7 Best Free PDF Editors


Online PDF editors have filled a void for many casual and amateur users of PDF files as a simpler and cheaper option than buying expensive software. PDF editing has become a crucial feature for many reasons, as the need has arisen for users to make small changes to PDFs but that do not require specialized and costly programs like Adobe Acrobat or other similar software. PDF editing software does not have to be overly expensive or difficult to use. There are many web-based options that casual users of PDFs can use to make the necessary changes to their files without having to break the bank. 

H2 – Lumin PDF

Lumin PDF is a program that is available to registered users in several ways. Users can download a desktop version of the software for their computer or mobile phone, while also using many of the program’s online features. Lumin aims to make editing as well as merging and splitting PDF files much easier with its user-friendly interface. 

With the Lumin PDF editors, users can add or remove text from a selected PDF file, as well as highlight certain sections, and leave comments or annotations. Lumin also lets users share a specific file to collaborate on in real-time, with each user seeing the changes being made by their counterpart. 

Lumin is free to use as long as users register with the site. But they can also purchase monthly or yearly subscriptions to unlock more features or to remove limits on the free versions of the PDF editors like file size, amount of conversions allowed, and more advanced features like text recognition, password protections, and others. 

H2 – Sejda

Sejda is a web-based tool but a version of it is also available for download from the site. The downloadable version and web-based version are available for free but come with limits like an hourly window for users to use the tools. Users can sign-up for paid plans that allow for both use of the web-based features and the desktop ones. 

The features for both formats include a load of editing tools, as well as other essential PDF functions like conversion, compression, merging, and splitting as well as more specific tools like adding headers or footnotes as well as adding things like watermarks or e-signatures. 

H2 – SmallPDF 

Small PDF is an online-based PDF editing platform that espouses its easy usability as its main selling point, along with the plethora of different PDF tools it offers. SmallPDF is largely free to use except for the different subscription plans it offers for users to unlock some of the more advanced features of the site. 

There is a trial period where users can explore the site and its different attributes, but the software is also available for download to a desktop or a mobile phone. Among the program’s different tools are several conversion options, as well as the ability to compress, merge, split and edit files. 

H2 – PDFescape

PDFescape is one of the oldest PDF editors after the Adobe Acrobat suite of products. Like many of the tools on this list, the software is available either in an online version or in a downloadable desktop version. One bonus is that the downloadable version includes all the features that are available on the website and then some. 

PDFescape consists of several standard PDF editing tools like creating and filling forms, changing the format and layout of PDFs, as well as the ability to add or remove text. Those tools are accompanied by other things like merging and splitting, customization, as well as compression and conversion options. 

Users can select from three different pricing plans for PDFescape, with the most premium version being the PDFescape Ultimate that not only combines all the online and desktop features but throws in things like printing and scanning abilities, as well as sharing and publishing abilities. 

H2 – PDFelement 6

PDFelement 6 is a paid software program that includes many premium and high-quality PDF editing features, as well as other vital PDF management tools. PDF element 6 is touted as an alternative to the much more recognized Adobe Acrobat suite, as it features much of the same levels of customization. 

PDF element 6 users can easily edit and create new PDF forms using the software. The program is essentially like what Microsoft Word and other word processors are for text documents, in that users can add or remove text, headers, footers, enlarge and add images as well as correct mistakes and other typos. 

H2 – Adobe Acrobat

The creators of the PDF format, Adobe have long been recognized as the standard-bearer for all PDF editing programs that have followed. Adobe continues to be the preferred PDF editor and management tool of major organizations and businesses, although they have received stiff competition from the other tools on this list. 

Adobe, however, does give users a wealth of not only editing options but security features, compression and conversion features, as well as the ability to create PDF forms with a level of customization that many of the other tools listed here lack. This level of personalization is what puts Adobe head and shoulders above the competition and why it remains the go-to PDF editing tool for millions of individual users as well as large businesses and governments. 

H2 -Nitro PDF 

Nitro PDF is yet another Adobe-like program that promises a more user-friendly interface while retaining the professionalism and power of the Adobe suite of programs. The Nitro suite of programs gives users all of the essential PDF editing tools that they have come to expect from other programs, but in a more productive and easier to understand format. 

Along with the standard PDF editing and creation technology, Nitro also offers users more unique features like scanning and printing abilities, as well as security and password protection features for the most important PDF documents. Nitro also works with several different document formats to make them easier to convert into PDFs and vice-versa.