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adobe acrobat pro 2020 vs adobe acrobat pro dc - cover

Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 vs Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

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If you’re wondering what’s the difference between Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 vs Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, here we show you the major differences between the two software on both Mac and Windows PCs.

Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC are two versions of Adobe’s popular PDF editing, viewing and document management software.

The big advantage of Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 is that it is available as a one off purchase compared to Adobe Acrobat Pro DC which is subscription only or included in Adobe Creative Cloud plans.

This means that you get a perpetual license of Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 for $538 which you can use indefinitely compared to $19.99 per month for Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

adobe acrobat pro one time purchase

However, there are some disadvantages of Acrobat Pro 2020 compared to Acrobat Pro DC which we’ll take a look at here.

Note that you can no longer purchase older versions of Adobe Acrobat such as Adobe Acrobat 2017 Standard or Professional.

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Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 vs Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 was the replacement for Adobe Acrobat XI Pro 2017 and introduced new features such as a new home view, accessibility tools, digital signature features and OCR capabilities.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC was the replacement for Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 with enhanced features, Adobe Creative Cloud integration and a more modern user interface.

Both Acrobat Pro 2020 and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC support the following:

  • Viewing, creating, modifying and merging of PDFs
  • Integration with Microsoft Office and Google Docs for exporting PDFs
  • Sharing of PDFs and tracking document status
  • Collecting and tracking e-signatures
  • Support for Touch Bar MacBook Pros
  • Support annotation and drawing with pens or styluses that use DirectInk
  • Support Bates page numbering for legal documents
  • Insertion of audio and video into documents
  • Turn PDFs into searchable documents by using OCR technology

However, Acrobat Pro DC also includes the following features which are not included in Acrobat Pro 2020:

  • Document Cloud Storage & Mobile Access

The “DC” in Acrobat Pro DC stands for “Document Cloud” which is Adobe’s online document management and storage solution. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC includes 100GB of online storage and management space. This means that you can access your Adobe Acrobat documents on the move with mobile devices and in any browser on a Mac or PC including support for touch devices such as iPad, Microsoft Surface and Android.

  • Cloud Storage Integration

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is also integrated with other cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and Microsoft OneDrive so you can save and open PDFs directly with these services in Acrobat Pro DC. There is no cloud storage integration in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and you can only access files stored on your computer or on a network drive.

Microsoft Office Integration

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC offers closer integration with Microsoft Office, Office 365, Microsoft 365, SharePoint and OneDrive allowing you easily convert, import and export PDFs into and out of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

Creative Cloud Integration

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is also integrated with Adobe Creative Cloud allowing you to instantly convert Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Photoshop files into PDF. Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 supports a far more limited set of file formats that it can convert to although it does support converting PDF to Word, PowerPoint, Excel and images.

Legally Binding Signatures

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC allows you to collect legally binding signatures and track their progress in real-time via Adobe Sign. Acrobat Pro 2020 allows you to add signatures to documents but doesn’t have Adobe Sign integration for response tracking or to make them legally binding.

System Admin Privileges

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC allows system administrators to manage multiple licenses, installations, groups and roles of users while Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 does not support this. If your company is using Adobe VIP licensing, then admins can reassign licenses between users. Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020 is not tied to a particular user at all though – it’s only tied to the computer that it’s installed on.

Regular Updates

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is updated regularly by Adobe with new features and improvements. Adobe Acrobat 2020 only receives bug fixes and security updates from Adobe until its end of life on 1st June 2025.


  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC has a more modern, user friendly interface compared to Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020.

Free Trial

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC offers a 7 day free trial while Acrobat Pro 2020 does not offer any free trial.

Acrobat Pro 2020 vs Acrobat Pro DC Comparison Table

Below you can see an overview of how Adobe Acrobat 2020 and Acrobat Pro DC compare side-by-side.

Adobe Acrobat Pro 2020Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
Works on Mac/Windows
Mac/Windows Desktop App
Create & Edit PDFs
Turns Scanned Documents Into Searchable PDFs
Sign PDFs and track document status
Compare 2 PDFs and view differences
Track legally binding e-signatures
Integration with Microsoft Office and other Microsoft products
Export to PDF from Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop
Full cloud service integration with Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive etc
Mobile integration
Autofill on mobile devices
One time payment

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In summary, if you’re a medium to large enterprise, don’t mind paying a subscription fee and need all of these added features, an Acrobat Pro DC subscription will be better for you.

If however you’re a small business, only need Adobe Acrobat Pro DC for occasional use, prefer a one-time purchase or don’t need these added features, Acrobat Pro 2020 will be enough.


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