Pdf Editing Software

Easily create PDFs.

The PDF document format is essential for working, communicating, and collaborating, which is why many people and businesses seek out the best PDF editor software to customize their files.

You can use this common file format to share with a team and save for your records.

And if you need a quick and easy way to preview, sign, and annotate PDF documents no matter where you are, the free Acrobat Reader mobile app can help. Whether you need to sign PDF documents, review a form for a coworker, or save a copy of your resume, streamline your workflow with the best free PDF viewer. If you need to do more than sign, edit text, annotate form fields, or share PDFs, try Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. It’s simple to export many file types to PDF, whether you’re working with Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, HTML web pages, or PowerPoint presentations.

Part 1: When Would You Need to Edit PDFs for Free?
Part 2: TOP Free PDF Editor for Windows
Part 3: TOP Free PDF Editor Online
Part 4: Online PDF Editor VS PDF Editor Offline
Part 5: Which Type of Free PDF Editor is Best for You?

PDF-XChange Editor

You can also use a PDF converter to save photos, like PNGs or JPGs, in PDF format. And, since the PDF format offers universal compatibility, anyone — from clients to contractors — can view and review them and provide e-signatures with ease. PDF X is the free PDF reader & editor 2022 for windows, an alternative to adobe acrobat reader. It's a powerful app for viewing, printing, editing and annotating PDFs.

  • [Features] Supported Formats: PDF, PS, Tiff, CHM, DjVu, Images, DVI, XPS, ODT, Fiction Book, Comic Book, Plucker, EPub, Fax View PDF • Horizontal or Vertical scroll, Single Page or Continuous scroll modes.
  • • Search text, zoom in, zoom out & Presentation Mode.
  • It's not easy to find a truly free PDF editor that lets you not only edit and add text but also change images, add your own graphics, sign your name, fill out forms, etc.
  • Below, however, is a list of exactly what you're looking for.
  • Some of these are online PDF editors that work right in your web browser, so all you have to do is upload your PDF file to the website, make the changes you want, and then save it back to your computer.

That's ​the quick way—but do bear in mind that, typically, an online editor isn't as fully featured as its desktop counterpart, plus the file is exposed to the internet (which might be of concern if it contains sensitive content). Because not all of these free PDF editors support the same features, and some are restricted in what you can do, remember that you can process the same PDF in more than one tool. For example, use one to edit the PDF text (if that's supported), and then put the same PDF through a different editor to do something supported in that program (for example, to edit a form, update an image, or remove a page).

Use these free PDF editors and online tools to make changes to your PDF files

The benefits of PDF editors.

If you don't need to change the contents of the PDF but instead just need to change it to another file format (such as .docx for Microsoft Word or .epub for an eBook), see our list of free document converters for help. On the other hand, if you have a file you created yourself that you want to save as a PDF file, learn how to print to PDF. If you already own Microsoft Word 2021, 2019, 2016, or 2013, then skip all the suggested programs below: you have a great PDF editor at your disposal right now.

Just open the PDF as you would any Word document, give the program a few minutes to convert the PDF, and then edit away. This also works in WPS Office and Google Docs. Lets you load the file from other websites. Supports adding hyperlinks. Includes a signature tool. Lets you insert blank pages into the PDF. Can remove pages from the PDF. Supports whiting out parts of the page. Can insert images and shapes. Can be used on only three PDFs per hour.

Limited to docs with fewer than 200 pages.

  • Doesn't edit files larger than 50 MB. Sejda PDF Editor is one of the very few PDF editors that actually lets you edit pre-existing text in the PDF without adding a watermark.
  • Most editors only let you edit the text you add yourself, or they support text editing but then throw watermarks all over the place.
  • Plus, this tool can run entirely in your web browser, so it's easy to get going without having to download any programs.
  • You can get the desktop version if you'd rather use it that way.
  • There are some differences between the online and desktop versions that you should know about.
  • For example, the desktop edition supports more font types and doesn't let you add PDFs by URL or from online storage services as the online editor does (which supports Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive).
  • Another neat feature is the web integration tool that lets PDF publishers provide a link for their users that they can simply click to automatically open the file in this online PDF editor.

