Editing a PDF file is a tricky task – this file format is a solid one and originally it is not supposed to be edited. However, if you have the right program at hand, there shouldn’t be any difficulties with editing a PDF file. The problem is that finding a decent program that corresponds to your needs might be more difficult than it first seems. Some PDF editing software is great for documents containing text, others would be quite helpful when it comes to working with graphic elements of PDF files. Many programs and online tools that claim to be PDF editors turn out to be simple PDF creators. For this review we tested many PDF editors but we can only recommend half of them. Take a look at our review to help you find the best PDF editor for your PC.
1. Foxit PhantomPDF
To download this program you are required to insert your email, first and last name, company and phone number, which is definitely inconvenient. This program has a 30-day trial period. Foxit PhantomPDF has an OCR system, so whether you are working with a PDF file that was scanned or with files that were converted to PDF, you can still edit the text like you would with any other text editor. We like this PDF editor a lot. It can edit text, add links, graphic elements, images, audio and video, add text markup, highlight areas, work with comments, add stamps and forms, rotate pages, and much more. And all these features are easily accessible from the intuitive menu. You can open several files at a time and they will be kept in separate tabs, which is very convenient when working on multiple documents.
Pros: OCR system, can do all the possible edits, works with password-protected files
Cons: Takes up 483 MB, personal data is required before downloading
License: 30-day trial, 89USD license cost
Rating by Icecream Tech Digest: 9/10
Review: Foxit PhantomPDF is an awesome all-in-one PDF editor that is capable of all sorts of editing for text and graphics.
2. Nitro Pro 10
Unfortunately Nitro Pro 10 now only has a 14-days trial period, and the license costs as much as 159.99 USD – definitely expensive. Before you download the program you have to enter your name, last name, email address, phone number and your business details, which was also rather confusing. Nitro Pro 10 has a whole suite for quality work with PDF files. If you wish to edit a file as a text, you can turn on the OCR feature to proceed with bringing edits to a PDF document just like to any other text file. Paragraphs of text can be moved around the list my means of the drag and drop mechanism. You can add images, insert blank pages, insert elements from a file, clipboard or scanner, and delete, crop and rotate pages of a document. Extraction, splitting and replacing pages is also supported by this PDF editor. In addition to that you can add watermarks, page numbers, headers and footers, notes, stamps, links, and drawings. Adding comments and attaching files is also perfectly supported by Nitro Pro 10. Users can add forms, sign their documents, secure them with a password and even upload them to a cloud storage.
Pros: OCR system, user-friendly interface, a lot of advanced features, works with password-protected files
License: 15-day trial, 159.99 USD license cost
Rating by Icecream Tech Digest: 8/10
Review: Nitro Pro 10 is a serious all-in-one suite for advanced work with PDF files. If you’re looking for a simple PDF editor this software might be too advanced for you.
3. LibreOffice Draw
LibreOffice Draw is a PDF editor from a LibreOffice open source software package. It can edit text from a document exactly like in LibreOffice Writer, so there are actually plenty of useful features you can work with. Graphic elements like arrows, stars and rectangles can be added to your PDF. You can add diagrams and tables, change the layout of a page, and add macros, video, audio, objects and frames. This PDF editor can ease up your work with text documents in PDF format considerably and it perfectly opens PDFs protected with a password. The interface is neat to work with, everything is clear and not that hard to understand.
Pros: Edits text, adds graphic elements, works like LibreOffice Writer
Cons: No OCR system, opens new documents in a separate window
Rating by Icecream Tech Digest: 8/10
Review: LibreOffice Draw is a great PDF editor that offers a lot of options to work with a document just like it’s a text file.
