Like a breath of fresh air among the dozens of self-named “true PDF editors” that promise more than what they can accomplish, PDF-XChange Editor is a comprehensive PDF tool that not only allows you to modify existing PDF files without restrictions, but also offers you the tools you need to create new stylish PDF files from scratch and a plethora of extra functions and features.
As soon as you click on the “Edit Content” button on the top ribbon and start adding text to the PDF document on the screen, you realize that this PDF editor is what you’ve been praying for. The text reflows, the line moves to the right and cuts itself when it reaches the margin, moving the excess text into the next line. Pure bliss. One cannot help asking oneself why Adobe Acrobat Pro, with all its bells and whistles, is still incapable of achieving this basic text-editing function without screwing the entire paragraph. While some editors will merely allow you to add a text box to the existing text and others will force you to struggle with margins, line breaks, and spaces just to squeeze in a couple of new words, PDF-XChange Editor will allow you to work with your PDF documents as you normally do with any standard text editor. You can add images, insert audio files and sticky notes, attach files, clip art, stamps, handwriting, and freehand drawings, you name it. To be honest, you will still find some restrictions – i.e., when reaching the end of the page, you will have to move the excess text to the next page manually, as it won’t reflow automatically. And yet, this tool can be considered a major step forward when compared to the editing functionality of its competitors.
Creating PDF documents from a blank page is not a feature you come across with very frequently. With PDF-XChange Editor, you can write or compose a new PDF file just as you would with, say, Microsoft Word. You can write your own text or paste text from a different document; add illustrations, tables, and media files; create custom headers and footers for your documents; add a barcode or QR Code, and even build a table of contents from the headings in the text. Try to do this with any of the many “Acrobat Pro true alternatives” in the market, or even with Acrobat Pro itself, for that matter. It is simply not possible.
Besides, you can produce new PDF documents by loading an RTF and text files or by scanning a document and using the program’s OCR engine to create an editable text-based PDF file (with the logical restrictions of any scanned document). Actually, its OCR capability is the only “accessibility feature” I managed to find – I couldn’t find a feature to revise the read order or a “read aloud” function. In this area, as of today, Acrobat Pro is king.
I won’t go here through all the other functions that this full-featured tool offers. They are listed on the program’s website, and some of them are the ones you would expect to find in any PDF editor (extract pages, insert a blank page, move pages, manage comments, and annotations, export pages and files, fill-in forms management, etc.). Though long, this list is certainly worth checking. All in all, it is refreshing to come across with a PDF tool that claims to be a true PDF editor and delivers on that promise.