What is your preference? Adobe Acrobat DC Subscription or Perpetual Download (Standard or Pro, and why)?

We are trying to determine which would be best for our law firm.

We currently have the Standard perpetual version, but are considering upgrading to the subscription option.

Is it really worth the upgrade? Based on your experience, why or why not?

Thomas Lamb

3 Answers

I prefer the subscription model. If you would be upgrading to every new version of Acrobat (as I've done since version 4), you are not spending more money, but you are getting all the new features automatically.

The biggest advantage of the perpetual license (I have one of these too) is that it will work in 10 years from now, if you can dig up an old computer that has the right version of the operating system. I have to do this every now and then for my customers (e.g. to test something on an old configuration). Keep in mind that the feature set is basically frozen for the perpetual license version, and you will only get bug fixes (and things that Adobe deems important enough to add them even though they said "no new features). This means that eventually the functionality of the subscription and the perpetual license version will drift apart, and it will be even harder to say what feature is in which version. Right now I can say "Portfolios require Adobe Acrobat Pro" without any further qualification, in the future I may have to say "Feature XYZ requires that you use Adobe Acrobat DC Pro in it's subscription version, with version ABC".

Also, the subscription version comes with a number of online services that you would have to pay extra for if you are using the perpetual license. This is interesting for example to create PDF files from my iPhone or iPad when I don't have access to my computer, or, to send out a document for a signature.

Even though I prefer the subscription model, I am aware of the fact that once I stop payment, Acrobat will not run anymore.

Karl Heinz Kremer
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Karl Heinz Kremer   

That's like asking boxers or briefs. There are pros and cons to both models and there are feature differences as well. If there is a way to internally manage the cost allocation for the license, rental may be best. If you want to burn it into the ground with use before upgrading, purchase would be best. Among other reasons. As for Std. vs Pro, take a look at the features you will need and buy which will cover that. If you have to have bates numbering and redaction, you have to get Pro.

that being said, nothing wrong with a hybrid model... Some pro and some std. We have a 80-20 mix of std to pro, and it works for us.

Your situation will definitely be different than ours and that of your competition. That's what makes you different in the industry. As such we can help you to understand the questions you need to ask, and provide expertise for situations. But, ultimately the answers must come from within.

I know, not what you were looking for, but it is the best, and most honest answer I can give.

If you have more specific questions, we will do what we can to provide you with the answers you can use.



Douglas Hanna   


My answer is: profit.

Calculate your ROI regarding these 2 options and your Acrobat usage, then choose.


JR Boulay   

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