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Nitro PDF Pro 13 review

Edit PDFs and convert them with ease and speed

Nitro PDF Pro (opens in new tab) – now there’s a name that packs a powerful punch. The PDF editor is positioned as an essential tool for small businesses and individuals, and includes a mass of must-have features, like PDF conversions, eSignatures, OCR. Ideal, then, for improving workflow efficiencies and productivity within a single tool.

Available for Windows and Mac, there’s also a version of the PDF editor app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. 

Nitro PDF Pro 13: Pricing

Pricing plans for Nitro PDF Pro

Nitro PDF Pro offers a one-off purchase – no subscription in sight (Image credit: Nitro)
  • One-time purchase with volume licensing available

Nitro PDF Pro is multi-platform software aimed at small businesses and individuals . If you’re not a fan of subscription services (you know you’re in trouble when car manufacturers are starting to get in on the act), and that’s driving you to find the best Adobe Acrobat alternatives, you’ll appreciate this PDF editor app right away: when you purchase a license, it’s a one-off fee.

The downside is, it’s not cheap, and you have to pay for every device you want to use this software on. Whether you need a PDF editor for Mac or Windows, the price per licence is the same: $180.

Peculiarly, bulk discounts vary depending on your platform: with Windows, you can buy three and get one free, or eight and get two free. On the Mac, you get 20% off when buying five licenses, and 24% off for ten.

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Why that is, is anyone’s guess. But an alternative to Creative Cloud and other subscription plans is always welcome.  

  • Pricing: 4/5 

Nitro PDF Pro 13: Interface & experience

Nitro PDF Pro pdf editor in action

Nitro PDF Pro’s interface is clean and simple, only taking up space on the edges, letting you focus on your document (Image credit: Nitro)
  • Clean and doesn’t get in the way 

Launch the software, open up an existing PDF, and Nitro PDF Pro’s interface is revealed to you. 

The layout is quite clear and simple: all the tools you need are at the top, in a row of large icons showcasing the main tools, with a toolbar underneath, displaying additional ones (which are grayed out if the selected main tool doesn’t support that feature).

There’s a sidebar on the left hand side, which displays by default thumbnails of all your PDFs’ pages, but you can change that to show other useful information, such as your annotations, or any included attachments, among others.

  • Interface & experience: 4/5 

Nitro PDF Pro 13: Tools

Nitro PDF Pro pdf editor in action

You have a wide array of annotating tools, making sure you can tell your team exactly what you mean with all those highlights and squiggles (Image credit: Nitro)
  • Pretty much everything you need to annotate and alter a PDF 

The purpose of Nitro PDF Pro is to allow you to make alterations to PDF documents, and it comes with all the tools you might expect. 

Take online collaboration, for instance. You have at your disposal many ways to leave notes on pages. There’s a highlight tool which allows you to mark text in a variety of colors. You’ll find four default shades, with the ability to create three custom ones should you so wish. You’re also able to underline, strikethrough, or add a squiggle under any part of the PDF you’re working on.

All of this is most useful, but it can be hard to convey exactly what changes you want to see with a bit of a highlighter and some lines over the text. That’s where the Annotate tools come in.

Here, various text boxes reside, from just a plain box, to a comment, a thought bubble, a note (think of it as a collapsible post-it note), and a few others. More than enough for you to populate a PDF with as many comments as you need in order to convey what you need changed to other team members. 

Nitro PDF Pro pdf editor in action

You can edit the actual content of an existing PDF, even resizing text boxes, and moving them to another location (Image credit: Nitro)

Editing the content of an existing PDF is also possible, of course, using the ‘Correct Text’ tool. Select a word, a sentence, or multiple paragraphs, and that tool will transform your selection into a changeable text box.

We did encounter an issue with the PDFs we experimented with: turning a section into editable text affected the line spacing, often making the paragraph overlap the following one. We tried with multiple PDFs. We encountered the same problem with each of them.

Although there are many tools available to modify text, like changing its color, italicizing it, changing its alignment, etc, we couldn’t find one that altered the line spacing. There are other competing software that do a better job at preserving the look of a document, like EaseUS PDF Editor.

