Software & Web Development

Qoppa PDF Studio Pro 12 review: Capable editor hampered by a quirky interface

PDF Studio Pro 12 comes close to Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and Nuance Power PDF Advanced in the depth of features it offers. It lacks the modern polish of those two programs, though, and has a few peccadilloes that may not make it your first choice of PDF editor.

PDF Studio Pro looks a little dated compared to the other products in our guide. There’s no tabbed interface, just a single icon-heavy toolbar that isn’t very intuitive. Tabbing through the standard drop-down menus was a far easier way to navigate the program’s many functions.

PDF Studio Pro gives you pretty comprehensive control over creating and editing PDFs. You can scan physical documents directly into the program or convert Microsoft Office files, plain text, and several image files types to PDF. You can insert, extract, and reorder pages in existing PDFs, add watermarks, and optimize them for file size.

This review is part of our best PDF editors of 2017 roundup. Go there to learn about our testing and how all the competitors performed. 

pdf studio pro ui Michael Ansaldo/IDG

PDF Studio Pro’s toolbar is a little busy. We found it easier to use the drop-down menus to find what we were looking for.

You can edit PDF text and image content, but it’s a little quirky. Rather than making edits directly in the document as you do in most other PDF editors, you activate PDF Studio Pro’s content editing tool, select the text or image you want to modify, and make the changes in a text or image properties box, respectively. It works well enough, but again, it’s not at all intuitive and takes some getting used to.

There’s a standard set of reviewing tools under the Comments menu, including text markups, shapes, highlighting, and rubber stamps. You can even make audio, image, and freehand annotations.

pdf studio pro text edit Michael Ansaldo/IDG

In PDF Studio Pro you text edit in a text properties box, rather than inline. It takes some getting used to.

PDF Studio Pro allows you to secure your PDFs with passwords and permissions. It also supports hand-drawn signatures, those imported as an image stamp, and digital signatures.

PDF Studio Pro is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Unix for $129. A Standard version, which drops some advanced features like form creating and batch processing, can be had for just $89. Free trials are available for both versions. Currently, there is no mobile app.

Bottom line

In a head-to-head feature comparison, PDF Studio Pro matches favorably with Adobe Acrobat Pro. But its user interface could definitely use a modern refresh, and you’ll likely need the support of the user guide and online knowledge base to get up and running. It’s a capable alternative to Acrobat, but if ease-of-use is a priority, there are others worth considering.

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