7+ Best Free PDF Editors For 2022 [An Honest Review]

Free PDF Editor

In this digital day and age, you will come across more digital documents compared with hard copies. PDFs are often used in professional settings. However, what if you need to change the contents of the document after it’s set in PDF format? This is where having a free PDF editor can save you a lot of trouble.

I’ve been an entrepreneur for more than a decade, and I can’t stress the importance of PDF editors enough. They save you valuable time and allow you to seamlessly update important documents professionally. 

But it’s better when they are free, right? Here’s my list of 7+ PDF editors that you can use to fulfill your PDF editing needs.

Let’s begin.

What Is The Best Free PDF Editor?

Have a quick look at my top 3 picks: Foxit PDF Editor, pdfFiller, and PDFelement.


Foxit (R)

4.9

pdfFiller (G)

4.6

PDFelement (V)

4.2
Best overall. PDF editor with support for different operating systems. Starts at $15/month.Best for flexibility. Interactive PDF editing with custom software support. Starts at $20/month. Feature-rich. Advanced PDF management software with OCR features. Starts at $8.3/month.
Try Foxit PDF Editor Try pdfFillerTry PDFelement

Keep reading for a more detailed review of the 7+ best free PDF editors.

1. Foxit PDF Editor – Top Pick 

Foxit PDF Editor homepage

Best Free PDF Editor For Office & Home [Paid Plan Starting From $15 per month]

In addition to all the editing features you’d expect from a paid application, Foxit PDF Editor also comes in Standard and Pro versions. There are Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS versions of this software, unlike most of its rivals. Surprisingly, the Pro version is only available for Windows, however, if you’re looking for a cloud version, you can also have that at a much lower price. There are two types of prices available for Foxit PDF Editor, direct purchases, and subscriptions

You can access PDF documents with assistive technology for people who have disabilities. The PDF document should be accessible to ensure that it conforms to the Section 508 technology standards – Foxit’s accessibility feature helps in this. Your PDF content should be readable by everyone who receives it and should be easily accessible.

Let’s look at some of the features that make Foxit PDF Editor my top pick.

  • Easy Updates: You can adjust a PDF document’s content, layout, and margins with Foxit PDF Editor. 
  • Sign Documents: With Foxit, users can enter digital signatures, making processes requiring signatures more efficient, such as sharing contracts.
  • Go Paperless: Would you like to convert a hard copy of a document to a digital version? By scanning a document with Foxit, you can convert the image into text with optical character recognition (OCR).
Foxit PDF Editor features

Pros And Cons Of Foxit PDF Editor

ProsCons
Offers a free trial Pro version is available for Windows only
Can delete and add PDF pages
Fast and light tool

Foxit PDF Editor Pricing Plan

Foxit PDF Editor pricing

While a free version is available, Foxit PDF Editor comes with the following pricing:

  • PDF Editor ($15/mo): This version works on Windows, macOS, Cloud, Android, and iOS. Best for normal usage. You can manage, edit, preview, create and protect documents using the PDF Editor product.
  • PDF Editor PRO ($17/mo): Editor PRO product includes everything mentioned in the previous product and provides advanced security, editing, and collaboration. This product is only available for Windows.
  • PDF Editor PRO+ ($150/year): This product works on Windows and Mac operating systems. Includes Foxit E-sign and PDF editor for mobile and cloud.

For basic usage, I recommend using the PDF Editor plan to experience all necessary PDF editing features.


You can choose to redact or remove image files and text permanently. Foxit PDF Editor comes with password protection and Microsoft AIP, which provides maximum security. You can choose when to sign or sanitize documents and also organize access rights given to users.

Burkhard Berger

There are also video tutorials which you can use to get up to speed with all its useful features.

2. pdfFiller – Best Value For Money

pdfFiller homepage

Effective PDF Editor Solution For Documents Online [Paid Plan Starting From $20 per month]

The cloud-native solution that transforms static PDF into an interactive experience. In pdfFiller, documents and PDF forms can be collaborated, stored, searched, e-signed, and audited in one convenient location. In pdfFiller, the tools are arranged very differently from most other online PDF editors, and the focus is clearly on providing the right tools for the right type of users. This means that the company offers a variety of custom solutions for a wide range of industries, including healthcare, finance, legal, etc. Several PDF tools are available on the online platform, and they are essential to businesses in all industries.

