5 Best PDF Editors

5 Best PDF EditorsPDF files remain a hugely popular choice for most users, but finding good solutions to manage and edit PDF files is easier said than done. One of the reasons why PDF files are much loved is because documents in this format look the same across any device and platform. This makes it an excellent choice for sharing documents; although, editing PDF documents can be trickier.

That said, there are plenty of fantastic PDF editors available for both Windows and Mac OS if you know where to look for. Luckily, there are some stellar options available and we have found picked the best free PDF editing software for you to count on.

1. Icecream PDF Editor – the best free PDF editor for Windows

Icecream PDF Editor

Most people searching for a PDF editor want software that is functional, full of features, and works efficiently. Icecream PDF Editor manages to check all those boxes and adds plenty more to the party to make a well-rounded PDF tool. Like other programs by Icecream Apps, the PDF Editor benefits greatly from being easy to use; whether that’s the rapid installation process or general navigation, the app is a joy to use

Slick and modern, Icecream PDF Editor has all the editing tools you need, such as the ability to edit PDF text, add notes, redact text, secure files, and manage pages. Merge PDF files, add pages to documents, rotate and extract pages, change the files’ permissions and more. Access to all features is easy, making this editor ideal for beginners and experts alike. Users will appreciate the smart tools panel divided into 3 sections “Edit”, “Annotate”and “Manage pages”, which provides important features based on your current task.

Like any other decent PDF editor, Icecream PDF Editor allows users to create a PDF from scratch. Other interesting features worthy of mention are the ability to draw directly on a PDF, add all sorts of annotations, add stamps and password protect your documents.

OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
Licensing: Shareware
File Size: 18 MB
Our Rating: 10 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Fast and efficient
  • Interesting features
  • Easy to navigate
  • Modern design
  • More features to come

2.PDFsam Enhanced – PDF editor with all the tools neatly organized

PDFsam Enhanced powerful PDF editor

PDFsam Enhanced is a full featured PDF editor that evolved from a basic tool to split and merge PDF files. Users can create blank PDF files (single files and batch creation is supported) from scratch and from scanner. Conversion options offer turning PDF files into Word (OCR is available), PowerPoint, Excel, images, HTML, TXT and RTF. The edit PDF functionality includes the following tools: type text and detect the currently used PDF text, underline, strikeout text, move, rotate and delete pages, extract images, split PDF and more. This PDF editor also lets you insert links, images, watermark, page numbers and header and footer.

The annotation section of PDFsam Enhanced PDF editor offers all the most popular tools such sa highlight, underline and strikeout text, add notes, stamps, freehand pencil lines and whiteout.Creation of various PDF forms and sign PDF files with ease.

PDFsamEnhanced is great PDF editor program with a yearly license that costs 45 USD. Clean and intuitive interface and plenty of userful features are at your service.

OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
Licensing: Shareware, up to 49 USD yearly
File Size: 49.3 MB
Our Rating: 8 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Wide range of tools to edit PDF
  • 3 available payment options
  • Even in the paid version of PDF editor not all features are available

3. ApowerPDF – plain PDF editor with challenging UI

ApowerPDF PDF editing suite

ApowerPDF is a rather well known PDF editor that welcomes you with a clumsy interface. We figured that the developers wanted to create a minimalistic clean interface however it does look pretty odd. The program contains all the most needed tools to edit PDF and they are grouped by menu sections. Go to “Create” if you wish to make a PDF from scratch or open an existing PDF. Use the options of the “Convert” menu to convert PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML, BMP, PNG, GIF, JPG, TIFF. The “Edit” section is offering the options to edit and add text, edit and add images and add links. A large number of tools are available in the “Pages” menu, you can delete, extract, crop, rotate, split and merge PDF files and pages. Add header and footer and watermark tools are available here as well. Add and remove PDF password, sign PDF files, add comments and form in this PDF editor.

To sum everything up ApowerPDF is a rather basic and plain PDF editor with bulky interface to which you have to get used to. The program does the job and offers plenty of documentation on the website.

OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10
Licensing: Shareware, 59,95 USD lifetime, 39,95 USD yearly
File Size: 49.3 MB
Our Rating: 8 / 10

Pros Cons
  • PDF conversion tool
  • Excellent feature set
  • Clumsy interface
  • Some features are locked behind the desktop version’s paywall
  • Watermark

4. PDF-XChange Editor – decent shareware PDF editor

PDF-XChange simple PDF editor

PDF-XChange can mostly stand toe to toe with the best PDF Editor programs available, but it especially stands out in one important area. When testing this app, we found it is an excellent choice if you edit a lot of text within PDF files. PDF-XChange puts text editing at the core of the experience, including the ability to retype, delete, and reformat text. Furthermore, this PDF editor automatically matches fonts from your original opened PDF files.

