9 Adobe Acrobat Alternatives for Construction Projects

Adobe Acrobat is the gold standard for PDF management in many organizations. It provides a range of functionalities, including the ability to create, edit, annotate, and secure PDF files. 

But it’s not a perfect fit for every team or organization. 

Acrobat’s comprehensive features come at a steep cost, especially for smaller teams with limited budgets. Some teams find that these features are more extensive than what they need, so they don’t fully utilize the tool. 

Fortunately, there are alternative solutions that can provide similar or enhanced capabilities. Many come with a more tailored set of features for a lower cost. They may better integrate with your existing workflows, offer more intuitive user interfaces, and boast more specialized features to address your team’s specific needs. 

In this article, we’ll explore some Adobe Acrobat alternatives for construction projects and dive into some key features and benefits. 

How to choose the best Adobe Acrobat alternative

Adobe Acrobat is one of the more popular PDF editors on the market, but it may not be the most ideal solution for your construction team. You should carefully evaluate the alternatives, focusing on the ones that meet your current needs and provide a seamless, cost-effective experience for your team. 

Here are some key factors to consider: 

  • Defining your needs: What are your document management and collaboration requirements? Identify the functionalities you need, including PDF creation and the ability to edit, annotate, and secure your PDF files. You should also consider the size of your team and the number of PDF documents you need to manage. This can impact pricing and scalability. 
  • Ease of use: Is the Adobe Acrobat alternative user-friendly? Does it have an intuitive interface that will be easy for your team to master? You’ll want to identify a solution that reduces the time and effort needed to complete tasks whether you’re on- or off-site. 
  • Price: What’s the pricing model? Do you pay a monthly subscription or a one-time licensing fee? Is pricing based on the number of users? Decide what value the solution provides based on the features, functionalities, and level of support you’ll receive.    

1. ActiveDraft

Built on a secure, scalable cloud architecture, ActiveDraft eliminates the challenges of outdated document versions and overlooked feedback. Construction teams can update PDF files and collaborate in real time, ensuring alignment among all stakeholders.

With ActiveDraft’s browser-based workspace, you don’t have to switch between apps or windows for file storage, emails, or document viewing and PDF markup. You can make files easily accessible — yet visible only to those directly involved in the project. 

Key features

  • Dedicated workspace for centralizing your projects, files, tasks, and activity threads 
  • Advanced file conversions for uploading and converting AutoCAD DWG, Office files, and images into PDF files
  • PDF and markup tools for annotating drawings and documents in real-time 
  • Measurement tools for measuring dimensions in your drawings accurately 
  • Cloud storage allows you to access project files securely in a centralized file management system 


Get started for free — with the flexibility to upgrade to premium tiers for advanced features! 

2. Foxit PDF Editor

Foxit is a powerful desktop PDF solution for creating and editing PDF docs. Since it integrates with Foxit eSign, teams can use the tool for electronic document management and signatures. 

Foxit PDF Editor offers a user-friendly, ribbon-style toolbar similar to the Microsoft Office user interface. Whether they’re in the office or offline and on the move, your teams can edit text and annotate PDFs. 

Key features

  • One app for creating, editing, filling, and signing documents
  • PDF editing allows you to change document layout, modify text size, font, or line spacing, and add multimedia
  • Export to popular file formats including PDF to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, RTF, HTML, text, and image formats 
  • Organize and manipulate PDF pages to support your workflows, dragging and dropping pages and adding stamps, watermarks, headers, footers, and more


$129/year for PDF Editor Suite for Teams 2024 and $159/year for PDF Editor Suite Pro for Teams 2024.

3. Nitro

Nitro is a multi-featured PDF editor, e-signature solution, and real-time analytics tool. It’s geared toward organizations of all sizes across industries using Windows, Mac, and iOS devices. Depending on your needs, Nitro offers a range of plans with either a subscription or a one-time purchase model.

Though it comes with more limited features than Adobe Acrobat Pro, Nitro’s price tag is more manageable for many organizations.

Key features

  • Edit, read, annotate, convert, combine, and OCR PDFs with document encryption, fill, sign, and share capabilities.
  • Streamline document management with secure, compliant, and easy eSigning.
  • Get essential insights into your business metrics, sustainability targets, and crucial KPIs with real-time analytics.


Nitro Pro is ideal for teams of 20+ at $9.99 per user/month billed annually. Nitro Pro Business is $14.99 per user/month billed annually and includes unlimited eSigning plus some advanced features.

4. Bluebeam Revu

With Bluebeam Revu, teams can stay in sync with smart tools for efficiently managing, organizing, and sharing their drawings, documents, and data from anywhere. Many users say they prefer Bluebeam’s user interface and available tools to Adobe Acrobat. For construction teams handling markups and collaborating in real time, Bluebeam can be a more user-friendly choice. 

