The best PDF editor software doesn’t just allow you to edit PDFs and read them, add notes and annotations, and export them in a range of formats. The best PDF editors help you to edit PDF documents easily.
Beyond this, a PDF editor should be straightforward to use, function smoothly, and the results should be pixel-perfect, with a minimum of glitches and bugs.
What is a PDF editor?
PDF editors were developed in order to support desktop publishing software. Newspapers, flyers, posters were used as a marketing medium. They need to be published or printed in the same format as they appear in digital form.
The formatting of the content likely changes when you open them in other apps. In order to provide portability across devices PDF editors came into being.
10+ Best PDF Editors in 2024
Numerous PDF editors are available in the market, but here are our top picks for the best PDF editors available based on value, functionality, and features.
- Adobe Acrobat Pro DC — Best PDF Editor overall (Get 65% off here)
- PDF Expert — Best PDF Editor for Mac, iPhone & iPad (Free 7 Day Trial)
- Canva PDF Editor — Best free PDF editor
- Nitro PDF Pro — Best alternative for Adobe Acrobat
- UPDF — Best PDF Editor, Annotator and Converter
- Sejda PDF Editor — Best budget PDF editor
- PDF Element — Best value PDF Editor
- Foxit PDF Editor — Best multi-lingual PDF editor
- PDFescape — Best online PDF editor
- XODO PDF Editor — Another free PDF editor available
- pdfFiller — Best PDF editor to create PDF forms
- PDFLine — Best easy-to-use PDF editor
- CoolNew PDF — Best PDF editor for Windows
What Makes a Good PDF Editor?
The basic function of a PDF writer is to create them from scratch. You can also scan the hard copies of a document into a PDF file or convert them into digital documents. A good PDF editor should be in a position to convert any form of file right from MS Word documents to other images. At the same time, the PDF editor should be able to regain the same formatting as well.
Editing your content
With the PDFeditor, you should be in a position to edit the content of the file. You should be able to modify and reorganize the text, at the same time insert, resize and move the images in the PDF.
The PDF editor you choose should be in a position to allow editing of text and images, adding and removing hyperlinks. etc.,
Optical Character Recognition
If you want a paperless office, you need a PDF editor that can connect with your scanner. You can digitize paper documents and convert them to PDF files. All you need to have is an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) so that it turns the images into documents. The images can be turned into full-fledged text so that they can be edited. A PDF editor can also identify the characters within the images.
There are many organizations that have confidential information that needs to be converted to PDF. You need to choose your PDF editors in such a way that you can password-protect them. Your PDF software must allow you to secure unique permissions for each person.
Go in for a PDF software that has the ability to change the permission. You should be in a position to fully revoke the access even after the document has been published or shared.
10+ Best PDF Editors in 2024
Best PDF editor overall
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC has been on the list of PDF editors for a very long time as it is the industry-leading PDF solution.
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Adobe Acrobat Pro DC has much more features than its previous version of Adobe Acrobat Pro. For example, using the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC you will be able to legally bind through the e-signature feature. Another major advantage of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is that it is cloud-based software. You will be able to manage your PDF files on the cloud easily.
Acrobat Pro DC is comprised of three major components. They are
- Acrobat DC helps you to perform various editing functions on your PDFs.
- Adobe Document Cloud which helps in creating and exporting PDF files. It also helps you to store, send files, and collect e-signatures as well.
- Acrobat Reader DC helps you to read, print, and sign various PDF documents.
If you are a person who deals with PDF files in an organization then, you will not find a better PDF editor than Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. This PDF editor allows you to create, convert and edit PDF documents into various formats that include MSWord, share the PDFs, and also sign them as well.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is the best PDF editor software that is available. Although it might look very difficult to use, it has an intuitive user interface. It is easier to learn and use the software. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is available in Windows and Mac OS, and in our opinion is the best PDF editor for Windows and the best PDF editor for Mac.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is available as a part of the subscription plan. It is available at the rate of
- US$14.99 per month payable on a yearly basis.
- US$24.99 per month if taken for a single month.
- US$178.88 per annum if taken for a whole year.