While text editing is certainly a good reason to choose PDF-XChange as a PDF editor, it also boasts other important editing tools. For example, you can split PDF files, extract pages, and attach comments, various PDF annotation tools are available along with the features to change the file permission, add attachments and more. Another excellent addition to this software to edit PDF is the ability to use OCR to pick up text in scanned documents, which is vital for users who have printed or scanned documents.

Perhaps we could have scored PDF-XChange higher, but our experience was hampered by the paywall-restricted UI. The trial version of the PDF editor displays all features available in the full application. However, some of these features are blocked behind a paywall.

OS: Web-based; Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10
Licensing: Free Trial, License starts at $43.5 USD
File Size: 147 MB
Our Rating: 8 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Excellent text-editing options
  • OCR support
  • Strong features
  • Cluttered interface
  • Some seemingly available features are behind a paywall

5. Able2Extract – PDF editor with intuitive interface

Able2Extract pdf editor

One of the best features of this PDF editor is that you are immediately offered to check the software tutorials upon the first start of the program. The interface is thought through and the possible options are grouped into 6 sections. The “Convert” menu tab offers conversion of documents to such formats as Excel, CSV, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher (.pub extension), HTML, AutoCAD, text, image. The OCR feature can be applied to 7 pages in the Free (trial version of PDF editor. The “Custom Excel” menu offers the feature to work with PDF files containing spreadsheets. The “Sign and secure” section helps you to create a signature and sign PDF along with the feature to encrypt PDF. “Edit document” menu contains a whole bunch of the most popular tools to edit PDF, such as add text, add shape, add bitmap, redact, split PDF, merge PDF, insert, delete and move pages, rotate and resize pages. The “Review” features contains the tools to annotate PDF: sticky note, link, stamp, highlight, watermark, attachment and some others. The “Edit form” menu hass all the options to create fillable forms in PDF documents.

All in all Able2Extract is a great PDF editor that can offer a full range of possible needed tools to work with PDF documents. A 30-day subscription will cost you 34.95 USD while the full license’s cost is 149.95 USD.

OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Licensing: Shareware, 149.95 USD lifetime, 34.95 30-day subscription
File Size: 186 MB
Our Rating: 7 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Built in tutorial on start
  • Intuitive interface
  • Rather expensive
  • Large size of the installed PDF editor/li>

6. Sejda – the only capable free online PDF editor

Sejda online PDF editor

Is Sejda the most powerful PDF editor? No, is the simple answer. Yet it deserves a place on our list because it is a super-light PDF editor that functions for free online. This makes it ideal for users who want to edit PDF files on the fly, maybe on a mobile device, and with plenty of editing tools thrown in. While we doubt pro users will get much mileage from Sejda, users looking to complete quick editing tasks will be happy.

As a free online PDF editor, Sejda is surprisingly well featured. Among the editing tasks users can perform is the ability to add/remove images, links, text, and shapes. You can also create PDF documents from scratch from blank pages. Elsewhere, features like annotations and document signing are also available. We love the “whiteout” feature that allows users to create a white space on their PDF without losing content. Creation of both interactive and non interactive PDF forms, option to sign a PDF and the “Find and replace” tools also present in this free online PDF editor.

Using the web app is easy. Simply upload the relevant PDF files and click “Apply Changes” when you are finished to download the edited file to your PC. One major caveat is Sejda automatically times out after three hours. Sure, that’s a generous time, but if you have a lengthy PDF to edit you will have to consider this as the app automatically deletes content when the three hours pass.

OS: Web-based
Licensing: Free
Our Rating: 8 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Pick up and use, no downloads
  • Great for quick PDF edits
  • Surprising robust features
  • Good for mobile devices
  • Sessions expire after three hours
  • Lacking some pro-level features

Finding a good PDF editor is easier said than done. Many options that look good on paper end up with frustrating quirks, such as leaving watermarks on the file. The list of solutions you see above represent the best free PDF editors, including those with pro-level features and slick modern interfaces. You may be interested in a tutorial on how to convert PDF to Word online for easier content editing.

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