PDFs are peachy because you tin send them to anyone and they’ll meet the right formatting and fonts regardless of the device they’re using. Plus, recipients can’t edit the document, which prevents information technology from beingness modified. All they can exercise – if the PDF includes a class – is fill out the boxes and return it.
Simply what if you need to edit a PDF to right some data, update an old document and so it’south fresh or replace an image? If the document in question was created by you, you may well take the original file from Word, PowerPoint or a number of other apps that can save PDFs.
If you lot can’t discover the original, that’south where PDF editors come up in.
Whether yous need to edit a single document or have a load of them, the editors here volition do what yous need.
It’s worth pointing out the difference between uncomplicated PDF
(such as Adobe Acrobat Reader DC) and dedicated PDF editing software. A reader typically allows you lot to open and read a PDF, but often lets the viewer sign, annotate or add comments. Bones stuff.
In order to brand whatever significant changes, such as editing text, calculation pages or creating a document from scratch, y’all’ll demand a full PDF editor.
Beneath you’ll find our current recommendations, including Adobe’s own (which is expensive) and much more than affordable options.
Annotation: if you’re using a Mac, Apple Preview offers quite a few tools for PDFs, including the ability to sign and annotate, so you may not need to install any extra software at all.
Do I demand to pay for a PDF editor?
What about free PDF editors, we hear you ask. There are plenty of them including lots of online editors.
The reply depends on what y’all need to do with a PDF. It tin exist worth trying a free editor to see if it has the tools and options to make the necessary edits (such as annotation, highlighting, adding text and signing), but they may put limits on the number of pages your document tin can have, the number of PDFs yous tin edit before paying and might put a watermark on each page when you lot save it.
Some online editors include DocFly, FormSwift PDF editor and SwifDoo.
Y’all’ll have the best experience with a paid-for PDF editing app that runs on your laptop or PC, rather than uploading files to a website.
Each of the packages below will allow y’all to create PDFs from other types of files – including Word documents – just they also allow you to create new documents.
Most of them as well provide advanced features including grade creation, digital signature and ID certification, and collaborative review and commenting, that you generally don’t get with free PDF packages.
We’ve included apps with gratis trials hither, but for naught-cost options you can read our roundup of the best free PDF editors which offer basic tools and might do the trick at a pinch.
Best PDF Editors
1. Adobe Acrobat DC
PDF is Adobe’s format
Excellent text editing tools
Converts scanned documents to PDF
No option for lifetime license
Adobe invented the PDF, and and then you lot’d look it to accept the all-time PDF editing software. And, on the whole, it does.
Unlike in years gone by, Adobe now wants y’all to pay a subscription rather than ownership Acrobat outright. The DC stands for Document Deject, and hints at the fact that y’all tin store your PDFs in the cloud and interact on them with others.
There are two versions: Acrobat DC and Acrobat Pro DC. If you don’t demand many editing features, y’all can just use Acrobat DC, which is the standard version. While this works out at $12.99/£13.14 per month, the Pro version is inappreciably whatever more than expensive at $fourteen.99/£xv.17 per month and adds support for mobile devices, Macs as well as offer more advanced editing features.
See Adobe Acrobat DC plans
2. Kofax Power PDF
Excellent editing features
No mobile apps
Collaboration doesn’t support remote working
Previously distributed under the Dash brand, Kofax Power PDF is intuitive and easy to use, particularly if you’re familiar with Microsoft Office. And that ways you will be able to get up and running with it very speedily.
There are once again ii versions: Power PDF Standard and Power PDF Advanced.
Standard has the core features most people need, such as creating PDFs from various formats and combining multiple files into a single PDF. Yous can besides edit text within PDFs, modify images, annotate and more. It will too make scanned documents searchable using OCR.
With Advanced you can redact information, apply Bates numbering to pages, export to diverse cloud storage services and take multiple people working on the same document at the same time, though this only works if they’re on the same local network, which somewhat limits its usefulness.
There are versions for Windows and macOS, simply not for phones or tablets. That may non be an issue for you lot, but it’s worth noting.
Of grade the major difference here is that y’all buy Power PDF outright, and this makes information technology a lot cheaper than Acrobat DC unless you lot merely need to edit PDFs very occasionally, in which example you could start and stop an Acrobat subscription.
Only for small-scale businesses that deal with PDFs regularly, information technology’s a not bad choice.
Get Kofax Power PDF
three. Wondershare PDFelement
Clean, intuitive interface
Good-value perpetual license costs
Broad range of tools
iPhone/iPad version costs extra
PDFelement Pro has evolved over the past couple of years and has a slick interface that’south intuitive and the tools are easy to use. Yous can create a PDF from scratch, simply can also import a Give-and-take, Excel or PowerPoint certificate.
We plant this worked well, except for large Excel sheets since there’s no selection to select only a portion of the sheet you want to import: information technology’s all or zippo.
On unprotected documents you can click the ‘Edit text’ push and exercise exactly that. Unlike some PDF editors, which force you to comprehend existing text (like using Tippex) and and then type over the height, PDFelement allows you lot to select and alter text just as yous tin can in Word and is pretty good at recognising the original font that was used. Plus, you lot can select and movement images around at will, delete elements and import new images.
Every bit you’d expect from a paid-for production, information technology allows you to sign and protect documents as well as create forms.
There’s a free trial which adds a watermark to your documents, and it will just convert 5 pages of a document longer than 10 pages, and then it’s not an culling to paying. Speaking of which, there are diverse options: you can subscribe for half dozen months, a year or buy a perpetual license, which is good value if you know you lot’ll be editing PDFs for more than a year.
Though it’southward far from obvious when y’all visit Wondershare’s website, there are Standard and Pro versions of PDFelement, and many people will find the cheaper Standard version included everything they need.