It is available on a trial basis for the first seven days and afterward, you will be charged.
|➕ Can be used for cloud-based collaboration
|➕ Available for desktop, mobile, and web
|➕ High-quality output delivered
Best user interface PDF editor for Mac
Readdle’s PDF Expert is a PDF editor software that has various features in its intuitive User Interface, which makes it easier for people to understand and use the software without any guidance. The software is available on macOS, iPad, and iOS.
Having the best PDF editor software can help you to open the document on your phone and can make your work simpler and more productive. You would have wanted to make a lot of alterations to a PDF file. Using a good PDF software like PDF Expert is the best way to do it.
This software has premium features like editing, protecting, organizing, and signing PDF documents.
PDF Expert has the unique ability to open large PDF files in a matter of seconds. You can make annotations that sync with PDF Expert on your devices. You may edit, text, images, and links in PDF documents and protect sensitive data by redacting the information. You can also secure the document with a password. This particular software helps you rearrange, delete, rotate pages, and merge PDF documents.
This software comes for a trial period of seven days, and the mobile version of the software is available at US$49.99 per year. If you want the software on Apple devices, then the yearly plan costs around US$79.99 per year or US$6.67 per month.
Try PDF Expert with their Free 7 Day Trial.
|➕ Intuitive user interface
|➖ Available only for Mac
|➕ Opens large PDF files in a fraction of a second
|➕ Easy to use
Best free PDF editor
Canva is an excellent website for creating one-of-a-kind, high-quality designs. While you can create a project from scratch or from a template, you can also use its editing tools on a PDF.
Canva, unlike most free tools, allows you to fully edit text. You may click in any text area to change the text and change the font type, size, and color. You can also add hyperlinks to text and other objects, and there are special fonts available to help you type out your signature.
Of course, because this is a full graphic design platform, you can also edit images, add shapes, edit and build PDF pages, include charts, and so on. If you store the majority of your media elsewhere, such as Google Photos or Dropbox, you can connect to those services as well to easily copy files into your PDF.
PDFs with up to 300 pages are supported as long as they are no larger than 70 MB. When you’re finished, you can save the file as a PDF or select from a variety of image and video formats.
|➕ Free to use
|➖ It is not a entirely featured PDF editor
|➕ Real-time collaboration
|➕ You can convert PDF into multiple formats
Best alternative to Adobe Acrobat
Nitro Pro is used to create a portable document file known as the PDF. Nitro Pro is used to create, edit, view, collaborate and share PDF files with ease.
When it comes to PDF creation the one feature that stands out is that the original layout and the formatting are maintained. It helps you to save a lot of time as you don’t need to spend time on formatting.
The other main thing is universality where the PDFs can be opened in any PDF program like Adobe Acrobat Pro.
PDF conversion is one of the main functions that are available in most PDF editor software. Nitro Pro is another such software. It helps you to transform any PDF into MS Office format equivalent to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel among others.
Nitro PDF Pro can be used to do quick edits as well as large operations that require more advanced tools. The software is intuitive and easier for you to learn. So it makes it easier for amateurs to use. You can install this PDF editor on slower RAM machines.
Nitro PDF Pro provides you with review and markup features that help you towards efficient collaboration. You will be able to fill out forms and implement signing capabilities as well. There are multiple security options that also include permission and password protection as well. These features are organized in a perfect MS Office-style ribbon interface.
Nitro PDF productivity is a flexible, customizable platform designed to accommodate individual needs. The free PDF software requires virtual print drivers to create the best copies. The NitroPro gives nothing but the best without the need for additional drivers.
|➕ Gives high-quality output along with format retention
|➖ Problem with the conversion of PDF files in Word
|➕ Helps to fill forms digitally
|➕ MS-Office interface
|➕ Sign documents securely
Best PDF Editor, Annotator and Converter
The UPDF is a free PDF editor. With UPDF you can manage pages, directly edit images in PDF, convert PDFs to any format with OCR (Optical Character Recognition), and do much more.
This software is super easy to use. UPDF is fast, powerful, and best suited for heavy PDF workflows. This PDF editor software has unique features such as the built-in image editor, intuitive navigation tools, and extension annotation tools.
