Adobe provides free downloads of Adobe Acrobat via its website, Adobe.com. The website features a link to download Acrobat Reader Document Cloud (or DC) at no cost, a link to a 30-day trial of Acrobat DC, and links to purchase access to Acrobat DC desktop software or subscriptions.
Adobe.com provides access to many Adobe products, including multiple versions of Adobe Acrobat DC and Acrobat Reader DC. Users select the appropriate products based on their budget and needs.
Acrobat Reader DC allows users to read PDF documents with minimal editing capabilities. There is no cost to download and use Acrobat Reader DC. The full Adobe Acrobat DC program provides much more robust editing capabilities, allows users to input multimedia elements into PDF documents, and also interfaces with other programs such as Microsoft Word. Adobe provides 30-day trials of this program at no cost. After the trial period, users may download Acrobat as a desktop version. Prices for the desktop version vary based on their usage and functionality. As of December 2015, prices range from $139 to $449.
Purchasing a cloud-based subscription to Acrobat DC costs less as an up-front expense. Subscriptions range from $12.99 to $24.99 per month as of December 2015. The subscription does not provide access to a download of the program files themselves, but rather grants the user Web-based access to Acrobat DC. The features remain the same between the desktop and cloud-based versions.