Best Open Source Pdf Editors

Since the invention of computers and the internet, pdf is being widely used because it’s supported and works on almost every operating system. But, not every program can open pdf files. To be specific, only pdf editors can do this thing. This is where you might be interested in finding a right pdf editor for your needs. One of them is the so-called best open source pdf editor that I will talk about today.

The Open Source Pdf Editors list features the best open source PDF software programs available. This list will give you step by step instructions on how to find, download and install a PDF editor. In addition, this website features reviews of all the open source PDF editors so that you know what’s best for your computing needs.

This is a list of the best open source pdf editors, including a description and links to download the source code. The software in this list was listed according to the date of their last update.

You know, you look at the info about free PDF editors on the web and wonder where to find good reviews with clear details. When you have time, you dive into various open-source PDF software sites and read manuals to get a grasp of what is what. Yet it all turns out they are too complicated, versatile or out of date. So you give up that idea, believing there is no solution to your problem.

Open Source PDF Editors

PDFelement – Easy-to-use PDF Editor

PDFelement is an outstanding PDF editor for Windows that tops the list. It is a worthy alternative to Adobe Acrobat, which has been widely regarded as the industry standard when it comes to PDF editing. The good thing is that this wonderful PDF editor has a free trial that comes with basic PDF editing solutions. Meanwhile, the paid version offers good value for the cost, as it is affordable when compared to other PDF editors.

It boasts of a lot of incredible features which include annotating, editing, and converting PDFs to other formats, adding signatures, and filling PDF forms. In fact, this best Windows PDF editor gives you a complete solution to edit PDF files like never before. For example, it can help you edit pdf text, add, remove, extract images from PDF, edit and remove watermarks, background, and so on. More importantly, it allows you to enjoy a large cloud storage space (up to 100GB) from Wondershare Document Cloud. Download this simple PDF editor now.TRY IT FREE

best free pdf editor


  • PDFelement can do what Adobe can do, making it the editor with the best value for money.
  • Users can try it out before they commit to buying it.
  • Its simple design provides a user-friendly interface for both beginners and pros.
  • It is secured with your documents.
  • It has OCR technology, which allows you to edit/extract the PDF files from scanning.
  • Moreover, it possesses the Document Cloud service, making you access your cloud documents on any device.
  • It allows you to edit, convert, annotate, sign, protect, compress PDF files, and so on.


  • It has limited features when used as a free PDF editor with the trial version.


  • The free version offers basic PDF solutions.
  • Only costs $79.99 for the PDFelement professional version, which offers a comprehensive PDF solution.

System Support

  • Windows System Support: Best PDF reader and editor for Windows Vista/7/8/10/11.
  • Mac System Support: Highly compatible with all macOS from 10.14 to the latest macOS 11.
ALSO READ:   Best Freeware Pdf Editor Windows

 Nitro Pro  PDF File Editor

The Nitro Pro PDF editor offers many PDF editing features similar to other PDF editors for Windows 10 listed above. Its features include the ability to edit, create and merge, review, and collaborate, among others. In addition, the Nitro editor will allow you to fill, sign, and secure your PDF files. It supports all windows operating systems and comes in 2 versions, personal and business. The professional version costs $179.99 and has its own set of more advanced features.


  • It is easy to use and also fast.
  • Includes OCR technology for editing scanned PDFs.


  • It is expensive in comparison to other top PDF editor software.
  • The trial version has limited features.

Price: The professional version costs $179.99 with its own set of features.

System Support: It can work on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10/11 PDF editor.

best free pdf editor nitro

Acrobat® Pro DC PDF Editing Software

There is no doubt that the Adobe Acrobat PDF editor sets the pace for PDF editing and is widely regarded as the best PDF editing tool for Windows 10; however, it is considered to be overpriced. It is important to note that PDF editing is not just for large businesses but also for individuals and small businesses, and therefore the price is critical. But Adobe is still a great PDF editor with top-class features that helps users convert, edit, and annotate, among other functions.


  • One of the best PDF editors with top-notch features.
  • It is easy to use with a decent and friendly user interface.
  • OCR technology is available to edit scanned PDFs.


  • It is a more expensive PDF editor when compared to other alternatives.
  • It may not be suitable for individuals and small businesses due to the cost.

Price: It costs $179.88 for one year or $14.99 per month for the subscription.

System Support: This PDF editor can be compatible with all Windows systems.

adobe pdf editor for windows

PDF Candy

Best free PDF editor


Developer: Icecream AppsCompatibility: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, SafariCategory: OCR, PDF editing, file conversionUpgrade from free version: NoneTODAY’S BEST DEALSVIEW AT PDF CANDY


+OCR feature+Extensive file-conversion and -creation features+Solid PDF-layout tools


-Limited text-editing features

PDF Candy may be one of the more compelling free PDF editors, mostly because it offers an OCR option not available in other free PDF editors. 

While you can’t edit the OCR’d text directly within PDF Candy’s web-based PDF editor, you can upload a PDF file and have PDF Candy extract text and create a text document, RTF file, or Word document in both .doc and .docx formats.

PDF Candy’s tool set is formidable. You can use 44 tools to create or convert PDF files. Additionally, you’ll find tools for rearranging pages within a document, adding watermarks, protecting PDF files with passcodes, editing metadata within a PDF file, splitting or adding pages to documents, and extracting images. 

