15 Best Free PDF Editors in 2024 

Enhance your productivity with the 15 best free PDF editors of 2024. Edit, merge, and secure your documents effortlessly. Get started now!

15 Best Free PDF Editors in 2023

PDF editors are essential in today’s digital landscape, as PDFs have become the go-to format for sharing and storing information. In just minutes, reliable PDF editors empower users, providing the ability to modify, customize, and tailor documents to their specific needs. In this article, we present a comprehensive compilation of the top 15 best free PDF editors in 2024, allowing you to effortlessly transform your paper documents into the versatile PDF file format. These powerful and user-friendly tools address all your PDF editing needs without the need for expensive software. With these exceptional free PDF editors, you can unlock a world of possibilities, take control of your PDF documents, and bid farewell to the limitations of static PDFs. 

Review Criteria for Free PDF Editors

When reviewing free PDF editing tools, certain criteria are essential. We will assess ease of use, editing features, compatibility with operating systems, and security to help you select the best one.

Ease of using PDF editors

The first criterion to evaluate is the user-friendliness of the editor. A good PDF editor should have an interface that is easy to navigate and use, accommodating both tech-savvy individuals and those with limited technical skills. The goal is to ensure a seamless and intuitive editing experience for all users. Consider the following examples:

  1. Intuitive interface:
  • Clear and well-organized menus and toolbars.
  • Easily accessible buttons and icons for common editing actions.
  • Intuitive layout that guides users through the editing process.
  1. User-friendly features:
  • Drag-and-drop functionality for effortless file importing and rearranging.
  • Contextual menus or right-click options for quick access to editing tools.
  • Keyboard shortcuts to expedite common tasks.

Editing features and capabilities of  PDF editors

The second crucial aspect to examine is the range of editing features and capabilities. A reliable document editor should provide a comprehensive set of tools that enable effective modifications to PDF documents. This includes basic functions like page addition, deletion, and rearrangement, as well as more advanced features such as text editing, image insertion, and form creation. The ability to annotate, highlight, and add comments is also important for collaboration or studying purposes. A wide range of editing options ensures versatility in meeting diverse user requirements. Consider the following examples:

  1. Page manipulation:
  • Ability to add, delete, or rearrange pages within the PDF document.
  • Options to crop or resize pages to customize the layout.
  1. Text editing:
  • Tools for modifying and formatting text within the PDF, such as changing font styles, sizes, and colors.
  • Support for text insertion, deletion, and replacement.

Compatibility with different operating systems and different platforms

When selecting a PDF editor, it is crucial to prioritize compatibility with different operating systems and platforms. Here are key factors to consider:

  • Operating system compatibility: Ensure the PDF editor supports various operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, and Linux, enabling seamless access and editing across different devices.
  • Mobile applications: Look for PDF editors that provide versions for a mobile device, such as Android and iOS, allowing convenient editing on the go, not just for desktop versions.
  • Cloud storage compatibility: Check for compatibility with popular cloud storage platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox, enabling easy synchronization and access to PDF files from anywhere.
  • Broad compatibility: Choose a PDF editor that offers broad compatibility across diverse operating systems and platforms to optimize your editing experience.

By considering these factors and selecting a PDF editor with comprehensive compatibility, you can confidently edit and manage your PDF documents across different systems and platforms.

Security and privacy features

Security and privacy features are paramount, particularly when dealing with sensitive or confidential documents. A trustworthy PDF editor should offer robust security measures to protect the integrity and document security of edited PDFs. This may include features like password protection, encryption, and electronic signature tool. Users need assurance that their documents are secure and protected against unauthorized access or potential breaches. An editor with strong security and privacy features provides peace of mind and ensures the confidentiality of sensitive information. Consider the following examples: 

  1. Password protection:
  • The ability to set a password to restrict access to the PDF document, ensuring that only authorized individuals can open and view it.
  • Options to set different levels of password protection, such as allowing only viewing or granting permissions for editing and printing.
  1. Encryption:
  • Advanced encryption algorithms that secure the content of the PDF document, preventing unauthorized access or tampering.
  • Support for strong encryption protocols, such as AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), to ensure robust data protection.

Top 15 Best Free PDF Editors

Here are the top 15 free PDF editors selected based on their outstanding features. These powerful PDF editors offer a wide range of powerful tools and functionalities to enhance your PDF editing experience. Whether you’re a student, professional, or casual user, you’ll find an editor on this list that suits your specific needs. From ease of use to advanced editing capabilities, compatibility with different operating systems, and robust security features, these free PDF editors have been carefully chosen to provide you with a comprehensive selection. Explore the options and find the perfect PDF editor for your requirements and preferences.

1. Adobe Acrobat DC

Adobe Acrobat DC
Credit: Adobe Acrobat DC

Adobe Acrobat DC is an industry-leading free PDF editor tool that sets the standard for professional document management. With its comprehensive suite of features and intuitive interface, Adobe Acrobat DC empowers users to engage in document creation, editing, and collaborative document workflows on PDF files with unmatched precision and efficiency. From advanced editing capabilities to seamless integration with other Adobe applications, Acrobat DC offers a robust solution for businesses and individuals seeking unparalleled control and flexibility over their PDF documents. Experience the power of Adobe Acrobat DC’s PDF tools and unlock new possibilities in PDF editing and document management.

