The 12 Best Free PDF Editor for Mac and Windows – Finding the right piece of PDF editor with versatile features is not easy. While most full-featured PDF editors cost you a lot, some free programs just give you a headache. If you need a little help to find the best free PDF editor, you have landed on the right page.
We have a list of the best PDF editors that offer services at no cost, allowing you not only to edit and add text but also to fill out forms or add graphics. Some of these editors are online-based, which means you can access them in the web browser.
Online editors are completely easy to use as they can be accessed from any device. Without the need for downloading third-party apps, it lets you edit PDF documents conveniently. However, most online editors lack features typically found in desktop editors.
- Top Picks & Best Free PDF Editor for PC
- 1. Smallpdf – Cloud-based PDF editor
- 2. Sejda – Edit PDF Documents in the Cloud
- 3. PDF Candy – Compatible With Most Browsers
- 4. PDFescape – PDF Editors for Online Editing
- 5. Apple Preview – Best Free PDF Editor on Mac
- 6. FormSwift – Different Experience in PDF Editing
- 7. PDF-XChange Editor – Powerful PDF Editor With a Built-in OCR
- 8. PDFSam Basic – Cross-Platform PDF Editor
- 9. LibreOffice Draw – Best and Free PDF Editors
- 10. Inkscape – Capable PDF Editor
- 11. PDF BOB
- 12. PDFelement
Top Picks & Best Free PDF Editor for PC
1. Smallpdf – Cloud-based PDF editor
Smallpdf is a cloud-based PDF editor that comes in handy to edit your PDF documents. This free editing tool comes with a simple and user-friendly interface, allowing you to add text and images without extra effort. It has an extensive range of tools, including file conversion from PDF to Word or Excel.
This editor is extremely easy to use-simply drag your file and start editing in your browser. Using Smallpdf, you can compress PDF documents, add pages, or remove pages. It also offers a tool to add a signature to the document, which makes it quite similar to Apple’s Preview.
However, this cloud-based editor has limited font options. It also does not support markup or annotation features.
2. Sejda – Edit PDF Documents in the Cloud
Sejda is another best free PDF editor that comes in handy to help you edit PDF documents in the cloud. This online-based editing tool has a long list of capabilities, like removing pages, inserting blank pages, and adding hyperlinks.
Not only can you add text, but also you can insert shapes as well as images into PDF documents. Since it runs in your web browser, you don’t necessarily need to download or install any apps on your computer. But if you want to edit without an internet connection, the desktop version is available.
Sejda does not support large documents as its maximum capacity is 50MB. Besides, it doesn’t allow you to edit PDF documents with more than 200 pages.
3. PDF Candy – Compatible With Most Browsers
If you are looking for the best free PDF editor online that is compatible with most browsers, PDF Candy could be it. This is an attractive and simple PDF editor that boasts extensive file conversion with a long list of editing tools. No less than 44 tools are available to convert or create PDF files.
PDF Candy has a tool to rearrange pages, protect files with passcodes, add watermarks, and edit metadata. It also comes with special tools to add pages, split pages, as well as extract images. All you need to do is upload a document and select the right tool.
4. PDFescape – PDF Editors for Online Editing
PDFescape is one of the best free PDF editors for online editing. This editor lets you not only edit but also annotate PDF files. It is simple to use, compatible with most browsers, and download free. Much like other online-based editors, it requires an internet connection to work.
PDFescape is ideal to edit PDF documents with file sizes of fewer than 10MB, no matter how many pages it has. This editor is useful to create form fields, fill out forms, and insert text. Also, it allows you to add sticky notes and highlight important text from a document.
This editing tool comes with other functionalities, such as cropping and rotating images, adding pages, and removing pages. However, this supports up to 5 different fonts, which is very limited.
5. Apple Preview – Best Free PDF Editor on Mac
As the name suggests, this is the best free PDF editor on Mac. This app is included with every Mac OS and provides an extensive range of features, such as image editing and annotation tools. It also comes packed with a few basic tools for highlighting text and rotating pages.