  • Tools: 4/5 

Nitro PDF Pro 13: PDF creation

Nitro PDF Pro pdf editor in action

Converting a PDF to another format is as easy as going to File > Export (Image credit: Nitro)
  • Start from scratch and convert into other formats 

Altering PDFs is one thing, but like so many others, Nitro PDF Pro lets you create documents from scratch, using all the tools mentioned above, and more besides. This even includes form building, something Adobe Acrobat can struggle to present. This is a useful addition as it allows you to stay within a single app when working on all things PDF.

But people don’t always work within one PDF editor app, and that’s where Nitro’s format conversion comes into its own. 

Like similar PDF editing software – think Foxit PDF Editor or Readdle PDF Expert – Nitro PDF Pro can convert PDFs into other formats, and vice versa.

However, it doesn’t do this via a dedicated ‘Convert’ command. Instead, the process is a lot more intuitive: need to convert Word to PDF? Go to File > Open, locate it, and Nitro will convert it automatically for you as it opens up in the software. 

Nitro PDF Pro pdf editor in action

We found Nitro PDF Pro’s OCR capabilities to be very good (Image credit: Nitro)

Nitro PDF Pro is compatible with a wide variety of file formats, including images. When it encounters a file with no selectable text within it, it will offer to initiate the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) process. Select the language the document is in, and Nitro will get to work. We found the results very acceptable, and of course, they are editable.

Should you need to convert a PDF into a different format, just go to File > Export. You have a few options at your disposal, such as Microsoft Office files – Nitro is a easily one of the best PDF to Excel converters and PDF to PowerPoint converters on the market. There’s also RTF, TXT, a handful of image formats, and PDF/A – which is used for archival purposes.

This is not all you can do with Nitro PDF Pro of course: there are other features, which include being able to merge PDFs together from emails to text files to spreadsheets, condensing them into a single, searchable PDF), digitally eSign documents, and create tables of content.

  • PDF creation: 4/5 

Nitro PDF Pro: Scorecard

Pricing No subscriptions – just a one-off perpetual license 4/5
Interface & experience Clean, modern, and simple to use 4/5
Tools Has just about everything you need to edit and annotate documents 4/5
PDF creation Excellent creation and conversion tools 4/5

Should I buy?

Nitro PDF

(Image credit: Nitro)

Buy it if…

You need a feature-rich PDF editor
Nitro PDF Pro offers you many tools you would need to edit, annotate or even create a PDF document from scratch. You can bring in documents straight from your scanner, and its OCR capabilities are excellent. If you or your business often need to alter and annotate PDF documents, it might be worth downloading the free trial version and check it out. 

Don’t buy it if…

You’re a casual user or your needs are simple
If your needs are simpler, and you only want to browse through a PDF, then Nitro PDF Pro risks being overkill. It might also not be ideal with you like to edit the content of a PDF without altering its formatting, especially the line spacing. 

Alternatives

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Adobe Acrobat DC (opens in new tab)
The original remains, in our opinion, the top choice for best PDF editor out there. It’s rich with features and tools for editing, converting, and organizing all your PDF documents. The workflow and user experience is sublime once you get past the initially overwhelming interface. In our review, we couldn’t help but not that “sometimes, the best solution on the market has its reputation for a reason.”

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Foxit PDF Editor (opens in new tab)
“Manipulate PDFs in style with a great multi-platform PDF editor” was how we kicked off our review of Foxit’s excellent PDF editor. It’s packed full of powerful tools, including an outstanding data redaction tool. Ultimately, we found it to be “a great app for businesses who need to manipulate, edit, redact and otherwise alter PDFs on a regular basis.”

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EaseUS PDF Editor (opens in new tab)
EaseUS PDF Editor offers much of what Nitro does, although you have the choice of a perpetual license or taking out a subscription. When we tested the product, we found “a powerful, PC-only PDF editing software tool that allows you to manipulate and alter documents with relative ease. It also comes with more standard features, such as a converter, and has good OCR capabilities.”

Nitro PDF Pro pdf editor in action

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