IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Sejda PDF Desktop review: Capable, but not killer

While this editor is impressive, other rivals have it beat

  • Impressive compression tools
  • Photoshop-style flattening function
  • Capable OCR
  • Free version is severely limited

Unlike the other editors in this list, you can use Sejda for free indefinitely, but the caveats are numerous: you can only perform three tasks per day, can’t handle PDFs over 50MB or 200 pages in length, and can only convert documents one by one. That may work if you only do occasional editing, but most users would be better off with the paid-for version.

Sejda’s sleek interface condenses everything you’re likely to need into the All Tools dropdown menu, with a healthy selection to peruse. Our eye was drawn to the OCR capability, which works well. In our challenging ancient NME test, it gave us searchable, copyable text. Granted, it needed formatting when pasted into a Word doc, but that’s to be expected.

The file-compress function is similarly smooth. Depending on the size of the document, you’re presented with a screen indicating that “Your task is processing” for anywhere from a couple of seconds to a few minutes. In the latter scenario, Sejda compressed an image-heavy PDF of a magazine cover from 2.92MB to 411KB with no discernable impact on readability. Impressive stuff.

Sejda didn’t conduct image-heavy editing as successfully as PDFelement, with text on our test file popping out of alignment or changing colour when clicked, but those slight deficiencies are balanced out by practical, everyday tools such as digital signatures, “whiteout” (Tipp-Ex to us Brits), easy annotations, form creation and text replacement.

As well as the usual conversion to Word, TXT, JPG and Excel files, Sejda has a few more tricks up its sleeve: quickly turning a PDF greyscale will be a boon to users looking to save ink, while the ability to “flatten” a document à la Photoshop will seal in any edits. And there’s plenty to please small businesses here, with support for Bates numbering, watermarks, PDF unlocking and password protection. You can even use the software to repair a damaged or corrupted PDF, which may not be a common occurrence but is a neat fail-safe.

All of this makes Sejda an attractive proposition for individuals and small businesses. PDFelement is still the better upfront purchase, but keep in mind that Sejda’s rolling annual subscription ($63) provides access to the web-based PDF editor, which could be a clincher for users on Chromebooks or tablets.

Featured Resources

Activation playbook: Deliver data that powers impactful, game-changing campaigns

Bringing together data and technology to drive better business outcomes

Free Download

In unpredictable times, a data strategy is key

Data processes are crucial to guide decisions and drive business growth

Free Download

Achieving resiliency with Everything-as-a-Service (XAAS)

Transforming the enterprise IT landscape

Free Download

What is contextual analytics?

Creating more customer value in HR software applications

Free Download

Most Popular

Linux-based Cheerscrypt ransomware found targeting VMware ESXi servers

Linux-based Cheerscrypt ransomware found targeting VMware ESXi servers

26 May 2022
16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 ways to speed up your laptop

13 May 2022
Open source packages with millions of installs hacked to harvest AWS credentials

Open source packages with millions of installs hacked to harvest AWS credentials

24 May 2022