Difference between Adobe Acrobat and Reader.

Many users are familiar with programs such as Adobe Acrobat and Reader. What is each of them for?

Facts About Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is actually not one program, but several. This software package was developed by Adobe Systems and is designed to work with PDF files. With the help of various solutions that are included in Adobe Acrobat, you can create, edit PDF documents, view them.

Adobe Acrobat is a commercial package. Its most modern versions allow, in particular:

  • to send PDF-documents;
  • co-edit files online;
  • convert popular office formats (such as DOC, XLS, PPT) to PDF;
  • do file encryption;
  • convert web page elements into PDF documents;
  • scan and recognize paper documents, save them in PDF format;
  • to certify documents with a digital signature;
  • Adapt video formats for playback in PDF documents.

And this is only a part of the capabilities of the Adobe Acrobat package.

Facts about Reader

Reader, or Adobe Reader, is, in turn, a standalone program, it is not a package of solutions. Its developer is also Adobe. Reader is designed exclusively for reading PDF files. She cannot edit the relevant documents. It is free.

Adobe Reader can read any PDF document created with Adobe Acrobat. In addition to reading the corresponding files, Adobe Reader is able to send them for printing, save copies. This program has everything for easy viewing of PDF documents - in particular, the option to enlarge, reduce, adjust the orientation of the displayed pages.

Some versions of Adobe Reader can be used as a browser plug-in. This makes it possible to view PDF files located on servers on the Internet without downloading. By the way, there are also versions of Adobe Acrobat that can be used as a browser plugin.

Adobe Reader is capable of playing almost any type of media supported by the PDF standard, as well as displaying them as a slide show.


The fundamental difference between Adobe Acrobat and Reader is that the first solution is intended for both reading and editing PDF-files, the second is only for opening them. The difference in the purpose of the software predetermines a large number of differences in the functions of Adobe Acrobat and Reader as well. The first program has incomparably more possibilities for working with files in PDF format. However, Reader also has a number of advantages - it's free, quick to install, and very easy to learn to use.


What is the difference between Adobe Acrobat and Reader, we now know. Let's display the data we have in the form of a table.

Adobe Acrobat Reader
Shared between programs
Designed by Adobe
Designed for use with PDF files
Can be used in as offline applications or online plugins
Differences between programs
Is a software packageIs a standalone program
Commercial productFree product
Can edit documentsCan only read documents
Has a large number of functions for creating and editing PDF filesHas a small number of functions - mainly those that are needed for comfortable viewing of PDF documents