All uploaded files are automatically deleted from Sejda after two hours.

  • This online PDF editor works no matter which operating system you use.

Sejda PDF Desktop runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

  • Visit Sejda.com. You can use the online or desktop version to convert PDF to Word, and vice versa.
  • Uses OCR to identify the text in the PDF. Can import a variety of shapes and images.

Supports adding QR codes to the PDF.

  • Offers a portable version. Frequent updates. Many features require a license.
  • Works with Windows only. PDF-XChange Editor offers some great tools, but not all of them are free to use.


If you use a non-free feature, the PDF will save with a watermark on every page. If you stick to just the free features, however, you can still do some editing to the file and save it back to your computer. You can load PDFs from your computer, a URL, SharePoint, Google Drive, and Dropbox. You can save the edited PDF back to your computer or to any of those cloud storage services.

There are lots of features, so it might seem overwhelming at first.

  • All the options and tools are simple to understand, however, and they're categorized into their own sections for easier management.
  • One nice feature is the ability to highlight all the form fields so that you can easily spot where you need to fill in.

This is really helpful if you're editing a PDF with lots of forms, such as an application.

  • Many of the features are free (like editing the text), but some are not.
  • If you use a feature that's not covered by the free version (you're told which features are not free when you use them), the saved PDF file will have a watermark attached to the corner of every page.

Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7 users can install PDF-XChange Editor.

You can download it in portable mode to use on a flash drive or as a regular installer.


Download PDF-XChange Editor. Can edit PDF text. Supports manipulating graphics. Includes lots of image-editing tools. The number of graphics-editing tools can be overwhelming. Inkscape is an extremely popular free image viewer and editor, but it also includes PDF editing functions that most dedicated PDF editors support only in their paid editions. Inkscape is a very capable image editing program.

If you're not already familiar with programs like GIMP, Adobe Photoshop, and other image editors, however, it's probably a bit advanced for you.

  • In the context of PDF editing, though, you should consider this software only if you want to delete or edit the images or text in the PDF.
  • We suggest you use a different tool in this list to edit PDF forms or add shapes, and then plug that PDF into Inkscape if you need to actually edit the preexisting text.
  • You can install Inkscape on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Download Inkscape.

  • Works online through your web browser. Includes lots of tools.
  • Lets you add your own text and images. Can delete and add PDF pages.

Can't edit existing text, unless you pay. Limits the PDF size and page length.

Documents stored in your account remain there only for 7 days.

Smallpdf Online PDF Editor

PDFescape has quite a lot of features. It's free as long as the document doesn't exceed 100 pages or 10 MB. You can't truly change text or edit images for free using this editor, but you can add your own text, images, links, form fields, etc. The text tool is very customizable so that you can pick your own size, font type, color, alignment, and apply effects such as bolding, underlining, and italics.

You also can draw on the PDF, add sticky notes, strikethrough text, put white space over anything you want to disappear, and insert lines, checkmarks, arrows, ovals, circles, rectangles, and comments.

  • PDFescape lets you delete individual pages from the PDF, rotate pages, crop out parts of a page, reorganize the order of the pages, and add more pages from other PDFs.
  • You can upload your own PDF file, paste the URL to an online PDF, and make your own PDF from scratch.

When finished editing, you can download the PDF to your computer without ever having to make a user account.

  • You need one only if you want to save your progress online without downloading the PDF.
  • The online version works in all operating systems. There's also an offline editor that runs on Windows, but it isn't free.

Visit PDFescape.com. Is completely free. Lets you add more text to the PDF. Can put white space over areas you want to erase.

Supports importing shapes. Can load and save PDFs from various sources.