With these features, you can edit images such as add, remove, rotate images, edit and highlight texts in PDF, and add shapes, signatures, stickers and other elements.
You can easily convert PDF into any format such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Image(PNG, JPG, BMP, GIF, TIFF), HTML, XML, TXT, PDF/A, CSV and RTF. UPDF provides seamless PDF editing and reading experience on Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android.
|➕ Eye-friendly PDF Reader and Annotator
|➖ Built-in image editor is only available for Mac currently, and it will be available on Windows version soon.
|➕ Edit text in PDF directly
|➕ Convert PDF to any format with OCR
|➕ You can work on 1 file per day for free. Unlimited access is at low cost.
Best powerful PDF editor
Sejda is a user-friendly PDF editor software. There are desktop as well as online versions of this software available for users. The desktop version of the software is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux OS.
Sejda PDF editor comes to you for free. But the free version also has certain disadvantages. You
- Should be able to do three tasks with the editor in a day.
- Can’t handle PDFs over 50MB or a single document cannot have more than 200 pages in length.
- Can convert the documents only one at a time.
These restrictions can work if you only use the PDF editor occasionally but if you are a person who uses the PDF software on a regular basis then go for the paid version.
This PDF editor not only does the usual conversion of the PDF to TXT, JPG, and Excel files. But it also quickly turns into a PDF grayscale as it will be a boon to the users who are trying to save ink.
You will be surprised to know that this software not only provides you with Bates numbering. But also watermarks, PDF unlocking, and as well as password protection. It can also be used to repair any corrupted PDF files. All this makes this particular PDF editor an attractive one.
The subscription plan of the software works this way:
The online version of the software is available at the rate of US$5 per week. It is available for a monthly subscription of US$7.50 per month (payable month-on-month). It is also available on a yearly base of US$63 per year(payable for desktop and web as well). If you choose to sign up for the subscription, you will be getting the following benefits.
- Browser access to all the tools of the software.
- Can upload unlimited documents even up to 100 pages.
- Can process multiple files together.
- Large uploads of files even up to 500 MB.
- Email support.
|➕ User-friendly interface
|➖ Very limited options are available for the free version.
|➕ The desktop version of the software supports all platforms
7. PDF Element
Best value PDF editor
Wondershare PDFelement continues to evolve to stay relevant in the ever-evolving PDF industry. It is not surprising with the launch of PDFelement and its newest version in the form of PDFelement version 8.
Wondershare PDFelement is a PDF editor software that comes with the basic features of the best PDF editor and a simple interface. Regular PDF users and also advanced users should find the interface of this application easy to navigate. You receive comprehensive help along with a program that can answer your queries.
This particular software offers a variety of features for editing documents, such as changing the font family and size, formatting the fonts, highlighting important sections of the document and o change the structure of this PDF software. You can change other file formats into PDFs in large volumes with the batch operation feature.
This software comes with a free trial that helps you access the application’s features for a limited amount of time but comes with a watermark. There are premium subscription plans that are annual or biannual, but there are no monthly subscription options. PDFelement Standard costs nearly US$69 per year, whereas the PDFelement Pro version costs nearly US$79 per year.
|➕ Safely redacts sensitive information
|➖ Free version appears with the watermark
|➕ Offers batch processing of files
|➕ Numerous PDF editing options
Best multi-lingual PDF editor
In a time when PDFs have become very sophisticated, Foxit PDF editor (previously Foxit Phantom PDF) has maintained the same level with the changes in the field of PDF editing. Foxit software recognizes the need for exhaustive PDF options for a smooth and perfect workflow of documents.
Foxit PDF fits perfectly with all features of the best PDF editor software in one place. Foxit PDF can be used across desktops, mobile, and the web as well. There are windows and mac versions for desktops. At the same time Android and iOS versions for mobile.
This PDF editor software also allows you the extensive language support. The user interface language can be changed according to your preferences. The multi-lingual package that is available on Foxit’s site supports 17 languages.
