With a suite of features that rival the industry's giants, Wondershare PDFelement has successfully carved out a significant niche in the document management landscape, winning over many loyal customers. But as with any other PDF editing software, this one isn’t perfect either and has a few drawbacks that may or may not be a dealbreaker to your workflow.

So is this PDF suite the right tool for your needs? Let’s find out in this PDFelement review!

What is Wondershare PDFelement?

Developed by China-based Wondershare Technology, Wondershare PDFelement is a versatile PDF editor that offers a wide range of convenient features at a relatively affordable price tag. It's designed to streamline document workflows, making it a solid choice for individuals and professionals alike. Here's a quick rundown of what you can do with PDFelement:

  • PDF creation and editing: you can modify text, images, insert links and pages, and more. You can also build a custom PDF file from scratch or from DOCX and images.

  • OCR (Optical Character Recognition): this technology allows you to transform scanned documents into editable and searchable PDFs.

  • PDF forms: PDFelement allows you to create PDF forms and also fill out forms and even extract form data for further analysis in Microsoft Excel.

  • PDF signatures: the software allows you to e-sign any document and instantly make it legally binding. You can also track the status of every signed document in real time.

  • PDF protection: the Wondershare software can secure PDFs with passwords and custom user permissions, or apply encryption and digital signatures.

  • PDF organizing: PDFelement allows you to do various tasks aimed at streamlining your document workflow, such as PDF merging, splitting, page rotation and extraction, and PDF compression for a significantly reduced file size.

  • PDF conversion tool: you can convert PDFs to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and image formats, and vice-versa.

  • AI tools: the wide roster of ChatGPT-like tools allows you to do things like quick summaries, as well as full translations or rewrites of your original documents.

Is PDFelement free?

No, the Wondershare PDFelement editor is not free to use, but it does offer a 14-day free trial during which you can test most of its included features. That being said, free trial users who have registered an account with Wondershare will enjoy a better experience than unregistered users, but in both cases, the evaluation license is limited compared to the full version.

What is the cost of PDFelement?

Table with PDF Element's pricing plans

While PDFelement is priced fairly, it’s not exactly cheap

PDFelement's pricing structure is straightforward, with different tiers for individuals, teams, and businesses.

  • PDFelement for Individuals: you get access to all features for either one or two years, depending on the pricing plan you choose. You can also get the Perpetual Plan, which while pricier, lets you use PDFelement forever.

  • PDFelement for Teams: you get access to all features in the Individual plans plus dedicated support. Here, you can also choose how many users you want to access the product (up to 10). This version also features a Perpetual Plan.

  • PDFelement Business: Tailored for enterprise needs (more than 10 users), with additional support and deployment options available.

As for the exact pricing of each pricing tier, this can vary based on promotions and updates, so it's best to check Wondershare's official website for the most current information. Still, here is what the PDF software offered individual users as of the time of writing this article (or simply refer to the table above):

  1. Yearly plan: $79.99 (VAT excluded)
  2. 2-year plan: $109.99 (VAT excluded)
  3. Perpetual plan: $129.99 (VAT excluded)

What languages are supported by PDFelement?

Currently, PDFelement supports the following list of languages (12 in total):

  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional Chinese)
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Does PDFelement sync across devices?

Thanks to a useful bit of Wondershare Technology – the Wondershare Document Cloud – users can freely sync files across Windows, MacOS, and mobile environments, allowing you to keep up with your work anywhere you go. What’s more, the company offers users up to 100 GB of secure cloud storage, which is plenty for everyday office work. It also offers flexible cloud-based collaboration, sharing, and e-signing experiences.

Can I use PDFelement offline?

Yes, PDFelement is not web-based so it can run on any machine without being connected to the internet as long as it has been installed beforehand. This also ensures that users are completely protected from hackers or from accidentally sharing information online.

Is the user interface beginner-friendly?

While it’s not the cleanest we’ve seen so far, it’s definitely leaps and bounds above Adobe. Every feature is clearly laid out, minimizing confusion and promoting efficiency.

Screenshot of PDF Element's home screen

The home screen is fairly minimalistic, with quick access to all the most-used PDF features.

When it comes to actual PDF editing, Wondershare has done a decent job of mapping out everything you would need to get your project underway, with often-used actions such as “Add Image”, “Add Link”, “Add Text”, and “Watermark” being just a click away.

Screenshot of PDF Element's editor view

Most editing features within PDFelement are easily within hand’s reach.

The same goes for almost every other feature in PDFelement’s arsenal – whether you’re performing OCR or leaving comments, everything is simple enough to use and gets the job done.

How to Activate PDFelement?

Activating PDFelement is a breeze:

1. Register an account with Wondershare.

2. Install the software and open it.

3.From the home menu, click on “Log in”.

Screenshot showing how to activate PDFelement

4. Type in your credentials and click on “Log in” again.

5. Your PDFelement license will be activated automatically.

Pros and Cons of PDFelement

Every tool has its pros and cons, and PDFelement is no exception. Let’s take a closer look at what Wondershare did right and what it can still improve upon to beat leaders like Adobe.

Wondershare PDFelement – the good

  • User-friendly: as already mentioned, PDFelement's interface is intuitive, making it accessible for beginners and pros alike. It also has lots of tutorials and helpful articles to get people started using their product.

  • Feature-rich: it comes packed with features that cater to almost all PDF-related needs.

  • Cross-platform: the app is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, providing users with a flexible PDF workflow regardless of where they are.

  • Regular updates: Wondershare keeps the software updated with regular updates and new features.

Wondershare PDFelement – the bad

  • Performance: handling large PDF files can sometimes feel sluggish and can put a strain on older systems.

  • Limited trial: the trial is quite restricted, pushing users towards a paid license instead of giving them an actual chance to evaluate if the product meets their needs.

  • Hefty price tag: while not as exorbitant as Adobe, PDFelement’s price tag still falls short of the budget category, which some users can find off-putting.

  • Slow response times: though generally helpful, customer support can sometimes be slow to respond, which might be critical if you’re facing an issue that costs your business money.

Is PDFelement worth it? Our final verdict

Wondershare PDFelement stands out as a powerful and flexible PDF solution. It's packed with features that cater to a variety of needs – from simple editing to complex form handling and security. While it has its drawbacks, such as performance with large files and a limited free version, its advantages are enough to make it a decent Adobe Acrobat alternative.

However, if you’re after a more budget-friendly PDF suite that still packs a punch and gets you where you need to be, then look no further than PDF Extra. PDF Extra is a lightweight all-in-one suite available for Windows, Android, and iOS that you can try for free without a trial.

Similarly to PDFelement, it also allows you to edit, OCR, convert, organize, fill & sign, and protect documents but features an even more streamlined interface, making any task feel effortless. PDF Extra also offers an unrestricted 14-day trial that lets you test all of its features to the fullest so that you can confidently assess if it will meet your needs or not.

So, give PDF Extra a try – at a yearly price of just $50.28 for a Premium license, $83.88 for an Ultimate license, and $99 for a lifetime license, you really can’t go wrong!