15 Best Free PDF Editors in 2024 (For Windows, Mac, iPhone & Android)

Tue. 11 Oct. 2022329293 Mins
Looking for the best free PDF editor? We carefully reviewed the 15 leading PDF editor tools for Mac, Windows, iPhone, and Android users.
15 Best Free PDF Editors in 2024 (For Windows, Mac, iPhone & Android)

Working with PDF files is a part of our daily professional and personal lives, yet finding the perfect PDF editor can be a real challenge. You might need a range of features—from simple text edits to more complex tasks like adding form fields or digital signatures.

We compiled a list of the 15 best free PDF editors available for Mac, Windows, iPhone, and Android users in 2024. Whether you’re a student, professional, or anyone in between, these tools offer something for everyone.

 

Quick Reference Table

Short on time and need a free PDF editor, fast? Check out our quick reference table and pick a tool.

PDF Editor Tool Editor Features Overall Rating Free Version

PDF Reader Pro

5.0 5.0 Yes

Kdan PDF Reader

5.0 5.0 Yes

Adobe PDF Editor

4.9 4.9 Yes

PDF Candy

4.9 4.9 Yes

Sejda PDF Editor

4.7 4.8 Yes

PDF-XChange Editor

4.7 4.7 Yes

DocFly

4.6 4.6 Yes

PDF2Go

4.5 4.6 Yes

PDFSimpli

4.5 4.5 Yes

LightPDF

4.3 4.4 Yes

Soda PDF

 4.3 4.3  Yes

Foxit PhantomPDF Standard

4.2  4.1  Yes 

Nuance PDF Converter

4.2  4.0  Yes 

Kofax Power PDF

4.1  3.9 Free trial

PDFsam Basic

3.9 3.8  Yes 



PDF Reader Pro ranks the highest; find out why!

15 Best Free PDF Editor Tools


We've compiled 15 of the best current free PDF editor tools for 2024. Take your time reviewing each of the fine tools below! Having all these free tools at your disposal means you can choose the one that best suits your personal and professional needs free of charge. 

1. PDF Reader Pro

 PDF Reader Pro website home page.


Image source: PDF Reader Pro

PDF Reader Pro is an excellent option for Mac users looking for powerful PDF editing tools. Developed with an intuitive interface, this desktop application is ideal for editing PDF files in a seamless manner. It provides a wide range of features that make it an all-encompassing solution.

PDF Editing Features

  • Text Editing: Edit, delete, or add new text effortlessly.
  • Form Fields: Add or edit form fields within your PDF documents.
  • Digital Signatures: Attach electronic signatures to make your PDFs secure and authenticated.

 

How PDF Reader Pro Faired When We Tested It

Using PDF Reader Pro has simplified our workflow considerably. The interface is intuitive, making it effortless to merge PDFs, add annotations, and fill out forms. Its compatibility with other platforms has been a lifesaver when I needed to switch between devices.


PDF Reader Pro is a versatile platform, solving many of my general document-related needs, especially when I need to make a



2. Kdan PDF Reader


Kdan PDF Reader website home page.
Image source: 
Kdan PDF Reader

 

Kdan PDF Reader is not just another PDF tool; it's an ecosystem for managing your digital documents. With an eye-friendly reading experience that includes smooth page scrolling and multiple background options like day, night, and sepia, your eyes will thank you.

PDF Editing Features

  • Annotate PDFsAdd comments and markup text, making your PDF pages more descriptive. The best part? The annotations are compatible with popular PDF software such as Adobe Acrobat and Foxit.
  • eSign DocumentsKdan PDF Reader offers an intuitive process for electronic signing. You can either draw your signature, type your name, or even use a pre-saved signature image. 
  • Insert PDF StampsUse ready-made stamps for common annotations or create your own custom stamps using text or images. 

 

How Kdan PDF Reader Faired When I Tested It

The eye-friendly reading experience in Kdan PDF Reader really stands out for me. I love the different background settings, like day and night modes, which make reading long documents much easier on my eyes.

However, PDF Reader Pro stood out more with its quick and easy digital signature feature.

