Best PDF Software for Lawyers and Small Businesses

Document creation and editing is an effort that almost every lawyer and law firm has to make on a daily basis; whether it’s drafting new documents in Microsoft Word, filing and saving legal paperwork, or editing PDF documents, document editing makes it regularly to the legal to-do list. 

Portable Document Format, or PDF, is one of the most widely used forms of document editing in legal offices worldwide; And, there are some very specific reasons why:

  • Fluidity - PDFs are often the preferred format for document viewing worldwide. This is because almost every computer and device can display PDF documents.
  • Formatting - PDFs maintain their format no matter the device or viewer being used. This is important because this means the document will always look the same.
  • Security - Security is ultra-important within the legal world. PDF files offer the handy capability of password protection when needed.
  • Images - Because more than just text is often needed in documents, PDFs allow for images to be incorporated into the document when required easily.
  • Editing Trail - Many other file options, like TIFF and JPEG, don’t allow for an electronic trail to be kept; Whereas PDFs will keep track of edits and changes made.
  • Court-Friendliness - PDFs are easily searchable, allow for bookmarks, and can support Bates numbering; These options make PDF documents court friendly and easily used.

Deciding on the best PDF software to utilize can take some thought, however; Price, compatibility, eFiling, and usability are all factors that should be considered before choosing the program that will be relied on to get the job done. Below, we’ve compiled some of the best and most popular PDF software options lawyers and law firms are using today.

Nitro Pro 10

Price: $159.99 per user

Compatibility: Windows

As far as PDF editors go, Nitro Pro 10 is definitely cream-of-the-crop. Considered easy to use and intuitive, Nitro Pro 10 can easily support all eFiling requirements, making it the perfect choice for lawyers. Among other essentials, lawyers will find it helpful that electronic signatures can easily be obtained, documents can be saved to OneDrive and DropBox, and documents can be seamlessly collaborated on with clients and other members of the legal team.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Price: $14.99 per user, per month (contract required)

Platform: Windows and iOS

While a bit more expensive than many of its competitors, Adobe is definitely the name in PDF editing; In fact, they invented it. With Acrobat, documents can be easily converted to PDF, PDFs can be split and merged, and easy editing and compression can be done. Lawyers and law firms also appreciate the ease with which signatures can be collected, and passwords and permissions can be personalized per document.

pdfDOCS Professional

Price: $107 per user

Platform: Windows

A moderately-priced option, pdfDocs allows users to create and modify PDFs with ease all within an intuitive “Organizer” workspace. Lawyers and legal professionals will appreciate that this software allows for easy text searching, annotations, and markups; Security options are also available to protect individual documents.

PDF Converter Enterprise 8

Price: $149.99 per user

Platform: Windows

Many users in the legal field appreciate the way PDF Converter Enterprise 8 incorporates Dragon Notes. Dragon notes allows for verbal dictation to be given by the user and transcribed into text and really helps to make PDF stand apart from the rest of its competitors. Smooth integration with often-used document storage and management systems like Dropbox and Google Drive is included with this software, as well as integration with Word Perfect. Beware that there is a minimum of 5 licenses purchase requirement for this product.

ABBYY FineReader 15

Price: $199 per user

Platform: Windows

Through ABBYY FineReader, users can easily convert not just PDFs but also scanned documents and images into searchable PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, and Word documents. ABBYY further helps by allowing for easy editing of the layout within one screen in an easy-to-navigate fashion. Because editing trails are also important within the legal and court systems, this PDF editor tracks and identifies changes between document versions.

Foxit PhantomPDF Business 7

Price: $179 per user

Platform: Windows

Through Foxit, users can gather and store digital signatures, perform redactions, annotate text, highlight, add notes, and more. Files can be converted to and from Excel, Word, scanned images, and other documents easily through Foxit; Users can also merge other PDF documents. When putting together case files, legal professionals will appreciate the vast amount of organizational features, including Bates numbering, that Foxit provides.

Sejda

Price: Free or $63 per year per user

Platform: Windows and iOS

Sejda offers the unique opportunity of using their PDF editing software for free or with a nominally fair-priced $7.50 per month. With the free version, users can privately upload documents up to 200 pages, do some quick editing, Bates stamp, merge, obtain signatures, and more before downloading and saving the final product; Documents are deleted from the Sejda system after 2 hours, so it’s not suitable for ongoing project use. With the paid version, however, you can use Sejda desktop offline and not be limited to only online use.

Tracker PDF XChange Editor Plus

Price:$54.50 per user

Platform: Windows

Tracker is regarded as one of the lesser expensive PDF editors, however, not one of the most user-friendly. The layout can be confusing at times, but all of the necessary functions and features required by lawyers and law firms are present; This includes annotation capabilities, linking, and commenting. Many users also appreciate the fact that the dashboard and launch options can be customized to fit individual needs. Tracker also provides updates to its software quite often and seems to be perpetually working on product improvements.

Kofax Power PDF Advanced

Price: $179 per user

Platform: Windows and iOS

One of the best things about Kofax Power PDF Advanced is its ability to allow users to collaborate on PDFs in real-time; This is a great tool to support legal teams and lawyers and their clients. This option, combined with advanced security features, easy PDF conversion capabilities, and intuitive editing tools make Kofax an excellent choice at this price point.

Soda PDF Pro

Price: $59.95 per user

Platform: Windows 

For what it offers, Soda PDF Pro is priced exceedingly well. Users can easily edit, view, and create PDFs, and the software integrates pretty seamlessly with Dropbox and Google Drive. It also offers comprehensive 256-bit encryption along with legally binding e-signature capabilities and per document password protection. Optical character recognition is also a big plus with this PDF software.


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Software Challenges

  • Every small business relies on a handful of software to operate smoothly  (Outlook, Office 365, G-Suite, MS Office, Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, Cloud Software, QuickBooks)
  • Software needs updates, can be buggy and just simply doesn’t always work
  • Employees may need a hand in getting something done (exporting printing as PDF, shrinking an image, etc.)

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Malware is a Real Problem

  • Small Business are infected by viruses and malware at unprecedented levels
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The Challenge with Printers

  • Printers run out of ink
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Vendor Challenges

  • Too many tech vendors to manage (ISPs, Software vendors, hardware, apps)
  • Creating tickets is time consuming and frustrating process
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Our Solution

  • Our cloud option provide quick user setup for new employees meaning quick employee on boarding
  • We lock down the employees that leave and document the changes made

The Need for Monitoring

  • Monitoring is an essential component of any technology-dependent small business
  • Small businesses don’t usually invest in monitoring although it is a key component in preventing issues from happening (such as disk space, updates, high CPU pegs, and other connectivity issues)

Our Solution

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The Audit Challenge

  • As a small business owner, it is important to be able to prove accountability for compliance or employee reviews
  • Today’s small business don’t have any insight into who is doing what on the system and lack of visibility can mean higher risk

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