Did you know that PDF stands for Portable Document Format and was initially released in 1993? All trivia aside, PDFs are the most widely used document formats on the internet. In 2014, it was reported that 77.3% of documents exchanged over the internet were PDFs. Why? Probably because businesses use PDFs the most.

It’s what people use as an electronic hard copy because they’re not as easy to edit as many other documents. For instance, you might have a PDF reader but not a PDF editor. You have to download software specially made to edit and save PDFs. That’s why we’ve decided to build you a list of the best free pdf editors.

  1. PDFElement 6

pdfelement 6 - free pdf editor

This is probably one of the most popular pdf editors on the internet. It’s easy to use and features a wide variety of tools to help you edit and create PDFs easily. You can create PDFs from MS Word files, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and even text files. This application also allows you to convert PDFs into these file types too.

It’s a great alternative to Adobe Acrobat and it’s free. However, if you want to access certain advanced features, you’ll have to purchase the premium version. But if you’re looking for one of the best free PDF editors out there, then PDFElement is definitely worth the try.

  1. Sejda PDF Editor (Online)

sejda online pdf editor

Sejda PDF editor gives you two options when editing your PDFs. You can use either the desktop version or the online version. Each version comes with its own advantage. For instance, the online version allows you add PDFs by URL, while the desktop version has more fonts. Both versions include a neat signature tool and allow you to add blank pages as well as remove any pre-existing pages. It’s a cross-platform application that has versions that work for Linux, Mac and Windows PCs.

It has limitations. For instance, you’re not allowed to upload or work PDFs larger than 50 MB and you can only use it to work on three PDFs every hour. It’s also limited to PDFs that have a page count lower than 200. Other than that, Sejda PDF Editor is a pretty capable PDF editor that can be downloaded and used for free.

  1. AbleWord

ableword free pdf editor

AbleWord allows you to import PDF documents and make them completely editable. Most PDF editors limit just how much you can edit your PDF files. For instance, they may restrict you from editing pre-existing text or add watermarks when you do. With Able Word, you can convert PDFs into doc or MS Word files, edit them and then convert them back into PDF.

So it essentially works as a free word processor that effectively has the ability to edit PDFs. We highly recommend this as an alternative, especially when you’re working with long PDF files.

  1. Free PDF Editor (Free PDF Editor Windows)

free pdf editor 2019

If you’re looking for a free PDF editor download that is strictly free, with no hidden costs or fees, look no further than Free PDF Editor. As the name implies, it’s a completely free tool to edit your PDFs. It comes with a simple to use interface and in addition to editing text, it also allows you to insert images.

In terms of features, Free PDF Editor may not be as comprehensive in terms of features as other entries on this list but it gives you enough tools to complete simple PDF creation and editing.

  1. Xodo PDF Reader and Editor

xoxo pdf reader and editor

If you’re looking for a PDF reader that also allows you to make simple additions and edits to your PDF, look no further than Xodo. Xodo is completely free and doesn’t bother users with in-app advertisements. It allows you to annotate, highlight and add text. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow you to edit the pre-existing text on your PDFs.

It’s a really great PDF reader because of how easy it is to navigate through its interface. It has versions for Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone. It also has an awesome web application.

  1. Inkscape (Pdf Editor Windows)

inkscape - free pdf editor and reader

You may be surprised to see Inkscape on this list because of its reputation as graphics design and image editing software. However, if you’re savvy enough you can actually use Inkscape for some comprehensive PDF editing. While it allows you to edit text, it excels in graphic and image manipulation.

It isn’t ideal for editing forms though and some of the graphics editing tools can be a little overwhelming for users who have never worked with Inkscape before.

  1. PDFEscape Online PDF Editor

pdfescape - online pdf editor windows

As the name suggests, PDFEscape’s Online PDF Editor is a free online tool that allows you to edit PDFs. Because it is a web application, it is platform independent, which means you can access it from any device that has a web browser. It comes with tons of tools but unfortunately, none of its tools allow you to edit pre-existing text.

However, it does allow you to add more pages or remove some. It also allows you to add your own images and text. You can download the windows edition here : PDFescape Editor for Windows

  1. PDF-Xchange Editor

pdf-xchange editor for windows

PDF-Xchange Editor is mostly free to use but a lot of its advanced features require you to purchase a premium license before you can actually use them. If you use a feature that is not free, then it will save your PDF with a watermark. With that being said, it still comes with a decent amount of features and options.

It uses optical character recognition to identify the text in your PDF, thus allowing you to edit pre-existing text. You can add a plethora of shapes and images to your PDF and it even allows you to add QR codes to your PDF file. It also has a portable version. Unfortunately, it only works with Windows.

  1. SmallPDF Online PDF Editor

smallpdf - online pdf editor and reader

SmallPDF is a completely free online PDF editor. It lets you add text as well as shapes and images. You can also strikethrough text and put white spices over areas that you’d like to remove or edit. It also allows you to add and import PDFs from various sources including links or offline storage.

It’s a cross-platform application that works on any device with a compatible web browser. Unfortunately, like most PDF editors, it doesn’t allow you to edit or change the pre-existing text. It limits users to two pdfs per hour. With that being said, if you’re looking for quick pdf editing, visit SmallPDF’s website.

  1. FormSwift Online PDF Editor

formswift - online pdf editor

FormSwift offers two PDF editing solutions; an online version and offline desktop version. The online editor is completely free while the offline version isn’t. The online version is completely free and it does not require you to open a user account. You can remove and delete pre-existing text with white or black spaces.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow you to edit or change this text. It also allows you to add your own images. It also provides users with tools that make signing, checking and circling text in forms a lot easier. You can also add your own custom text to PDFs with FormSwift. Once again, it’s a web application so it works on any platform.

Final Word

Whether you’re studying electronic textbooks that are in the form of PDFs or filling out entire forms, these ten picks should help make life a lot easier for you. I hope you’ve found this list to be helpful. If it has been, please share it with all your friends and family. Make their lives a lot easier too. As always, thank you for taking the time to read this article.

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Author

Toptenbiz Founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security.