3. Adobe PDF Editor


Adobe PDF Editor website home page.


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Adobe PDF Editor

Adobe PDF Editor, part of the Acrobat Reader family, focuses mainly on PDF file editing. This online tool is particularly useful for users who deal with large PDF files and want to reduce their size.

PDF Editing Features

  • File Compression: Significantly reduce the size of your PDFs.
  • Simple Editing: Basic text edits and image adjustments.
  • Batch Processing: Compress multiple files at once.

 

How Adobe PDF Editor Faired When I Tested It

The robust features of Adobe PDF Editor have made it my go-to tool for complex PDF editing tasks. The layer editing and interactive form field creation features are simply top-notch. Adobe's reliability is something I've always appreciated.


In my experience, PDF Reader Pro stands out not only for the breadth of features available in its free version but also for the exceptional value it offers with its paid subscription.

4. PDF Candy


PDF Candy website home page.


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PDF Candy

PDF Candy is an online PDF editor with a user-friendly design. With this tool, you can perform a plethora of tasks, from simple text editing to merging PDF files. Its integration with Google Drive makes it even more convenient.

PDF Editing Features

  • File Conversion: Convert PDF to different file formats and vice versa.
  • Text and Markup Tools: Add text, shapes, and sticky notes to your PDF.
  • File Compression: Reduce the size of large PDF documents for easy sharing.

 

How PDF Candy Faired When I Tested It

PDF Candy has proven to be an invaluable tool when making swift, straightforward edits to PDF documents. Its user-friendly interface simplifies converting files to and from PDF format, while the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature reliably extracts text from images or scanned documents, making it a go-to solution for quick edits.

5. Sejda PDF Editor


Sejda PDF Editor website home page.


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Sejda PDF Editor

Sejda PDF Editor is an online service offering various advanced features for editing PDF documents. With its online version and desktop versions for both Windows and Mac, Sejda is as versatile as it is powerful.

PDF Editing Features

  • Page Management: Reorder, delete, or append pages.
  • Text Annotations: Add text and sticky notes for effective communication.
  • Password Protection: Secure your PDFs with passwords and encryption.

 

How Sejda PDF Editor Faired When I Tested It

Sejda offers a sleek, user-friendly interface that's great for basic edits. The online version is particularly useful when I'm away from my primary computer. However, the hourly limits can sometimes be restrictive for larger projects.

PDF Reader Pro's won me over due to its annotation options, which are much cleaner than other platforms.

 

6. PDF-XChange Editor


PDF-XChange Editor website home page.
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PDF-XChange Editor

PDF-XChange Editor is a robust PDF editor focusing on performance and feature richness. Available for both Windows and Mac, this editor app delivers a high-quality experience for professional users.

PDF Editing Features

  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Convert paper documents to editable PDFs.
  • Form Creation: Build PDF forms easily.
  • Annotations: Add a variety of annotations, including shapes and text.

 

How PDF-XChange Editor Faired When I Tested It

I've found PDF-XChange Editor to be a versatile tool. The software's ability to create fillable forms and the option to embed fonts have proven invaluable in my work. The interface is also fairly intuitive, which made the learning curve much easier.

I've created a few forms with PDF Reader Pro, and I find it simple, straightforward, and professional to create my forms on their platform!

 

7. DocFly


DocFly website home page.


Image source: 
DocFly

DocFly is not just a PDF editor but also a powerful graphic design tool. With its wide range of features, Inkscape can manipulate image files and PDF documents.

PDF Editing Features

  • Vector Graphics: Work with vector graphics within PDFs.
  • Text Manipulation: Advanced text editing and formatting options.
  • Layer Management: Handle multiple layers for complex editing.

 

How DocFly Faired When I Tested It

DocFly is excellent for converting PDFs to other formats like Word and Excel. The conversion quality is consistent, and the tool offers decent annotation options. It's a well-rounded tool that handles conversions and basic PDF editing well.

Although using PDF Reader Pro, I've found that it's great for editing, viewing, and annotation needs. It also has a fast conversation process!

