A PDF, or a portable document format, is one of the most universally known file types today. PDF documents are used within emails, when sharing contracts, or even with white papers and press releases. Using PDF documents is commonplace for anyone with access to a computer and the internet.
If you are searching for an open source PDF editor that provides total flexibility when loading and editing PDF files, Adobe Acrobat may instantly come to mind. However, if you are in search of an Adobe Acrobat alternative, there are plenty of open-source PDF editors to compare and consider.
Whether you create PDF documents for work or if you are in need of an open-source PDF editor to help with editing a file of your own, the list below includes today's top open-source PDF editing solutions. We have cultivated a list of top PDF editors that are not only easily accessible and readily available, but that also include the most features and functionality of all open-source PDF editors available today.
If you are looking for an open source PDF editor that is not only useful for editing PDFs, but also other forms of graphics and animations, Inkscape delivers. Inkscape is a free open-source vector, PDF, and graphics editor that is available for the Windows operating system.
With Inkscape, not only is it possible to add and remove text from PDF files, but it is also possible to create additional graphical elements within each of your PDF documents. In addition to traditional editing of text, you can also implement various scripting plugins for additional features and functions, based on your PDF-editing needs. If you enjoy creating graphics or working with large files that incorporate graphics and photos, using Inkscape is highly recommended. Although Inkscape was originally designed with the purpose of editing vectors and other graphics in mind, it has since become a well-known tool for editing and updating PDF documents.
Inkscape offers myriad features that make it a top pick for anyone in search of an open-source PDF editor that is free of charge. Some of the most notable features of Inkscape include:
Although Inkscape is free of charge, there are a few cons or drawbacks to keep in mind, such as:
Inkscape is a completely free open-source PDF editor that is an ideal Adobe Acrobat alternative for those interested in editing PDFs as well as vectors and other graphic formats.
LibreOffice is one of the most well-known open source PDF editor solutions available on the market today, for both personal uses as well as for businesses. Using LibreOffice is easy, straightforward, and intuitive -- perfect for individuals who are unfamiliar with editing PDFs or using advanced computer software. With LibreOffice, you can begin editing your PDF files as soon as you download and install the software to your hard drive.
LibreOffice is one of the most well-known and popular PDF editors available to date, and for good reason. Not only is LibreOffice easily accessible and intuitively designed with non-technical individuals in mind, but it is also available on multiple platforms. You can currently download and install LibreOffice on all Windows, macOS, and Linux computers, providing maximum flexibility for any PDF-editing project or job. Additional features of LibreOffice include:
A few of the drawbacks or cons of using LibreOffice include:
One of the biggest appeals of LibreOffice is that is available free of charge. There is no cost to use LibreOffice, even if you choose to do so commercially or for your own business purposes.
If you are looking for a classic PDF editor that does not require the use of the cloud, consider PDFsam Basic. PDFsam Basic is a free and open source PDF editor that is intuitively designed and easy to use. With PDFsam Basic, you can easily get started with your PDF editing, even if you are new or unfamiliar with the process. PDFsam Basic is extremely versatile and is available for Mac, Linux, and Windows computers.
Without using the cloud, you can safely save and backup all of your PDF documents onto your hard drive and in one secure location.
The PDFsam Basic editor is extremely easy to use and visually appealing, making it as simple as possible for those unfamiliar with PDFs and PDF editing to get started. Some of the more notable features of PDFsam Basic include:
When looking for a PDF editor that is right for you, it is important to also compare the cons, or drawbacks of a solution. Some of the cons of using PDFsam Basic include:
PDFsam Basic is completely free of charge for Windows, Mac, as well as Linux platforms.
Apache OpenOffice Draw works on multiple platforms, including Linux, Windows, as well as macOS. Using Apache OpenOffice Draw is similar to using other word processing programs, such as Microsoft Word. If you are familiar with the setup and layout of Microsoft Word, getting acquainted with Apache OpenOffice Draw will likely be a breeze.
Although Apache OpenOffice Draw is primarily referred to as a graphics creator and/or editor, it can also be extremely useful for editing PDF files, especially when you need to do so in a pinch.
Apache OpenOffice Draw provides numerous features that help it to stand out, especially for those who are seeking a graphics editor, in addition to a program that can handle PDF editing features. Some of the features that stand out with Apache OpenOffice Draw include:
With every open source PDF editor, Apache OpenOffice Draw also has a few drawbacks, such as:
Okular is another modern open source PDF editor that is reminiscent of other editors such as Microsoft Word as well as Adobe Acrobat. As an Adobe Acrobat alternative, Okular excels. With Ocular, enjoy a very fleshed-out interface that is perfect for writing books, organizing large projects, and editing multiple PDF files or pages within a PDF document simultaneously.
Currently, Okular is available on Windows, Mac, as well as Linux operating systems.
Some of the more notable features of Okular that stand out are:
Using Okular is great for editing large projects as well as books that are currently saved in PDF format. However, Okular has a few cons and drawbacks, including:
Using Okular is completely free of charge, for both personal as well as commercial use.
If you are looking for a PDF reader in addition to a PDF editor, look no further than PDFedit. PDFedit is a quintessential free and open source PDF editor that is funded by donations only. PDFedit is a cross-platform PDF editor that works on Unix, Windows CE, as well as Windows32/64 operating systems. With PDFedit, simply read, change, and even extract content and specific information you need from a PDF file you open.
Using PDFedit provides an array of features. For those seeking a simplistic PDF editor, consider these features that PDFedit has to offer:
Some of the cons of using PDFedit include:
Fortunately, PDFedit is free of charge, making it one of the ideal solutions for editing PDFs for those who are new to PDF editing.
It is not always easy to find an open source editor that is strictly available for Mac users. However, Skim is the exception. Skim iOS is available exclusively for Mac and iOS users. It is one of the most popular iOS PDF editors available to date. For Mac users, Skim offers all of the features and functions you didn't realize you needed with their own Adobe Acrobat alternative.
Although Skim is only available for Mac users with iOS, it has numerous features that help it to stand out from the competition. Some of the most notable features of Skim include:
As with most open source PDF editors, there are also drawbacks to using Skim, such as:
Skim is free to use for those who are currently using Mac and iOS operating systems.
Selecting an open source PDF editor that is right for you will highly depend on the type of PDF file(s) you will be editing as well as the type of edits you need to complete. With all of the options available, it can feel overwhelming and confusing to choose just one PDF editor for the job. We have highlighted some of our favorite features and functions that stand out to use with the open-source PDF editors we have featured below. We hope that our list assists you through the process of finding a PDF editor that truly meets your projects' needs.
If you are only seeking an open source PDF editor to change text quickly without additional features or functions, consider LibreOffice.
If you want the ability to freely edit all areas and elements of a PDF document, including graphical elements, choose Inkscape for your open source PDF editor.
If you are using Mac or do not have access to a device with the Windows or Linux operating system, turn to Skim.
For a way to password-protect your PDF files and the PDF documents you are working on, consider using PDFedit.
To help with managing and editing larger PDF-based projects, such as books and manuals, Okular is one of the best open source PDF editor solutions.
If you are searching for a PDF editor that also includes a vector and graphic editor, look no further than Apache OpenOffice Draw.
If you are looking for a PDF editor that is optimal for splitting and merging PDF files, PDFsam Basic is one of the best solutions available for Windows, Linux, and Mac devices.
We hope that this list of top 7 open source PDF editors has helped you to become more familiar with your choices and the options available to download today. Whether you are interested in making simple edits to a PDF document or if you use PDF files regularly, we hope this list can help you to find a PDF editing solution that delivers all of the features and functionality that you need.