The best programs to edit PDF files (Adobe Acrobat alternatives)

Looking for Best Free PDF editor tool to edit a PDF file? Here are the best apps and websites for the job

PDF file stands for Portable Document Format files developed back in 90s by Adobe co-founder Dr. John Warnock in order to digitally capture the high-quality design and layouts of physically printed pages like in magazines and newspapers. PDF files can be changed and altered with the right software, here in this post we have collected The best PDF editors list that allows you to edit text, images and more, add notes, collaborate with clients and colleagues and create and sign online forms.

A PDF editor is a useful tool for editing document texts, adding images, filling out forms, and converting your PDF files to other formats.

Best Free PDF editor for 2023

Nowadays there are a number of free PDF Editing Software tools are available in the market but Adobe Acrobat Pro remains number one on our list. Adobe created and still owns most of the technologies associated with the PDF file format. Adobe Acrobat Pro also allows you to edit and then merge multiple files saved in PDF format into a single document. It also has very intuitive functions for reorganizing the page after changes and allows you to delete large amounts of text and images quickly. It has three major flaws: it is paid, does not allow conversions to ePub files and does not have an OCR system.

While you won’t find any free options with the full feature set of adobe acrobat pro, But there are free PDF editors that may have the tools you need to edit your PDF files. Here are some of the best free editors that I have used and feel its good adobe acrobat alternatives for editing PDF files.

The best free PDF editors are designed to help you view, create, and edit professional PDFs completely free of charge.

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PDF escape

PDF escape, it comes in two flavors, there is a free online editor that can be used with the most popular browsers on any operating system. While their desktop program is only available for windows and includes a trial of their premium edition. Here we are not talking about the trial or paid software, we use focus on their free online pdf editor. Some of The key features include, Being able to create simple PDF forms and serve images from your PC and you can create your own text.

PDFescape online includes the following features

  • Edit PDF Files
  • Annotate PDF Documents
  • Fill Out PDF Forms
  • Create Basic PDF Forms
  • Password Protect PDF Files
  • Share Documents Online
  • View PDF Files

Small PDF

It’s an editor with minimal features to edit a PDF in a very short period of time.
You can use it for free online on any operating system or use their premium desktop version for windows and Mac. There is a free online PDF editor that offers a limited toolset to quickly add text images shapes or draw on any PDF. it does not let you edit existing text or create a new PDF document.

How to edit a PDF file online:
Online pdf editor
  1. Drag and drop your PDF document into the PDF Editor.
  2. Add text, images, shapes or freehand annotations as you wish.
  3. You can also edit the size, font, and color of the added content.
  4. Click ‘Apply’ and save the changes and download your edited PDF.

PDF exchange editor

It’s for those who looking for a way to edit existing text in a PDF Document. While most of the tools are free a small number of advanced tools if used without a license will place a watermark on your document.

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There are other free tools that do not require a license Including splitting PDFs, attaching comments and OCR which will recognize text in a scanned document Even if it’s only a printout and not the original file with PDF exchange editor.
There is no online version, it’s only available for computers running windows OS.

PDF exchange editor

  • First, download and install the app on your system
  • When you first open the PDF exchange editor you’ll notice a ribbon at the top that is similar to Microsoft office products.
  • To change the text in an existing document go to edit on the arrow and make sure that text is selected in the document select the text that you would like to change.

To be sure you are using Free features to avoid watermarks, hover your mouse cursor over any feature to get the details.

Inkscape PDF editor

The popular vector Graphics editor Inkscape is a powerful program that includes many functions for editing PDFs. This free and open-source software is only available for download, there is no online edition. It offers a ton of features including tools to edit images, and edit existing text and you can change the appearance of the graphics within your PDF. The learning curve is high and the number of tools available for many people will be overwhelming. If you’ve used Inkscape before or similar software you should have no trouble. Otherwise, if you’re keen on using this its recommend you check out the numerous tutorial online.

LibreOffice for edit PDF

Libre office

LibreOffice is the free Office program suite, one of the most popular non-paid alternatives to Microsoft Office. In addition to having programs similar to Power Point, Word or Excel, this also offers an option for editing PDF files. Doing so is very simple. Let’s go to the PDF file and right click on it then select the option  Open with then From the scrolling menu we select LibreOffice.

Libreoffice suite include a application called libra office draw that allow us to edit PDFs for free.

At this point, the file will be opened with LibreOffice and every part of the document will be editable and rewritable. But be careful, in complex and large documents the original formatting may be compromised.

Wondershare PDFelement

With Wondershare PDFelement we will go more specifically. It is a program that allows you to create, edit and add notes to the various files saved with the PDF format. It works very well and also has the OCR system, that is, it allows you to convert scanned documents and images into shareable PDF files. You can also convert PDF files to other formats, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, EPUB, HTML, RTF, and different image formats, such as JPG, JPEG, PNG and TIFF.


AbleWord is also an alternative program to Microsoft Word that allows you to write documents and in turn, allows you to edit PDF files. With this program, it will be possible to add, remove and modify text and images, but also check spelling, and even insert tables and frames on various PDFs. To use it just open the PDF file with AbleWord. There is no need for any other operation.

PDF Shaper

PDF Shaper is a very useful program specialized in converting PDF files into RTF documents. It obviously has a whole host of tools that help the user in editing the file. Such as, for example, the rotation and union of several elements, and also the transformation of images into PDFs. It is therefore more suitable for those looking for a functional conversion and modification of a PDF document rather than simply rewriting a few words or inserting small details.

IceCream PDF Split & Merge

IceCream PDF Split & Merge is a program that offers few tools but is very simple to use. Other than splitting, combining and reordering PDF documents, the software offers nothing else. But doing it will be very easy and also very fast. It is recommended for those looking for an easy-to-use solution and doesn’t have to convert and edit a large number of documents. Its main strengths include the ability to split a document into multiple files, and an intuitive combination of pages. It also offers the ability to encrypt documents for greater cyber security. The main flaw is the total or almost total absence of good editing tools for writing.

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