All these tasks are as simple as selecting the tool, uploading a document and allowing PDF Candy to work its magic.

When you finish one task on a document, you’ll get a list of other tools you can use for different tasks. Once your changes are complete, you can download the edited document or upload a new document to work on. PDF Candy keeps all of your documents in a queue so you can download them all at once after you’ve finished making changes to them.

ALSO READ:   How to Massively Reduce Pdf File Size

While the actual text-editing tools in PDF Candy are as limited as on every other free PDF-editing app, everything else PDF Candy has to offer puts it head and shoulders above the other free options.


Ample annotation tools for free


Developer: Red SoftwareCompatibility: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, SafariCategory: PDF annotationUpgrade from free version: $36 (premium), $72 (ultimate) per yearTODAY’S BEST DEALSVIEW AT PDFESCAPE


+Web-based annotation tools are easy to understand and use+Page limit has increased to 100 pages+Impressive feature set for a free app


-Very limited fonts

PDFescape is an excellent option for online PDF editing. Simple to use and available to anyone with a web browser, PDFescape may be all you need to edit and annotate PDF files.

Previously, PDFescape had a limit of either a 10MB or 50-page PDF file. That 10MB file-size limit remains in place, but you can now edit files of up to 100 pages for free.

PDFescape offers ample annotation tools. You can use the app to fill out forms, create form fields, insert text and web links, highlight text, add sticky notes, redact or strike out text, crop and rotate images, add or remove pages and even lock and encrypt PDF documents.

You’ll have to contend with severely limited font options, however. PDFescape offers five fonts, one of which is a generic “signature” font that looks nothing like your own signature. But otherwise, you’ll find a lot more tools in PDFescape than you will in the typical, bare-bones free PDF editor.

PDF24 Creator

Best overall free PDF editorTODAY’S BEST DEALSVISIT SITE


+Completely free+Fast and light+Lots of features for every need


-Occasionally a bit clunky

PDF24 Creator may have a somewhat dated website but this is because this free PDF editor and converter has been around since 2006. It’s made by a small team based in Berlin and is the project of Geek Software. 

In addition to being surprisingly feature-rich for a free PDF editor, PDF24 Creator is a very small program that can easily run on older systems. In terms of features, it allows you to create new PDFs, merge existing ones, compress a PDF, convert a PDF to other formats, extract specific pages to create a new document and optimize a PDF for the web. PDF24 Creator also lets you apply OCR to a PDF so that you can convert scanned images to text.

PDF24 Creator has a minimalistic user interface and it’s clear that the program is designed around speed first and foremost. All of the important features are easy to find and when you first open the software, you’re presented with a grid of editing options.

What to Consider When Choosing a PDF Editor?

There are several things you will have to consider before choosing the right PDF software for your task, like what features the application needs to have or what is the pricing of your preferred solution. In this article, we’ll review some of them in detail to give you a better idea about what to think about when choosing a PDF editor for your needs.

1. Price

Pricing of PDF writing software varies from $10 to $200, depending on the functionality offered by the application. You can choose one that meets all your requirements or an entry-level affordable price solution that covers basic features and then go for a more powerful application as soon as you have mastered the basics with help of trial versions.

ALSO READ:   Best Free Pdf Editing Tool

2. Features

When looking for PDF software, you should consider what is your primary goal. Are you searching for a basic editor or PDF converter tool to convert existing documents into this format? Or maybe you need a full-fledged OCR solution that can extract texts and images from scanned files.


Some of the most popular features you can expect from PDF editor include creation, editing and modifying and/or converting pdf files, adding bookmarks, indexing as well as merging multiple files at once.

There are some advanced tools that may offer you to process documents with optical character recognition (OCR), create pdf files from scratch, or to protect your files with passwords and encryption options.

Some of the most advanced PDF software solutions may offer you to customize your files in several ways including changing the viewing mode, adding text and graphics watermarks that cannot be deleted during the editing process or use mobile devices for viewing and transferring scanned documents.

3. Support

If you consider purchasing a paid solution, check what kind of technical support is available before making up your mind about a product. Some vendors offer you free online support in addition to email and phone support, while others may require you to purchase an additional plan for technical assistance.

4. File formats

Some PDF tools are capable of editing .pdf files only, while others can open and modify Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents.

So before making your choice, make sure that the software you choose supports all file types you’ll need to work with. Also, check what is the maximum size allowed for each document page as well as the maximum number of pages you can add to a single file.

5. Interface

Depending on what is your preferred way of working, choose software that offers advanced or basic features in a well-organized interface for quick and easy navigation. Some editors also offer users additional tools like bookmarks, searching options or note-taking capabilities which help them organize their files better.

6. Other considerations

When looking for PDF software, pay attention to additional features like graphic and shape drawing tools, document encryption or watermarking options and advanced page editing capabilities that allow users to change pdf size as well as modify margins on all four sides of the page.


Recently, there has been a small trend of increased interest in open source PDF editors. This is especially true among free software users. We can’t say for sure – whether this trend is caused by rising prices for proprietary software or by more users trying to save some money – but what we know for sure is that more people are interested in open source alternatives to mainstream and commercial solutions.

This list ranks the best open source pdf editors by combining scores and rankings from multiple sites. This list of free and commercial pdf tools, text to pdf converters, document and file converters, and pdf readers is the result of a combination of editorial review combined with user reviews.

Leave a Comment