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Software & Web Development

Foxit PhantomPDF Business 8 review: A flexible and affordable PDF editor

While it may not have the high profile of Adobe Acrobat or Nitro Pro, Foxit’s Phantom PDF has proven itself a worth competitor. PhantomPDF Business 8 contains all the functionality professional users need with a bit of price savings to boot.

Like Nitro Pro, PhantomPDF Business uses a Microsoft-style tool ribbon to anchor its interface. Everything is organized clearly, and Foxit offers a library of video tutorials on PhantomPDF’s start page so you can quickly get up to speed on common functions like editing, reviewing, and sharing.

PhantomPDF provides all the functionality you’d want for creating and modifying PDFs, including text and object editing, drag-and-drop page ordering, document merging and splitting, and page extraction. It also features all the annotation tools you’d expect to provide feedback on PDFs, as well as support for shared reviewing via network folder or email and workflow tracking.

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. 

foxit phantompdf Michael Ansaldo/IDG

PhantomPDF offers several different layers of security, all easily accessible from its ribbon-style menu.

Several levels of protection are available for securing sensitive data, including passwords, certificates, Active Directory Rights Management Services, and redaction. And you can add your John Hancock to documents using electronic signature, digital signature, or digital certificate.

PhantomPDF can convert PDFs to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint formats; several image formats; and HTML, plain text, and rich text. In conversion tests using common business documents, it passed with flying colors. To push its limits, I had it convert a 30-page ebook in PDF format to a Word document. It pulled it off without a hiccup, accurately maintaining all formatting including heads and subheads, pull-quotes, bullet points, and image and design elements. Impressive indeed.

phantompdf mobile Michael Ansaldo/IDG

PhantomPDF connects to popular cloud services so you can access files from the Foxit MobilePDF app.

PhantomPDF Business 8 is available for Windows for a one-time fee of $139 or as a $9 monthly subscription. There’s also a scaled-down Standard version for $109 or a $7.50 monthly subscription, and an Education version for students and schools only for $59 or $3.83 monthly.

Foxit also offers its MobilePDF app free for Android, iOS, and Windows devices. You can unlock advanced features in this PDF reader by upgrading to MobilePDF Business through an in-app purchase.

Bottom line

PhantomPDF Business 8 is a well-rounded PDF editor that holds its own against Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and Nitro Pro 11. It also costs less than either of those heavy hitters. If you need a capable tool for everyday business documents and need to save a few bucks, this is a great option.

IDG Insider

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