Top 6 Drawboard Alternative for 2024 Free and Paid Options

drawboard alternativeDrawboard has become a familiar name in PDF annotation, empowering users to mark up, edit, and collaborate on documents. However, the ever-evolving software landscape offers many alternatives, each boasting unique features and functionalities. You may seek a free and lightweight option for basic annotations or crave a feature-rich powerhouse for professional use. This article dives into the exciting world of Drawboard alternative, catering to a diverse range of users. We'll unveil various options, from free and open-source gems to feature-laden paid applications. Whether you're a student jotting down notes or a seasoned professional requiring advanced editing tools, this review will give you the knowledge to discover the perfect Drawboard replacement, unlocking a world of seamless and efficient PDF annotation.

What to Consider in Choosing a Drawboard Alternative

Finding the ideal Drawboard alternative requires careful consideration of several key factors. Here's a breakdown of the essential criteria to guide your selection:

  • User Interface (UI): Does the software offer an easy interface for smooth navigation and quick access to annotation tools? Always find a tool with an intuitive interface for easy use and avoidance of complexity.
  • Features: Consider the specific features you require. Do you need basic annotation tools like highlighting and text boxes, or do you crave advanced functionalities like form filling, signature capture, or OCR (Optical Character Recognition)?
  • Pricing: Will you opt for a free, open-source option, or are you willing to invest in a feature-rich paid application? Consider your budget and long-term needs.
  • Platform Compatibility: Ensure the application is compatible with your operating system, whether it's Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, or a combination.
  • Security: If you are handling sensitive documents, evaluate the software's security features, such as password protection and encryption.
  • Collaboration: Do you need to collaborate with others on PDFs? If so, choose software that facilitates real-time co-editing and annotation sharing.

By carefully considering these criteria, you'll be well-equipped to identify the perfect Drawboard alternative that integrates with your workflow and empowers you to work more efficiently with PDFs.
factors to consider

Top 6 Drawboard Alternatives

In my quest to conquer the world of PDF annotation, I've ventured beyond Drawboard and discovered a treasure trove of alternatives. Here's a breakdown of the top 6 contenders for an alternative to Drawboard PDF, each offering unique features to supercharge your PDF workflow:

1. AcePDF

Pricing: Free, paid plans starting at around $25 per year.

This one surprised me with its versatility. The free plan easily tackled basic annotation tasks like highlighting and adding comments. Upgrading unlocks a treasure trove of features, allowing me to edit text and images within PDFs, create PDFs from scratch, and even add electronic signatures. Plus, the interface is super user-friendly, making it a breeze to navigate. However, the free plan has limitations, and some advanced features require a paid subscription.


  • This is an all-rounder that excels in annotation and editing capabilities.
  • It also boasts functionalities like document signing and batch processing.
  • Placing password protection and additional security

User Reviews: Users praise AcePDF's user-friendly interface and the excellent value proposition offered by the paid plans.

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  • Good value proposition (paid)
  • Powerful editing set of tools
  • User-friendly interface

  • The free plan limits and watermarks.
  • Some advanced features that require paid upgrade.

2. Adobe Acrobat

Pricing: Paid plans only, with monthly subscriptions starting around $15.

Adobe Acrobat needs no introduction. For this reason, it's the industry standard, offering comprehensive features for professional PDF users. I experimented with editing, annotating, and even comparing different versions of PDFs. While impressive, the interface felt complex for casual use, and the subscription fees might be better for some.


  • A powerhouse for editing, annotating, and manipulating PDFs.
  • It includes advanced features like OCR, document comparison, and portfolio creation.
  • Enhanced security options

User Reviews: While powerful, some users find the interface complex, and the subscription cost is a barrier for casual users.



  • Industry-standard
  • Comprehensive feature set for professionals

  • Expensive subscription
  • Complex interface for casual users

3. Foxit PDF Editor

Pricing: Free plan, with paid plans starting around $89 annually.

This option struck a perfect balance between affordability and features. The free version lets me annotate documents easily, and the paid upgrade unlocks editing capabilities. The performance was smooth, and I loved the clear distinction between the free and paid features—no hidden surprises here. While the free plan is great, some advanced editing features require a paid subscription, and it might not be as powerful as some pricier options.


  • Known for its fast performance and easy interface.
  • It gives a wide scope of tools for annotation, form-filling capabilities
  • Document editing features in the paid version

User Reviews: Users appreciate the smooth performance and the clear distinction between the free and paid feature sets..



  • Affordable paid plans
  • Good balance of features
  • A clear distinction between free & paid versions

  • Limited editing features in the free plan
  • It may not be as powerful as some paid options.

5. PdfFiller

Pricing: Free, with paid plans starting at around $25 monthly.

If you deal with many forms, PdfFiller is a game-changer. Filling out and signing PDFs electronically became a breeze! The free plan offered basic annotation, but the paid version truly shined with its form-filling functionalities. While I could highlight and comment on PDFs, the core annotation features felt less extensive than other options. If filling out the form isn't your primary need, PdfFiller might be overkill.


  • While offering annotation tools, PdfFiller excels in form-filling functionalities.
  • It allows you to add fillable fields, collect signatures electronically, and streamline document workflows.

User Reviews: Users appreciate PdfFiller's ease of use for form filling and its integrations with popular cloud storage services. However, some might find the core annotation features less extensive than other options.



  • Excellent form-filling capabilities and integrations with cloud storage.

  • It has fewer extensive core annotation features than some options.

6. Kami

Pricing: Free, with paid plans starting at around $6 monthly.

Collaboration is key for me, and Kami delivered! The free plan provided basic annotation tools and even allowed real-time co-editing with colleagues – a lifesaver for group projects! The interface is user-friendly, and the free plan offers surprisingly much functionality. However, some advanced editing features are limited compared to dedicated PDF editing software.


  • Kami focuses on both annotation and collaboration.
  • The free plan provides core annotation tools and document editing capabilities, while the paid version unlocks OCR.
  • Users love Kami's collaborative features and the generous offerings of the free plan. However, some might find the advanced editing features lacking compared to dedicated PDF editing software.

User Reviews: Users love the convenience of Xodo's web-based platform and the clean interface. However, some might need help finding the free plan's feature set.



  • Collaborative features with generous free plan offerings.

  • You may have fewer advanced editing options than you would with specialized PDF editing software.

This is just a glimpse into the vast world of Drawboard alternatives. With so many options, you will find the perfect tool to elevate your PDF experience!


The quest for the perfect PDF annotation tool doesn't end with Drawboard! We've explored various Drawboard PDF alternatives, from the all-rounder AcePDF to the collaboration-focused Kami. Each option boasts unique strengths, whether it's affordability (Foxit PDF Editor), robust editing features (Adobe Acrobat), or seamless cross-platform access (Xodo). Consider your specific needs – whether it's a form filling (PdfFiller) or real-time co-editing (Kami) – to find the ideal match. Don't be afraid to experiment! With so many feature-rich alternatives, a perfect Drawboard replacement is waiting to empower your PDF workflow.

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