10 Best Free PDF Editors

PDF editors allow you to be almost as flexible with PDF files as Word documents. The editors give you essential features for daily work, and sometimes you don’t even have to pay for them.

And since there are many PDF editors out there today, choosing the right one becomes a headache.

Surely, you could just flip open your laptop and download the first online PDF editor that pops up in your search results, right?

Well, it’s never that simple.

This article dives into the best free PDF editors, their unique features, and how much wiggle room they give you with PDF documents.

Lumin PDF

Lumin PDF is a reliable PDF editor for organizing, annotating, and proofreading documents. This PDF tool is convenient in today’s workplace, where businesses are moving away from paper documents.

With the premium features available on this PDF editing software, you can enjoy real-time syncing and auto-saving so that you don’t lose your progress.

Lumin PDF is accessible online, which is excellent for teams with multiple people working on a document. And with how smoothly the software works across platforms, it’s no wonder top brands like Uber and Netflix endorse it.


If you are looking for a no-frills tool to edit PDF file online, Sejda is the tool for you. The software’s simple interface ensures that users have the best experience with it.

Sejda has a menu bar with all the editing options you need for daily work. The software even saves your work directly to Google Drive, just like Google PDF editor.

Sejda has a fairly expensive premium version, but if you don’t mind the file limits in the free version, Sejda is your perfect choice.


Smallpdf is one of the most feature-packed PDF tools online. With this tool, you can make simple changes to documents like highlighting, signing, and commenting.

But if you need more robust features, SmallPDF is equal to the task too. This cloud-based software allows you to convert PDF to editable Word documents. You can also merge PDFs and change the details of the content you add to a document using Smallpdf.

Although Smallpdf has a limited trial period, the PDF editor works well until it expires.


PDFescape is a free PDF editor from the Red Software team and is ideal for those looking to edit documents without registering on any platform. The online software is free, but you will need to pay to use its desktop application.

Fortunately, you don’t need the desktop application if you are not looking for top-end features. You can write notes, add links and annotate pages with PDFescape online.

And though the free online version doesn’t accept uploads above 10 MB, you shouldn’t worry since most standard documents are well below that size.

PDFElement 6

PDFElement 6 is a product of the Wondershare company that works well on Windows and macOS devices — and its features are sufficient for most modern workplaces.

You can create fillable PDF forms, convert documents, mark and annotate content with PDF Element 6. The tool also allows you to edit and change the background on fillable PDF forms.

Though you will need to pay for some premium features, PDFElement is the tool to use if you work with forms often.

Adobe Acrobat

This reliable tool from Adobe is the most popular PDF editor on the market today for a good reason.

The PDF editor went public in 1993 and has had almost 30 years to fine-tune its features. The software is ideal for users who need to manipulate documents without restrictions.

Adobe’s PDF editor allows you to add text to PDF and lock private documents. You can also merge PDFs, auto-complete documents, and collaborate with colleagues on the same file.

But you can only use the PDF edit online free version for a limited time. Afterward, you have to upgrade to the pro version or settle for the bare-bones Adobe Reader.

Nitro Pro 10

Nitro Pro 10 is a top-level PDF editor for professional use. Technology experts like Tech Advisor recommend this PDF tool as an alternative to Adobe Acrobat due to its robust features.

Firstly, Nitro Pro 10 integrates with Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. The software also allows you to request signatures online and comment on documents.

Finally, you can collaborate with teams and create PDFs from scanned papers, convenient for businesses adopting the paperless working style.

The software has a 14-day free trial where you get to test all its powerful features without adding a credit card.


IlovePDF is an easy-to-use PDF editor suitable for students, teachers, business people — or anyone who works with digital documents.

While you can modify PDF online with IlovePDF, you can also work offline. So if you ever need to make PDF  editable in areas with poor network reception, IlovePDF will get the job done.

With this tool, you can edit, merge, convert and export PDFs. But while you can use its Desktop Reader for free, you need to subscribe for $6.61 per month to enjoy the full features.

Apple Preview

If you are a Mac user, Apple Preview is a PDF viewer that will appeal to you. This tool works seamlessly on Mac and is built into your device’s system, so you don’t need to download anything.

Apple Preview lets you sign documents electronically, merge PDFs, annotate and add pictures and text to documents.

The tool is free, fast, and the best choice if you need to make quick changes to a PDF on your Mac.


LibreOffice is an office suite similar to Microsoft Office, except for one significant difference — it is free.

This open-source Office suite has many features that you will find in Microsoft 365, but its PDF file editor stands out because it lets you create, edit, highlight, and export PDFs.

But with all these features, LibreOffice still lacks online collaboration or mobile apps. So if an online PDF editor is essential for your work, consider other options on this list.

And though LibreOffice doesn’t match Microsoft and Adobe in this regard, it will get the job done.


Currently, free PDF editors are becoming more efficient while squeezing in more features than before. While many of the options in this article have premium models, their free versions are more than enough for your daily needs.

You can use PDF editors to create and manage documents and forms, export PDFs, and collaborate online with other users.

So rest assured that any software you end up using from this guide will serve your needs without burning a hole in your wallet.

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