What is, besides Foxit's PhantomPDF, the greater, greatest and most complete alternative for a PDF editor with an emphasis on Preflight, PDF standards and PDF/X. I would require also operations to convert color spaces and make output intents for printing. (Basically, the whole functionality of Adobe Acrobat, but better, more efficient and without it being from Adobe.)

A program that is not so much focusing on manual editing, but completely on Preflight and conversion would also be considered.

  • 1
    Please explain what is wrong with PhantomPDF.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 5:26
  • Nothing wrong with PhantomPDF. It is simply incomplete, insufficient or too much behind Adobe's in its Preflight options.
    – Usor
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 12:41
  • Also, what do you mean by "emphasis on Preflight"? Preflight is the name of a specific tool made by Adobe, right? Do you mean that the tool should have a good validator feature?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 6:16
  • AFAIK PhantomPDF does not have validation capability at all? If so please point me to a tutorial on how to use it.
    – adamlogan
    Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 19:51
  • Emphasis on Preflight, Nicolas, means exactly that. I don't see how these words require further explanation. Have you at all used PhantomPDF and looked at the relevant options, or have you lot looked at its manual?
    – Usor
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


Not technically a PDF Editor, but from what I'm seeing there are no pdf editors that do what you're asking (to my knowledge) asides from Adobe Acrobat. Preflight functionality for PDFs seems to be exclusive to pre-press type graphics software or developer-type command-line software.

Callas PdfToolbox fits your criteria, but it's not cheap, for just a few dollars more with zero discounts, one could subscribe to the entire Adobe Creative Suite for a year for what the Callas PdfToolbox Desktop version costs. My calculations using Soulver: €499.00 to USD = $552.94 according to exchange rates on 1/31/2020. They do have the occasional sale/discount if you don't want to pay full retail price.

Callas PdfToolbox is offered in different flavors depending on your needs including Desktop, Server, Command-Line, and SDK version for incorporation into third-party software. It also boasts impressive cross-platform presence too with support for Mac, Windows, and a number of Linux distros.

  • Hmmm, yes, that looks promising. I must review that product better and cogitate concerning it. For now I will mark your answer as the one.
    – Usor
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 19:12

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