Best Free Software to Edit Pdf Files

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If you need free software to edit pdf files, it can’t get any simpler than these ones. Also, since many of us don’t want to spend money on editing pdf files, here are few solutions that won’t cost you a dime! Yes, it is possible to find handy utilities online and they can be installed directly on the computer without creating problems at all.

If you have ever tried to edit a PDF file with just an app on your phone, then you know that can be near impossible. Even if you have a tablet, making edits to PDF files can be challenging. The formatting is difficult to change and complex enough that it may look completely different two minutes down the line. However, there are free tools for the job.

Word processing is the most frequent software application design. You’ve got Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect and so on. Additionally, there are a lot of applications, which may operate in the Windows environment. For example, you can find a number of free PDF editors while in the marketplace. Having said that, it might be questionable whether you want to discover an application making it possible for you personally to edit PDFs as well. As well as I am going to reveal several reasons why this may not be your preferred choice for modifying PDF files with all sorts of possibilities for editing PDF files – each totally free and paid with higher results.

Free PDF Editor for Windows

 iSkySoft PDF Editor 6 Professional

iSkySoft PDF Editor 6 Professional
PDF Editor 6 is another possible Adobe Acrobat alternative for both Windows and Mac users.

Runs on: Windows, macOS

With a built-in OCR, Bates numbering, and form creation, iSkySoft is another full-featured PDF editor. It automatically recognizes forms and makes them interactive, and it allows for one-click extraction of data from PDF forms.

LibreOffice Draw

LibreOffice Draw
LibreOffice Draw has powerful PDF editing features for a drawing software.

Runs on: Windows

For a free, open-source application that isn’t primarily a PDF editor software for Windows, LibreOffice offers a surprising number of editing capabilities. You can change the text, fonts, font sizes, and colors, as well as add images, comments, and annotations.

 Nitro PRO 12

Nitro PRO 12
Nitro Pro 12 is an affordable alternative to Adobe Acrobat.

Runs on: Windows

Nitro Pro 12 says it can do everything Adobe Acrobat does, at half the price. It’s compatible with CAD drawings, so you can work with blueprints within PDFs and export from Revit, AutoCAD, and Microstation to PDF. It also integrates with Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Box for cloud-based document sharing.

PDF Architect 6

PDF Architect 6 PDF Editor
PDF Architect can convert a web page into a PDF.

Runs on: Windows

PDF Architect 6 offers everything from editing to page manipulation and e-signing. It can also convert any web page into a PDF simply by specifying its URL. Its built-in spell checker is available in over 20 languages. If you’re looking for PDF software for Windows, consider this option.

PDF Xchange Editor

Best for editing photocopied PDF documents.

PDF Xchange Editor

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PDF Xchange editor is a free open source PDF editor for Windows. It has a little more complex interface than other open-source editors. One reason we have put it on this list is its inbuilt OCR.

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OCR allows the application to recognize the text from the photocopy and let you edit it. With it, you can also reformat text and convert it into other fonts, even if they are not on your system. You can also split or merge or stamp it with the PDF Xchange editor.

Pros of PDF Xchange Editor:

  • Its OCR allows you to edit photocopied documents.
  • You can convert other file formats to PDF.
  • It allows you to edit the text in PDF.
  • You can annotate the document and add comments to it.

Cons of PDF Xchange Editor:

  • A little complicated to use.
  • The free version watermarks the document.


  • PDF-XChange Editor: USD $46.50
  • PDF-XChange Editor Plus: USD $59.50


Best for editing PDF files online.


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Smallpdf is one of the quickest open-source PDF editors that allows you to add text, images, signature, shapes, etc in your PDF. You can upload the file from your system, Google Drive, or Dropbox. Its text toolbox doesn’t allow you to change the fonts, but you can change the size and color of the font.

You can also extract pages from your PDF. When you have edited your PDF, you can save your PDF wherever you want, on your system or your Dropbox account. You can also share the link for downloading the PDF, but the link will stay valid for only two weeks.

Pros of Smallpdf:

  • It’s free.
  • You can redact or add text.
  • It allows you to import images.
  • You can load and save PDF from various sources.

Cons of Smallpdf:

  • You can’t edit existing text.
  • You can only edit two PDFs per day.

Price: Free


Best for editing and converting multiple PDF files.


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PDF Element is one of the best open-source PDF editors available. It has built-in OCR and the ability to distribute forms. It has a simple user design and interface.

It supports batch processing and can edit and convert multiple PDF files. And it is compatible with almost all Operating Systems.

Pros of PDFelement:

  • It is as powerful as Adobe Acrobat.
  • It has a simple user interface.
  • You can create fillable PDF forms with one click.
  • It is accurate in its task and extremely easy to use.
  • PDFElement is highly secured and is heavily encrypted.

Cons of PDFElement:

  • Doesn’t work well with scanned documents.
  • Sometimes you will lose the formatting in converting large MS Word documents to PDF
  • Merging a huge number of documents could be a little problematic


  • PDFelement Pro (for Windows only): USD $79.99/Year
  • PDFelement Pro Bundle (for Windows and iOS): USD $99.99/Year


Best for taking notes on PDF-formatted e-books.


