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Best PDF editor - April 2019 List of 17 products

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PDF-XChange Editor
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

The free version of this program allows you to perform only basic operations on working with PDF documents without editing. The functionality of paid versions allows you to perform most editing operations. You can change the document or its structure, edit media tabs or convert the format. Also available are plug-ins for spell checking, text recognition and translation using third-party services.

 

Key Features: converter, file protection, create and edit, review instruments, pages extracting.

Pros:

  • Spellcheking
  • Translations tools integration
  • Avaliable portable version

Cons:

  • Difficult price list
  • Very limited free version
  • Tangled interface

This is a simple open source Java pdf editor. The basic version allows you to edit the content and structure of pdf documents. Builds of this version are available for Windows, MacOS and Linux. PDFsam Enhanced version provides all the basic tools needed for the pdf editor. Special utilities for securing files and converting their contents are only available in the Pro version.

 

Key Features:  create and edit, pdf converter, forms editor, document security tools, OCR.

Pros:

  • Support Linux, Mac and Windows
  • Free version
  • Support Word extensions

Cons:

  • Full version is costly
  • OCR must be paid separately
  • Difficulty menu
PDFescape
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Subscription
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • SaaS
  • Operating systems

Available in two versions: as an online service and as a desktop application for Windows. The online service allows you to perform basic operations on editing pdf, creating forms and protecting documents. The full version for the desktop also contains additional functions for working with documents. In particular, it is possible to edit the media tabs of files and change their structure. Also are included converter for Word files and additional protection tool.

 

Key Features: pdf converter, document protection instruments, media editor, watermark creator, pdf forms instrument.

Pros:

  • Have online and desktop version
  • Online version is free
  • Good for experienced users

Cons:

  • Desktop version only for Windows
  • All protection options available only on Ultimate version
  • Content editor not available in Premium version
PDF Complete Office Edition
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

The program allows you to conveniently combine work with pdf and documents that were created using third-party packages (such as MS Office). The editor allows you to add new or edit existing content of documents and media tabs. Improved screen creation tool allows you to export them to PDF, JPEG, and BMP formats. The built-in converter also supports Open Office, XML, and popular e-book formats.

 

Key Features: create and edit, snapshot tool, built-in converter, OCR scan, document structure editor.

Pros:

  • Lifetime license
  • Support many formats for export
  • Snapshot tool

Cons:

  • Old design menu
  • Weak descriptions for some instruments
  • Not all document protection instruments

Multifunctional PDF editor for Mac. The functionality of this program includes the main part of operations for working with pdf files. Conveniently planned menu allows you to quickly create a form, define its fields, make it interactive and export to a separate document. The program supports all modern tools for protecting pdf, so you can: set an access password, add watermarks to the document, or protect your privacy with the pdf personalization tool.

 

Key Features: pdf protecting, create and edit, pdf deprivation, support OCR, user permissions editor and others.

Pros:

  • Pdf protecting tool
  • OCR
  • Simple PDF-form creation

Cons:

  • Costly
  • Difficulty for inexperienced users
  • No free version
FormSwift PDF Editor
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Category

  • SaaS
  • Operating systems

Simple and free pdf editor. This is an online service that works in your browser. The main advantage of this editor is that it does not require installation or download to your PC. You can sign the document at any time, edit its contents, send it to print and more. OCR is available for mobile devices. You just need to take a picture of the necessary page and recognize it with the help of a special service on the site.

Key Features: integrated OCR technology. editing documents, working with notes and annotations, printing, sharing options and others.

Pros:

  • Support Word Documents
  • Free
  • Available from any device

Cons:

  • PDF-file limitations
  • Low functional
  • Not support split/merge operations
Adobe Acrobat DC
  • Pricing model

  • Subscription
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is a new version of one of the most famous programs for working with PDF files from Adobe. One of the key innovations of the program is the support of touch screens, now you can edit files with one hand movement. The pro version of the program includes plug-ins for converting files, and an OCR module for text recognition. Integration of other services such as Adobe Document Cloud will expand the capabilities of this program.

 

Key Features: OCR to recognize scans, convert to popular formats, pdf protection,  mobile version, editing notes.

Pros:

  • Support touch screen
  • Document Cloud Integration
  • Converter support MS Office formats

Cons:

  • Costly
  • No lifetime license
  • High integration internet-services
Nitro Pro PDF Editor
  • Pricing model

  • Subscription
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

A smart online PDF document editor that also has a desktop version for installation. This program easily integrates with other solutions from Nitro for the corporate segment. The performance of the OCR is really excellent, the accuracy of the layout and text recognition is excellent. The Nitro desktop app helps you digitally sign a document, send it to other people and track the following actions.

Key Features: create and combine PDFs, review and collaborate, convert or edit text and pages, OCR, sign and protect, CAD.