Sejda PDF Editor

Doesn't let you edit existing text. Limited to two PDF edits per day. One of the quickest ways to add images, text, shapes, or your signature to a PDF is with Smallpdf. This website allows you to upload a PDF, make changes to it, and then save it back to your computer, all without needing to make a user account or pay for any anti-watermarking features.

You can open files from your computer or your Dropbox or Google Drive account.

  • Importing shapes is possible if you want a rectangle, square, circle, arrow, or line.
  • You can change the object's main color and line color, as well as the thickness of its edge.

Text size can be small, regular, medium, large, or extra large, but you can't change the font type, just the color.

  • When finished editing the PDF, you can decide where you want it saved; to your device or your Dropbox account.
  • You can also generate a share link that anyone can use to download the PDF.

Something else you can do is run the document through Smallpdf's PDF splitter tool if you want to extract the pages.

If you edit two PDFs within one day, you'll have to wait until the next day to keep using the site, or upgrade/pay.

Microsoft Word: A Top Choice

This site works with all operating systems that support a modern web browser. Visit Smallpdf.com. Edits any text on the page. Doesn't leave a watermark. Lots of other editing features. Must download the whole suite of programs just to use the PDF editor. LibreOffice Draw is LibreOffice's flowchart and diagram program, but it also lets you open and edit PDFs.

Use the File > Open menu to select the PDF you want to edit, and then zoom up to the text to select and change whatever you want.

  • One of the neat things about editing PDFs with this program is that it's made for creating and manipulating objects, so you can just as easily edit non-text things, too, like images, headings, colors, etc.
  • When you're ready to save, don't use the typical save option; go instead to File > Export As to find the PDF option.

It works with Windows, macOS, and Linux.

  • Download LibreOffice. Super easy to use. No user account required.
  • Supports multiple conversion methods. Use it in several languages.

Zero ads and saves without a watermark. Doesn't edit existing text. Few font options. Only one upload source (your computer).

PDF BOB is a free online PDF editor that requires no user account.

LibreOffice Draw

Just upload your PDF, make the changes you need to, and then export it to PDF again to finish up.
There are several tools here to edit your PDF, like a text tool that lets you select a custom color and font type, an image picker, an underliner, a colored pencil/marker, and a few shape tools.
CompatibilityWindows, Mac, iOS, AndroidWindowsWindows, Mac, iOSWindows, Mac
PriceProfessional: $79.99/yr$159Acrobat Standard DC: $155.88/yr Acrobat Pro DC: $179.88/yr$99/yr
Conversion SpeedConvert 100 pages in 1 minConvert 100 pages more than 2 minsConvert 100 pages more than 2 minsConvert 100 pages more than 2 mins
Easy to Use
Keep Original Layout
Batch Conversion
No File Size Limitations
OCR Feature
Output FormatWord, Excel, PowerPoint, JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, GIF, Text, RTF, HTML, EPUB, HWP, HWPXWord, Excel, PowerPoint, JPG, PNG, TIFF, Text, RTFWord, Excel, PowerPoint, JPG, PNG, TIFF, RTFWord, Excel, PowerPoint, Text, Image, HTML
Annotate PDFNote, Markups, Typewriter, Text Box, Stamps, Highlight, Underline, Area Highlight, Attachment, Shapes, Drawing, etc.Note, Markups, Stamps, Shapes, drawings, etc.Highlight, Markups, Shapes, drawings, etc.Text Box, Note, drawing, etc.
Edit Text and ImagesAdd/Edit/Remove text, link, image; Change the text color, font, align, line space, etc.Add, delete, and modify PDF texts and images.Add, delete, and modify PDF texts and images.Add, delete, and modify PDF texts and images.
Page ManagementInsert, Delete, Crop, Rotate, Split, Extract, Replace, ReorderAdd, Remove, OrganizeInsert, Delete, OrganizeInsert, Delete, Organize

PDFescape Online PDF Editor

You can also use this website to delete pages from the PDF and add new ones to it. When you save, there's even a password option to secure the document. When you're done editing, export to the PDF format or, if you log in, JPG and PNG. Files can be saved back to your computer or imported directly into Google Drive or Dropbox. Although PDF BOB doesn't let you edit the PDF text, you can convert it to one of the Word formats to do so in a word processor.

