Adobe Acrobat Student & Teacher Edition Free Download for Mac/PC

Acrobat is Adobe’s most popular software for reading and editing PDF files. In fact, with over a billion installs, this software is the world’s most used pdf reader. In this quick tutorial, you will learn how to download the free Adobe Acrobat version for students and teachers.

It’s available in forever free and advanced paid versions. The free version is called Acrobat Reader and the paid version is Acrobat Pro DC.

Acrobat lets you view, sign, and annotate PDF files. With the latest Adobe Document Cloud integration, a user can work on a file from any device or multiple users can collaborate on the same file from anywhere.

What is a PDF file?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format, it is a type of file created by Adobe in 1992 to present documents with textual and image content independent from the machine, software or operating system that is displaying it. In other words, it is a file that can be displayed on any device as long as it has the feature of reading .pdf files.

Pro vs Standard version

Limitations of the free version are that you can only open, view, comment and print PDF files. Although with a limited usage cap, Acrobat Reader also lets you sign, track and send documents.

The paid license is equipped with advanced features that come in handy to every student, such as editing text and images directly in the file, converting pdf files into Word, Excel or PowerPoint files, highlighting certain text areas, drawing on the screen and much more. The software is perfect for printing assignments and projects, and collaborating with your colleagues and teams using the comment feature.

As a student, all the mentioned features from the Pro plan are important for improving studying productivity. Unfortunately, the paid version comes only with a trial period of 7 days and then costs $25 a month. As a student or teacher, the only financial benefit you get is with a Creative Cloud subscription, where you get access to 20+ Adobe apps, including Acrobat Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and InDesign. The pricing of this “student & teacher subscription” is $239.88 annually if paid in advance ($359.88/yr after that). Compared to regular individual and business users there is a significant discount.

Software features

The following features are for the paid Pro package however, at the bottom of this tutorial, we share alternative free software that you can use to accomplish the same functionalities without purchasing the Pro version. As we mentioned, the free version of Acrobat comes with a limited set of basic features that let you open, view, print, comment and sign any pdf file. However, the pro version also has the options to:

  • Edit PDFs: One of the best features of the Pro plan is that you will be able to edit any document. This comes in handy when you want to make a small change without going through the hassle of re-exporting the file from other programs such as Word or Excel.
  • File compression: Imagine having a huge architectural project that needs to be sent to a client as an email attachment. By compressing it, you will lower the file size and need less time to upload or open it.
  • Recognize text: If someone sends you an image inside a pdf file that is just a picture of a document, with AI text recognition feature, the program can detect every letter of a document and instantly turn it into a textual document without you having to rewrite it from scratch.
  • Split and combine: Did you have a situation where you had to divide a single pdf file into multiple smaller ones? Or maybe combine multiple files into one bigger? This feature does exactly that. It lets you merge or split pdf pages in just a couple of clicks.
  • Comments: If you are working on a project with colleagues, instead of getting lost in different file versions, why not work on just one? With the option to upload the file into the Cloud, you can use the comment feature to give your opinion about what has to be changed through notes, highlights and annotations.

Although these features are great, they are not unique. Many free online programs do just the same. If you are looking to save a few bucks and don’t want to opt for the Pro version subscription, you can just use the free Acrobat Reader version and find these features in other software for free. Below we share which programs are a perfect alternative.

System requirements

Acrobat is a lightweight program that works smoothly on any device or operating system such as Windows, Mac or Android.

Windows devices

The Minimum required processor speed is 1.5 GHz (Intel® or AMD) and RAM of at least 1.5 GB. Available hard-disk space should be at least 2.5 GB.

Supported operating systems are Windows 11 (64 bit), Windows 10 version 1810 or later (32 bit and 64 bit), Windows 8, 8.1 (32 bit and 64 bit), Windows 7 SP1 (32 bit and 64 bit), or Windows Server – 2008 R2 (64 bit), 2012 (64 bit), 2012 R2 (64 bit), 2016 (64 bit), or 2019 (64 bit).

Also, you should have one of the following internet browsers for the program to open pdf files online: Internet Explorer 11, Chrome, Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR), or Internet Explorer 11 or higher.

Mac devices

The minimal requirements for Mac devices are to have Intel® processor, Mac OS X operating system with versions v10.11, 10.12 or 10.13 or higher, at least 1 GB of RAM, and at least 2.75 GB of available hard-disk space.

For the reader to work online, you’ll need to have the Safari internet browser with one of the following versions: Safari 9.0 for OS X 10.11, Safari 10.0 for OS X 10.12, Safari 11.0 for OS X 10.13.

How to download Acrobat for students

  1. Go to Acrobat download page
  2. Click on “Download PDF Reader” button
  3. On the next page, the browser will automatically detect your operating system, however if it’s different from detected then you can change it by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page
  4. (OPTIONAL) Check to download the McAfee Security scan and Safe connect
  5. (OPTIONAL / RECOMMENDED) Install Adobe Reader browser extension
  6. Click on “Download Acrobat Reader” button

This will download the free student version of Adobe Reader to your computer.

How to install Adobe Acrobat for students

Once the download is complete, it’s time to install the software:

  1. Open the folder where you have downloaded the file. By default, it’s in the Downloads folder
  2. Double click on the file to begin the installation process. The name of the file should be reader[xxx]_install.exe
  3. Allow the .exe file to run and follow the steps outlined in the setup process
  4. Reset the computer once the installation is completed

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC alternatives

PDF Editor – The best tool to edit any pdf online without installing additional software to your computer.

PDF File compressor – The easiest and most effective free online tool that lets you compress and lower the size of a pdf file.

PDF Text recognition – Recognize and extract text from any pdf file.

Split and combine PDF – The fastest online tool to split or combine your documents.

Commenting – Want to add a comment to a pdf file but don’t have access to the Pro plan? No problem. This tool will do exactly that.


Adobe is a fantastic productivity tool for students and teachers regardless of the academic field. It is a program that is essential for viewing, editing and signing any document. There is no need to purchase an expensive device because, as we covered, Adobe works on almost any Windows, Mac and mobile device. Also, with the free version along with some tricks on how to find pro features for free online, you could be a productive machine without spending a dime on subscriptions.

Alexei Miron
Lead content writer and tech enthusiast bringing a decade of experience in the software industry to students. Father of two little princesses and a passionate table tennis player.