The 14 Best Free PDF Editors (June 2023)

Use these PDF editors and online tools to change your PDF files absolutely free

Looking for a truly free PDF editor that lets you not only edit and add text but also change images, add your own graphics, sign your name, fill out forms, and more? You came to the right place: We've researched these types of apps to come up with a list of exactly what you're looking for.

Some of these are online editors that work in your web browser, so all you have to do is upload your PDF to the website, make the changes you want, and then save it back to your computer. That's ​the quick way—but do bear in mind that, typically, a web-based editor isn't as fully featured as its desktop counterpart, plus the file is exposed to the internet (which might be of concern if it contains sensitive content).

Because not all of these editors support the same features, and some are restricted in what you can do, remember that you can process the same PDF in more than one tool. For example, use one to edit the PDF text (if that's supported), and then put the same PDF through a different editor to do something supported in that program (e.g., to edit a form, update an image, or remove a page).

If you don't need to change the contents of the file but instead just need to change it to another format (such as .docx for Microsoft Word or .epub for an eBook), see our list of free document converters for help. On the other hand, if you have a file you created yourself that you want to save as a PDF file, learn how to print to PDF.

A Free Option You Might Already Have: Microsoft Word

If you already own a modern version of Microsoft Word (2021, 2019, 2016, etc.), then skip all the suggested programs below: you have a great PDF editor at your disposal right now. Just open the PDF as you would any Word document, give the program a few minutes to convert the PDF, and then edit away. This also works in WPS Office and Google Docs.

Don't want to work in Word? Then check out our list of favorites to find an option that better suits you.

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Sejda PDF Editor

Sejda online PDF editor
What We Like
  • Lets you load the file from other websites.

  • Supports adding hyperlinks.

  • Includes a signature tool.

  • Lets you insert blank pages into the PDF.

  • Can remove pages from the PDF.

  • Supports whiting out parts of the page.

  • Can insert images and shapes.

What We Don't Like
  • Can be used on only three PDFs per hour.

  • Limited to docs with fewer than 200 pages.

  • Doesn't edit files larger than 50 MB.

Sejda PDF Editor is one of the very few PDF editors that actually lets you edit pre-existing text in the PDF without adding a watermark. Most editors only let you edit the text you add yourself, or they support text editing but then throw watermarks all over the place.

Plus, this tool can run entirely in your web browser, so it's easy to get going without having to download any programs. You can get the desktop version if you'd rather use it that way.

There are some differences between the online and desktop versions that you should know about. For example, the desktop edition supports more font types and doesn't let you add PDFs by URL or from online storage services as the online editor does (which supports Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive).

Another neat feature is the web integration tool that lets PDF publishers provide a link for their users that they can simply click to automatically open the file in this editor.

All uploaded files are automatically deleted from Sejda after two hours.

This tool works no matter which operating system you use. Sejda PDF Desktop runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

You can use the online or desktop version to convert PDF to Word, and vice versa.

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pdfgear free pdf editor
What We Like
  • Edit text and add new text.

  • Everything is free (no paid options).

  • Signature and form tools.

  • Zero advertisements and watermarks.

What We Don't Like
  • No signature-style fonts.

PDFgear is a full toolkit for doing pretty much anything you could want to do with a PDF.

Beyond basic PDF viewing and full text editing are options to add a signature, convert the file to other formats, extract text, annotate and insert your own watermark, rotate and delete pages, add a password, compress the PDF, and more. You can even present the PDF as a slideshow if you want to.

Something we really like is the Extract Text tool. It lets you highlight any part of the page to pull out text into an easily usable text box so you can copy that content. This is great for lists and other situations where selecting PDF text is usually difficult.

This program runs on Windows and macOS.

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Canva PDF editor
What We Like
  • Edit existing text.

  • Built-in sharing via link.

  • Snap-in guides for precise editing.

  • Saves automatically as you work.

  • Lots of free storage.

  • Easy access to free elements, photos, and more.

What We Don't Like
  • Must make a user account first (it's free).

  • Mixes paid items with free options.

  • No easy way to white out text.

  • Doesn't retain formatting as well as some editors.

