Best Free PDF Editors in 2024: FixThePhoto Experts’ Choice

A free PDF editor can significantly streamline your collaboration with other users. For instance, if you’re working on a project with fellow employees and have to edit a document, quality PDF software will enable you to conveniently add and alter text and pictures, making it simpler to collaborate and make the necessary changes for all parties involved.

Besides, whenever you’re going through a long PDF, there’s a chance you can miss some important snippets. With a suitable PDF editor, you can highlight and comment on crucial parts of the document to ensure you can easily find them in the future.

Top 12 Free PDF Editing Software for All Platforms

adobe acrobat pro dc free pdf editor logo
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
Industry standard
  • Free trial
  • Full version - from $19.99/mo

pdfelement free pdf editor logo
Easy to use
  • Free version
  • Full version - from $79.99/yr

nitro pro free pdf editor logo
Nitro Pro
Quick operation
  • Free trial
  • Full version - from $11.99/user/mo

soda pdf free pdf editor logo
Soda PDF
OCR technology
  • Free trial
  • Full version - from $6.75/mo

pdfliner free pdf editor logo
Fully secure
  • Free version
  • Full version - from $10.00/mo

pdf candy free pdf editor logo
PDF Candy
Batch processing
  • Free version
  • Full version - from $6.00/mo

pdf eraser free pdf editor logo
PDF Eraser
For Windows
  • Free version
  • Full version – 29.95/lifetime

swifdoo free pdf editor logo
Powerful toolset
  • Free version
  • Full version - from $16.00/mo

pdfgear free pdf editor logo
  • Fully free

pdffiller free pdf editor logo
Great compatibility
  • Free trial
  • Full version - from $8.00/mo

abbyy finereader free pdf editor logo
ABBYY FineReader
For teams
  • Free trial
  • Full version - from $19.00/mo

sejda free pdf editor logo
  • Free trial
  • Full version - from $5.00/week

1. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC – Industry Standard

adobe acrobat pro dc free pdf editor interface
  • Collective and remote work
  • Advanced reviewing and form creation
  • Online editing on the Adobe server
  • OCR technology for editing
  • Subscription-based pricing

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is the optimal comprehensive free PDF editing software that enables you to edit, convert, annotate, and manage your PDF files. It’s suitable for handling all kinds of tasks, has a minimalistic and intuitive UI, and is pleasantly beginner-friendly.

To start using it, you have to get a dedicated subscription or purchase the Creative Cloud plan. Additionally, it’s possible to download Adobe Acrobat Pro DC for free by taking advantage of the 7-day free trial. If you’d like to leave comments on your PDFs and share them with other users, sign in to Adobe Document Cloud from your browser or employ the Acrobat desktop/mobile app.

2. PDFelement – User-Friendly Interface

pdfelement free pdf editor interface
  • Powerful PDF editing features
  • Converting and export capabilities
  • Protected along with your documents
  • Presence of OCR technology
  • Free trial with limitations
  • Does not offer monthly plans

PDFelement rightfully deserves the title of the best free PDF editor and a decent analog to the previously mentioned Adobe Acrobat. On the whole, the feature set of this software is quite extensive, and it compensates for the presence of watermarks, especially if you don’t mind them. PDFelement is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

It enables users to edit, sign, annotate, convert PDF documents to other formats, and fill PDF forms. That is more than enough for both professional and amateur work with PDFs.

3. Nitro Pro – Can Convert and Merge Files

nitro pro free pdf editor interface
  • Intuitive interface
  • Integrates with programs like Word and PowerPoint
  • Can encrypt, password-protect, and sign PDF files
  • Has a built-in digital stamp tool
  • Mac trial version adds a watermark to saved documents
  • Price tag

Representing one of the best free desktop PDF editors, this solution offers editing, reviewing, merging, and collaborative functionality. Additionally, it allows you to fill in, sign, and protect your PDFs. The Nitro Pro PDF reader is also known for its useful e-signature tool that can save you a ton of time. It enables you to easily sign and share PDFs without going through the hassle of printing them out, signing them, and scanning the result before forwarding it.

The available integration with Nitro Cloud allows you to convert, combine, review, and send PDF documents from your browser or smartphone without having to rely on just one device. This tool also offers drag-and-drop controls, which make the PDF editing workflow a lot faster and more intuitive.