Here’due south how the two compare, and if you scroll downwards to the bottom of this page you’ll discover the option to buy the Standard version which isn’t obvious if you apply the link beneath for the main ‘buy now’ page.
The Pro version adds features such as Bates numbering and the ability to edit, delete, cut, re-create, paste, and insert new text and images in scanned documents using OCR technology.
Note that the version you buy is specific to Windows or macOS, and it’s just if you purchase the more than expensive Bundle version that y’all get support for iPhone / iPad (the latter of which supports commenting with an Apple Pencil).
Get Wondershare PDFelement
4. Nitro PDF Pro
Lots of features, including automations
Familiar ribbon-style interface
This is a fully featured PDF editor that’s very easy to use and i of the best alternatives to Adobe Acrobat DC. Like its rivals, Nitro Pro allows you to create
and edit PDFs, form, use digital signatures and make comments. Plus, there’southward integrated optical character recognition (OCR) so that scanned paper documents tin can exist turned into truly editable PDFs (and it will automatically align wonky scanned documents).
We like the integration with Microsoft 365, Box, Google Drive, OneDrive for Business and Dropbox which makes it very easy to open up and salvage files straight to those cloud storage services.
When it comes to editing PDFs, Nitro makes it a breeze to alter text, rearrange images, add together forms and more. You tin can change the club of pages in a certificate simply by dragging and dropping. And it’due south too easy to sign a PDF using the QuickSign shortcut.
As you’d expect, you can insert and edit Bates numbering, and add passwords to secure sensitive PDFs.
The only snag is that Nitro Pro is far from the cheapest pick, just you practice get a huge range of features and it’s platonic if you bargain with PDFs all the fourth dimension. Fortunately, Nitro offers a two-week trial that doesn’t crave a credit carte du jour, then you lot tin find out if information technology’southward right for you lot without spending any money.
And, of course, dissimilar Acrobat DC, you lot don’t accept to pay a monthly subscription to proceed using information technology.
Get Nitro Pro
5. Foxit PDF Editor
Comprehensive gear up of tools
Wide platform back up
Subscribe or purchase
Pro version supports Windows only
Previously called PhantomPDF, Foxit PDF Editor, which comes in Standard and Pro versions, provides all the editing features you’d expect from a paid-for application. Unlike most rivals, it’s available on Android, iOS besides as Windows and macOS. Oddly, the Pro version is only available for Windows and, if you adopt, in that location’s a much cheaper deject version if you lot’re happy without a dedicated desktop app.
Those desktop apps can exist bought outright, or you can subscribe for a calendar month or annually.
The user interface is easy to employ (mainly considering it borrows heavily from Microsoft Part) and Foxit provides no shortage of tutorial videos and easy admission to support options to go you upwardly to speed in record fourth dimension.
The Pro version offers boosted features including advanced editing, shared review initiation, college security, boosted file compression and more. Free trials are bachelor for both (with no payment details required) and so you tin meet if, say, the Standard version tin can do everything you need it to earlier you buy.
If you only demand very basic editing options such as annotation, highlighting and signing PDFs, then Foxit also offers Foxit Reader totally costless of accuse.
Get Foxit PDF Editor
Supports Windows, Mac & Linux
Proficient range of tools
No mobile apps or spider web version
Able2Extract Pro may have an odd name, but this is a fully-fledged PDF creator and editor.
It can too take a PDF and convert information technology to various formats including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. When converting to Excel, you can select merely the content you lot want to extract (the name is relevant hither) and come across a preview of what it will look like before actually exporting information technology. One of the latest improvements is the smart layout detector which attempts to retain details such as c
ell borders, fonts, merged cells, groundwork, and border colors.
Editing functions include existence able to highlight and supplant text (fonts cannot always be matched of course), remove pages and annotate and redact text. Y’all can protect a PDF with a password and differing file permissions, also.
One other feature, new for version 16, is the ability to compare two documents to come across if at that place are whatever differences between them. But there are plenty of other tools, including signing and encrypting PDFs, batch conversion and creation and the cosmos and editing of forms.
At $149.95 (approx. £110), Able2Extract isn’t of the packages hither. simply if you only demand admission for a express time the a $34.95 (approx. £26) thirty-solar day license is also worth considering. There are no subscription options (unless y’all count the 30-day version), and no web version.
Get Able2Extract Professional
7. Tracker PDF-XChange Editor
Free version watermarks pages
Only supports Windows
Costing significantly less than virtually all other business-oriented PDF editors, yet providing similar functionality, Tracker PDF-XChange Editor is well worth trying out. You can download the free version without any payment details and information technology’ll continue working equally a free version indefinitely, simply will add watermarks to the pages of saved PDFs and limits you lot to sure features. If you desire to be able to delete, insert and movement pages, for instance, you’ll need to pay. Similarly, if you want to edit headers and footers, add together and edit Bates numbering, those aren’t available for costless.
The interface is similar to Microsoft Office, and information technology’s all intuitive. In add-on to editing text, changing images and other cadre features, PDF-XChange Editor lets you do things such as calculation arrows to highlight things, callouts with text, line and altitude annotations and it volition also open up and catechumen WebP images.
One thing information technology won’t practise is to allow you edit scanned documents. To do that you’ll demand the Pro version of PDF-XChange Editor which comes with an improved OCR plugin and various other add-ons, and costs about twice the price of the standard version.
A unmarried user lifetime license of PDF-XChange Editor will prepare yous back merely $56 (approx. £46), and note that this is for Windows: no other operating systems are supported, but there is an ARM64 version for PCs that don’t employ x386 processors.
Buy Tracker PDF-XChange Editor
Read our full Tracker PDF-XChange Editor review
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