Canva is a very capable website for creating unique, high-quality designs. While you could create a project from scratch or a template, another way you can use its editing tools is on a PDF.

Unlike most free tools, Canva lets you fully edit text. Click into any text area to change what the text says and to adjust the font type, size, and color. You can also add hyperlinks to text and other objects, and special fonts are available to easily type out your signature.

Of course, because this is a full graphic design platform, it has a wealth of other tools so you can also edit images, add shapes, edit and build PDF pages, include charts, etc. If you have most of your media on another site like Google Photos or Dropbox, you can connect to those services to easily copy files into your PDF.

PDFs can't exceed 15 MB or 15 pages. When you're done, you can save back to PDF or choose from various image and video formats.

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PDF-XChange Editor

PDF-XChange Editor
What We Like
  • Uses OCR to identify the text in the PDF.

  • Can import a variety of shapes and images.

  • Supports adding QR codes to the PDF.

  • Offers a portable version.

  • Frequent updates.

What We Don't Like
  • Many features require a license.

  • Works with Windows only.

PDF-XChange Editor offers some great tools, but not all of them are free to use. If you use a non-free feature, the PDF will save with a watermark on every page.

If you stick to just the free features, however, you can still do some editing to the file and save it back to your computer.

You can load PDFs from your computer, a URL, SharePoint, Google Drive, and Dropbox. You can save the edited PDF back to your computer or to any of those cloud storage services.

There are lots of features, so it might seem overwhelming at first. All the options and tools are simple to understand, however, and they're categorized into their own sections for easier management.

One nice feature is the ability to highlight all the form fields so that you can easily spot where you need to fill in. This is really helpful if you're editing a PDF with lots of forms, such as an application.

Many of the features are free (like editing the text), but some are not. If you use a feature that's not covered by the free version (you're told which ones aren't free when you use them), the saved PDF file will have a watermark attached to the corner of every page. There's a comprehensive list of all the free features on the download page.

Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7 users can install PDF-XChange Editor. You can download it in portable mode to use on a flash drive or as a regular installer.

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Inkscape displaying a PDF file
What We Like
  • Can edit PDF text.

  • Supports manipulating graphics.

  • Includes lots of image-editing tools.

What We Don't Like
  • The number of graphics-editing tools can be overwhelming.

Inkscape is an extremely popular free image viewer and editor, but it also includes PDF editing functions that most dedicated PDF editors support only in their paid editions.

This is a very capable image editing program. If you're not already familiar with programs like GIMP, Adobe Photoshop, and other image editors, however, it's probably a bit advanced for you.

In the context of PDF editing, though, you should consider this software only if you want to delete or edit the images or text in the PDF. We suggest you use a different tool in this list to edit PDF forms or add shapes, and then plug that PDF into Inkscape if you need to actually edit the preexisting text.

You can install it on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

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tinywow pdf editor
What We Like
  • Supports text editing.

  • Automatically removes your uploads after an hour.

  • No user account necessary.

What We Don't Like
  • Text editor isn't as smooth as the competition.

  • You can't modify existing images.

TinyWow is an amazing service with loads of free PDF tools, one of which is this editor.

All the functions you need are available here: Edit text, add text, highlight and blackout items, include shapes and checkmarks, import the date and time, upload images, and add your signature. You can also rotate, delete, and add new pages to your document.

Files can be uploaded from your device or your Google Drive account. All edited documents can be saved back to a .pdf file.

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formswift's pdf editor
What We Like
  • Everything is free.

  • Doesn't leave a watermark.

  • Edit existing text and erase or redact text/images.

  • Can add your own custom text to the PDF.

  • Supports highlighting anything on the page.

What We Don't Like
  • No easy-to-access undo button (but you can delete what you've done).

  • Can upload PDFs only from your computer (not Google Drive, etc.).

FormSwift's Free PDF Editor is a very simple online option that you can start using without even making a user account (although, you'll need one when you save).

It's as simple as uploading your PDF file to the website and using the menus at the top of the page to quickly perform some basic PDF editing functions before downloading it back to your computer.

For example, you can add circles, checkmarks, and "x" icons over any text; easily type, draw, or sign on the file; and insert your own images.