2. PDF Reader

PDF Reader

PDF Reader is a free PDF editor renowned for its user-friendly interface and exceptional editing features. With its intuitive design and robust functionality, PDF Reader offers effortless document management. Editing PDFs becomes a breeze with a comprehensive suite of tools, enabling easy text modifications, image insertions, annotations to PDF documents, and page manipulations. Its seamless interface ensures a smooth and hassle-free editing experience, catering to users of all levels. Whether you’re a student, professional, or casual user, PDF Reader provides a convenient solution, combining simplicity with powerful editing capabilities, including the ability to add electronic signatures to documents.  Experience the ease and efficiency of PDF editing with PDF Reader, the ultimate choice for effortless document customization.

PDF Reader

  • Empower your mobile workforce
  • Edit, convert, and read PDF documents
  • Available on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows

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3. PDFelement

PDF element
Credit: PDFelement

PDFelement is the all-in-one free PDF editor that brings simplicity and versatility to your document management. With its user-friendly interface and comprehensive features, PDFelement allows you to effortlessly create, edit, convert, and secure PDF files with professional precision. Collaborate with team members in real-time, add comments, and track changes to streamline your workflow. Whether you need to modify text, add images, or extract data, PDFelement offers a powerful set of tools to meet your PDF editing needs. Take control of your documents with PDFelement’s intuitive interface and unleash your productivity.

4. Foxit PhantomPDF

Foxit PhantomPDF
Credit: Foxit PhantomPDF

Foxit PhantomPDF is the ultimate free PDF editor designed for business professionals. With advanced editing capabilities, robust security features, and collaborative functionalities, PhantomPDF empowers teams to create, annotate, and secure PDF documents efficiently. From document merging and splitting to form creation and electronic signature, and the ability to convert PDF to other file formats, PhantomPDF offers a comprehensive toolkit for streamlined document management. Boost productivity with features like shared reviews, track changes, and cloud integration. Experience the power of Foxit PhantomPDF and revolutionize your PDF editing workflow.

5. Nitro PDF Reader

Nitro PDF Reader
Credit: Nitro PDF Reader

Nitro PDF Reader is a feature-packed free PDF editor that combines simplicity with powerful functionality. Edit, convert, review, and collaborate on PDFs effortlessly, all within an intuitive user interface. Nitro PDF Reader offers a seamless experience for both personal and professional use, providing a range of tools to modify text, add comments, and manipulate PDF content. Enhance productivity with features like OCR, form filling, and secure signing. Whether you need to create, edit, or annotate PDFs, Nitro PDF Reader is a versatile solution for effective document management.

6. Sejda PDF Editor

Sejda PDF Editor
Credit: Sejda PDF Editor

Sejda PDF Editor is a versatile and easy-to-use free online service for simple edits to your PDF documents. With its user-friendly interface and comprehensive set of features, Sejda PDF Editor allows you to edit, annotate, merge, split, and manipulate digital documents effortlessly. Add text, images, or shapes to your PDFs, redact sensitive information, and apply watermarks for added security. Seamlessly convert PDFs to different formats and optimize the file size. Whether you’re a student, professional, or small business owner, Sejda PDF Editor offers a range of functionalities and extra features to meet your specific PDF editing requirements. Experience the simplicity and efficiency of Sejda PDF Editor for all your PDF editing needs.

7. Smallpdf

Credit: Smallpdf

Smallpdf is a powerful free online PDF editor that simplifies document management. Edit, compress, convert, and protect PDF files effortlessly with Smallpdf’s intuitive interface. Its user-friendly features enable easy addition of text, images, and signatures. Compatible with various operating systems, Smallpdf ensures accessibility across different devices. Merge, split, rotate, or delete pages with ease using the comprehensive set of advanced tools provided. Enjoy a seamless PDF editing experience with Smallpdf’s reliable performance and compatibility.

8. PDF-XChange Editor

PDF-XChange Editor
Credit: PDF-XChange Editor

Experience PDF-XChange Editor, a robust software offering advanced PDF editing features and a user-friendly interface. Modify text, add annotations, and insert images effortlessly with this versatile tool. Benefit from OCR capabilities, form creation, and redaction features. With compatibility across different operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux, PDF-XChange Editor ensures flexibility. Customize your workflow with efficient navigation and a range of tools designed to enhance your PDF editing experience.

9. LibreOffice Draw

LibreOffice Draw
Credit: LibreOffice Draw

LibreOffice Draw is a free and open-source PDF editor that empowers users with a versatile set of tools. Edit and create PDF documents with ease using LibreOffice Draw’s intuitive interface. Modify text, add shapes and images, and manipulate PDF content with precision. Compatibility with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems ensures broad accessibility. Safeguard your PDF files with security and privacy features, including digital signatures and password protection. LibreOffice Draw combines functionality and flexibility to provide a robust PDF editing solution.