Pros:

  • Convenient interface
  • 256-bit encryption
  • CAD-compatibility

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable updates system
  • Costly
  • Occasionally, issues with file sizes
Foxit PhantomPDF
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

A professional editor by Foxit, which compatible with ConnectedPDF – a technology for cloud services. In PhantomPDF, you can manage documents,or even add multimedia, which is a rare feature. A decent spell checker is not that common for free PDF editor apps. The program offers drag and drop interface within a document, as well as from one document to another. Also available feature for adding/removing a watermark in docs.

Key Features: control documents access, track the activity, edit documents, protecting document, edit media, merge and split PDFs, convert PDF.

Pros:

  • Edit history tracking
  • High-level security and sharing options
  • Video tutorials

Cons:

  • Limited functional in trial
  • Issues with OCR
  • No conversion to ePub

Create PDFs from a scanner, URL or from the clipboard. The app converts Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other formats to PDF-documents. For group projects was added the review instrument, which allows you to quickly exchange ideas about making changes to the document. The own E-sign technology offers a possibility to send documents to sign, track document status and save it as template.

Key Features: support ePub and .cbr/.cbz (comic book formats), create PDFs from a scanner and URL, edit PDFs, e-Sign, converter and others.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Customizable
  • Powerful reviewing module

Cons:

  • Free version has too few scarce features
  • No drag-and-drop option
  • No conversion to ePub
Able2Extract Professional 14
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Subscription
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

A Swiss Army knife for PDF files. A friendly interface is combined with sophisticated features. Powerful tools implemented for business-style reports and forms. Advanced converting tools can converts documents in both ways (from and to) quickly and precisely, and lets you edit a document in the process. And 256-bit encryption key will help securely protect a document from unauthorized access.

 

Key Features: conversion, automate conversion, signature, create PDF forms, password protection, OCR to recognize scans, create and edit.

Pros:

  • OCR in free version
  • Accurate conversion to MS Office formats
  • Great technical support

Cons:

  • Rare updates, and not many new features
  • Layouts and fonts sometimes get distorted
  • OCR sometimes failed to recognize headers
Smallpdf
  • Pricing model

  • Subscription
  • Category

  • SaaS
  • Operating systems

This is a cloud utility for viewing and editing pdf. Among other online utilities, this one has a multi-format converter that supports direct and reverse conversion for Word, Excel and JPG files. The options for using a digital signature and access password are available to create a secure document. The utility is available in most modern browsers and allows you to quickly make urgent edits to the document.

 

Key Features: creating and editing, converter, collaboration, merge and splitting, structure editor.

Pros:

  • Converter
  • Low cost
  • Online

Cons:

  • Weak OCR
  • No advises
  • Not available media editing
Sejda PDF
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Category

  • SaaS
  • Operating systems

An online service, with basic PDF editing functionality and a desktop app. Sejda is different from Adobe Acrobat and other popular similar PDF editors, because its online version is working without any special soft installed. This quick and easy service is the right answer, if you need to make changes to the pdf document, without using some specific software.

Key Features: split and merge, combine structure, extract and reorder pages, convert and compress, protect.

Pros:

  • Online service
  • User-friendly design and workflow
  • Easy menu

Cons:

  • Low functions
  • An unusual work process
  • Costly
PDFelement
  • Pricing model

  • Subscription
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

A popular PDF editor which can be seen everywhere online – thumbs up for massive marketing campaigns. Its interface is quite intuitive, all the necessary features are easy to access and operate with. The strong side of the program can be observed in a built-in converter. Transfer a PDF file to Word, Excel, PPT, Image, Text, HTML, HWP, and RTF or ePub.

Key Features: create annotations, OCR, digital and handwritten signatures, merge and split, protect documents.

Pros:

  • All features are available in the free version
  • Free version updates are as regular as with a paid one
  • Low price

Cons:

  • Watermark in free version
  • Only five pages of documents to edit in free version
  • Sometimes, issues with page size and text layout in the converted files
Nuance Power PDF
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

This is part of the PDF program package from the American company Nuance. Power PDF has a user-friendly interface that is optimized for the Windows 10 system and supports touch input. You can easily organize collaboration for work on documents thanks to integrated technologies that support server and cloud technologies. A built-in technology DocuSign allows you to easily send documents for signature. 

Key Features: pdf converter, cloud technology integration, included media editor, merge and split PDFs, sign and protect.

Pros:

  • Support collaboration services
  • Trial for different license types
  • Touchscreen support

Cons:

  • Not integrated OCR
  • Costly
  • Difficulty for novices
PDF Studio
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

This program has 2 versions: Standart and Pro. The standard version contains the basic functionality for working with pdf document. In particular, it supports editing the structure and contents of a PDF document, creating tables of contents and notes, and limited work with PDF forms. Upgrading to the Pro version will allow you to unlock all editing tools, functions of the converter and utilities for comparing and optimizing PDF documents.

