Smallpdf is a simple yet powerful web & Windows tool to edit and manage PDF documents in a single place. Here’s what it’s like to use Smallpdf.
PDF is one of the most popular and used document formats out there. A couple of main reasons for this popularity and wide usage is its compatibility and ease of use. No matter the operating system you are using, you will find some software to open a PDF document. For example, almost all web browsers like Chrome, Edge, etc., support viewing PDF documents in the browser itself.
Though opening PDFs require no complicated software, to edit and manage them, you need specialized tools. Smallpdf is one such tool that makes your life easy. For instance, to split or merge a PDF document, you must use a PDF Editor application like Smallpdf. You cannot do it using a simple PDF Viewer.
In this brief and straightforward showcase article, let me introduce you to Smallpdf, its features, and how to use it.
What is Smallpdf?
Smallpdf is an online web application that gives you several useful and powerful PDF tools to manage and edit PDF documents. Using these tools, you can perform all sorts of operations like split and merge, sign, password protect, compress, edit, convert, etc. If needed, you can store PDF documents with Smallpdf and share them directly.
For offline usage, Smallpdf has dedicated applications for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
Depending on your use case, the PDF tool you need will be different. No matter the requirement, Smallpdf has it covered. Here are some best features of Smallpdf.
User interface and ease of use: The first and foremost thing almost anyone notices is the user interface and how easy it is to use the application. Users can get started quickly with a minimal learning curve if the UI is clean and easy to use. In this regard, Smallpdf is good. The UI looks clean and minimal, all the while giving you the options required to use the tools without hiding them in long-buried sub-menus. Each tool is on its own page with a specific section containing the said tool’s instructions. Unlike many other applications, Smallpdf makes it easy to access and use PDF tools.
Edit PDF documents: Smallpdf allows you to edit and annotate any PDF document with ease. Simply select the “Edit PDF” option, add the document, and you are good to go. You can draw, write, highlight, and add images to a PDF document. Though the edit options are pretty limited, they are perfectly fine for a vast majority of users. Once you are done editing, you can download the finished document or save it directly to Smallpdf, Dropbox, or Google Drive.
Convert to and from PDF: Using the Convert tool in Smallpdf, you can convert PDF to and from Word, Excel, PPT, and JPG. All you have to do is upload the document, select the format, and hit the “Convert” button.
Split and merge PDF documents: To extract specific pages of a PDF document or merge multiple PDF files into a single document, you can use Smallpdf’s Split PDF and Merge PDF tools. Simply upload the PDF documents, select how you would like to split or merge, and hit the go button.
Support for eSign and Password protection: To protect a PDF document, you can use the Password Protection tool in Smallpdf. Since Smallpdf uses 128-bit AES encryption, it is almost impossible to decrypt it without knowing the password. In addition to password protection, Smallpdf also allows you to sign a PDF document digitally. If needed, you can also invite others to sign your document — a handy tool in professional and office environments.
Unlock PDF documents: If you ever forgot the password of your PDF document, you can use Smallpdf’s Unlock PDF tool to remove the password and unlock the PDF quickly. Remember that it will not work if the PDF document is encrypted with newer standards like 128-bit AES encryption.
Extensions & offline apps: To make things easier, Smallpdf has a Google Chrome extension that gives instant access to all the PDF tools. If you don’t want to upload PDF documents to the web tool, download the Smallpdf Windows app. It gives you offline access to several helpful PDF tools to edit, split, merge, and protect PDF documents. Keep in mind that advanced tools like document signing are only available in the web tool.
Using Smallpdf to password-protect a PDF document
Almost every tool in Smallpdf can be used in four simple steps. i.e., select what you want to do, upload the document, select the appropriate options, and hit the go button. To demonstrate that, I will show you how to password-protect a PDF document using Smallpdf.
First, go to the Smallpdf website and select the “Protect PDF” option under the Tools section. Next, hit the “Choose File” button, select the PDF file you want to protect, and click the “Open” button.
Now, type a password twice in the available fields and click the “Encrypt PDF” button.
As soon as you click the button, Smallpdf will encrypt the PDF document with 128-bit AES encryption. Hit the download button to download the password-protected PDF.
Smallpdf is available in both free and Pro formats. You can use almost every tool for free and without signing up. However, advanced features of these tools are only available for Pro users. For example, converting from PDF to Word is free. However, if you want the converted Word file to be editable, then you have to pay. In addition to that, free users are limited to processing two documents per day.
In general, regular home users can make do with the free version. If you are a professional or someone who needs advanced options, going for Pro is well worth it.
Smallpdf is $9 per month for individuals and $7 per month per user for teams, billed annually.
All in all, Smallpdf is a fantastic tool that caters to everyone, whether you are a seasoned professional or a regular home user. Personally, what makes Smallpdf unique is its minimal user interface and ease of use. In Smallpdf, no matter the PDF tool you want to use, the procedure is the same. This means there is little to no learning curve.
That being said, I like to see a couple of improvements. First, the “Edit PDF” tool should have more options. For example, as of writing this, you cannot create forms, add charts, add rich text with complicated formatting, etc. Second, it would be nice if the PDF processing limit per day is increased from two to five for free users. That way, regular home users will have some wiggle room when needed.
So, as a final word, give Smallpdf a try and see how it works for you. After all, it is free to try.
Disclaimer: This product showcase article is sponsored by Smallpdf.