Foxit is the best PDF editor that provides you with various editing options that are in a way more than most of the PDF tools offer. Some of the editing features that are available with the software include:
- Adding Bates numbering
- Import and export bookmarks
- Search and replace the PDF content
- Merging multiple PDF files and pages into a single document
- Importing and exporting bookmarks
- Optimizing PDFs through compression
- Linking and joining text
- Inserting video and audio in a PDF
The pricing plan also varies according to the program you choose. The subscription plans for the software are
|Foxit PDF Editor
|US$14.99 per month
|US$159.00 one time
|Foxit PDF Editor Pro
|US$16.99 per month
|US$179.00 one time
|Foxit PDF Editor Pro – Education Edition
|US$29.95 per year
|➕ Integrates multimedia files
|➖ Staggered performance at times
|➕Interface looks like MS-office
|➕ Robust document protection plans
|➕ Multi-platform software
Best online PDF editor
PDFescape is a PDF tool that works as the best PDF editor, reader, and annotator. It also has important form filling and designing features. You have both the desktop and online versions of this PDF editor software. The desktop version of the software has much more features than the online version.
Most of the PDF apps offer you a PDF viewer and converter alone. But PDFescape helps you to have total control over your documents. Some of the editing tools that it provides are
- Changing the font text, color, and size
- Adding or removing text
- Implementing the Spell check feature
- Inserting, deleting, or extracting images
- Adding header or footer
- Adding or removing the watermark
- Linking a web page, program or another document.
You will be able to compress and optimize the PDF files based on your requirements. And the batch processing feature of the software allows you to work on multiple PDF files at the same time.
PDFescape allows you to fill out forms without any hassles. The greatest advantage is you can import data from another PDF and use it in the current PDF. If you feel the data you entered is not correct, you also have the reset button to restore the default values.
PDFescape also lets you design your own forms as well. It has so many tools necessary to create a PDF form. You can create text fields, list boxes, radio buttons, reset/submit buttons, and push buttons as well.
PDFescape also has many pricing plans that are budget-friendly. The pricing plan comes with a 15-day money-back guarantee. You can also make use of the seven-day trial period to take advantage of the various features of the software.
PDFescape provides you with very useful tools that are simple to use and at the same time at an affordable rate. You will be able to edit, convert and create PDFs easily with the software.
|➕ Offers form-filling options
|➖ Free version has limited features
|➕ Both both online and offline versions are available
|➕ Allows batch processing
10. Xodo PDF Editor
Another free PDF editor
Xodo PDF reader and editor is a free PDF reader, viewer, and editor available for Windows. The application is completely free.
Xodo PDF Reader and Editor is an amazing application that is safe to download and use. It lets the users handle the documents efficiently and easily. This software also provides various editing and annotating features.
It helps you open PDF files quickly and offers various navigation options. The user interface of the software provides you with a better viewing experience.
It is the fastest PDF viewing app that also provides smooth navigation. You will be able to write directly on a PDF, highlight and underline text, and much more. You can also open MS Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files for reading and saving as a PDF.
Xodo comes with a browser extension that enables users to convert their PDFs into an online whiteboard. When the document is online multiple users can collaborate on a single document and see all the annotations in real-time. Only the host needs to have an account with Xodo Connect, the others involved can just join through the link.
The best aspect is that you can invite users through their emails. This means that it does not require any sign-up or download.
The best part about the PDF editor software is it does not have any links for advertisements. The user might click on any link by mistake can put their data at great risk.
|➕ Free to download and use
|➖ Slow at times
|➕ Does not contain any advertisements
|➕ Opens different file formats into PDF documents
11. pdf Filler
pdfFiller is the best PDF editor software that makes your office paperless. PDFfiller’s initial launch focused on creating fillable PDF forms. This application is now a comprehensive PDF creation, that organizes, edits, signs, and more. If you want to make your office paperless, then pdfFiller is the ideal choice.
pdfFiller’s features include full editing of PDF documents and converting from standard formats such as .docx and .odf and form-creating tools. This particular software has a good application programming interface that helps you to publish interactive forms and collect data.
pdfFiller integrates with the majority of cloud storage devices like Microsoft, Dropbox, and Google. The software provides a secure form and chain of custody for documents that you can sign, review, and authenticate. It provides cross-platform access with SAAS delivery.