4. Soda PDF – OCR Technology

soda pdf free pdf editor interface
  • Broad range of features
  • E-signature functionality
  • Intuitive UI
  • Compatible with multiple cloud storage platforms
  • Restricted functionality in the free version
  • High prices

The most prominent feature of this PDF editor is its OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology. It allows you to conveniently convert printed pages into editable text without having to manually retype every single word. This can save hours of your time on a single document, and it’s an irreplaceable inclusion if you’re dealing with a lot of scanned documents daily.

Another noteworthy addition is the e-signature feature. This OCR software and free PDF editor lets you add, request, and monitor e-signatures at your convenience without resorting to third-party platforms.

5. PDFLiner – Fully Secure

pdfliner free pdf editor interface
  • Streamlined interface
  • Easy editing
  • Allows adding e-signatures to PDFs
  • Doesn’t require installation
  • Limited availability of the mobile app
  • Distracting pop-up ads

PDFLiner is a fantastic cloud-based platform that is perfect for reading and editing PDFs as well as making and completing different forms. Best part is – you don’t have to install it on your PC or phone since it can be used from any browser on any device. You can start editing a PDF by simply dragging it onto the main workspace.

The biggest benefit to using this free PDF editing software is it only takes a couple of clicks to edit your document. Its other notable features include e-signatures, a highlighter tool, image editing support, customizable watermarks, and much more.

6. PDF Candy – Supports Batch Processing

pdf candy free pdf editor interface
  • Online and offline functionality
  • Compatible with over 10 formats
  • Preserves original formatting during conversion
  • OCR feature
  • Lacks tools necessary for managing and preparing documents for print
  • Doesn’t have a password protection feature

PDF Candy enables you to convert, split, combine, and rotate your documents with minimum effort. This PDF editor for Mac and Windows allows working with more than 10 different formats including Word, which makes it incredibly versatile. As a document converter, it offers fantastic speed and the ability to preserve original formatting.

Another reason why PDF Candy might be the best free PDF editor for Windows 10 is its OCR feature, which is rarely included in completely free tools. As such, you’ll be able to transform scanned documents into editable text, even if it was handwritten or not scanned properly.

7. PDF Eraser – Convenient Text Deletion

pdf erazer free pdf editor interface
  • Simple interface
  • Can rotate PDF pages
  • Lightweight
  • Supports a variety of file formats
  • Only for Windows
  • Limited functionality compared to alternatives

PDF Eraser allows users to get rid of text, pictures, logos, and other unwanted elements from PDF documents. You can use this software to delete original parts of a PDF as well as add your own text or pictures.

Other than that, this free PDF editor for Windows 10 comes with an integrated page-cutting feature that lets you remove unwanted pages. Since many PDFs represent scanned physical documents, the developers of this software have supplied it with a Rotation feature that allows you to give the proper orientation to any PDF page in a matter of clicks.

8. SwifDoo – Powerful Toolset

swifdoo free pdf editor interface
  • Lightweight
  • Complete data security
  • Intuitive interface
  • Fast processing speed
  • Pricing may still be a concern for some users
  • Limited functionality in the free version

SwifDoo is an excellent free PDF editor that makes working with PDFs simpler than ever. It has a pretty versatile toolset which allows you to create, merge, sign, convert, and compress PDF files with minimal effort. I like that it includes more than a dozen annotation tools for a more convenient workflow.

I also like how quick it is at opening and processing PDF files. Another advantage is that you don't have to worry about your data's privacy and safety with double password protection, permissions, as well as legally-binding signatures.

9. PDFgear – Reliable Privacy Policy

pdfgear free pdf editor interface
  • Expansive toolset
  • AI assistance
  • Available on Windows, Mac, and iOS
  • Minimalistic and user-friendly UI
  • Not as lightweight compared to most alternatives
  • Doesn’t support Android devices

The biggest advantage this option has over most free PDF editors, is that it can be installed on your device and used offline. This can be incredibly useful, particularly if you need to edit a document on the fly in a location with poor internet coverage.

PDFgear provides a vast selection of advanced features for editing PDFs. It lets you convert scanned and hand-written PDFs into readable documents, which are a lot easier to edit. This platform will also impress you with its respect for your privacy. You don’t have to create an account and any uploaded documents are deleted the moment you exit the software.

