PDF or Portable Document Format is one of the most ubiquitous file formats in the business world, which is why there are so many online and offline tools to handle PDF files. However, you’ll notice that there aren’t a lot of cloud storage and collaboration platforms for PDF documents. The ones that most people know about are Adobe’s Document Cloud and, to a certain degree, Nitro Sign, which was rebranded from Nitro Cloud last year. However, these tools are either bundled with desktop software or are too expensive for businesses with limited budgets - or both.
Wondershare Document Cloud fits right into the gap that the other major players have left in the market. It is a free and versatile standalone cloud storage service for PDF workflows that are integrated with sharing, annotation, and electronic signature features; it is also built into the desktop PDF editor - PDFelement Pro DC. This flexibility is unusual in the software world, which is exactly why this product caught our eye. But wait, there must be a catch, right? Some features may be hidden behind a paywall or you’ll need to upgrade to access a certain tool. Nope, nothing is hidden here.
The free version is full-featured, but with limits on how much you can store and how many documents you can share or send for e-signatures. That’s it. And if you need more space or need to send more documents, you can upgrade for as little as $9.99 per quarter or $29.99 for a whole year. It’s a great deal when you compare it with the price of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC or the Nitro Productivity Suite.
If you break down this multi-terminal platform’s features into a bulleted list, it will look something like this:
● Cloud storage for PDF files
● Online file-sharing with permission-specific links
● Online annotations and commenting for multi-user collaboration
● Online e-signature tool for creating electronic signatures, e-signing documents, and sending files for others to sign
● Team management for admins
We tested out these features against our internal criteria, which are as follows:
● UI - Usability and intuitiveness
● Features - Ease-of-use and task performance
● Platform - Compatibility, accessibility, pricing
Our findings were very interesting because we noticed that although Wondershare Document Cloud didn’t have the design superiority of Adobe or Nitro products, the functionality was second to none. It performed as well as the market’s leading products, and in some cases, it did even better. One simple example is the Nitro Sign home page, which doesn’t have a file upload button; you need to click into My Documents before you see the Add button to upload files.
In contrast, Wondershare Document Cloud makes it easy to upload files by placing the button right in the Home tab that you see as soon as you log in to the platform.
Similarly, there are a lot of other nuances where Wondershare has improved on the functionality of its competitors’ products.
The User Interface, as we said, might not be as “pretty” as that of Adobe Cloud or Nitro Sign, but it matches the color schemes that Wondershare uses for its PDF products like PDFelement Pro DC, PDFelement Pro for iOS, etc. Moreover, the design is very minimalistic, and we suspect that this is a deliberate move to simplify the interface.
We also liked the tabbed layout of the pages/functions because it gives the user more screen space below, as opposed to Nitro Sign’s approach of offering a navigation panel on the left or Adobe Document Cloud’s more crowded layout.
We felt that Wondershare Document Cloud’s design was better because it makes it easier for first-time users to figure out where to go to access each feature. This layout positively impacts both intuitiveness and usability.
The features offered by Wondershare Document Cloud are very similar to the products of its competitors. However, Adobe Document Cloud has a layout that offers other features such as Edit PDF, which requires you to download and install the desktop PDF editor so it’s not purely a cloud offering. Essentially, Wondershare offers everything that the other products do, but at a lower price point or even for free, which is an important factor that we’ll discuss later on.
We tested out the core features as listed in the “What Does Wondershare Document Cloud Offer?” section of this article above. Let’s do a brief overview from a performance perspective:
Cloud Storage - Enterprise-grade encryption on Wondershare’s cloud servers keeps your documents safe from unauthorized access. As we mentioned, the Home page has an Upload Files button you can use to import documents from your desktop or a connected storage device.
File-Sharing - Users can generate a secure link with two permission levels - view only or view and comment - and also add a deadline for access expiration. This helps streamline and speed up PDF workflows where multiple users are involved.
Collaborative Annotations - Several users can collaborate and add comments and other notations on a shared file. The updates are instant and can be seen as soon as an annotation is added, allowing for real-time conversations that again help speed up internal review processes.
Electronic Signatures - Create, sign, send, and track. Do all of this easily without a learning curve. You can send a document to several people to get all their signatures on a single copy of the file or individual copies, depending on what you need. There is also a Template Library where you can use existing templates or create your own for repeated use.
Team Management - The admin tools allow you to track users, add them to your Enterprise plan, and so on. The dashboard is very simple to understand and user management is transformed into a simplified process.
We loved the fact that this is essentially a free product for PDF users. Small businesses may not even need to upgrade from the generous free allowance of up to 1 GB of storage and up to 5 document sends/shares. And, as we said, as your needs grow, you can smoothly transition to an affordable subscription that costs a fraction of what you’ll be paying for other products.
The platform is universally accessible on any supported browser on a connected device. This makes it ideal for work-from-home scenarios that businesses worldwide have implemented over the course of the past year. It is also affordable enough for entrepreneurs and one-man shows to utilize without feeling the pain in their wallet areas!
The final point we’d like to highlight is the integration of cloud capabilities in the new PDF element Pro DC. You can edit documents on your desktop and upload them or send them for signing using Wondershare Document Cloud. Now if you would like to become a premium user, you’ll have an exclusive 50% discount to redeem! If you regularly work with PDF files, this is a bundle that you can’t ignore, and it costs less than $100 a year per user compared to the hundreds of dollars you’d have to pay for Adobe’s Creative Cloud offering or the Nitro Productivity Suite.
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