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A PDF invoice generator is like your personal sales accountant. In other words, once an order has been received and fulfilled, or the service completed, you want to move to the next customer, right? The only problem is that you also need to get paid for the job you just completed, and that can become a tedious process. A PDF invoice maker will ensure that your customers get a professional-looking bill for services performed or products ordered, and if you take it up a notch, it can even help you track the status of pending invoices so reminders can be sent. In short, even a free PDF invoice generator can give you the benefit of streamlining your Account Receivables - hence, your personal sales accountant!
So, how to make a PDF invoice with one of these PDF invoice creator tools? This article showcases some of the top PDF invoice generator apps and online services to help you make your sales workflows more efficient.
Overview: Top 9 Invoice Generators of 2022
Our first showcase PDF invoice generator for today is ZipBooks, a freemium accounting application that runs on the cloud. Key features include, among other things, billing, which involves creating vendor accounts, creating invoices, and even collecting payments through digital channels like PayPal and even credit cards.
ZipBooks will also help you with bookkeeping, reports, intelligent insights, expense tracking, and other fundamental accounting and billing tasks. It's a relatively simple tool compared to, say, QuickBooks from Intuit, but the best part is that even the free version lets you generate unlimited PDF invoices, create customer and vendor accounts, view simple reports, and even connect a single bank account for accounts receivable.
- Payment processing
- Automated payment reminders
- Intelligent reporting and insights
- Time tracking
Perpetual free plan
Affordable premium plans based on specific needs
Easy to use
Cloud-based access (secure)
Basic accounting tool
Limited feature set
Some users may not prefer working on the cloud
Another interesting PDF invoice creator you can try is FreshBooks. This popular product offers a wider range of features compared to our previous showcase application but it also comes at a higher price, with no free plan included. Of course, there's a free trial you can use in the beginning but you'll be billed beyond that. Nevertheless, you'll see the product frequently discounted in order to attract more users.
Similar to our previous tool, FreshBooks is also a cloud-hosted invoicing platform. The attractive feature here is the ability to customize your invoices for a professional look, with logos and other branding tools, custom 'thank you' emails, and more.
- Billing and invoicing
- Client management
- Expense tracking
Cloud-based and secure
Ample feature set
Free trial period for evaluation purposes
A little on the expensive side without discounts
No free-forever version
PayPal support not listed on website
Probably one of the most well-known brands of all in the PDF invoice generator space is Zoho. This was one of the pioneering SaaS products in this segment, which is what made it hugely popular. Today, there are millions of users and the product itself has grown into a robust accounting platform with end to end solutions for accountants, freelancers, and companies of all sizes to manage their incoming and outgoing cash flows.
Zoho targets small business users with enticing features, especially when it comes to generating custom-designed invoices. This part of the product is actually free to use so if you only need an invoicing, tracking, and payments solution, this is one of the best options.
- Robust feature set with extensive accounting tools
- Account management tools
- Invoice tracking and online payment processing
- Estimate creation
- Client management
- Time tracker
- Expense tracker
Familar to a wide range of professional users
Mature product with extensive features
Invoicing is free for all users
Other functions require paid upgrades
Invoice module doesn't offer additional features
The full ecosystem is required for full-fledged accounting needs
A full suite of invoicing and accounting tools on the browser can be yours as an Invoicely user. This advanced SaaS PDF invoice maker is a fully capable financial management system under one roof. This includes several diverse features such as invoicing, payment gateways, time and expense tracking, custom branding, multi-business support, AR management, reporting, and more.
Invoicely comes with a limited free plan where you can create PDF invoices and send up to 5 of them to your clients on a monthly basis. It can host up to 3 separate clients, supports multi-currency billing, and even PayPal payment acceptance directly to your bank account. However, most other features are locked in the free version, and you'll need to upgrade in order to get access to extensive branding, multiple payment system support, and other benefits.
- End-to-end financial cycle management
- Extensive branding options in the paid plan
- Comprehensive reports and insights
Manages all aspects of your financial record-keeping needs
Easy invoicing and payment receipts
Limited features in the free version
Not available as a desktop download
Mobile versions aren't as robust
#5: Invoice Generator
This is also a SaaS tool to create pdf invoice, but largely different from the others. In many ways, it's similar to the invoicing system that you'll find in PayPal, which means you can create invoices, send them, track them, send reminders, and even download them for sending via or uploading to the web. You essentially start with a set of invoice templates that you can choose from and then customize and individualize for each customer or project.
Since it is a cloud-based tool, you can create your PDF invoices from any device as long as it has a modern browser and Internet connectivity. Just choose a template, enter the details, and send or download the invoice. As a safety precaution, you won't be able to perform either action until the To/From fields with yours and your client's details are filled, which prevents accidentally sending incomplete invoices.
- Template-based PDF invoice creator
- Fill invoice details online
- Payment receipt options
- Customizable - Additional notes, currency change, terms, etc.
