The Best Online PDF Editors

The PDF format for documents is in high demand among users, thanks to its portability, straightforwardness, and compatibility. Today, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an area where people do not utilize this particular format. Whether it is in a law firm, supermarket, or educational institution, it’s convenient to work with universal PDF files. When the first PDF editing software appeared on the market, everything became infinitely more simple; editing was no longer a problem.

Since its inception as an online PDF editor, it has become one of many. There is currently such a wide variety of brands. Users should have a decent idea of what the perfect online PDF editor is for them before using or purchasing software. Below, we outline some of the characteristics that the an online PDF editor possesses.

Start with customer ratings and reviews

The search for the best PDF file editor will begin with a single goal; you need a tool that can completely fulfill your specific needs. In other words, if you work with a group of people who communicate and collaborate nearly every day, you’ll like having an online instrument that provides annotation and commenting within the text. If you make deals with partners overseas, electronic signatures will be lifesavers.

You are likely to find several PDF editors that combine essential features; however, you only need to choose one program. Client reviews prove invaluable in making a decision. The search will be time-consuming; you will come across many articles, comments, or blog posts, but it is vital for you to have the full picture.

Peer-reviews are helpful because they are written by average users who write about their experience. See what a person says about fillable PDFs, the features, and what disappoints the reviewer the most. If other customers mention the same issue, steer clear of that program. 

Easy to navigate and learn

A PDF editor does not need to be sophisticated and complicated to be the best on the market. It should have a straightforward design and toolbar that attracts average users and business people alike. It is better if you focus on a program that is easy to grasp so that employees can master it quickly.

Create fillable PDFs and modify them effortlessly

A software for PDF edits should come with essential editing features to complete diverse tasks. Consider what you will need right away, as well as the features that may come in handy with time. Pay attention to the following in software:

  • Add photos, images, videos
  • Add text to PDF
  • Rotate, delete, paste pages
  • Add stamps, signatures, watermarks
  • Make PDF editable; font, letter size, color of sentences or highlighted parts, etc.
  • Most users prefer to connect their editing tool to Google Docs and modify PDF online using a PC, smartphone, or laptop.

OCR capacities 

The entire world is desperately trying to go green in record time. When you choose an online editing tool, you make two good decisions simultaneously. First, it is a great instrument to convert PDF to editable Word documents and edit PDF files online. Second, a PDF editor replaces all paper agreements, contracts, and thousands of copies. As a result, your office consumes less paper.

A reliable PDF editing application should connect to a scanner. This option allows users to digitize paper files. Consider programs that possess built-in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capabilities. This feature is crucial to converting printed versions to digital form, as it allows you to ‘extract’ text from images. Advanced editors can identify words from photographs and pictures.

Coordinate through distance and time

Those who have not yet tried collaborative tools are missing out on valuable opportunities. The best PDF editor makes it easy to collaborate in real time from anywhere in the world. In addition to the previously mentioned editing features, the software provides users with annotation tools. You can leave messages, comments, notes, or remarks on details directly in the text. 

As for your colleagues, they will see your comments and from the other members who have access to the document. You can have a conversation discussing these comments in real time. It is very convenient, meaning you no longer have to spend time on endless phone calls or emails. 

Security features

Security is imperative for people who deal with important files, sensitive databases, etc. The matter of security is crucial for everyone who understands the importance of confidentiality while working with documents. Some will be pleasantly surprised to learn that ordinary PDF editors allow you to set passwords to protect essential files from unwanted access. 

Support and Customer Service

Some people underestimate support team services. Nevertheless, it is vital that you take into account which platform has the best customer support. When you purchase a particular software for the entire company, think of how many issues and questions will inevitably be raised. In the beginning when people start exploring the program, they will face a number of challenges. You may want to find out if it is possible to personalize the tool to your company’s needs.

Instead of the bottom line, let us look at some features that the PDF editor should possess:

  • The cost should correspond to the set of the offered features
  • Top-notch compatibility: choose a cross-platform tool
  • High scores from professional reviewers
  • Convenient toolbox to edit PDF online free with ease; easy navigation
  • High-level security
  • Built-in OCR option

Consider this list a starting point to help you make the right choice.

Best PDF Editors [Online and Offline]

The best PDF editors available today are completely free to use. You will be able to use them to edit your PDF files smoothly, without paying any subscription fees. In this article, I have listed my choices of the best online PDF editors in 2021.