 

8. PDF2Go


PDF2Go website home page.
Image source: PDF2Go

PDF2Go is an online PDF editor that offers a wide range of features for various PDF editing tasks. Its intuitive interface is perfect for users who need quick and efficient editing.

PDF Editing Features

  • File Conversion: Convert PDFs to other file types like Word or JPEG.
  • Text Editing: Easily add or modify text in your PDFs.
  • Document Merging: Combine multiple PDF files into one document.

 

How PDF2Go Faired When I Tested It

I often use PDF2Go to compress large PDF files, which has never disappointed me. Its online platform is user-friendly and easy to navigate. The drag-and-drop feature simplifies the uploading process, making it quick and efficient.

9. PDFSimpli


PDFSimpli website home page.
Image source: PDFSimpli

PDFSimpli is an online PDF editor specializing in simplicity and ease of use. It offers basic but effective features for editing PDF forms and documents.

PDF Editing Features

  • Text Editing: Simple text addition and removal.
  • Form Fields: Add form fields to your PDF files.
  • Document Conversion: Convert PDFs to other popular file formats.

 

How PDFSimpli Faired When I Tested It

PDFSimpli is my go-to for quick online edits. It loads fast, and the text editing tools are straightforward to use. Including some advanced tools also makes it versatile enough for more complex tasks.

10. LightPDF


LightPDF website home page.
Image source: LightPDF

LightPDF is a free online editor with a focus on speed and simplicity. While it may not offer as many advanced tools as some other options, it gets the job done quickly and efficiently.

PDF Editing Features

  • Text Edits: Quick text edits and deletions.
  • OCR Functionality: Convert scanned documents to editable PDFs.
  • File Conversion: Convert PDFs to other formats such as Word or PowerPoint.

 

How LightPDF Faired When I Tested It

What I enjoy about LightPDF is its ability to work smoothly with cloud storage services like Google Drive. It's a web-based tool that I can use anywhere, and it's excellent for basic editing tasks like adding text or images.

11. Soda PDF

Soda PDF website home page.


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Soda PDF

Soda PDF is a fantastic tool for users who want low-cost yet efficient PDF editing software. Available on multiple platforms, Soda PDF prioritizes security with its 256-bit AES encryption, ensuring your PDF documents remain secure while you edit them.

PDF Editing Features

  • E-SignaturesSoda PDF allows you to add electronic signatures to your PDF documents, making it convenient to finalize contracts and agreements without having to print or scan.
  • File SecurityProviding robust 128/256-bit encryption, Soda PDF ensures your edited content is secure from unauthorized access, making it ideal for editing confidential documents.
  • Cross-Platform SupportAvailable on multiple platforms, Soda PDF is versatile and accessible wherever you need to edit PDFs, making it highly convenient for users on the go.

 

How Soda PDF Faired When I Tested It

I've used Soda PDF for its excellent file security options. The 256-bit AES encryption gives me peace of mind when I'm working with sensitive documents. Plus, the e-signature feature is very easy to use.

12. Foxit PhantomPDF Standard

Foxit PhantomPDF Standard website home page.


Image source: 
Foxit PhantomPDF Standard

Foxit PhantomPDF Standard is not just about converting PDFs; it is also an excellent tool for editing PDF files. Designed for smooth batch processing and featuring a user-friendly interface, this software offers comprehensive solutions for those who want more than just a basic PDF editor.

PDF Editing Features

  • Wide Range of Editing OptionsFoxit PhantomPDF Standard supports multiple file formats and offers numerous editing options, including annotation, text modification, and more.
  • Annotation and EditingYou can annotate, edit, share, and comment on PDF files easily, offering a range of features to make your PDFs informative and interactive.
  • File MergingThe software comes with an excellent feature that allows you to merge multiple PDFs into one document, making it easier to manage your files.

 

How Foxit PhantomPDF Standard Faired When I Tested It

Foxit PhantomPDF Standard offers a user-friendly interface while still packing many powerful tools. Its batch-processing capabilities save me a lot of time when I have multiple files to convert or edit.

