PDFSam Full Review and Alternatives

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PDFSam is one of the most reliable PDF tools you can obtain in the PDF industry and also doubles as being pretty versatile. Its versatility is realized in that it provides several tools whose functionality cuts across viewing, editing, and overall management of your PDFs. 

In fact, PDFSam is a very popular tool among users for being open source and this makes it available on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS platforms without any limitations. You can rest assured that PDFSam will help you work on your PDF documents with the ultimate convenience at the end of the day.

With PDFSam, you will not hassle at all to combine, split, convert, rotate, edit, and sign PDF documents although this is just a fraction of what this tool has in store for you. Your privacy is also taken into account since this software works in an offline environment that means your files need not be uploaded to third-party services.

Ranks in Categories

PDFSam – Free Download

Software NameSupported OSOffline VersionDownload Link
TalkHelper PDF ConverterWindows 7/8/8.1/10Full VersionFree Download
PDFsam Split And MergeWindows 7/8/10Free Trial Free Download

Pros & Cons of PDFSam


  • Multi-platform – No matter the platform you are rocking, Windows, Linus, or Mac OS, you can get started without any issues thanks to the open source nature of this desktop program.
  • Easy to use – Whether you have used this tool before or not, you will not encounter a steep learning curve due to its simplicity and intuitiveness.
  • Rich in features – Combining all the versions of PDFSam, there is literally nothing you will be unable to accomplish concerning PDF files.
  • Built-in OCR – This is one of the most coveted features in a PDF software and PDFSam happens to support it. It helps you extract text data from image-based and scanned PDFs.


  • Limited free trial – As much as you are opened up to a free trial period, lots of features are cut down and a comprehensive experience is only available with the premium versions.
  • Java-dependent – For PDFSam to function, you are required to have Java set up on your computer and this can be a real bummer for novice users.

How to Use PDFSam

Here are the 3 versions of PDF tools delivered by PDFSam.

1). PDFSam Basic


This is a free and open source desktop program available on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows that just as the name suggests, delivers some of the basic PDF features. When you get started with PDFSam Basic, here is a list of the actions you can undertake on your PDF files;

      • Merge – This PDF tool will help you combine PDFs, selected pages, interactive forms, and even bookmarks into a single entity without much hassle. At the same time, you can deal with Acroforms easily and also add a table of contents to your merged PDF.
      • Split – With this feature, you get to subdivide a PDF in terms of pages, bookmark levels, and even at certain file sizes.
      • Extract from PDFs – For instance, instead of converting the whole PDF file, you can extract just the specific pages or page ranges and save them in an all-new PDF file with just what you need.
      • Rotate – This comes in handy to correct the orientation of your PDF documents and can be applied to every page or partially to the specific ones you need. You can apply a rotation of 90, 180, or 270 degrees depending on your needs.
      • Mix – This is a special PDF merge tool from PDFSam Basic that is best-suited for single-sided scanners. It works its magic to merge PDFs by taking pages from each PDF file alternatively.

2). PDFSam Enhanced


This is another version of PDFSam that brings both professionalism and customizability to your PDF experience. Before everything else, it is an avid PDF reader/viewer and creator that supports over 300 file formats. Here is a breakdown of the features that PDFSam Enhanced boasts of;

      • Edit – Basically, you can adjust the PDF content without the need to export or convert the PDF file to another editable format all powerfully and professionally.
      • Convert – This functionality lets you convert to and from the PDF format with support for multiple file-formats including those from Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, just to mention a few.
      • Built-in OCR – An Optical Character Recognition tool baked into PDFSam Enhanced helps you extract text data from images like SVG or even scanned PDF files.
      • Create fillable forms – Whether you are working from scratch or using an existing form, you get to export and import data among other adjustments before further actions like sharing.
      • Review – In the instance you are collaborating on a PDF file, this software brings you some nifty tools like adding notes, highlighting, and drawing capabilities.
      • Insert – You get to add various components into PDFs including pages, hyperlinks, and page numbers.
      • Secure – If you are hoping to restrict access to your files, this is the PDF tool to rock as it lets you encrypt PDF documents with passwords besides setting permission levels and signing.

3). PDFSam Visual


When it comes to manipulating PDF files visually, PDFSam is just the perfect and right candidate for that. Coming with a free trial period of 14 days, you have the chance to evaluate its features on Mac OS, Windows, and Linux platforms before you can decide whether to obtain the paid version. In terms of features, here is a list of what to expect with PDFSam Visual on top of what PDFSam Basic offers.

      • Merge and Rearrange – Here, you can change the order of pages and on top of that get to combine multiple PDF documents via a simple drag-and-drop-option.
      • Delete – Nothing much here except that you this tool lets delete any pages that you do not need in the PDF file.
      • Compress – This feature will come in handy to reduce the size of your PDF file without compromising the quality.
      • Convert images – For images like those of the SVG format, it is easy to convert them into PDF with this tool.
      • Split – You get to do this in various ways like page-wise, bookmark level, or size-wise. At the same time, you can choose to split at the point where text changes.
      • Encrypt and decrypt – This is generally for security purposes so you can password-protect PDFs and also be able to unprotect them easily if you obtain them in protected mode.
      • Crop – Here, you simply select the area you want to keep and this tool will handle the rest for you.
      • Extract – With this PDFSam Visual feature, extracting pages from a PDF file is just like a knife through butter.
      • Convert to text or grayscale – Conveniently convert images from a PDF file into grayscale and also have a chance to extract text from PDFs with the help of the OCR feature.

Features of PDFSam

has feature Merge PDF
has feature Split PDF
has feature Extract PDF Page
has feature Compress PDF

has feature Extract Image from PDF

has feature Encrypt PDF
has feature Decrypt PDF
has feature Convert PDF
has feature Edit PDF

Techinal Details

Devices Supported

  • Windows
  • Mac


  • Desktop Application

Language Support

  • English

Pricing Model

  • One-time payment

Customer Types

  • Small Business

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