why didn't iText libary lead to creation of free or cheaper editors competing with Acrobat Standard?

I have only used iText for examining and filling the fields, but reputedly it can do lots of stuff, including generating pdf documents from scratch. So why don’t we see “poor man’s Acrobat” type of pdf editors being built on top of that?

Searching for pdf open office seems to return references to converting pdf to some other format and then converting that format back to pdf. But I don’t see references for editing pdf itself, natively.

Does nobody, including governments that reputedly have plenty of pdfs floating around, care?

update - turns out there is PDFedit. But wikipedia article suggests that it is not for the faint of heart, let alone user friendly.

PDFs don’t edit well, even with Acrobat. It’s easier to just edit the source document and make a new PDF.

ok, so maybe my question reflects an ignorance of how pdf documents get created in the real world. If pdf documents are generated automatically from easier to work with vector graphics formats, then what exactly is the Acrobat business model? Why do people pay them for Acrobat Standard and Acrobat Pro?

Not vector graphics usually, most often Word docs or scans.

Here’s the Acrobat feature matrix. What can it do that something like Nitro PDF can’t for less? Not much.

Most people only need the reader. In the past Adobe only allowed the paid version to save filled-out forms, which was a driver for some companies to buy more copies of it. Now they can be created to be saved using just the reader.

If people need to make simple PDFs from a Word doc there are any number of free creators that act as printer drivers and those do get used.

A handful of people may need to do more complicated stuff like create forms. Why get Acrobat instead of Nitro or some other program? It’s safe - guaranteed to be compatible. It’s familiar - most people that need to create PDFs started with Acrobat. If they also need to use other Adobe products it’s included in a lot of bundles.

Mainly though I think it’s from volume licensing. Businesses that want a lot of copies of Acrobat don’t pay anywhere near the full price.