PDF Studio Pro review: Now with new productivity hacks
This already-solid PDF editor benefits from automated actions and other enhancements.
By Michael Ansaldo
At a Glance
Time-saving automated actions
Excellent PDF creation and editing features
No mobile app
With a new session manager, automated actions, and other productivity improvements PDF Studio Pro 2022 holds its own against Acrobat and its strongest alternatives. It also ranks as one of the most affordable PDF editors.
Price comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwide
When we last checked in on Qoppa’s PDF Studio Pro, it had been given a much-needed cosmetic makeover. The clunky, dated interface of previous versions was replaced with a more modern Office-style interface that made its deep set of PDF editing tools much easier to find and use. The upgrades introduced in PDF Studio Pro 2022 aren’t nearly as dramatic, but they will make working with PDF documents simpler and more efficient.
PDF Studio Pro 2022 continues to offer everything you need to manage PDFs. You can create PDFs from scanned paper documents or by converting Microsoft Office files, plain text, and several image files types. It provides a comprehensive set of review and markup tools such as highlighting; sticky notes; text boxes; and graphical, audio, and freehand annotations. And you can secure your documents with passwords, permissions, encryption, and digital and electronic signatures. The ribbon interface also remains largely unchanged, keeping the program’s many editing tools intuitively organized among 11 task-based tabs.
Most of the new features Qoppa has introduced with this version are designed to enhance productivity for advanced and professional users. The most significant of these deal with the issues of performing the same actions over and over.
This review is part of our best PDF editors roundup. Go there to learn about our testing and how all the competitors performed.
A new Action Wizard, for example, allows users to automate repetitive tasks that they need to perform on PDF documents on a regular basis. You can create your own custom actions by selecting however many commands or functions you need and pre-setting them with specific options. To create an action for converting a scanned document into a PDF with searchable text, for example, you would include steps to optimize the file, perform OCR, and save the file as a PDF. The saved action could then be implemented with a single click to apply all the recorded steps to a single document or a set of documents in a fraction of the time it would take to perform each task manually.
The new Session Manager is also a time-saver for PDF power users. It enables you to save all the in-progress documents you currently have opened in the editor as a session and reopen them later with a single click. This restores the various documents within the same frames and in the same document tabs similar to how your favorite web browser can restore your previous browsing session. PDF Studio Pro also automatically saves your last session every time you exit the application. Sessions can be named, searched, and deleted.
If you often work with large, multi-page documents, you’ll find the new Automatic Table of Contents Generation a welcome addition. It allows you to build a table of contents directly from a PDF’s bookmark tree with a single click. You can customize the table’s fonts, format, and margins to your specifications, and page labels are supported when present in the document in lieu of page numbers.
PDF Studio Pro 2022 also includes a bevy of less flashy performance and usability enhancements that nonetheless streamline the user experience. PDF’s can now be converted to Word on all platforms without the need to have Microsoft Word installed on the device. Improvements to the comments pane make it easier to navigate, review, and respond to annotations and comments. And prepress and print production functions such as color separation in output preview, PDF/X Conversion, and a new option to customize the PDF/A Mode have been added.
PDF Studio Pro is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux for $139 for a single license. A Standard version scales down some advanced features and the price: It’s just $99. Bulk discounts and free trials are available for both versions.
PDF Studio Pro 2022 is a strong challenger to Adobe Acrobat Pro and even slightly more pricey alternatives like Nitro Pro. It’s also one of the few cross-platform alternatives available. If you’re looking for a capable, affordable PDF editor, don’t pass up this one.
Editor’s note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this article.