8 Best PDF Creating Tools for Non-Designers

PDF Creating Tools

If you make catalogs, marketing brochures or sales documents, you most probably need to create PDFs, because PDF is the de facto standard for working with documents, and you come across it every day.

But creating PDFs may seem a bit scary, if you are not a design expert.

Don’t worry, you too can turn your valuable knowledge into PDFs in no time. Just read on to learn about easy-to-use tools that help you create PDFs from scratch, and make them look nice and professional. When you have a ready PDF, come back and try FlippingBook—create a flipbook with a professional look and feel, smooth page flip effect, and many interactive features, such as videos, GIFs, pop-up images, and outbound links.

Ballard Sustainability Booklet


#1 Adobe InDesign CC

Complexity: 4/5

Price range: Available as a subscription, the cost is based upon the subscription plan selected.

Key features: Strong layout and template creation abilities, typesetting tools, seamless integration with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat Reader and other Adobe products

Best for: Multi-page catalogs, brochures, magazines, and ebooks with unique design, significant amount of text and graphics; high-quality layouts for print and web                                                                  

Adobe InDesign is the professional-level design software for PC and Mac. It’s the most famous and widely used software for creating PDFs, and the first choice for many marketers, designers, and publishers.

There is a learning curve for this software but you can quickly understand how to create a document in it without being a design pro.

There are lots of helpful tutorials from InDesign for any level of skills - from getting started to designing complex layouts and preparing books for publishing.

So if you want to create large catalogs, brochures, magazines, and ebooks with unique design and have total control over the look of your documents, without needing to painstakingly review and use website builder applications like Wix and WordPress, InDesign is the best choice for you.


#2 Google Slides

Complexity: 2/5

Price range: Free

Key features: Pre-designed themes, backgrounds, borders and layer text boxes, graphics and shapes, collaborative work, presentation mode

Best for: Simple marketing presentations and documents that include text, photos, and graphs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

With Google Slides, you can build presentations, portfolios, invitations, and brochures right in your web browser. It also allows you to easily express yourself, your data and your ideas with presentation themes, various fonts, and graphics.

Even better, multiple people can work on slides at the same time, you can see people’s changes as they make them, and every change is automatically saved.

You can get started with Google Slides by reading this guide.


#3 Canva

Complexity: 3/5

Price range: Free plan, Canva for work plan for $12.25 per month, and Canva Enterprise. Learn more about plans here.

Key features: Drag-and-drop image editor, pre-design templates and stock photos, photo filters, icons and shapes, option to create and save your brand templates, resize and match your own designs

Best for: A wide range of online marketing, sales, and social media materials

Canva is one of the most famous web design apps with easy-to-use features and functionality that enables you to create web content quickly and easily, even if you don’t know much about design.

Canva offers a big variety of content types for web marketing. From templates of brochures and newsletters to documents, presentations, and ebooks, you’ll find almost everything you need. If you don’t, you can always create a custom project.

If you need to create simple and powerful PDFs for your marketing and sales activities, Canva is what you need. You can start with their useful general guide.

By the way, FlippingBook has designed stunning Canva templates: magazine, brochure, catalog, newsletter, and digital flipbook. Learn more about how you can customize each of the templates.

Flipbook template

Customize this digital flipbook template in Canva and make it yours


#4 Marq

Complexity: 3/5

Price range: Free plan (3 pages per document), Basic $5.95 per month, Pro $12.95 per month, Team $30 per month.  Learn about plans here.

Key features: Wide selection of premade templates, design and editing tools, drag-and-drop functionality, big font gallery, real-time collaboration

Best for: Online marketing, sales and advertising flyers, brochures, eBooks, reports, presentations, newsletters or any brand marketing materials                                                                                                   

Marq is a web graphic design app. Its interface is designed so that even users with little to no graphic design knowledge can easily understand how to create their own materials. Marq allows you to keep and manage all your brand materials and use them when creating your company's marketing and sales content.

If you are looking to create your own on-brand marketing materials, newsletters, reports, pamphlets, and ebooks with engaging looking texts and images, Marq is here to help.


#5 Venngage

Complexity: 2/5

Price range: Free plan (limited number of features). Learn more about Business and Premium plans.

Key features: Big number of design templates, charts, pictograms, and icons, drag-and-drop editor, customizable infographic templates and themes, importing data directly from your spreadsheets

Best for: Online marketing and advertising documents with lots of data and infographics

Venngage is a web-design app that is mostly centered around various types of infographics, such as statistical, informational, geographical, charts, tutorials, and more. So if you have a lot of data to share, Venngage helps you turn complex researches into easy-to-understand and clean-looking posters, promotions, invitations, mind maps, and social-media infographics.

You can read about the main rules for creating infographics in an article from Venngage.


#6 Nuance Power PDF 3

Complexity: 3/5

Price range: Free 30-day trial, read more about the features and prices on the website.

Key features: Creating and scanning documents into PDF, direct text entry, dragging-and-dropping images and graphics, electronic signatures, collaboration tools, Power PDF’s OCR

Best for: Simple online marketing and business documents creation and editing                                                                                                                                      

Nuance Power PDF 3 is an intuitive and easy-to-use software for Windows for creating and editing PDFs. Most users will be able to quickly get up and running with it.

You can build multiple page documents, create forms to gather information, or work on the same document in real-time with multiple people on the same network.

If you need to create and edit your marketing and business documents, then Nuance Power PDF 3 is what you need.


#7 PDFelement Pro

Complexity: 3/5

Price range: Free 30-day trial, learn more about the options and plans on the website.

Key features: Creating PDFs, making PDF forms, and using the OCR component to convert scanned images into editable documents; library of ready-to-use templates

Best for: Simple online marketing and sales documents creation and editing

PDFelement Pro is a PDF software for PC and Mac. It has a clean, Microsoft-Office-style, interface for creating and tuning PDFs. The text editor supports intelligent paragraph recognition, which matches different fonts and styles. You can also easily edit graphic-based objects - rotate, mirror, and crop them.

If you want to quickly create PDFs with a simple design and have many options for editing your PDFs, you can use PDFelement Pro.


#8 PDFplatform

Complexity: 1/5

Price range: Freemium

Key features: Create, convert, merge, split, annotate, and secure PDF documents

Best for: Sales & marketing, HR, legal, and finance documents


PDFplatform is a comprehensive solution to edit and manage your PDF documents. Whether you're a student, professional, or simply someone who frequently works with PDF files, PDFplatform is what you need.

With its intuitive interface and powerful features, PDFplatform empowers you to create, convert, merge, split, and sign PDF documents. The platform will help you to streamline your workflow and simplify your PDF management tasks.


The Choice is Yours!

As you see, there’s a wide range of tools and software for creating PDFs. Just look at them more closely and choose according to the type of the documents you want to make, the features that you need, and the budget capacity that you have.

Don’t be afraid and go for it. Remember that, with simple design skills and a desire to share your knowledge with the world, you will be well on your way to creating compelling content that works.


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