Depending on your usage, you can opt for different versions of the software (on different pricing levels). For new users, the basic version is the best way to learn the intricacies of the software. However, if you’re looking for something more technical with in-depth PDF document-related features, you might want to invest in a better pricing plan for pdfFiller. You’ll get a 30-day free trial to test the pdf editor and its functionalities.

Let’s look at some of the features of pdfFiller.

  • Easy Access: pdfFiller is a cloud-based software which means you can access it from anywhere and on any platform or OS. 
  • Works For Everyone: You can send documents electronically and have clients and partners sign confirmations electronically using the e-signature feature. With pdfFiller, you can create a paperless workflow.
  • Useful Integrations: Slack, Microsoft Excel, Xero, Google Docs, DropBox, Salesforce, and more are among the apps that can be integrated with pdfFiller into the enterprise workflow.
pdfFiller features

Pros And Cons Of pdfFiller

ProsCons
Provides API and third-party integrationsSlow online platform performance
Allows team collaboration and streamlines signaturesLimited high-tier features
Has an easy-to-use interface

pdfFiller Pricing Plan

pdfFiller pricing

It comes with the following pricing:

  • Basic ($20/mo): All basic editing features are available in this version. You can convert PDFs into word documents (even powerpoints) along with the ability to erase, re-write and highlight PDFs. Further, you can access the documents from anywhere. Customer support is available. However, it will take a day to connect with the support.
  • Plus ($30/mo): You receive pre-made templates in this package along with the ability to merge, add pages and rearrange pages into PDFs. Customer support will connect within 30 minutes.
  • Premium ($40/mo): This package comes with the ability to e-sign documents and creates workflows. You will receive a 30-day trial which includes pdfFiller as well as SignNow. Work directly in your pdfFiller account and get access to the US Legal Forms Library. Further, you can use templates, collect and export data and receive instant customer support.

If you’re using it for an office with heavy digital document usage, the Premium version might be better for you.

3. PDFelement – Most Features

PDFelement homepage

All in One PDF Editing Solution [Paid Plan Starting from $8.3 per month]

PDFelement secures the 3rd position on my list because of the many features it offers. In addition to offering a wide range of powerful features, this free PDF editor is tailored to meet the needs of users. With PDFelement you’re able to:

  • Add/edit texts
  • Insert drawings
  • Insert Link
  • Add headers and footers
  • Change fonts, add colors, and update styles

Let’s look at some of the features of PDFelement.

  • Powerful Functions: PDFelement enables you to convert, create PDF, annotate PDF, print, organize, compress, share, and protect PDF files. 
  • OCR Function: PDFelement offers OCR, which allows users to edit and search scanned documents. There is also excellent device compatibility, batch processing, affordability, and incredible rendering speeds with PDFelement.
PDFelement features

Pros And Cons Of PDFelement

ProsCons
Free trial available to try out the productFree version places a watermark on documents
Has a user-friendly interfaceTrial version contains limited features
Employs OCR technology

PDFelement Pricing Plan

PDFelement pricing

PDFelement comes with 3 pricing plans:

  • Half Yearly Plan ($8.3/mo): You’ll receive free tech support, 6 months of access to all features along with the ability to remove watermarks, and 1GB of free cloud storage for documents.
  • Pro Plan ($975/year): Yearly access to all features, no watermarks, free tech support, and 1GB of free cloud storage for documents.
  • Perpetual Plan ($129.99): Lifetime access to all features and access to the newest updates free of cost, along with all benefits in the other plans.

If you want a shorter commitment with the PDF editor, a half-yearly plan is a very good deal for you.


Using PDFelement, you can also make changes to the font colors and styles. There is no doubt that PDFelement offers one of the most elegant interfaces on the market today. Aside from an attractive UI, there is no steep learning curve, so users have an easy time learning.

Burkhard Berger

4. Nitro PDF – Powerful PDF Management Tool 

Nitro PDF homepage

The PDF Editor Tool For Quicker Workflows [Paid Plan Starting From $129.99]

Nitro, as a free PDF editor, is an easy-to-use yet effective application. PDF editing tools are available from basic to advanced in the Nitro PDF free version. There are a variety of functionality options here, such as 

  • Editing text
  • Filling out forms
  • Inserting images (jpg or png)
  • Adding hyperlinks
  • Storing and e-signing documents

Dropbox, Google Drive, local computers, and Box files can be imported for editing with this free version.

The Nitro platform streamlines document processes, eliminates unnecessary printing, reduces costs, and fully facilitates remote work for individuals and businesses. Changing text, rearranging images, adding forms, and more are all simplified with Nitro PDF editing. It is easy to arrange pages in a document by dragging and dropping them. In addition, QuickSign makes it easy to sign PDFs.