Each plan includes access to Bluebeam Revu for Windows desktop and Bluebeam Cloud on web and mobile.

Key features

  • Quickly and automatically link an entire group of pages or documents for easy navigation. 
  • Keep sets up to date by automatically matching new revisions with their corresponding current sheets.
  • Compare two or more PDF files by converting each to a different color and then stacking them on top of each other as layers. 
  • Turn scanned construction drawings into text-searchable PDF files with OCR recognition.


The Basics plan starts at $240 per user billed annually. Core and Complete plans start at $300/user and $400/user respectively.

5. Sejda

Sejda is an online PDF editor that’s free to use with daily limits. When you upload a file, it’s safely encrypted, and once the file processes, it’s permanently deleted. Sejda allows you to edit text in a PDF file, add images, fill out PDF forms, and add links. You can also add shapes, annotate PDF pages, and e-sign documents. 

Whether you’re a Mac or PC user, you can download and install Sejda Desktop for editing PDF files offline. Unlike Adobe Acrobat, Sejda isn’t supported on iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone apps.

Key features

  • Edit and sign PDF files online with the free version of the platform.
  • Fill out PDF forms online.
  • Change text and add text to PDFs, or edit existing PDF text.
  • Add images to PDF files.


Sejda pricing depends on the size of your team — the larger your team, the bigger your discount. There are three pricing tiers: Web Week Pass, Web Monthly, and Desktop + Web Annual.

6. PDFelement

Wondershare PDFelement is an easy-to-use PDF editor solution for creating, editing, protecting, and signing PDFs on desktop, mobile, and web. PDFelement is powered by AI, which means you can quickly summarize PDFs into text summaries or translate and rewrite PDF documents instantly. 

Thanks to its simple interface, PDFelement is intuitive and has many of the same powerful features as Adobe Acrobat for half the cost. 

Key features

  • Add text, images, and shapes to PDFs and insert links and watermarks.
  • Convert PDF files to and from PDF formats without compromising quality.
  • Recognize text from scanned PDFs and images with OCR.
  • Safeguard your PDFs by adding passwords for enhanced security.


PDFelement offers two plan options: an annual plan and a perpetual plan with a one-time fee. Pricing depends on the number of users.

7. PDF Architect

PDF Architect is a powerful, easy-to-use PDF editing tool that helps you make the most of your PDF files. With PDF Architect, you can merge nearly any type of document into a single PDF file to edit. You have full control over your PDF documents and can adjust them based on your requirements. 

One major difference between PDF Architect and Adobe Acrobat DC is the supported platforms. While Adobe Acrobat supports Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android, PDF Architect only supports Windows.

Key features

  • Convert every printable file format to PDF. 
  • Edit PDFs directly within the PDF file without exporting it or copying the content to another format. 
  • Merge all the files you’re working on into one PDF document to make it easier to manage and share.
  • Review and add notes to work on a document with your team.


Standard plan starts at $69 per user per year. Professional and Pro + OCR plans are $89 and $129 per user per year respectively. Includes a free PDF editor. 

8. Smallpdf

With Smallpdf, you get all the tools you’ll need to start, manage, and finish your work with digital documents. Smallpdf boasts one of the highest ratings in the PDF software category on major B2B software listings. 

Many companies turn to Smallpdf for the same quality features as Adobe Acrobat and significant cost savings.

Key features

  • Highlight and add text, images, shapes, and freehand annotations to your PDF documents.
  • Fill in forms, collect digital signatures on contracts, and close deals in just a few simple steps. 
  • Transform your document based on your needs—compress, convert, merge and split files, or remove excess pages.


Monthly and yearly pricing options, starting at $9 per user per month.

9. PDFescape

PDFescape is a free PDF reader that allows you to edit PDF documents, fill PDF forms, and view PDFs online from any web browser. From the desktop option, you can edit PDFs and merge documents offline. The only caveat is that the PDFescape Editor for desktop is only compatible with Windows.

Key features

  • Edit PDF files.
  • Annotate PDF documents.
  • Fill out PDF forms and create basic forms. 
  • Password-protect PDF files.



Streamline your PDF markup for your construction projects with ActiveDraft

Teams that use ActiveDraft have a powerful, versatile Adobe Acrobat alternative at their fingertips. ActiveDraft gives you the ability to streamline your workflow and allows you to easily create, edit, and share PDF documents. The solution’s advanced features make it an invaluable tool for collaboration and document review.

Get started for free today to see ActiveDraft in action!

Jeff Mack is the Head of Marketing at ActiveDraft, where he is responsible for developing the brand and telling the ActiveDraft story.


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