 

Key Features: interactive form designer, create and edit, watermark instrument, conversion,  secure documents and others.

Pros:

  • Documents compare tool
  • Interactive Form Designer
  • Low size

Cons:

  • No free version
  • Weak advises instrument
  • No free version

By using Webix JS framework you receive an elegant and lightweight code based on object-oriented programming concepts.

Software type

On-Premise SaaS

Operating systems

Category

Website builder software

Pricing model

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More about PDF editors

What is a PDF editor?

These are special programs intended to provide editing options for documents in PDF format. PDF editors allow users to create and edit content, modify media, change structure, etc. Tools for working with .pdf files are very popular for electronic document management, because the pdf-format is more flexible than others.

The .pdf extension initially is a private development by Adobe Systems, which received the status of an international ISO format and became publicly available in 2008. This format allows to work with texts, create interactive survey forms and templates. Documents may contain media, such as images and videos, without having their structure damaged. PDF files are popular in business environment, as managers can encrypt content, assign user roles or prohibit content editing.

Difference between PDF reader, PDF editor and PDF converter

Pdf readers are the small programs that can only display the contents of a file. This is convenient for plain book reading and/or document view. Pdf editors, as a rule, require more free space, as they contain many editing tools - to read, to modify, to ass password, to create new document, etc. Pdf converters allow to convert files of other formats to PDF or vice versa. Programs of this type vary in the functionality: from tools that only convert, to solutions combining the functionality of all three categories.

Online vs Offline. Online applications are easily accessible and support making small changes to documents. Offline PDF software have more extended functionality and even additional plugins. In terms of user demand, PDF editors prove to be the most popular among PDF software, due to the fact that modern editors contain all editing and convert functions. Search volumes indicate that PDF is really a universal format in many areas of electronic document management, although interest in PDF readers is gradually declining, as users prefer to use one app for both reading and editing.

Features

Optical character recognition (OCR) - recognition of text from images, to extract text from scans or images and then be able to to edit it. Note, that the quality of recognition depends directly on original image quality, and whether the source language is available in library of characters.

Split or merge PDF document. Due to standardized structure, a PDF document can be easily divided into several parts. And it also works in the opposite direction - several separate documents can be joined into one.

Labels and signatures. PDF documents allow it via few ways: Notes create annotations to any part of a document, without changing content, and typically utilizing a hierarchical structure; Comments are intended to ad notes/clarifications without changing the main text.

Interactive content. A) Template - create content by positioning elements and defining text fields. A template can be saved in library and used when necessary. B) Form - create a text document with content prohibited from editing by other users. Used typically for questionnaires. C) Interactive form - forms with advanced functionality to create script commands (e.g. save the form while editing online). D) Multimedia inserts - yet not every format works with PDF, for audio - only MP3, MOV, SWF, for video - only H.264 (MPEG-4) standard, for URLs - RTMP, HTTP and HTTPS.

Protection. PDF format offers a variety of security options, which, thanks to the implementation of the ISO standard, are supported by all PDF software. One of the most popular options is password protection - the password will be requested each time the document is opened, and the content will not be available until the correct password is entered. Passwords for documents permissions could also be set.

Permissions. If necessary, users can set permissions to restrict or prohibit the following actions: 1. Printing a document in original/high/low resolution, 2. Editing a document structure, filling in fields, commenting and creating notes, copying content.

FAQ

What is the best PDF editor?

There’s no “one-glove-fits-all solution” answer to this, as it heavily depends on user requirements for software functionality and its use. You can check the list of software above in directory, there are some of the best PDF editors there for sure.

How to create PDF annotation?

Use any pdf-editor, such as Adobe Acrobat Pro, Able2Extract, iSkySoft PDF Editor, for example. Or use free utilities, like PDF Annotator, Adobe Reader, PDF Max or iAnnotate PDF.

How to convert PDF to DOC/DOCX?

If you just need the content as is, use any converter app. If you want to get an editable text document, you’d need the OCR feature. In regards to quality, generally, text documents of high quality (high dpi) will convert in quality too. Examples of programs for conversion and contents recognition (OCR) are ABBYY FineReader, Readiris Pro, Adobe Acrobat DC, or free: Free Online OCR, onlineocr, SimpleOCR, SmallPDF, PDF2DOC, PDF-Word Converter.

How to merge PDF?

Use online utilities such as I love PDF, PDF Merge, docuPub. If you want to be able to edit a document before merging, use PDF editor apps following publisher instructions: Adobe Acrobat, PhantomPDF, Able2Extract, iSkySoft.

How to save Word file as PDF?

Word 2013 and Word 2016 - in Settings, find Export and choose Create PDF/XPS. Word 2007 - in Save menu, choose Save as Create PDF/XPS. Word Online - in Print menu, choose Print to PDF.

How to convert ePub to PDF?

Use any PDF editor or online utility like ebook2pdf, FreePDFConverter, Zamzar.