Lots of templates to choose from
Easy invoice filling
Invoice Generator API
No additional functionality
Need to sign into their network to access sent invoices
Not ideal for other accounting needs
#6: Invoice Simple
As the name suggests, this is a fairly simple PDF invoice creator that pretty much works the same way as the previous tool we showcased. It comes with a wide range of PDF templates that you can deploy and customize for your clients and other stakeholders. The difference here is that you can also generate receipts once you've received payment for your invoices, which makes it easy to reconcile accounts at the end of important fiscal periods.
The UI is very appealing and easy to use. You pick a template, fill it out, customize it the way you want, and then print it out or download it. You can't directly send it to your customers but the platform compensates this by adding special features such as automatic totalling of sub totals.
- Rich template options
- Easy filling of invoices online
- Auto-calculating invoices
- Print-ready invoice templates
Fully customizable for your branding needs
Auto-calculation is very useful
Limited modules other than invoicing
Bookkeeping features are quite limited
No desktop version
#7: Adobe Express
Not many Adobe users are aware of this product, which is quite surprising. This platform also works with templates that are fillable and customizable. The template collection is fairly extensive and, of course, fully PDF-compatible so you can save it or print it without any hassles or formatting issues when you transfer from one medium to another. This also makes it viewable on any device so your clients can pay from their desktops, mobile phones, or tablets.
This is probably the only utility we've discussed so far that has both mobile and desktop compatibility. That makes it more secure, like the final product we're going to showcase here. The advantage is that your financial data is kept safe on your own networks instead of being uploaded to the web. The one downside here is that you can only download the invoice, not send it directly.
- Extensive PDF invoice templates
- Custom fonts and other elements
- Extensive branding options
- Save and share invoice designs
Professional invoice templates
Fully compliant with PDF standards
Thousands of templates to choose from
No direct sending of invoices
No additional functionality
Requires Acrobat for more advanced PDF handling features
#8: Free Invoice Builder
Our final online PDF invoice maker for today is this versatile browser-based invoicing tool, after which we'll discuss a robust hybrid solution with desktop and cloud capabilities. As for this tool, it is highly suited to the needs of any small business that sends out a few dozen invoices every month. The templates aren't as extensive as Adobe Express or PDFelement's Template Mall but there's a fair amount of optionality here.
The best part is that it's free, as the name suggests. Moreover, it's quite simple in terms of operation as well. All you need to do is head to the URL, go to the template section, pick an option to work with, fill it online, and then download it for sending to clients.
- Different types of invoice templates - tax, PO, blank, Proforma, Estimate/Quote, etc.
- Templates segregated by profession and country (currency)
- Online generator for invoices, estimates, receipts, POs and more
- Create and download customizable invoices
Category-wise template collection
Easy to fill online
PDF download - convenient for emailing and sharing
Separate modules for invoicing vs. quotes, estimates, POs, etc.
No desktop or mobile solution
And now, we come to the most cpmplete PDF invoice solution of all, PDFelement. This powerful desktop utility is much more than an invoice creation tool. You can create PDFs (with invoice templates and other ready-to-use templates), edit PDFs, convert to other formats, annotate, secure, optimize, organize, merge, split, fill, and more.
The best part about PDFelement is the user-friendly interface that keeps evolving alongside user needs and demands. Each iteration builds on the best of the earlier version and adds more features and usability elements, resulting in a steep evolutionary slope that results in award-winning PDF solutions at each iteration. The Template Mall is an online collection of thousands of templates (including PDF invoice templates) that you can access directly from the desktop PDF editor when creating a fresh document.
In the section below, we show you how to effectively use PDFelement as your go-to PDF invoice creator.
Step 1 Launch PDFelement, Click Open PDF, and select PDF Template
In this step, open the application and click on Open PDF
In the options shown, choose PDF Template
Step 2 Select Your PDF Invoice Template
You'll be taken to the Template Mall, a large collection of neatly categorized PDF templates
Click the Invoice section in the left-side panel
Choose an invoice template from the extensive collection by clicking Edit Now
This will bring the template into the main editing section of PDFelement
Step 3 Fill out the Invoice and Customize it
PDFelement is a PDF editor by design, so just start filling out the invoice
Once you're done, you can save the document to your desktop
After it's saved, you can share it directly by email and other channels from the PDFelement interface
Generating invoices is an integral part of any business, but having the right tool is equally important. Moreover, it's important to the reputation and branding of your business since it represents you to the client. In a way, every invoice you send is a reminder to the client that they've done business with you, and if you want them to repeat that business, creating professional-looking invoices is crucial. That's why a premium tool like PDFelement is critical to any business no matter the size. It gives you thousands of customizable options to create a strong image for your customer invoices - both, to make sure you get paid on time as well as for the customer to come back to you for their next requirement.