The pricing of pdfFiller is as follows:
- The basic version: This plan costs US$8 per month for a monthly subscription with an annual commitment. This plan is for the basic filling and editing of documents. This should suffice the needs of small business owners and self-employed professionals.
- The plus version: This plan costs US$12 per month for a monthly subscription with an annual commitment. This plan is used to create documents and templates.
- The Premium version: This plan costs US$15 per month for a monthly subscription with an annual commitment. This plan is for e-Sign and creating workflows.
However, the best value comes in yearly subscriptions. There are special discounts available to premium subscribers as well, and an instant customer support service for online subscribers.
|➕ Easy to use
|➖ Steep learning curve
|➕ Interactive online filling forms
|➕ Web, as well as mobile applications, are available
|➕ Good customer support
The best easy-to-use PDF editor
You may simplify your paperwork using PDFLiner, an online PDF editor that allows you to quickly alter your PDF or images. It is the all-in-one, comprehensive cloud-based online platform for working with PDF documents, allowing you to edit, digitally sign, fill out, add custom branding and content, make your documents fillable, and share files.
PDFLiner is an excellent option if you frequently need to fill out forms or want to build one with a unique template. PDFLiner features the ability to merge your PDF data with data from other files. It is also possible to import data from customer forms into your documents.
Additionally, it offers the option for digital signatures, which substantially speeds up the contract closing procedure. You may convert JPEG to PDF and vice versa with PDFLiner. Additionally, you can also set up a password that can secure your data, and it is one of the simpler PDF editors to use.
You can enjoy five days free trial and the other pricing plans of PDFLiner are as follows:
The basic plan: This plan cost $9 per month for a single user. This basic plan includes all that is required for the basic filling and editing of documents. You can also upload, share and convert your PDF files to other formats.
The pro plan: This plan cost $19 per month and you may enjoy it with up to three users. This plan includes all the basic features along with which you can invite up to two people to utilize the same features.
The premium plan: This plan costs $29 and supports up to five users. This plan is suitable for all business professionals and you can invite up to four people to utilize the same features.
|➕ High-end encryption
|➖ No specific mobile application available.
|➕ Easy to use
|➕ Instant file edits
13. Coolnew PDF
The best PDF editor for Windows
To enhance the PDF experience, CoolNew PDF provides an all-in-one solution. CAD, office, picture, texted and scanned copy conversions are among its converting features. It has editing capabilities that let you change things like text, images, page numbers, sizes, watermarks, paragraphs, and more.
You can optimize, combine, or separate PDFs and extract their content. It has OCR capabilities, allowing you to extract information from photographs and photos, which is useful for getting information from your phone and tablet.
Whether they are in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, CAD, or Image format, you can share PDF files with ease from other formats. It speeds up your tasks by editing, annotating, converting, and combining files with a single click.
The subscription plan for this software comes in a six month pack for $29.99 and its one-year plan for $49.99.
|➕ Intuitive interface
|➖ No monthly subscriptions available
|➕ Lightweight ability to edit texts
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Bates numbering?
Bates Numbering assigns distinctive identifiers to each page in a collection of documents. Documents can be indexed using this as they can be used as a reference at a later point in time.
What is OCR? Why is it important while selecting a PDF editor?
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) plays a vital role in converting printed documents to digital form. It is a digital copy machine that implements its automation feature to convert scanned documents into PDFs
Which is better PDF or JPEG?
In many cases, PDFs have better quality than JPEGs. This is because JPEGs compress photos, resulting in a loss of quality. The great quality and even customizability of PDF-saved images make them the preferred file type for printers.
There are many PDF editors available in the market. You need to make a judicious choice of what kind of PDF editor you require. In case, if your job only requires the use of PDF documents occasionally then go in for the free versions that are available.
PDF editors with OCR capabilities are quite expensive. Paid PDF editors are very essential for making notes, and adding signatures. They may not necessary for simply reading documents. We have given you the list of editors that are available in the market, make a judicious choice by keeping your needs in mind.