Difference Between Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat (With Table)

Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat are 2 Adobe products developed by Adobe, the company behind Flash. Even though they both act as PDF readers, there seem to be a few crucial distinctions to be aware of before deciding which program to install. They allow you to easily browse, print, remark on, and search through files, but Acrobat is more involved in a structure of the Reader that allows users to build and modify files.

Adobe Reader vs Adobe Acrobat

The main difference between adobe reader and adobe acrobat is that Adobe Acrobat will be more involved in a structured Reader that allows you to generate, alter, and modify PDF files. Adobe Acrobat can perform all that the Adobe Acrobat reader could do, plus a lot more. Adobe Reader is a free program that allows you to interact with PDF files, however, it only has a few capabilities.

That’s a freeware bridge software that lets users produce Pdf file on one device and review it using a PDF reader like Adobe Reader on another. It is downloadable from Adobe’s website, or it may be purchased from those other sites as comply with Adobe license rules. It’s a minor part of the management Adobe family that has grown throughout history via numerous variations.

One can get all of the capabilities of Adobe Reader plus a lot more with Adobe Acrobat, through the ability to generate and modify text and graphics in Pdf files. It’s a more advanced version of Adobe Reader that includes functions like reading original documents. Adobe Acrobat comes in two flavors: Basic and Pro, along with Adobe Pdf DC, which is designed for web converging.

Comparison Table Between Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat

Parameters of
Adobe ReaderAdobe Acrobat
HistoryPaid but became
a free software later
Complete paid
CostFreePrice differs from
Functions Basic functionalityAdvanced functionalities
VersionsView only mode in
free version
Adobe Acrobat DC and
Adobe Acrobat Pro
RelationsCan be upgraded to
Adobe Acrobat by paying
It is an upgraded
ConvertNot available
PDF to Word

What is Adobe Reader?

Adobe Reader seems to be a small but important part of Adobe Acrobat. Adobe Reader is a small part of Adobe Acrobat that lets users read and comprehend Pdf documents (Portable Document Format). It is a freeware cross-platform program that makes it easy to create Pdf file solely on a single device and see it upon others to use a PDF browser such as Adobe Reader.

It may be obtained for free from Adobe’s site or purchased from other websites as long as the licensing restrictions are as close to Adobe’s as feasible. These two are two separate apps. It’s just a minor part of the bigger Adobe corporation, which has gone through several modifications so over years.

It helps fill documents, remark on papers, transform Pdf to Excel and Word, signature and verify forms, and more, in addition to viewing and publishing PDF files.

Adobe Reader, previously called Viewer, is a commonly used freeware for reading, publishing, and remarking on Pdf files, but also engaging with all types of PDF information, such as video and applications. Adobe Reader covers a wide variety of computer systems, notably Ubuntu, Macs, Microsoft, Mobile, and Solaris, and is accessible in nearly multiple languages.

One may view PDF files on the desktop using the Readers Plug-In. Whenever you come across a PDF that doesn’t include the Adobe Reader Web connector, you’ll just have to retrieve the data and read this in the real Reader application. You may just download the link in your address bar selected window as any online page using the plug-in.

What is Adobe Acrobat?

It will be a must PDF viewer that can transform nearly every text to Pdf file format whilst keeping the original’s style and feel. It is a more enhanced form of Adobe Reader with additional features such as scanning paper records. Adobe Acrobat is available in two forms: Basic and Pro, as well as a web version.

All of the functionality of Adobe Reader is included in Adobe Acrobat, as well as the potential to construct and modify Pdf files. This also lets users add design features to Pdf files, such as video. It also allows us to encrypt the files for further security.

Further Acrobat-only capabilities include the option to search copies of documents and convert them to PDF files for desktop use, as well as the subsequent conversion of other files, such as File formats or bookmarked websites, into Pdfs. Acrobat also gives customers the option of encrypting sensitive Pdf files for increased protection.

That’s a more expanded type of Adobe Reader that comes with extra functions like reading paper files. Adobe Acrobat comes in two flavors: Basic and Professional, and also Adobe Acrobat DC, a cloud-based edition.

Preflighting files, creating PDF showcases, writing forms, and producing activities are added to the original Hardened edition of Acrobat, apart from preflighting papers, creating PDF investments, writing shapes, and producing activities.

Main Differences Between Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader

  1. The major difference between Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader is that Reader is free software whereas one has to pay for acrobat.
  2. The Reader can be upgraded to the Acrobat version by paying a monthly/yearly subscription.
  3. Users will get only basic functionalities with Reader, unlike Acrobat where they get advanced functionalities.
  4. Users can’t convert PDFs to other file formats as they can with Acrobat.
  5. Users can’t convert forms using Reader but with Acrobat, they can.


Adobe Acrobat is required if you still need to produce PDFs or if you wish to modify or improve documents by adding video components, input fields, or interactivity. Adobe Acrobat seems to be a commercial application that is available in two forms: Basic and Pro.

One can then either spend a monthly charge or a fixed price for them. Acrobat can perform all of the functions that Reader can, plus a lot extra. The reader is a free application that enables you to deal with current PDF documents.

Acrobat is a paid program that interoperates with, generates, modifies, and improves Pdf files. Acrobat Readers DC, Acrobat Basic DC, and Pdf Pro DC are the formal titles for the present array of Acrobat technologies.

Document Cloud is the abbreviation for Documents Clouds. Documents Clouds is an additional internet provider that really can improve Acrobat Pro, Basic, and Reader capabilities. However, for purpose of clarification, I’ll call Acrobat Readers DC as just Reader and the two editions of Acrobat as Basic and Professional or merely Acrobat.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=E4dHQJA9KJwC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=adobe+acrobat+vs+adobe+reader&ots=lRRXc1S7wK&sig=y_GaA-ezD57OR6tJw-Dx7a5_sAk
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel4/2191/14818/x0054530.pdf