Best 5 Free Online PDF Editors

In today's fast-paced digital landscape, effective document management is essential. Finding the right free PDF editor can be a game-changer as it will help you work on your documents anywhere.

This article explores the 5 best free online PDF editors that offer robust features without breaking the bank.

Whether you're a student, professional, or small business owner, discover the best tools to streamline your document workflow and enhance productivity—all without spending a dime.

how we test products

How we picked web-based PDF editors

Selecting the best free online PDF editor involves a meticulous evaluation process. Here's the criteria we considered when making this list:

  • User interface. Intuitive navigation and ease of use.
  • Functionality. Variety of editing tools for text and image manipulation, annotation features, and page management capabilities.
  • Security measures. Security measures implemented to protect user data.
  • User feedback. User reviews and overall satisfaction.

Through rigorous testing and analysis, we identify the top contenders that offer exceptional performance and value to users.

Online PDF editors: top 5

Program Other versions Editing existing text Rating
PDF Candy
Web
Windows
Yes
5.0
Sejda
Web
Windows
macOS
Linux
Yes
4.7
Small PDF
Web
Windows
iOS
Android
Yes, but in the PRO version
4.5
Canva
Web
iOS
Android
Yes
4.3
Xodo
Web
Windows
Android
iOS
Yes
4.0

1. PDF Candy

PDF Candy is a popular online platform that offers various tools for working with digital documents. One of its main features is the free PDF editor, which empowers you to revise your files without the need for any extra programs.

Free PDF editor online - PDF Candy

Tools of the free PDF editor:

ToolDescription
Hand ToolEnables users to move the document in all directions, facilitating detailed examination.
Text ToolFacilitates PDF text editing, such as adding, modifying, and formatting the content.
Highlight TextDraws attention to important points or paragraphs post-editing, ideal for emphasizing key information.
PencilAllows sketching, custom drawings, and more with adjustable line color and thickness.
RectanglePlaces square and rectangular boxes on the page to highlight content, customizable in various aspects.
WhiteoutRemoves unnecessary fragments during PDF editing, commonly used for erasing content.
LineDraws straight lines across the page, adjustable in thickness and color.
ArrowFocuses on specific items like pictures or tables, aiding in visual descriptions.
Add ImageInserts graphic objects such as company logos with resizing and implementation options.
UnderlineAdds a line beneath selected text, useful for emphasis within paragraphs or sentences.
StrikeoutCrosses out text with a line to indicate removal or correction.
SignatureAllows electronic signing through various methods, enhancing document authentication.

In addition, the platform provides users with many tools such as conversion (e.g., from PDF to Word, JPG to PDF, etc.), PDF merging and splitting, compression, and various other functions.

PDF Candy aims to simplify the process of working with PDF documents by offering these tools in a user-friendly and accessible manner.

Pros:

  • Works seamlessly on any device, regardless of operating system or model.
  • Compatible with all major browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and more.
  • Ensures your files remain watermark-free throughout the editing process.
  • Saves you time and effort by eliminating the need to convert your PDF file to another format for editing.
  • Boasts a user-centric design and a diverse set of editing tools.
  • Guarantees the protection of your documents by automatically removing all files from the server within 2 hours.
  • Supports easy document uploads from Google Drive and Dropbox.
  • Offers not only text editing capabilities but also 47 additional individual PDF processing tools.

Ultimately, this online PDF editor proves to be a convenient and effective solution for modifying your electronic documents. With its intuitive interface, a wide range of editing options, and no cost involved, it is undoubtedly the preferable option to edit PDF for free.

2. Sejda PDF

Sejda is a web-based service that offers a convenient solution for PDF editing needs. The platform ensures compatibility across different devices and browsers, enabling users to edit PDFs on the go.

Sejda is known for its basic interface, making it accessible to users of all skill levels. The PDF editor is provided in the Beta version but satisfies the majority of the needs for making adjustments to a document. Users can edit and highlight text, whiteout and annotate, insert shapes and images, etc.

Website to edit PDF online - Sejda

An additional toolkit of the online PDF editor allows users to perform tasks such as merging, splitting, converting, and compressing PDF files seamlessly. Above all, it ensures document security and privacy, as files are processed directly within the browser and not stored on the company's servers.

