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PDFelement vs. PDF Expert, which works better on Mac?

Updated on May 25, 2017

Thanks to the recent progress in technology, going paperless has become a trend among readers, who tend to appreciate the simplicity and versatility of e-form over its paper counterpart, be it novels or work documents. PDF as an important format has gained its popularity, and is well known for its steadiness that allows a file to appear the same regardless of the system or platform it runs on.

However, steadiness in format can sometimes be a real pain in the neck, when it comes to modifying a PDF file. A PDF editor is therefore meant for such purpose. Nowadays there are different types of PDF editing software each with a different focus on its functions. Below is a benchmark of how a PDF editor with good usability and user-friendliness should look like:

1. Smooth reading experience, there should be no drag, no crash, no flash back, even with hundreds of pages of PDF open.

2. Allows for fast and easy editing and marking of PDF files across different platforms.

3. Easy to convert between other formats, easy to send/transfer.

Here is an in-depth comparison between two major players in the game of PDF Apps, PDFelement and PDF Expert.


  1. Target groups

PDFelement: offers an all-in-one package of professional PDF solution. Powerful text editing and form processing features making it perfect for quick editing, converting, sharing, and managing of PDF files, a good choice for light duty PDF users, but also meets professional and enterprise demand.

PDF Expert: fast, simple and easy. Instantly, synced sharing and editing across all platforms, perfect for light duty PDF users.

System requirement


PDFelement Standard:27.8M

PDFelement Professional(incl.OCR):486M

PDF Expert: 34M

2. Aesthetics

PDFelement: Features main stream design for efficiency tool, color scheme mostly consists indigo and white to bring up the minimalist/business theme.

PDF Expert: Simple but timeless design that mostly plays with different shades of grey.

3. Date released

PDF Expert was initially available only in iOS Apps. When its desktop version was introduced in November 2013, it was a huge success among users and Apple editors.

Wondershare, the company that developed PDFelement, has many years of experience in PDF editing software, and has previously released many PDF editing tools (as shown below).

As a comprehensive editing tool for PDF files, PDFelement was released in 2015 by Wondershare.

Now it’s time to compare these two powerful tools in PDF viewing and editing, and see how they perform in real use.

Core Functions

  1. Viewing

PDFelement: smooth viewing, customizable page management

PDFelement provides users with smooth, high-resolution viewing experience, and lightning fast loading speed. You can easily go to your page of choice among hundreds of other pages within a PDF file, and choose to rotate, replace, or delete that page, or make a new separate PDF file out of that single page.

2. PDF Expert: An expert in seamless performance

Whether it’s an academic paper rich in math equations and charts, or an e-book hundreds of MB in size, PDF Expert can open it in the blink of an eye. It comes with the highlight of split, allowing users to read two files side by side, a function that brings more than just thrill when you need to compare two files or cross examine a file in its original language and its foreign translation.

Conclusion: While both Apps have very strong performance in viewing, PDF Expert might still win by a nose with its fast performance in 3 crucial aspects of PDF files, loading, scrolling, and zooming, plus the useful split view feature that saves your time in switching between files and thus greatly boost your efficiency.

3. Editing/markup

PDFelement: powerful toolkit, detailed editing

PDFelement has outstanding editing performance and provides a wide selection of details for markup, including highlighter, underline, cross out, box, and sticky notes, dedicated to meet the demand of even the pickiest note taker. The pointing and dragging is very sensitive and accurate, which is very helpful in avoiding mis-marking even in the event of a shaky hand.

PDFelement also comes with powerful editing tools. When upgraded to the professional version, you can use its integrated optical character recognition (OCR) technology to recognize and edit every character.

Compared to the conventional work flow of first converting the file into word file for further text editing, PDFelement enables users to directly add, delete, and replace text, which is definitely a huger time saver.

4. PDF Expert: intuitive to use, packed with details

Many people see markup feature as a key indicator in the usability of a PDF editor, such view also holds true for PDF Expert in terms of its wide variety of marking tools. Besides that, the e-signature feature is loved by many business people. The App comes with a lot of original stamps/tags, making it an ideal tool for academic work such as revision control.

Conclusion: PDFelement has more to offer when it comes to marking and editing, provides more tools, and has a higher recognition accuracy. A wide selection of markup tools make reading note a much easier and more enjoyable experience. Its editing features make correction of CV, contract, business plan easier and more convenient than ever before. Next time when you look at the slogan of PDFelement that says ‘Get a smarter, faster editing experience that is like Microsoft Word’, you know they take this commitment very seriously.

5. Format converting

PDFelement: Multi-format conversion is just one click away

Although PDF format is very convenient to use, it is still not as popular as the Microsoft Office Series. Many feel the need to convert PDF files into other formats, and that job is easily done on PDFelement, which supports multi-format conversion. You can convert a PDF file into formats such as Word, Excel, PPT, JPG, HTML and so on.

PDF Expert: Absence of format conversion is a big disadvantage

For the format conversion function in PDF Expert, unfortunately there will be no screen shot available, after clicking through all tabs, there is still no sign of such function. For an otherwise powerful App, this is a big deal breaker.

Conclusion: format conversion is usually considered a must-have feather for any PDF editing tool, its absence in PDF Expert is more than confusing. So in the comparison for format conversion in both App’s, PDFelement wins, hands down.

While the comparison between PDFelement Standard and PDF Expert is mentioned above, the following text will talk about unique feathers in PDFelement Professional such as speadsheet extraction and OCR. If you need to deal with forms on a regular basis, PDFelement might be the better solution.

6. Form processing

PDFelement: data extraction, powerful OCR technology

For those in charge of collecting and processing information, receiving hundreds of application forms is commonplace. It would be very tedious work, and prone to errors if all that information was to be input manually. With its effective batch extraction feature, PDFelement allows users to automatically gather information from all the forms to generate an excel sheet - with just one click.

In addition to that, PDFelement is also integrated with powerful OCR technology, making it possible to not only extract data from normal PDF files, but also from PDF files generated from scanned images. This features comes in handy when it comes to extracting data from printed invoice or receipts, just create a scanned PDF image by taking a picture, and the App will take care of the rest. For small businesses looking for better ways improve efficiency in their efficiency in batch processing, this is the way to go.

PDF Expert: fill in standard form but no OCR technology

PDF Expert on the other, pulls off a much less stunning job in form processing, providing only the most basic features in form fill-in and e-signature, though the e-signature does work quite smoothly and supports Trackpad. With no integrated OCR technology, PDF Expert is barely worthy of its name when faced with scanned forms.


For simple form fill-in, both PDF Expert and PDFelement are adequate in meeting user’s demand. However, PDFelement has a wider selection of features, with which you can create spreadsheet, button, tick box, or drop down menu. For form data processing, it is recommended to use PDFelement Professional, which supports batch extraction and conversion of data, as well as adding stamp in batch. Integrated OCR technology makes automatic extracting and gathering of data from scanned forms easier than ever before, and it takes only one click to turn all that information into a spreadsheet, no matter how many forms you are dealing with.

To sum up, the form below gives a more straight forward comparison of the core features of the two App’s:


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