13. Nuance PDF Converter


Nuance PDF Converter website home page.
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Nuance PDF Converter

Nuance PDF Converter is another excellent tool for Mac users, offering a wide range of PDF editing features in addition to its conversion capabilities. With its intuitive layout settings and optical character recognition, it stands out as a powerful PDF editor.

PDF Editing Features

  • Multiple Editing OptionsWhether you're converting from PDF to Word or editing the PDF content directly, the possibilities are extensive, including highlighting, underlining, and more.
  • Extensive Editing FeaturesNuance PDF Converter allows you to perform various kinds of edits, such as highlighting, underlining, and text replacement, making it versatile and practical.
  • Free TrialNuance offers a 30-day free trial, allowing you to test its powerful editing features before deciding on a purchase.

 

How Nuance PDF Converter Faired When I Tested It

Nuance PDF Converter's standout feature for me has been its optical character recognition (OCR). It captures text remarkably well, even from scanned documents, making it ideal for digitizing old paper documents. PDF Reader Pro's OCR is clear and powerful, and I value this feature for its ability to digitize paper documents and make them more accessible.

14. Kofax Power PDF



Kofax Power PDF website home page.


Image source: 
Kofax Power PDF

PDF Converter might be lesser-known, but it is a reliable tool for those who need comprehensive PDF editing options. It offers high-quality editing services, ensuring your original format remains as close to untouched as possible.

PDF Editing Features

  • High-Quality EditingPDF Converter provides lossless editing, maintaining the quality of your original files while adding or changing content.
  • User-Friendly InterfaceWith a clean, clutter-free user interface, this software is incredibly intuitive, even for PDF editing beginners.
  • Wide Format SupportApart from editing PDFs, this tool also allows you to work with other file formats, such as Word and Excel, making it a versatile choice for all your editing needs.

 

How Kofax Power PDF Faired When I Tested It

I've found Kofax Power PDF to be extremely efficient for document management. Its features for combining and assembling PDFs are top-tier, making it a great tool for organizing large projects.

15. PDFsam Basic

PDFsam website home page.
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PDFsam Basic

PDFsam Basic is an open-source PDF editing software that focuses on simplicity. It's a versatile option for users who want straightforward, easy-to-use tools to edit their PDFs. 

 

PDF Editing Features

  • Merge PDFsThis is particularly useful for consolidating reports, studies, or any other sets of documents that are better off as a unified file.
  • Split PDF FilesThe software allows you to split PDF files based on various criteria like page numbers, size, or even content.
  • Rotate PagesPDFsam Basic offers the ability to rotate PDF pages, which is useful when you're dealing with documents that include pages in varying orientations. 

 

How PDFsam Basic Faired When I Tested It

My experience with PDFsam Basic has been quite positive. The open-source nature of the software gives it a community-driven feel, and it focuses on fundamental features like splitting and merging PDFs.

Best Free PDF Editor FAQ

Finally, we have some FAQs to leave you with the most knowledge regarding free PDF editing software tools:

What should I consider for basic PDF editing?

For basic edits, like text changes and image manipulation, many editors provide decent tools. Free versions generally offer limited features but should suffice for making basic edits. PDF Reader Pro offers basic and extensive editing features.

Can I create fillable forms with these PDF editors?

Yes, some editors offer advanced features that allow you to create fillable PDF forms. Editors like PDF Reader Pro and Sejda provide form filler tools designed for this purpose.

Is it possible to add annotations to PDF documents?

Absolutely. Annotation tools for adding sticky notes, highlighter tool options, and even freehand drawings are common in many editors. PDF Reader Pro has great annotation features and they're easy to use.

What are the limitations of free PDF editors?

While free versions offer a range of handy features, they often come with limitations like watermarks, hourly limits, and limited font options. Some might not provide cloud storage services or integrate with content management systems like Google Docs or Creative Cloud.

Can I switch from a monthly plan to an annual subscription?

Most PDF editors offer a variety of subscription plans. It's usually simple to switch from a monthly subscription to an annual one if you find the editor suits your needs.

Can I edit PDFs that have been password-protected?

This varies by editor. Some provide the tools for editing password-protected PDFs, but they will usually require you to enter the password first. It's important to note that editing password-protected PDFs without permission may be illegal.

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