Apple Preview has markup tools that can be found in the Preview toolbar. These tools include drawing tools for adding freehand drawings; text tools for adding text into the document; signature tools to capture signature using camera or tablet; and shapes and notes tools for adding shapes and notes.
But if you are a beginner, using markup tools does not come easy. It might require extra effort to use these tools.
6. FormSwift – Different Experience in PDF Editing
FormSwift offers a different experience in PDF editing. Not only does it allow you to upload and edit PD documents, but also it provides you with a vast library of business forms and legal to fill online. These forms can be downloaded as Word or PDF documents.
As one of the best free PDF editors that work in a browser, FormSwift is quite simple to use. Drag a file you want to edit to the browser and select any desired tools, such as add new text and images, erase text, and sign documents. Be sure the file size is fewer than 10MB.
Despite it offering limited fonts, you can take advantage of other features like changing text color and style, adding a new text field, and adjusting text anywhere you want.
7. PDF-XChange Editor – Powerful PDF Editor With a Built-in OCR
This is a powerful PDF editor with a built-in OCR. Designed as a Windows-only program, it has a bit more complex interface than its could-based counterparts. Using this program gives you quick access to tons of useful features like the stamp option to mark documents.
PDF-XChange Editor highlights the OCR feature that enables you to edit photocopied PDF documents. It also lets you reformat text and change fonts with available options on your PC. Plus, you can easily merge or split PDF files using this program.
8. PDFSam Basic – Cross-Platform PDF Editor
PDFSam Basic is a cross-platform PDF editor that works great on Windows, Mac, and Linux. This best free PDF editor is ideal for beginners, thanks to a simple and user-friendly interface that makes it quite easy to use. Without the need for uploading files, you can edit PDF files right from your computer.
Unlike other PDF editing tools, you won’t be able to change the content of PDF but you can easily divide and combine them. Your documents won’t come out with watermarks so you have nothing to worry about. As a bonus, this program is lightweight and it doesn’t slow down your computer.
9. LibreOffice Draw – Best and Free PDF Editors
This program is not specifically designed for PDF editing but it can be one of the best and free PDF editors to take into consideration. This flowchart and diagram program lets you open a PDF file and makes any change that you want, thanks to a lot of editing features that come with it.
Using LibreOffice Draw, you can easily edit images, colors, and headings. It also allows you to manipulate objects as desired. The good news is that your PDF document won’t have a watermark. However, you need to download the whole program only to use PDF editing tools.
10. Inkscape – Capable PDF Editor
Inkscape is not only a renowned image viewer and editor, but it is also a capable PDF editor. Thanks to PDF editing functions that allow you to make changes in PDF documents. Although it does not have as many features as real PDF editors, it works great to edit text or images in your files.
This is a cross-platform program that runs well on Windows, Linux, and Mac. If you don’t want to install too many programs on your computer, Inkscape comes in handy to help you with various tasks. However, most features are offered in paid editions only.
11. PDF BOB
PDF BOB is one of the best free PDF editors that makes your editing tasks much easier. The online-based editing tool is extremely easy to use without the need for creating a user account, you can upload PDF files and make any changes that you want.
This PDF editor is packed with a bunch of tools, such as a text tool that enables you to select color and font type; shape tools that allow you to add shapes in the document; and a colored pencil or marker that lets you highlight text in the document.
More other features to enjoy include a deleted page, add a page, and password that helps secure your document. However, this program comes with limited font options.
Next on the list of the best free PDF editor is PDFelement. Using this program, you can edit text directly in the PDF document. It also allows you to add links and images, even edit the background. Despite it places watermarks, you can easily customize it.
This editing tool comes with many other features, such as OCR that allows you to edit photocopied PDF documents; password protection that ensures the security of your file; basic tools to insert, delete, and rotate PDF pages; and combine some PDFs into one file.
There are plenty of PDF editing tools but only a few of them are reliable. The list of the best free PDF editor above can be a great reference to help you find the right program.
If you don’t want to download and install third-party apps, online-based editing tools can be the perfect option. But if you need more features, you may opt for a desktop PDF editor.