Create and share PDFs with Adobe Acrobat.

Lets you edit the PDF's text directly. Supports adding images, links, and custom watermarks. The background of the PDF pages can be edited. Headers and footers can be included in the PDF. Supports combining several PDFs into one. PDF pages can be cropped. Can insert, extract, delete, and rotate PDF pages. Editing embedded forms is easy. Can password-protect the PDF. Free version places a watermark on the PDF.

Requires large OCR feature download.

  • Must log in to save the document. PDFelement is free, but with a major limitation: It places a watermark on every page of the document.
  • That being said, the watermark is behind everything, so you can still see the content, and it's important to realize that it supports some truly great PDF editing features.

This program would be a truly free PDF editor if it weren't for the fact that the free edition will not save without first putting a watermark on every single page of the PDF.

  • Depending on what you'll use the PDF for, however, the features it supports might be enough for you to consider living with the watermarks.
  • When you're done editing, you can save back to PDF or any of the several other supported formats, including Word and other MS Office formats.

2. Smallpdf - Complete PDF Editor Online

To export or save, you have to have a Wondershare account.

Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS are supported.

  • Excellent file compression tool
  • Comprehensive PDF tools for conversion, editing, security, signing, etc.


  • Users cannot set the name of a processed file when saving it
  • Doesn't do well with large PDF files

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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.

6. 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.

Part 4: 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

Part 5: Which Type of Free PDF Editor is Best for You?

Choosing a PDF editor is definitely not a job for the faint-hearted, and it's because there are so many online and offline tools available for PDFs that it's impossible to try them all. In general, HiPDF is one of the top recommendations for a free PDF editor online, but its sister product from Wondershare is an equally powerful contender in the desktop PDF editor category. If you want to narrow it down for a more robust user experience, then a free PDF editor for desktops is the category you want to pursue, and Wondershare PDFelement Pro is exactly what you're looking for.

The Best PDF Editor for Windows - PDFelement

As one of the top-rated PDF applications available today for Mac and Windows, PDFelement is an award-winning product from one of the most prolific software development companies in the realm of productivity and creativity tools. The current version of PDFelement Pro is the result of several years of experience with earlier iterations and continual development through research, customer feedback, and other important channels. Here are some of the things that set it apart from the crowd of PDF editors on the market today.

  • Attractive and intuitive interface that brings minimalistic design to a whole new level
  • Clear and crisp labeling, iconography, page layouts, etc.
  • Easy navigation despite being feature-rich
  • Features include file conversion, editing, annotations, e-signatures, password security, forms management, OCR, page and file organizing, file size optimization, viewing, printing, sharing, batch processes, etc.
  • Fast app launch and document open times
  • Handles heavy workflows like a breeze
  • Hundreds of free templates (Windows PDFelement Pro users)
  • Integrated with Wondershare Document Cloud for PDF storage and bulk e-signature service

What types of content in PDF you can edit using PDFelement?

  • Text - add, edit, and delete text, change the text font, color, align, line space, etc.
  • Image - rotate, extract, replace, overturn the image, change its position and size.
  • Link - add, edit, or remove the hyperlink and its appearances, such as color, type, highlight style, line style, and line thickness.
  • Watermark - add watermark, edit its position, the proportion of pages, color, opacity, etc., or remove the watermark.
  • Background - add and edit the background color and image or remove the background.
  • Header and Footer - add or delete the page number, header and footer, edit their font,c color, position, style, page range, and so on.
  • Bates numbering - add, edit, and delete text, change the text font, color, align, line space, etc. add and edit bates numbering, including the font, size, style, position, etc.

When you're on the go, HiPDF can help you no matter which computer you're using, and for your home and office computers, PDFelement Pro comes highly recommended by users and professional reviewers alike.

Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Buy PDFelement right now!

Buy PDFelement right now!