When you're done editing, you can download the file as a PDF file, print it directly to your printer, or save as a .docx document.

The .pdf-to-.docx conversion didn't work for every PDF that we tried, but in those that did convert successfully, the images were formatted nicely and the text was fully editable.

FormSwift's Convert Images to PDF page lets you quickly edit or sign PDFs from your phone by taking a picture of a document. You can then share or download the PDF when you're done. It's not perfect: Most things done through a web app are spotty. It does work, however, with a little patience.

You can upload Word documents and images to FormSwift, too, if you need to edit those instead of a PDF. 

All operating systems can use this since it works online.

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LibreOffice Draw

LibreOffice Draw free PDF editor
What We Like
  • Edits any text on the page.

  • Doesn't leave a watermark.

  • Lots of other editing features.

What We Don't Like
  • Must download the whole suite of programs just to use the PDF editor.

Draw is LibreOffice's flowchart and diagram program, but it also lets you open and edit PDFs. Use the File > Open menu to select the PDF you want to edit, and then zoom up to the text to select and change whatever you want.

One of the neat things about editing PDFs with this program is that it's made for creating and manipulating objects, so you can just as easily edit non-text things, too, like images, headings, colors, etc.

When you're ready to save, don't use the typical save option; go instead to File > Export As to find the PDF option.

It works with Windows, macOS, and Linux.

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simplepdf free online pdf editor
What We Like
  • No user account needed.

  • Ad-free website.

  • Easy-to-use, intuitive controls.

  • Upload a PDF from your computer or online storage account.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't edit existing text.

  • No undo button when deleting pages.

SimplePDF is a website with several PDF editing tools built specifically for editing and filling out PDF forms.

While you can't edit existing text like some of the competition, it does support adding text, as well as checkboxes, signatures, and pictures. This might be enough for you, depending on what you need from a PDF editor.

A few reasons we like this website so much are that it's not cluttered with ads, you can import a PDF from Dropbox or Google Drive, and saving your PDF is fast and easy without a watermark or user account necessary.

If there are multiple PDFs you want to merge into one document, SimplePDF can do that, too. You can also rearrange the pages, rotate them, and delete individual pages.

See the SimplePDF Pricing page if you need more features like unlimited submissions, custom subdomain support, email notifications, and more.

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PDFescape Online PDF Editor

PDFescape online PDF editor
What We Like
  • Works online through your web browser.

  • Includes lots of tools.

  • Lets you add your own text and images.

  • Can delete and add PDF pages.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't edit existing text, unless you pay.

  • Limits the PDF size and page length.

  • Documents stored in your account remain there only for 7 days.

PDFescape has quite a lot of features. It's free as long as the document doesn't exceed 100 pages or 10 MB.

You can't truly change text or edit images for free using this editor, but you can add your own text, images, links, form fields, etc. 

The text tool is very customizable so that you can pick your own size, font type, color, alignment, and apply effects such as bolding, underlining, and italics.

You also can draw on the PDF, add sticky notes, strikethrough text, put white space over anything you want to disappear, and insert lines, checkmarks, arrows, ovals, circles, rectangles, and comments.

PDFescape lets you delete individual pages from the PDF, rotate pages, crop out parts of a page, reorganize the order of the pages, and add more pages from other PDFs.

You can upload your own PDF file, paste the URL to an online PDF, and make your own PDF from scratch. 

When finished editing, you can download the PDF to your computer without ever having to make a user account. You need one only if you want to save your progress online without downloading the PDF.

The online version works in all operating systems. There's also an offline editor that runs on Windows, but it isn't free.

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Smallpdf Online PDF Editor

Smallpdf online PDF editor
What We Like
  • Lets you add more text to the PDF.

  • Can put white space over areas you want to erase.

  • Supports importing shapes.

  • Can load and save PDFs from various sources.

What We Don't Like
  • Text editing costs.

  • Limited to working on one PDF per day.

One of the quickest ways to add images, text, shapes, or your signature to a PDF is with Smallpdf.

This website allows you to upload a PDF, make changes to it, and then save it back to your computer, all without needing to make a user account or pay for any anti-watermarking features.

