Nitro Pro lives up to its name: for power users who want explosive performance, a hoard of features and well-executed basics, it’s up there with the best.

Installation takes a while, but that’s down to the breadth of features. These are organised into tabs that carry more than a whiff of Microsoft Word, and the large, orange-accented icons mean it’s easy to find what you need. Nitro’s emphasis on customisability is immediately clear too: you can add your most-used, or “favourite”, features to the toolbar via the button.

Nitro breezed through editing both our text and image-heavy test PDFs. After you click on them, text boxes flash and then become fully editable, and Nitro’s font recognition rivals that of PDFelement. You can easily tweak images’ brightness, contrast, colour, resolution and arrangement (“send to back/front”) too.

Document editing, conducted via the Page Layout tab, isn’t as user-friendly as in PDFelement or Seijda, but the insert, rotate, delete, watermark, Bates numbering and bookmark functions are all present and correct. We especially liked the “Auto De-Skew” option, which levels askew images in scans without user input. 

In the Review tab, Nitro offers the ability to scribble freehand on a PDF – although, unless you have a very steady mouse, you’ll need a stylus. A nifty tool also brings up an onscreen ruler for measuring page elements, which will appeal to designers and perfectionists alike. Rounding off the jam-packed tab are a function for comparing two pages side-by-side and OCR. In our challenging 1981 NME test, the OCR made the text copyable and searchable, but on-page edits were beyond it.

One negative is a comparative dearth of sharing options: you can attach a PDF directly to an email or upload it to Nitro Cloud – and that’s it. Still, the batch processing (File | Batch Processing) helps to make up for that: you can convert, print and apply OCR to multiple PDFs at once, while creating a sequence takes frequently performed tasks out of your hands. 

So should you download Nitro Pro or PDFelement? They’re both superb, but Nitro is better for those with a heavy workload, helping them to become lean, mean PDFing machines.

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