • Start with blank PDF Page.
  • Manage different layers: bring content forward/backward.
  • Crop tool to cut and copy multiple elements.
  • Insert & edit hyperlinks.
  • Two-document comparison.
  • Highlighter, pencil and watermarks.
  • 256-bit password security.
  • Permission levels: view, print, edit, copt to clipboard, saving.
  • Metadata management.
  • Windows 2000, XP Home, XP Professional or Vista (XP Professional 64, Vista 64 supported).

Price: $69.95


Recommended Top-End Option:

Adobe Acrobat X Pro

Adobe Acrobat X Pro is an all-in-one convert PDF software solution for a myriad of users. Acrobat supports the needs of IT professionals, educators, legal offices, government entities, businesses as well as the single user. The visually appealing interface that makes producing publication-ready documents and presentations can be done with ease. The features and tools available in this application are intuitive and efficient. While it is designed to provide what every user may need, you need to decide if how much a convert PDF software solution is worth to you. If you are serious about moving ahead with PDF files, this is the best option to consider.


  • Convert PDF files with one-button ease in Windows from Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Outlook — without ever leaving your authoring application.
  • Reuse content from PDF documents to get a head start on new projects. Save PDF files as Microsoft Word or Excel files, retaining layouts, formatting, and tables.
  • Assemble a wide range of materials — including spreadsheets, web pages, videos, and more — into a single, polished PDF Portfolio for high impact. Easily customise PDF Portfolios to reflect your branding and style.
  • Quickly bring ideas to life through rich, interactive documents. Insert audio, Adobe Flash Player compatible video, and interactive media into PDF files for seamless playback in Adobe Reader 9 or X.
  • Easily collect data by creating fillable PDF forms from paper or existing electronic files with the Acrobat Form Wizard. Quickly distribute forms, track status, and analyse results.
  • Use redaction tools to permanently delete sensitive information, including specific text and illustrations. Easily sanitise documents by finding and deleting hidden information with a single click.
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home, Professional, or Tablet PC Edition with Service Pack 3 for 32 bit (or Service Pack 2 for 64 bit); Windows Server 2003 (32 bit and 64 bit; Service Pack 2 required for 64 bit); Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 (32 bit and 64 bit); Windows Vista® Home Basic or Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 2 (32 bit and 64 bit); Windows 7 Starter, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise (32 bit and 64 bit).
  • Mac OS X 10.5.8 or 10.6.8 or 10.7.x.

Price: $199.00 (upgrade) $449.00 (full)


Recommended Apple iPad Option:

PDF Expert

PDF Expert lets you read and annotate PDF documents, highlight text, make notes, draw with your finger and save these changes being compatible with Preview and Adobe Acrobat. Moreover, PDF Expert is the only iPad application that can fill PDF forms.


  • Highlight, add notes and drawings.
  • Fill out Adobe PDF forms (including scanned ones).
  • Add, move, rotate or delete pages.
  • Flatten multiple files on email sending.
  • Affirm agreements and contracts with own signature.
  • Ask your partners, clients or customers to sign.
  • Approve, deny or add date & time using stamp tool.
  • Insert custom stamps or logos in seconds.

Price: $10.49

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