You can open files from your computer or your Dropbox or Google Drive account.

Importing shapes is possible if you want a rectangle, square, circle, arrow, or line. You can change the object's main color and line color, as well as the thickness of its edge.

Text size can be small, regular, medium, large, or extra large, but you can't change the font type, just the color.

When finished editing the PDF, you can decide where you want it saved; to your device or your Dropbox account. You can also generate a share link that anyone can use to download the PDF. Something else you can do is run the document through Smallpdf's PDF splitter tool if you want to extract the pages.

After editing one document, you'll have to wait several hours to keep using the site, or upgrade/pay.

This site works with all operating systems that support a modern web browser.

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What We Like
  • No uploading; works locally in your browser.

  • Intuitive interface.

  • No ads.

What We Don't Like
  • PDF signing is its only feature.

This website is incredibly simple, which is good or bad, depending on what you're wanting it to do.

We add this PDF editor to our list because it lets you easily sign your name on any PDF. There aren't any extra features that get in the way, it doesn't put a watermark on your document, and it's just overall very easy to use if you just need a quick way to add your signature to a PDF.

If you want to, you can also include your written name and a date.

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Wondershare PDFelement
What We Like
  • Lets you edit the PDF's text directly.

  • Supports adding images, links, and custom watermarks.

  • The background of the PDF pages can be edited.

  • Headers and footers can be included in the PDF.

  • Supports combining several PDFs into one.

  • PDF pages can be cropped.

  • Can insert, extract, delete, and rotate PDF pages.

  • Editing embedded forms is easy.

  • Can password-protect the PDF.

What We Don't Like
  • Free version places a watermark on the PDF.

  • Requires large OCR feature download.

  • Must log in to save the document.

PDFelement is free, but with a major limitation: It places a watermark on every page of the document. That being said, the watermark is behind everything, so you can still see the content, and it's important to realize that it supports some truly great PDF editing features.

This program would be a truly free PDF editor if it weren't for the fact that the free edition will not save without first putting a watermark on every single page of the PDF.

Depending on what you'll use the PDF for, however, the features it supports might be enough for you to consider living with the watermarks.

When you're done editing, you can save back to PDF or any of the several other supported formats, including Word and other MS Office formats. To export or save, you have to have a Wondershare account.

Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS are supported.

Download For:

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PDF BOB online editor
What We Like
  • Super easy to use.

  • No user account required.

  • Supports multiple conversion methods.

  • Use it in several languages.

  • Zero ads and saves without a watermark.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't edit existing text.

  • Few font options.

  • Only one upload source (your computer).

PDF BOB is a free online PDF editor that requires no user account. Just upload your file, make the changes you need to, and then export it to PDF again to finish up.

There are several tools here, like a text option that lets you select a custom color and font type, an image picker, a colored pencil/marker, and a few shape tools.

It uses OCR to identify the text, so things like the strikeout and underline tool look great, and all you have to do is double-click the word you want to apply it to.

You can also use this website to delete pages from the PDF and add new ones to it. When you save, there's even a password option to secure the document.

When you're done editing, export to the PDF format or, if you log in, JPG and PNG. Files can be saved back to your computer or imported directly into Google Drive or Dropbox.

Although PDF BOB doesn't let you edit the PDF text, you can convert the PDF to a Word format to do so in a word processor.

  • How do I edit a PDF on Chromebook?

    To edit a PDF on Chromebook, use a third-party app like Sejda, DocFly, or Soda PDF Online. Most Chromebooks do not come with a PDF editor app by default.

  • How do I edit PDFs on iPhone or iPad?

    To edit PDFs on an iPhone or iPad, go to Files, open a PDF, then swipe from the left edge of the screen to open the thumbnail view. Press and hold a page to open the edit menu.

  • How do I make a PDF file?

    To make a PDF file in Word, go to File > Save as > PDF. On Google Docs, go to File > Download > PDF Document (.pdf). On Mac Pages, go to File > Print > Save as PDF.

  • How do I combine PDF files?

    To combine PDF files, use the Soda PDF Online merge tool. Select Choose File, choose a PDF > Open. Repeat for the second PDF and select Merge.

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