Cons:

  • Restricted capacity for uploaded files of 200 MB.

Opting for Sejda offers convenience, accessibility, and cost-saving advantages. Despite a few limitations, this service is a great choice for those looking for a reliable and efficient online PDF editor.

3. Small PDF

Small PDF is a widely used website with a plethora of tools to edit PDF files for free. It caters to both individual and business users seeking to simplify their PDF-related tasks, enhancing productivity and efficiency.

The online PDF editor provided allows you to customize digital files with ease. Users insert or remove images, add new text, annotate with comments, highlights, and drawings, as well as electronically sign the document.

Editing PDF online with Small PDF

Supplementary features that can be found on the website are PDF reader, converter, compressor, scanner, and more.

Cons:

  • Editing the existing PDF text is only possible with a PRO account.
  • There's no way to undo the deletion of an object that you add with the editor.

Overall, the use of Small PDF as an efficient online tool for PDF editing is highly advantageous due to its simplicity. With just a few clicks of your mouse, you can effortlessly make modifications to your documents.

4. Canva

Canva is a popular graphic design platform that offers a wide range of tools and templates for creating various visual content, including presentations, social media graphics, posters, and more. It's also possible to edit PDF documents online with it.

While it may not be tailored solely as an online PDF editor, it does provide adequate features for personalizing PDF documents. With this method, you can modify text, insert images, add new content, draw, and more.

Editing PDF online with Canva

Of course, all the major Canva's capabilities are at your service: edit photos and videos, create promotional materials from scratch or with templates and stock elements, etc.

Cons:

  • It's not intuitive how to open the PDF editor.
  • Certain stock elements are only available with the PRO account.

In summary, you can edit your PDFs without spending money with the online PDF editor from Canva. It may not be suitable for complex document editing but is a good tool for making smaller adjustments to the content.

5. Xodo

Xodo is a well-known PDF viewer and PDF editor available for online use. It offers a wide range of features for reading, annotating, and otherwise changing PDF documents.

This website has a user-friendly interface and a comprehensive set of tools. Its PDF editor allows users to highlight text, place various lines under the text, add comments, draw freehand, fill out forms, sign documents, and more.

Free PDF editor for online - Xodo

The platform also supports features like compressing, joining, cropping PDFs, deleting extra pages, and more. There's a variety of conversion options options too, from and to PDF.

Cons:

  • Users may experience delays for changes to appear in the editor.
  • No option to insert pictures into the PDF.

Choosing Xodo as your free online PDF editor is a good approach if you need a few small changes made to the textual content. For working with images, you'll need a more sophisticated service.

FAQ on editing PDF online

Can I trust a free online PDF editor?
Most web-based PDF editors use secure encryption methods to protect user data and documents. Regardless, it is imperative to research the website's privacy and security policies prior to utilizing their services.
Will I need to sign up in order to make use of a web-based PDF editor?
A number of no-cost PDF editing platforms might mandate users to register an account to save their modified documents or gain access to certain functionalities (Canva, for example). However, there are also options available where no account creation is necessary (such as PDF Candy).
Can I share my edited document directly from the online PDF editor?
Some online PDF editors provide the option for users to distribute their updated files via a shareable link without having to download them and re-upload back to the web. This enables effortless collaboration and document sharing with others.

Conclusion

To conclude, free online PDF editors give access to a fast and efficient approach to customizing digital documents.

When using these tools, it is important to pay attention to the following points:

  • Be sure to go for a trustworthy web-based PDF editor to keep your sensitive information safe.
  • Familiarize yourself with the various features and tools available on the platform to make the most out of your editing experience.
  • Take advantage of additional features of the website to optimize your document management process.

In this article, we provided 5 best free online PDF editors that anyone can employ for personal or business use. Check them out and see which one works best for you!

Rean Uehara

Expert Tech Writer

Rean is a tech enthusiast, digital marketer, operations specialist, and eCommerce coach who focuses on distributed teams. He began working remotely on web-related projects in 2010 and has never looked back. His articles published on Hongkiat, so his authoritative opinion on technology can be fully trusted.
5 min read
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