Let’s look at some of the features of Nitro PDF.

  • Go Paperless: You can manage your PDFs and perform multiple useful functions without printing.
  • Self-Signing: Sign directly in the PDFs to remove the hassle of printing documents.
  • Integration: Nitro PDF comes with MS Word and Cloud storage integration, so you can work directly in your web browser.
Nitro PDF features

Pros And Cons Of Nitro PDF

ProsCons
The basic version provides many useful PDF editing featuresFree trial is available for 14 days only
Nitro PDF runs on the web (you can access it on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc )Unattractive user interface
Free trial includes PDF conversion

Nitro PDF Pricing Plan

Nitro pdf pricing

Nitro PDF (for Windows and Mac) plans include:

  • Nitro PDF Pro ($179.99): This plan is available for one user only and at a one-time payment for 20 licenses. This includes everything for PDF editing except signatures.
  • Nitro Productivity Platform: Comes with Nitro Sign which allows signatures within the documents. Available for Windows and Mac as well. This is a custom plan and you will need to contact sales to get a quote.

Nitro PDF (for Mac only) plan includes:

  • Nitro PDF Pro Essentials ($129.99): This plan is available for Mac only at $129.99 for up to 20 licenses and one-time payment.

Start out with the Nitro PDF Pro plan to get the most out of this PDF editor tool.

5. Smallpdf – Best For Online PDF Editing

Small PDF homepage

One-Stop PDF Tool for Individuals and Teams [Paid Plan Starting From $12 per month]

It’s no surprise that Smallpdf is one of the biggest names in the PDF industry, and it easily makes my list. Smallpdf offers a free online PDF editor, which allows 2 documents per day to be edited for free. However, if you want to use it regularly, you’ll need to purchase the product. You’ll get a free trial to test out the product and see if it’s something that can fulfill your PDF editing needs. 

Smallpdf provides several excellent features for editing PDFs online. The application enables users to edit PDF files quickly and easily. This online tool can also act as a pdf converter as well as help you edit pdf documents without any hassle. It allows you to add pdf text boxes, highlight targeted content and blackout unwanted content in PDFs.  

Here’s a quick features overview:

  • Easy Editing:   PDFs can be rearranged, duplicated, deleted, or expanded as needed. The edited document can be downloaded or printed directly after the changes have been made. 
  • Easy Sharing: The document can also be shared with your friends or clients so that they can edit or complete the target fields.
Small PDF features

Pros And Cons Of Smallpdf

ProsCons
Free web PDF editorFree Plan Limits users to 2 files per day
Includes basic PDF editing toolsLimited fonts available for the free version
More than 24 languages supported

Smallpdf Pricing Plan

Small PDF pricing

Along with the free version, here’s the breakdown of Smallpdf’s paid plans.

  • Pro ($12/user/mo): Pro plan includes 21 PDF tools, access to the website and mobile app, and the ability to edit and unlimited document processing. Further, you’ll be able to use the desktop application along with exceptional customer support and the file storage function.
  • Team ($10/user/mo): Team plan comes with customer support, unlimited document processing, advanced PDF editing features as well as everything included in the Free and Pro plans.
  • Business (custom price): You’ll receive flexible payment options, a custom contract, a dedicated customer success manager, personalized onboarding, and everything included in the Team plan.

If you need a PDF editing tool for yourself, the Pro plan is the best, with unlimited document processing and advanced PDF editing functions.

6. FineReader PDF – Easy-To-Use PDF Editor

FineReader PDF homepage

Excellent For Document Management [Paid Plan Starting From $19.5 per month]

FineReader PDF is a free PDF editor and a PDF reader that runs using AI technology, and it is designed to sync well with the digital workplace by improving efficiency. Using this tool, you can

  • Edit PDFs
  • Share documents
  • Collaborate 
  • Digitize files
  • Protect documents

Security is a big concern when it comes to documents. FineReader PDF is equipped with the latest technology that helps protect the confidentiality of your documents.

Let’s look at some of the features that this software has to offer.

  • PDF Editing: Edit existing text by typing or copy-pasting content (even if it’s in paragraphs).
  • Styling Your Documents: FineReader PDF lets you change styles, colors, fonts, typeface, spacing, and alignments according to your requirements.
FineReader PDF features

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of FineReader PDF.

Pros And Cons Of FineReader PDF

ProsCons
It offers multiple content editing optionsIt doesn’t include full-text indexing
Lets you edit digital and scanned documents
Streamline document conversion with the help of Hot Folder

Let’s move on to FineReader PDF’s pricing.