AbleWord is a really awesome PDF editor if the documents you are working with were previously converted to PDF from a text format. Basically, you can open such a file in AbleWord and work with it just like in Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer. Edit text, add tables, highlight, work with font, change the alignments of text – you’re able to do everything with this compact program. We tried a scanned document and it was recognized as an image, so unfortunately we couldn’t edit this type of a file as a text. When we added some elements to the scanned document page in AbleWord, the new edits were for some reason appearing behind the initial image. Also, this program can’t help you if a PDF is protected with a password – such a document won’t be opened at all.
Pros: Edits text easily, simple-to-navigate interface, compact size
Cons: No OCR system, doesn’t work with password-protected documents
Rating by Icecream Tech Digest: 7/10
Review: AbleWord is an amazing, compact tool if you’re looking for an easy way to edit your PDF documents with text (not scanned).
Inkscape is a famous PDF editor that offers plenty of features to edit PDF files. The interface is a bit overloaded with buttons and looks a bit outdated, but still it’s not that difficult to navigate. When compared to other programs like AbleWord or LibreOffice Draw, working with text in Inkscape is rather complicated. You can delete text easily, but entering new text turns out to be difficult – you need to manually select the font and the size so that the new text fits into an old one. Working with graphics is much easier – there are plenty of elements to be added to the PDF you are trying to edit. Inkscape lets you work with layers, paths, filters and plenty of extended settings for comfortable work with PDF files.
Pros: Variety of tools to edit graphics, advanced settings
Cons: Doesn’t work with password-protected files, complicated text editing
Rating by Icecream Tech Digest: 7/10
Review: Inkscape can be quite useful when it comes to editing graphics, however editing PDF files with text is quite a challenge.
6. Expert PDF Editor
Expert PDF Editor is a decent PDF editor that is rather easy to navigate and has a nice interface. It supports the OCR system (languages) and opening password-protected files. Unfortunately you can’t edit the text if your document has a password; you can only highlight the text and add new text right over the existing one. As for the graphics, you can add sticky notes, random lines by means of pencil, add stamps, ellipses, rectangles and images, sign, add watermarks and page numbers, and add forms. Pages of a document can be cropped, rotated and adjusted in size. Adding a password to secure a file is available. Several files can be opened and kept in separate tabs. The program has a 15-day trial period, which is a shorter period of time than usual software offers.
Pros: Easy to use, offers basic editing options
Cons: Doesn’t edit text
License: 15-day trial, 66.2 USD license cost
Rating by Icecream Tech Digest: 6/10
Review: Expert PDF Editor is simple to use. This decent PDF editor offers a basic set of editing options but can’t edit text.
DL PDF Editor
Technically, it does edit PDFs, but it only offers three ways of doing that: inserting an image, inserting a watermark or inserting text. All three types of multimedia are added right over the document you are working with, so there’s no way you can make corrections to the document without them being noticed. The program also doesn’t work with password-protected files – when we tried opening one, the DL PDF Editor crashed.
PDFCool Free Studio
The process of installing this program turned out to be a whole adventure. You think you have download the program itself, but then you get a manager-type page of the developer’s software and once you set this up, within it you have to select the PDFCool Studio Free once again. The interface of the program corresponds with the installation process – it took us a while to figure out which features we could use and in which way.
Nuance Power PDF
This software costs 99.95 USD and there is no trial period, just a 30-day money back guarantee. We find it rather misleading to purchase something at this price; you should at least be able to test it to see if you like it or not.
This PDF editor has a limitation in the features in its free version, so we couldn’t see if it is capable of editing PDF files. Plus, for a freemium software, the interface should at least be worthy of its price.
This is an open source PDF editor that offers some features like changing page size, adding watermarks, adding page numbers and bookmarks and some others, but with the interface the program has we can barely recommend it.
We opened a file and started testing it in PDFedit. When it came to inserting new text in an opened PDF file, the program kept crashing. Plus the interface will definitely make you feel nostalgic for the ’90s.
Finding a PDF editor that suits all your demands and offers a decent amount of features with a modern and easy-to-use interface is quite a task. We hope we reviewed enough PDF editing software for you to make your final choice.