Okular is a cross-platform PDF editor that is extremely easy to use. If you frequently transfer work between work and home computer, it could be an extremely attractive option for you. And it is also useful for those who take notes on PDF-formatted e-books. It comes with a handful of innovative capabilities similar to any enterprise PDF editor.

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Pros of Okular:

  • It is available in multiple languages.
  • It supports touch interaction.
  • There are many features.
  • Easy to use.

Cons of Okular:

  • It has poor HiDPI support.
  • It needs many KDE libraries.
  • There isn’t a “fit to page” option.

Price: Free

 iLovePDF – Free PDF Editor

This online PDF service comprises a collection of useful tools for editing, conversion, compression, file and page management, and even PDF repair. While not as popular as SmallPDF or HiPDF, ILovePDF offers a matching array of capabilities to help users handle relatively light document workflows.


  • Limited “Convert to PDF” options
  • No advanced tools such as OCR


  • Users cannot set the name of a processed file when saving it
  • Doesn’t do well with large PDF files
ilovepdf online pdf editor

pdfFiller – Online Free PDF Editing Tool

The tools in pdfFiller are laid out very differently from most other online PDF editors, and the focus is clearly on providing the right tools to the right type of user. As such, the company has various custom solutions for industries across healthcare, finance, legal, and so on. The online platform offers several important PDF tools required by business users from these and other industries.


  • Solution-specific PDF tools
  • API and third-party integrations


  • The online platform is sometimes slow or unresponsive
  • Limited advanced features such as OCR and API
online free pdf editor pdffiller

 Sejda PDF Editor – Free PDF Editor

Sejda is a free PDF editor on our list, and this is due to its impressive features. It allows you to edit your PDF files easily. Apart from editing PDFs, it can also add signatures on PDF files, add comments and links on PDFs, create fillable PDF forms, edit the content in PDF documents.


  • You can edit an unlimited number of documents.
  • There is no page or hourly limit.


  • It is not as secure as other PDF editors.
  • There is no OCR included in this online PDF editor.
  • The user interface is not user-friendly.
pdf editor

 PDF Buddy – Handy PDF Editor Online

This is another one of the best free PDF editors in 2021. You do not need to download and install it on your PC to edit PDFs for free. It is a free PDF editor for Windows that allows you to edit PDFs files online easily. There’s no need to download a PDF editor, as everything is done online.


  • Uploading files and editing them is easy.
  • The instructions are clear, and you can complete tasks quickly.
  • Signing up takes just a few minutes.
  • It is a free PDF editor for Windows.


  • The features are limited, so there are many things you might not be able to do with this editor. For example, you cannot merge PDF files using this tool, and you can’t use it to create a PDF file.
  • The security and privacy of your documents are a concern with this editor because all edits are done over the internet.
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pdfbuddy free pdf editor


Best for adding new content on PDF files.


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You can use Scribus for creating interactive PDF files and editing them. It is used primarily for designing magazines and desktop publishing. But you can also use it for editing an existing PDF file.

You can’t replace the original content but add new ones. Go to the main toolbar of Scribus to find all the editing tools. You can use this for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Pros of Scribus:

  • It is a cross-platform open-source PDF editor.
  • There are various editing options available.
  • You can export the edited document in its native format.
  • It is extremely easy to use.

Cons of Scribus:

  • You can’t edit original texts in a PDF file.
  • Its Graphical User Interface could be better.

Price: Free

Online PDF Editor VS PDF Editor Offline

The differences between the online PDF editor and the ones that you install on your PC are vast. Since desktop applications can use your local resources in a more efficient way, they’re able to perform complex tasks such as OCR or handling large PDF files. Here’s a quick look at the main differences:

Online PDF EditorDesktop PDF Editor
Works on browsers on connected devicesCan work online when connected to the Internet; primarily works offline
No installation neededRequires installation
Usually lightweightHeavy application
Can handle heavy tasks, large PDFs, etc.Usually unable to handle heavy workflows
Greater securitySecurity is at risk when documents are in transit during the upload/download process
Recommended for own or office computerRecommended on guest machines and other devices

There are several reasons why desktop editors are better than online PDF platforms, some of which have been outlined below:

Disadvantages of Online PDF Editors:

  • Potential security risk, as mentioned in the table above
  • Slow Internet connections can interrupt processes and corrupt files
  • Confidential files will reside on unknown servers for at least a few hours

Advantages of Editors for Desktops:

  • Fast and responsive user experience
  • Work securely offline with no possibility of data leaks
  • More powerful features are available since local system resources can be used effectively


The question of which is the best free software to edit pdf files is not a question that can be answered quickly or definitively. The features of software products need to be considered first and foremost, with the end user’s preferences being second in importance.Free pdf editor is a powerful tool that can create, edit and read any pdf documents. It can also merge multiple pdf documents into single file, split one large pdf files into several small pdf files but still keep the original layout and format of source pdf file.

The world is moving towards a paperless platform, and people are looking for the best free tools to edit pdf. The days when you want to carry heavy files or printouts in your handbag just because you need it at that moment, will soon pass. Your mobile phone already has a digital version of your document, and that’s what we need to tap into.

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