10. PDFescape

LibreOffice Draw
Credit: PDFescape

Discover PDFescape, an intuitive free online PDF editor that simplifies editing, annotating, and filling out PDF forms. Effortlessly add text, images, and shapes to your PDFs and highlight important sections. Create form fields for easy data entry. PDFescape’s compatibility with various operating systems ensures accessibility across platforms. Enjoy the convenience of cloud-based editing, accessing and editing your PDFs from anywhere. With its user-friendly interface and a range of editing features, PDFescape simplifies your PDF editing tasks.

11. Inkscape

Credit: Inkscape

Inkscape is a free feature-rich and open-source PDF editor that combines powerful editing capabilities with vector graphics. With Inkscape, you can create and modify PDF documents with precision, leveraging its comprehensive set of tools and intuitive interface. It offers a wide range of editing features, including text manipulation, object grouping, and layer management. Inkscape’s compatibility with various operating systems allows you to seamlessly edit PDFs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Unlock your creativity and design visually stunning PDFs with Inkscape’s extensive editing options.

12. Master PDF Editor

Master PDF Editor
Credit: Master PDF Editor

Master PDF Editor is a free versatile PDF editing software that offers a range of professional-grade features. Edit text, images, and pages with ease using its user-friendly interface. Create fillable forms, add annotations, and apply digital signatures to enhance document interactivity. Master PDF Editor’s compatibility extends to multiple operating systems, enabling efficient editing on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Enjoy advanced security features, such as password protection and encryption, to safeguard your sensitive PDF files. With its comprehensive editing capabilities and cross-platform functionality, Master PDF Editor empowers you to take full control of your PDF documents.

13. AbleWord

Credit: AbleWord

AbleWord is a free and lightweight PDF editor that combines simplicity and functionality. Seamlessly edit text, images, and formatting within your PDF files using AbleWord’s intuitive interface. With its compatibility across different operating systems, including Windows and Linux, you can effortlessly edit PDFs on your preferred platform. AbleWord offers essential editing features, such as text selection, formatting options, and image manipulation, allowing you to customize your documents effectively. Experience hassle-free PDF editing with AbleWord’s straightforward design and efficient performance.

14. FormSwift PDF Editor

FormSwift PDF Editor
Credit: FormSwift PDF Editor

FormSwift PDF Editor is a free online tool that enables you to edit, annotate, and fill out PDF forms effortlessly. With its intuitive interface, you can add and modify text, insert images, and draw shapes to tailor your PDF documents to your specific needs. FormSwift’s compatibility across various operating systems ensures easy access and editing on any device. Enhance document collaboration by sharing and collecting digital signatures with ease. FormSwift’s user-friendly features and accessibility make it an ideal choice to efficiently manage and edit PDF files. Simplify your PDF editing tasks with FormSwift PDF Editor.

15. PDFsam Basic

PDFsam Basic
Credit: PDFsam Basic

PDFsam Basic is a free PDF editor that offers essential editing features and capabilities. It allows users to split, merge, and rotate PDF documents, among other advanced features. With its intuitive interface, users can easily navigate through its tools and functions. PDFsam Basic is compatible with different operating systems, ensuring broad accessibility. When it comes to security and privacy, PDFsam Basic provides options for password protection and secure file transfer with the help of the data transfer calculator. Users find PDFsam Basic easy to use, efficient for specific editing tasks, compatible with multiple operating systems, and appreciate its commitment to security and privacy.


Among the 15 free PDF editors recommended above, the following are the Top 5 free PDF editors in 4 types of features that we recommend:

Ease of UseEditing Features and CapabilitiesCompatibility with Different Operating SystemsSecurity and Privacy Features
– PDF escape
– Inkscape
– PDF Reader
– Adobe Acrobat DC
– FormSwift PDF Editor
– PDFelement
– Adobe Acrobat DC
– Foxit PhantomPDF
– Nitro PDF Reader
– PDF Reader
– PDF Reader
– Foxit PhantomPDF
– Nitro PDF Reader
– Sejda PDF Editor
– PDF-X Change Editor
– PDFelement
– Foxit PhantomPDF
– Nitro PDF Reader
– Sejda PDF Editor
– Smallpdf

In conclusion, the selection of free PDF editors recommended in this article offers a wide range of features and capabilities to meet various editing needs. Whether you prioritize ease of use or advanced functionalities, there is a document management tool on the list that suits your preferences. Integrating a reliable PDF reader as part of your file management software can significantly increase work efficiency. It streamlines the handling of digital documents, making it easier to organize and annotate on important files.

Additionally, businesses can make a positive impact on environmental sustainability by adopting the paperless approach, effectively reducing paper consumption. We encourage readers to try out these free PDF editors and explore their functionalities firsthand. By experimenting with different options, you can find the one that aligns best with your specific requirements and workflow. Take advantage of these powerful tools and elevate your PDF editing experience today. 

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(Feature image source by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash)