Difference Between Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat (With Table)

Adobe Reader vs Adobe Acrobat

Both Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat were introduced by Adobe Systems Incorporated as a way to make PDF viewing easier and accessible.

The Adobe Reader was developed by Adobe System Inc. to allow users to use a freeware capable of only viewing PDF files. Adobe Reader is considered to be a smaller version/component of Adobe Acrobat.

The Adobe Acrobat was released so that users could get the flexibility and freedom to change and modify their PDF files, instead of only viewing it. Adobe Acrobat is the paid version of Adobe Reader, with additional features.

The difference between Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat is that the former is free to use PDF viewing software, and the latter is just an extended paid version that allows modification to PDF files such conversion of word documents to PDF.


 

Comparison Table Between Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of comparisonAdobe Reader Adobe Acrobat
HistoryAdobe Reader was at first a paid version back in 1993, but Adobe later went onto releasing it for free.Adobe Acrobat was released on 15th June 1993 and was expensive. Adobe later lowered the price for the average user.
CostThe Adobe Reader is available to download for free on the Adobe Systems Inc. website.The cost of Adobe Acrobat is a paid and extended PDF Reader, and its prices vary with the different versions available.
FunctionsWith Adobe Reader, the user has access to the basic functionality, allowing them to open and view PDF documents.With Adobe Acrobat, the user can edit, scan, convert word documents into PDF format, and much more depending on the version.
VersionsThe Adobe Reader is available only in one basic version that gives users free access to view documents.Here, there are two versions of Adobe Acrobat, namely “Adobe Acrobat DC” and “Adobe Acrobat Pro”.
RelationAdobe Reader is a smaller component of Acrobat that the user can install on a free basis.The user can upgrade their Adobe Reader free version to Adobe Acrobat to get access to additional features.

 

What is Adobe Reader?

In 1993, when Adobe Systems Incorporated first decided to introduce their PDF Reader and viewer – Acrobat, they found out that the consumer market was not willing to pay for the service due to the steep prices.

The company later went onto introducing the “Adobe Acrobat Reader” or “Adobe Reader”, which would have lesser functionalities, along with a lower prices tag. But, the response from the market was not in Adobes favour.

In the end, Adobe Systems Incorporated decided to make the Adobe Reader free to download and access. They finally released the Adobe Reader on their official website as an application capable of viewing PDFs and gave the users an option to upgrade if they ever wished to.

Adobe Reader allows users to access the basic functionalities of Adobe Acrobat, such as open, view, sign, leave comments, and even print the PDF file.

Unlike Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader has no other versions such as “Pro” that can grant free access to added features. The Adobe Reader is also available on various platforms and OS such as Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Solaris. Adobe Reader is also accessible on mobile platforms such as Android systems.

Adobe Reader
 

What is Adobe Acrobat?

On 15th June 1993, Adobe Systems Incorporated introduced a paid PDF viewer by the name of Acrobat. Later on, the prices of Acrobat were dropped down to a much more affordable rate so that the average consumer could purchase it.

Adobe Acrobat is just an extended version of Adobe Reader, and comes in a few different versions, who’s prices vary with the amount of functionality provided.

Adobe Acrobat over the years has been released in the following version –

  1. Adobe Acrobat DC
  2. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

The Adobe Acrobat DC is the standard Acrobat subscription that gives the user access to features such as editing text and images of a PDF file and exporting PDFs to other software such as Excel and Powerpoint.

The Adobe Acrobat Pro is a slightly more expensive version of Adobe Acrobat DC, with many more advanced features such as comparison of two identical PDFs for small differences, converting PDFs into an editable format that allows you to make changes directly in the text.

The costlier versions of Acrobat are used primarily by multinational companies and the print media, and the non-pro versions are for regular consumers.

The Adobe Acrobat is also available on various platforms and OS such as Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Solaris. It is also accessible on mobile platforms such as Android systems

Adobe Acrobat

Main Differences Between Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat

  • Adobe Reader is just a free and small component of the Adobe Acrobat version.
  • Adobe Reader was introduced as a version with basic functionalities right after Acrobat was introduced as a paid PDF viewer back in 1993.
  • Adobe Reader is available for free on the Adobe Systems Inc. website. On the other hand, a user can upgrade their Adobe Reader to the Acrobat paid subscription to gain access to additional features.
  • Adobe Reader allows users to access the basic functionalities of Adobe Acrobat, such as open, view, sign, leave comments, and even print the PDF file., while Adobe Acrobat allows users to manipulate and modify PDFs as they wish.
  • The Adobe Reader is available only in one basic version, while Adobe Acrobat has two versions – “Adobe Acrobat DC” and “Adobe Acrobat Pro”.

 

Conclusion

Adobe Systems Incorporated introduced the Acrobat as a more accessible and efficient way to manage PDF files, but on a subscription basis. Many consumers were unable to afford the software, so Adobe went ahead and released the Adobe Reader as freeware with the basic functionalities of Acrobat.

Users were given the option to upgrade if they wanted any additional features, and it was seen that most multinational companies opted for this option. Adobe Acrobat gave users the ability to modify the texts and images present within the PDF files, as well as convert them. Adobe Reader allowed the user to open, view and print the PDF. Both of these applications have allowed users to attain comfort when it comes to managing PDFs.


 

Word Cloud for Difference Between Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Difference Between Adobe Reader And Adobe Acrobat