What are PDF editors?

PDF is a very commonly used format today, for both academic and recreational purposes. One of their greatest virtues is that their content always remains the same, regardless of the device you view them on and the software you use to open them. This feature makes them an excellent option for sensitive documents which can suffer from the slightest change in formatting or style.

Unfortunately, this also makes editing PDF files a rather tricky business. For that purpose, there exist quite a few free PDF editing software for your aid. With the help of such software, you can modify text and images in PDF files without having to convert them to another format. Also, you will not be required to purchase costly dedicated software.

There is a catch, however – the original creator of the PDF format, Adobe, still has the rights to certain technologies related to it. It charges other software companies a fee for using the PDF format. This explains why programs are generally able to export documents in PDF format, but cannot edit them. As a result, there aren’t many free PDF editors available out there.

You can see why it can be difficult to ascertain what PDF editors you should work with. Thus, I’ve put together the following comprehensive list of the best online PDF editors in 2021. I hope it will help you choose the right software for your use.

1. PDFSam Basic

When you are working with scanned paper documents, your requirements tend to be rather limited. For example, you might just need to separate the pages of a PDF document into multiple documents, or vice versa. At other times, you have to alter the orientation of a document’s pages. In this case, PDFSam Basic is an excellent lightweight desktop app that will serve you very well.

Although you cannot change the actual contents of the document with its help, it can combine and divide them efficiently. It has no intrusive watermarks, and does not give any third party access to your documents either.

2. Sejda

PDF files are often used to store sensitive financial and professional data. Sejda, known for deleting all uploaded files from its servers after five hours, is an ideal PDF editor for working with such documents. It also has a user-friendly interface with just one menu bar. As a result, you will have no trouble finding editing options for adding images, signatures, links, and text to your PDF documents. After editing a document, you can save it in your local hard drive, Google Drive account, or Dropbox account. It is important to mention that Sejda does have some restrictions – you can only carry out a total of three tasks and upload 200 pages or 50 MB of data to the Sejda platform per hour. For casual users, though, this should not be too much of an issue.

3. PDFescape

For editing smaller PDF documents, PDFescape is a great option. It allows you to edit files both online and via its desktop application. The latter, that has more features, is not free to use. However, you needn’t worry because the online version has more than enough PDF editing options to help you out.

For example, it allows you to add clickable URL links to your documents and prepare freehand notes. It also lets you add, annotate, and rotate pages smoothly. Unfortunately, it only allows you to upload documents smaller than 10 MB. That should not be much of an issue, unless you are working with a book-sized document.

4. PDF-XChange Editor

Developed by Tracker Software, the PDF-XChange Editor is an excellent free tool for editing PDF documents. Although it has a somewhat complicated user interface, it also offers plenty of useful features. For example, there is a stamp option for marking documents as “Approved” or “Expired”. However, its most notable element is its built-in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) feature. This allows PDF-XChange to recognize and allow you to edit text even if the original document is a photocopied one.

PDF-XChange lets you reformat text and even convert it to fonts not installed on your computer. It can also split or merge individual PDF files. Unfortunately, the free version adds a small watermark at the bottom of PDF documents that you export. If you don’t mind that, then this is a great option for you.

5. Smallpdf

Smallpdf is a helpful cloud-based free online PDF editor. It has an Edit PDF tool with a user-friendly interface that can add images and text to PDF documents. It also has an e-signing feature and allows you to add comments and highlights to content in PDF documents. Apart from the editor tool, it also lets you convert PDF files to other formats, such as PowerPoint and Word files. You can also merge multiple PDF documents into one larger file, thus conserving space.

Most importantly, Smallpdf is a cloud-based editor. Thus, you will be able to access it from any supported device by visiting its official website. Over there, all you need to do is drag-and-drop a PDF file into your browser to get started. You needn’t pay attention to the “free trial” prompts over there, either. That is only required to install Smallpdf’s desktop version for offline use. Its online version is completely free to use.

Which of these PDF editors is the best?

Each of the PDF editors in the above list has a number of unique pros and cons. You should choose one of them depending on the way you want to edit your PDF files. For example, if you just want to add some more information to a document, you can select a basic editor with text insertion features. However, to make bigger changes, you will have to choose a more powerful PDF editor that can modify the file’s pre-existing content.

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