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Compare Versions: Differences Between Acrobat DC vs. 2017 vs. XI

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What's New in Adobe Acrobat DC 2019?

Adobe Acrobat has undergone a tremendous evolution in recent years. When the new Acrobat “DC” generation first arrived in 2015, people weren’t quite sure what to make of it. But now, almost four years later with several major releases plus fully-integrated mobile apps for PDF management, document scanning, and electronic signatures, the Document Cloud has arrived and most of us wonder how we ever got along without the workflow productivity it brings.

While the desktop Acrobat Pro/Standard product is still sold standalone with a perpetual – or “Classic” – license, most of the newest capabilities and services are only available via the Acrobat DC subscription – or “Continuous” – bundle. It’s called “Continuous” because subscribers receive all ongoing product upgrades as soon as they are available, ensuring you are always running the latest-and-greatest software with the complete featureset.

The latest Continuous release is Acrobat DC 2019, which runs US$13-15/month for an annual subscription (either Standard or Pro). The most recent Classic release was Acrobat 2017, which costs US$300-450 to purchase upfront.

Get the complete PDF solution for working anywhere

One of the most frequent upgrade questions we get is what’s different between the latest release of Acrobat and previous versions? What are the major new features and improve­ments in the current 2019 Release of Acrobat DC (Pro or Standard) versus Acrobat 2017, or even Acrobat XI from 2012, which is past ‘end-of-life’? For over 30 million Acrobat customers worldwide, it’s important to understand the differences…

First, just to clear up three very common misconceptions about Acrobat DC (and Reader DC) for Windows and Mac: Some folks believe that the programs only run online in the cloud (rather than on your desktop), can only work when your computer is connected to the Internet, or that users are required to store their PDF files online in the secure Document Cloud. But just like with the Creative Cloud, all three of these myths are false.

[ What’s the difference between the editions? See: Acrobat DC Pro vs. Standard vs. Reader ]

And now back to the facts. Below are some of the key changes to the Acrobat DC 2019 release compared to Acrobat 2017. This list is not complete, but these are many of the important highlights. Please see this page for all changes to the Acrobat product line since Acrobat XI, or scroll further down this page for a detailed version-by-version comparison…

Compare Acrobat Subscription vs. StandaloneAcrobat DCAcrobat 2017
Work with Acrobat on the desktop (Windows/macOS)XX
Modern user interface, with choice of light or dark themeXX
Open multiple PDFs in a single window with tabbed viewingXX
Edit text and images right in your PDFXX
Create PDFs and export to Word, Excel, or PowerPointXX
Compare two versions of a PDF to review all differencesXX
Scan paper to editable PDFs with fonts matching the originalXX
Turn any document into a form you can fill, sign, and sendXX
Auto-fix photos to remove backgrounds, adjust perspectiveXX
Integration with Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and Google DriveXX
Access and view PDFs on a tablet or smartphoneXX
Digitally sign, certify, and verify documentsXX
Full access to premium Adobe Document Cloud servicesX
Share links of PDFs for viewing, reviewing, and signaturesX
Send, track and confirm delivery of documents electronicallyX
Create and export PDFs on your mobile deviceX
Edit PDF text & organize pages on your iPad or AndroidX
Collect e-signatures from others and track responses liveX
Improved OCR capabilities around the worldX
Unified Share experience across desktop, mobile + webX
Enhance PDF forms by adding interactivity with JavaScriptX
100GB of cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio, and Adobe FontsX
MacBook Pro Touch bar and Windows Surface Pro supportX
Regular releases with new & improved product featuresX

For more information on all of the new features (and more), you can get the details here. As you can see, most of the latest features are available only on the subscription (continuous) track.

For those who wish to try before buying, be sure to take advantage of the free 7-day tryout of the new tools. The minimum system requirements for Acrobat DC 2019 remain largely the same as before. On Mac, Acrobat DC is a native 64-bit application – while on Windows, Adobe supports both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

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And as promised, here is the itemized version-by-version, feature-by-feature compar­ison of Acrobat Pro/Standard DC 2019 vs. previous releases – just click to see the complete chart below:

See the Acrobat DC Pro/Standard Upgrade Version Comparison Chart

Acrobat Pro DC with Document Cloud services gives you the most complete PDF solution for today’s multi-device, connected world. Subscribe to get the latest PDF tools to create, convert, edit, protect, sign, and share PDFs across your computer, mobile device, and web browser. Plus you always get the latest innovations with new features and services as soon as they are available, at no extra cost. With Acrobat Pro DC, you can stay connected and productive wherever you work and easily collaborate with others on any device. And it’s from Adobe, the leader in secure digital documents for over 25 years.

