Adobe Acrobat XI vs. Nuance PDF Create 8

Though many software applications these days have the native ability to save to PDFs, using a specialized software package for this purpose is still the most beneficial way to go when it comes to accurately converting documents into industry-ready PDFs. Many capabilities, such as advanced searching/redacting, markup, layering, among other functions, are only available in software designed specifically for processing PDFs. For businesses or people who need to create PDFs for commercial use, having software capable of these functions is imperative.

Nuance PDF Create 8 and Adobe Acrobat XI are two of the most popular software offerings on the market for PDF creation and processing. The following is a comparison of the two packages to help guide consumers through the buying process.

Software Features

Regarding the creation and editing features of digital documents, both Nuance PDF Create 8 and Adobe Acrobat XI are comparable in terms of their capabilities. Both can create industry-standard PDFs from all PC applications and image formats, and support extended document editing capabilities, such as watermarking documents, easy merging capabilities, and sophisticated password-protection. For creating 100% industry-standard PDF files with tools for marking up and annotating, as well a security and compression ability, both Nuance PDF Create 8 and Adobe Acrobat XI are neck and neck.

One drawback of Nuance PDF Create 8 is that there is no version for Mac OSX-Apple desktop. Owners of those laptops will have to default to using Adobe Acrobat XI.

Ease of Use

Though those accustomed with other Adobe products may prefer Acrobat XI’s familiar schema and workflow, Nuance PDF Create 8’s interface is quite intuitive and easy to pick up. In fact, the charcoal color scheme is quite similar to that of Adobe’s. Aside from Nuance PDF’s default horizontal toolbar orientation (versus Adobe Acrobat XI’s vertical toolbar), the two are quite similar and easy to transition to and from.

Cloud Connectivity

An interesting innovation from Nuance that is accessible via PDF Create 8 is its Cloud Connector, which essentially allows one to open and save PDFs to popular cloud storage services such as Google Docs, Amazon S3, Box, DropBox, and many others. With the prevalence of cloud storage these days, this feature is a definite plus for Nuance PDF Create 8 users. This feature not only allows for opening and saving to individual cloud services, but also enables the drag-and-drop of files between different cloud storage vendors. This is a great feature of Nuance PDF Create 8, and one that is notably absent in Adobe Acrobat XI.


Adobe support has gotten better in recent years but some users report frustration getting a hold of Adobe's support team. Support resources are often only available once logged in with one’s Adobe ID and password. Adobe is a large software company with many products and users so they have more complex support funnnels which some users find more difficult to navigate.

In contrast, Nuance’s support resources and knowledge base are open to the public, and easily accessible via the website. Furthermore, Nuance’s customer and technical support numbers are posted directly on the website—so getting live support over the phone is much less of a hassle.


Nuance PDF Create 8 dominates Adobe Acrobat XI in this arena. For just a fraction of the price of Acrobat, one gets all the necessary functionality for creating, editing, and processing industry-standard PDFs in Nuance PDF Create 8. In contrast, a mere upgrade to Adobe Acrobat XI from its previous version can be a severe hit on one’s pocketbook. In short, both are fantastic pieces of software but Nuance PDF Create 8 is a great alternative to Adobe Acrobat XI for those looking to save money.

Buy Nuance PDF Create 8 for just $49.87.
Buy Adobe Acrobat XI Standard for $314.75.
Upgrade to Adobe Acrobat XI Standard for $148.98.
Buy Adobe Acrobat XI Pro for $479.29.
Upgrade to Adobe Acrobat XI Pro for $214.99.

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