10. pdfFiller – Great Compatibility

pdffiller free pdf editor interface
  • Broad selection of editing features
  • Allows importing files from different sources
  • Handy features for adding text, highlighting, and adding comments
  • Security and encryption functionality
  • Suffers from occasional performance issues and crashes
  • Some features won't work properly at times

pdfFiller is a free PDF editor software that comes with all the features you need for both business and personal use. It lets you edit, convert, compress, and organize your documents within a single solution. Additionally, it allows users to import files from Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, or links in just a few clicks.

The range of included editing features is a pleasant surprise. This software lets you highlight and blackout text, create sticky notes, annotate your documents, and add different shapes. Additionally, pdfFiller comes with basic editing tools that allow you to alter the font size and color, add and rearrange pages, rotate text, and much more.

11. ABBYY FineReader – For Teams

abbyy finereader free pdf editor interface
  • Advanced OCR technology
  • Compatible with a long list of languages
  • User-friendly and easy-to-navigate UI
  • Allows locking file access behind passwords
  • Problematic quick searches
  • Limited Mac edition

The most impressive aspect of this free PDF editing software is its cutting-edge OCR system. It excels at recognizing text from scanned or picture-based PDFs. Moreover, ABBYY FineReader is equipped with a large selection of languages and dictionaries, which is why it’s used by people from all around the globe.

This software is also pleasantly intuitive and has a clean UI that can be navigated even by users with zero technical skills. Additionally, ABBYY FineReader provides a variety of licensing packages, meaning you can find a suitable subscription plan regardless of whether you need this software for your personal or business needs.

12. Sejda – For Removing Pages from PDF

sejda free pdf editor interface
  • Complete feature set
  • Convenient navigation
  • Allows erasing pages, combining PDFs, and splitting documents
  • OCR functionality
  • File size limits
  • Somewhat resource-demanding on your PC

Sejda is a solid option to consider if you want to use the best PDF editor free. It comes with an extensive toolkit, as it lets users convert documents to PDF, merge multiple PDFs, split pages, and perform an array of other actions. It also allows you to tweak the font size and type as well as rotate text. The UI is clean and minimalistic, as all the features are divided into convenient tabs.

If you pit Adobe Acrobat Pro DC vs Sejda, you’ll notice that the latter has an impressive OCR feature. It enables you to extract text from scanned documents and make it editable. You can also use Seida to convert PDFs into other formats or compress them to ensure they take up less space.

How to Choose the Best Free PDF Editors

Features. The best free PDF editor has to come with all the essential features that allow you to add text, rearrange pages, highlight important snippets, etc. Other than that, it’s also preferable to pick an option with OCR, form-filling, and e-signing functionality.

Collaboration features. Most tech-based businesses constantly have to deal with PDF documents, which is why the chosen PDF editor needs to enable you to share, annotate, and easily manage your files.

Convenience. A well-designed PDF editor needs to offer an intuitive and easy-to-navigate UI. Essential tools have to be conveniently accessible and you should be able to make any edits you want in just a couple of clicks. Another important inclusion is an auto-save feature that comes in handy on more than one occasion.

Converter. A comprehensive free PDF editor allows you to change the format whenever needed. The overview above covers some of the best PDF to Word converters as well as PDF to PowerPoint converters out there, so you can rely on them to handle this task as well.


  • • Are free PDF editors reliable?

Even though free software is usually trustworthy, you still need to remain vigilant. Only use software developed by established developers and check out user reviews. Make sure the editor deserves your trust before installing it on your device.

  • • Can free PDF editing software be as good as premium options?

A free tool can offer nearly the same functionality as a paid PDF editor, but you usually have to make peace with one or two limitations. Premium software ordinarily comes with an expanded feature set, better client support, and more frequent updates. Account for your budget and needs before committing to a choice.

  • • Are these tools available on mobile?

There’s a large selection of free PDF editors that you can use on your phone or tablet. The easiest way to find them is to search for one of the aforementioned options in the app store of your device.

  • • How to pick the best free PDF editor?

The first thing you have to do is think about your needs and make sure the option you pick can cover all of them. Additionally, give preference to software that supports text editing, page splitting/deletion, image insertion, and password protection. Lastly, check if the PDF editor in question is available on your OS or device.

  • • Can I add signatures and protect my files with the help of these editors?

Yes, a lot of the PDF editors reviewed above allow you to add digital signatures as well as restrict access to your PDFs using passwords and encryption.