Bottom line, Adobe Acrobat DC 2019 looks like a smooth and solid upgrade that will make your life easier, help you get more done, and save you some time. Want to see for yourself? Just download and install the free 7-day trial.

To learn more, see the excellent Acrobat DC FAQ or check out the free Acrobat DC tutorials.

Finally, in honor of upcoming Earth Day, we present “Twelve Ways to Make your Office Paperless” – which offers some terrific ideas, including the Resource Saver Calculator:

See Also

Download New Adobe CC 2019 Free Trials (Direct Links)

Do you have any questions about Acrobat DC?  Just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

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  1. John

    Article mentions Acrobat DC 2019 price is US$13-15/month which is currently true for single app and teams. However, team pricing for Acrobat DC is increasing beginning February 12, 2019. Acrobat DC Pro for Teams will be US$17. For existing team subscribers, price increase will apply at time of renewal. For more info, see the FAQ at:

    https://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/policy-pricing/subscription-price-increase-acrobat-dc.html

  2. Jacob

    Hi, would you happen to know if there is likely to be a standalone (non-subscription) version of Acrobat Pro 2019 later this year? Thanks.

    • Hi Jacob, good question. And in fact, we just asked Adobe the same thing. But we have not heard of any such plans.

      However, we do know that sales of Acrobat 2017 (the most recent perpetual release available) will continue for now… Just this morning, Adobe Staff stated publicly here:

      I checked and I couldn’t find any official statement of discontinuation of selling Acrobat 2017. Adobe will continue to sell Acrobat 2017, and the End of Support date for the product version would be 6/6/2022.

      Hope that helps!

  3. JW500

    Adobe DC is not worth it. First if you had Adobe 2011 you could upgrade to Adobe 2017 back in 2017 and pay even less. But even if you paid $350 for Adobe 2017, that is about 2 years of Adobe DC and then Adobe 2017 is “free.” It’s going to be supported to 2022 so you have another 3 years of “free.” Looking at the chart above, the only advantage of any significance seems to be the cloud features, but if you have OneDrive or one of the other cloud services it is redundant. You can email a document for e-signature or send a link withput having Adobe DC.

    Considering Office 365 Home gives you 5 licenses at under $9/month to Outlook, Word, Excel, One Drive with 1 TB storage per license, and more…Adobe DC is horribly overpriced.

  4. Gertas

    my question is simple: does acrobat pro learn how to use more cpu cores, and more then 4 GB of memory?
    i dont see any real improvement since 9.0 in that regard…

    • Acrobat DC is still a 32-bit application on Windows, for greatest compatibility across the largest number of customer computers and operating system versions… Are you running into any particular performance issues? The only way that should really happen is if you are dealing with truly massive (multi-gigabyte) PDF files that could possibly exceed the application’s 4GB size of memory space.

      On macOS, all versions of Adobe Acrobat and Reader since 2015 (i.e., Acrobat DC, 2015, and 2017) have been 64-bit-native applications.

      For more information or to ask a follow-up question on this topic, see this related Adobe Forums post:

      How Do I Change from Acrobat 32-bit to Acrobat 64-bit?

  5. b7907672

    @ProDesignTools

    High usage doesn’t mean the product is worth it – just that Adobe marketing is working. Make a Windows x64-only version and then it would absolutely be worth it to me.

    • All right, but are you running into any particular performance issues when using the 32-bit Acrobat on Windows? The only way that should really happen when using it is if you are dealing with truly massive (multi-gigabyte) PDF files that could possibly exceed the application’s 4GB size of memory space… Otherwise there should be little difference in function or performance.

  6. b7907672

    I do work with files larger than a 1GB, but have run into issues with files under 2GB. I find 4000 pages to be about as many as it will reliably manipulate. I recognize many don’t need the size but why not move to an x64 platform already.

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What's the Difference Between Acrobat DC 2019 vs. 2017 vs. XI?
https://prodesigntools.com/compare-acrobat-dc-versions.html