FineReader PDF Pricing Plan

FineReader PDF pricing

The plans include:

  • Windows Standard Plan ($19.5/mo): This plan is designed for Windows users and comes with a monthly fee of $19.5. Includes all basic and advanced PDF editing functions.
  • Windows Corporate Plan ($24.5/mo): Designed for Windows, it allows offices to use advanced PDF editing features, digitization, and the ability to automate document conversion of up to 5000 documents  Priced by $24.5 per month.
  • FineReader PDF for Mac ($70/year): This plan is specifically designed for Mac users and comes with a one-year license at a $70 yearly subscription. Includes all basic and advanced PDF editing functions.

For Mac users, getting the FineReader PDF for Mac is a pretty affordable choice.

7. PDFLiner – Best For Diversified Customer Needs

PDFLiner homepage

The Best PDF Editor For Legal Documents [Paid Plan Starting From $15 per month]

Aside from a good user interface, PDFLiner provides easy access to support options to get you up and running quickly. With the Pro version, you can also edit files, initiate reviews, increase security, recompute files, and more. Before you buy one, you can try the versions for free (test the functions of the editor). PDFLiner provides password protection for documents so you can have secure pdfs.

Let’s look at some of the features of PDFLiner.

  • PDF Editing: PDF files can be converted into different formats and compressed remotely, and you can use several other editing features.
  • Multiple OS: PDFLiner runs on Windows and macOS.
PDFLiner features

Moving on, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of PDFLiner.

Pros And Cons Of PDFLiner

ProsCons
It comes with many basic editing featuresDoesn’t support Android or iOS devices
Provides cloud-based storage for documents
Edit and share documents online

Let’s move on to PDFLiner’s pricing.

PDFLiner Pricing Plan

PDFLiner pricing
  • Basic ($15/mo): Basic plan allows complete PDF editing, e-sign documents, and highlighting and annotating texts. 
  • Pro ($32/mo): Pro plan provides high-level document security, edit PDFs, and the ability to sign and share documents with other people to sign as well. Total 3 users can use the editor.
  • Premium ($49/mo): The premium plan provides all perks available in previous plans, as well as the ability to allow 4 other users to use the same features.

For all normal PDF functionalities, the Basic version is the best.

8. Power PDF – Best For Businesses

Power PDF homepage

Robust Free PDF Editor Including Office Style Interface [Paid Plan Starting From $129 For Lifetime License]

Using Power PDF, users can interact with PDF files in a powerful, all-in-one way. More than 10 million users trust this software to meet their PDF needs. There are many amazing PDF editing features available in this software, ranging from basic to more advanced ones. 

User navigation is easy thanks to the intuitive and elegant interface of Power PDF. Whether you are an experienced user or a newbie, you will be able to easily navigate and use the tool without any hassle.

Let’s look at some of the features of Power PDF.

  • Multiple Platforms: You can use the software across different platforms for the same experience.
  • Creating Files: You have the option to create or compile a file based on any document type.
Power PDF features

Moving on, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Power PDF.

Pros And Cons Of Power PDF

ProsCons
The interface is easy to useThe premium version is expensive
Many popular file formats are supported
Provides documents security

Let’s move on to Power PDF’s pricing.

Power PDF Pricing Plan

Power PDF pricing
  • Standard For Windows ($129/Lifetime License): You’ll receive all basic PDF editing for Windows.
  • Advanced For Windows ($179/Lifetime License): This plan includes advanced PDF editing for Windows along with the ability to redact text and graphics from the files.
  • Standard For Mac ($129/Lifetime License): You’ll receive all basic PDF editing for Mac.

If you’re in need of high-end PDF editing features for Windows, choose the 2nd plan.

Wrapping Up

Documents can be altered significantly with a PDF editor, including content, layout, and margins. My top 3 picks were Foxit PDF Editor, pdfFiller, and PDFelement. 

Foxit is also suitable for home and office use, whereas pdfFiller provides an overall good experience thanks to its user interface. Finally, if you’re looking for something simple to get started with, PDFelement is the one for you.

Check out my reviews to learn more about different software. I’ll provide you with valuable information about all the software and services that I’ve personally tried and tested.

In This Article

Burkhard Berger

Burkhard Berger

Follow me on my journey from $0 to $100,000 per month. I'm sharing everything I've learned in my income reports here on Novum™ so you can pick up on my mistakes and wins.

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