09 951 8078

adobe acrobat dc vs. adobe acrobat pro 2020: what's the difference

Adobe Acrobat DC vs. Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020: What’s the Difference?

Adobe Acrobat DC vs Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020

Adobe Acrobat has been the best PDF editor software in the market, with billions of users worldwide. Despite being the most expensive PDF editor, as compared to its competitors, Adobe Acrobat is often used by individuals and businesses.

Who wouldn’t appreciate or invest in it? It has a clean user interface, friendly tools, and it is one of the oldest known PDF editors that most of us recognize.

Currently, Adobe offers a perpetual and subscription-based license of their products. Both licenses share some similar features but also come with unique features too. Hence, it makes it a bit difficult to decide what license to choose.

In this article, we will break down everything you need to know about the subscription and perpetual plan of Acrobat Pro. We will provide an estimated cost, similarities, differences, and where you can get one with the lowest or best price offered.

Adobe Acrobat Licenses

Acrobat has one-time purchase and subscription-based licenses. For the one-time purchase, there are four versions offered under it.

  • Adobe Acrobat 2017 Standard
  • Acrobat 2017 Professional
  • Acrobat Standard 2020
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020

Meanwhile, the subscription plan has two versions, the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and Standard DC.

Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 vs. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

There is a tight competition between Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 vs. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. With both licenses designed for professionals, you might wonder why they bother to have two versions.

It was created for professionals with features similar to an extent. However, there is still a slight difference between the two versions.


When it comes to the basic features, both Adobe Acrobat DC and Pro 2020 share the same features.

  • Create PDFs with guided actions.
  • Create PDFs based on accessibility standards for disabled people.
  • Use the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro.
  • Draw or write using a Pen tool powered by DirectInk technology.
  • Use Bates numbering for preparing legal documents.
  • Add audio or videos.
  • Remove sensitive information from PDF by redacting files.
  • Turn scanned documents into a searchable and editable PDF with better accuracy.

These are some of a few features that both the Pro 2020 and Pro DC share. Although there are more, the ones mentioned are only seen in the pro version of Acrobat. It is not available in the Standard version.

You can check out the complete list of features offered by Adobe here.


Now that we have seen the similarities between the two, it is about time to look at their differences and know why Adobe has to make two pro versions with updated features.

Managing Documents

DC gets more features for managing and interacting with PDF files. Since it is cloud-based, DC users can easily edit and manage their files on the cloud. Although Pro 2020 allows you to share files on Box, OneDrive, Dropbox, and SharePoint, accessing files on Google Drive is limited to the DC version only.

Another advantage of using Acrobat DC is the ability to manage files on any latest touch-enabled device. It includes Surface Pro, iPad, and Android tablets.

Creating and Protecting Documents

All licenses of Acrobat can be used to create, edit, and protect your documents. However, the Pro DC brings it to the next level.

Users can bring their work with them wherever they go, as they can create, view, edit, and perform more tasks using either their computer, mobile device or web browser. Furthermore, it permits the combination of PDF files from the users’ SharePoint and OneDrive.

DC also includes the creation of secured Microsoft Office for Mac and 365 apps.

Pro 2020 permits conversion of files to PDF, but not all file formats are supported by Pro. DC can turn other Adobe files like Photoshop (PSD), Illustrator (AI), and InDesign (INDD) into PDF.

Editing and Converting Files

All versions can edit text and images, convert PDFs to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, convert PDFs to images, and insert and delete files. But DC has the upper hand in converting PDF files to other formats using any device and a web browser.

Users can edit images and text directly on PDF with their mobile devices. This feature enhances productivity in the workplace and is better for teamwork.

Filling, Signing, and Sharing Documents

Adding a signature to PDF documents keeps them safe and legal. Therefore, digital signatures are crucial for documentation purposes. Adobe includes this feature in all of its versions.

DC users can share a PDF link with others to view, add comments, and sign.

All changes that occur in the documents happen in real-time. Since this is the case, users can track legally binding e-signature and see comments from others.

Manage Organization

The best thing about Adobe is its capability to create software programs that are not only designed for individual use. It can also help organizations with their needs.

Acrobat allows users to use virtualization tools, apply security and sandboxing technology, and update Microsoft SCCM/SCUP and Apple Remote Desktop.

Only DC has the option to manage users, licenses, groups, and assigned admin roles.

Operating System

Both licenses are compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems. But for DC, it also includes support for web browsers and mobile devices.

How Much Does It Cost?

Adobe Pro cost differs for both DC and Pro 2020. The Pro 2020 offers a one-time payment for a full license. It may seem expensive at first because you have to pay for the full license, but it doesn’t require a monthly or yearly plan.

Meanwhile, the subscription plan costs $14.99 a month with an annual commitment, or get it for $24.99 a month with cancellation anytime.

Where can I Purchase a Copy?

There are plenty of online retail stores to buy an Adobe Acrobat Pro download key or download Adobe Acrobat Pro DC subscription plan. You can also go to Adobe’s website to browse the applications they offer too.

Softvire NZ offers a full-time license for Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 with 20% off.

Can I Get Adobe Acrobat for Free?

The Acrobat Pro perpetual license doesn’t have a free version or trial. However, Acrobat DC offers a seven-day trial.

If you want a free PDF app, Adobe Acrobat Reader is a free version. However, it comes with limited features.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is a PDF viewer that offers limited features such as,

  • Annotate documents and share them with comments from other viewers.
  • Tracking and collecting feedback.
  • Get signatures all in real-time.

Latest Updates

Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 Updates:

Here are the latest updates on the current perpetual license of Acrobat Pro.

  • A recent file list is available on display to easily access or continue your work.
  • Recommended tools will suggest the top Acrobat tools.
  • The Content pane checks the status of other users and activities of shared documents.
  • MIP files can be accessed when you download a specific plug-in from the plug-in download page.
  • Use another color when filling out the PDF form.
  • Addition of Preflight and PDF/UA validation.
  • Accessibility for people with disabilities has been improved.
  • Utilizes DirectInk for signing PDF documents.
  • Work efficiently with the MacBook Touch Bar.

These are the updated features seen in the 2020 version. If you are currently using the 2017 license, these features are unavailable to you.

Adobe Acrobat DC Pro Updates:

For the DC license, Adobe recently released an update in February, and it includes the following:

  • Bounding boxes are now replaced from a solid color to dotted gray lines.
  • Enhanced image cropping.
  • Addition of Edit & Sign extension to Chrome.
  • Now available in 64-bit for Windows.
  • The browser version has a split PDF service that lets users split PDF into multiple files and add a password for protection.
  • It also has a cloud storage indicator to check the status of storage.

Which One is Right for You?

Choosing the right plan depends on your needs. There are only a few differences between the two pro versions. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is best for large businesses or enterprises, for those who require real-time changes to documents and want to receive Adobe’s frequent updates. Meanwhile, perpetual license Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 can work for businesses that don’t include a large number of employees and don’t want to invest in monthly or yearly payments.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.