Tuesday, June 15, 2021

9 Best PDF editors for Windows and macOS

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a very popular and most commonly used file format, developed by Adobe to present documents or files, including text formatting and images, in a way independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems.

PDF is one of the best file formats but when it comes to editing a PDF, people suffer a lot and that’s why in this article I’ll be introducing you to the best tools or software through which you can easily make changes to a PDF file.

There are thousands of PDF editing Softwares available online, some of them are free while others are paid, in this article I’ll be introducing you to the best picks including both the paid ones and the free.

Let’s jump right in…

1. PDFelement


PDFelement is an amazing PDF editor that comes along with a free trial offering basic PDF editing solutions. However, the paid version offers a great value for the money, as it is affordable when compared to other PDF editors.

This incredible tool offers services like annotating, editing, and converting PDFs to other file formats. It’s a good alternative for Adobe Acrobat, which is a widely used standard tool when it comes to pdf editing.

It supports both Windows System and the macOS system, PDFelement is the best PDF reader and editor for Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and it is highly compatible with all macOS from 10.12 to the latest Catalina 10.15.


  • PDFelement is a good replacement of Adobe that provides value for money.
  • You can try 14 days of the free trial before taking the subscription.
  • It has a very user-friendly interface.
  • PDFelement is a secure tool when it comes to data security.
  • The OCR technology allows you to edit/extract the PDF files.


  • The trial version comes with limited features.


As we discussed it comes with a 14 days free trial including some basic features, it comes with two additional pro versions, PDFelement pro, and PDFelement standard.

PDFelement costs $9.99 per month while the PDFelement standard costs $6.99 per month.

2. Nitro Pro


Nitro Pro has the ability to edit, create and merge, review, and collaborate, among others.

Also, it allows you to fill, sign, and secure your PDF files, Nitro Pro supports all windows operating systems and has 3 versions, Basic, Team, and Enterprise.


  • Nitro Pro is a very fast software that comes with a great user interface.
  • It uses OCR technology for editing scanned PDFs.


  • Nitro Pro is slightly expensive as compared to other pdf editors.
  • The trial version comes with limited features.


Nitro Pro comes with 3 versions, Basic, Team, and Enterprise. The basic version costs around $159 per user, and you need to contact sales for the price of the Team and Enterprise version.

3. Smallpdf


Smallpdf is a cloud-based free pdf editor that has a simple user interface that allows you to add text, image, and edit your PDF files. Like any other pdf editing software this tool also offers services like e-signing, add comments, and highlights to information already present in your PDFs.

Smallpdf is such an amazing tool because of the feature that it’s a cloud-based platform, in simple words, you can access it from any device with an active internet connection, simply visit the Smallpdf website and then it’s just a drag and drop process.

The tool is completely free but if you even want to work offline with it, then you will have to pay for the offline version.


  • Smallpdf is free to use tool
  • It’s an online tool so you don’t have to download it on your computer which saves a lot of storage.
  • Because it is a cloud-based platform, you can access it from almost any device.


  • You cannot work offline with this tool.


SmallPdf is free to use.

Small Pdf and other tools for merging PDFs, check out the full article here.

4. PDF-XChange Editor


PDF-XChange Editor is a free PDF editing tool developed by Tracker Software, it has a little more complex interface than that of the other free tools but gives you easy access to tons of helpful features such as a signature option for marking documents and many others.

PDF-XChange Editor also comes with inbuilt Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, which means that if your original PDF document is a photocopy, it will still recognize the text and allow you to edit it.

Also, it has the feature of reformatting text, and even converting it into fonts that aren’t even downloaded on your computer.

PDF-XChange Editor comes with some other handy features such as merging or splitting individual PDF files, the only drawback of this powerful software is that, if you haven’t purchased the Pro version, a small watermark will be automatically added at the bottom of all the PDF files that you export.


  • PDF-XChange Editor is a free tool.
  • It comes with inbuilt Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology.
  • It has the feature of reformatting text, and even convert it into fonts that aren’t even downloaded


  • A small watermark will be automatically added when you use the free version.


PDF-XChange Editor comes with 2 versions which are:

  • PDF-XChange Editor : $43.50
  • PDF-XChange Editor Plus: $54.50

Also, The PDF-XChange Lite virtual printer is included with this product at no additional cost.

5. Sejda PDF Editor

Sejda PDF編輯器

Sejda is a web-based PDF-editor that works on any operating system with a modern web browser. It also comes with a free version, but there’s a limit for the number of tasks you can perform daily and the size of the documents you can access.

Almost all the editors we discussed till now had OCR technology but Sejda does not support OCR, which means you cannot use this tool for editing PDF files created from scanned documents, you can only edit the files that already have selectable text.

You just need to upload the file to the Sejda website and then use the toolbar for whatever editing you want to make. Sejda features tools for editing text, adding links, form fields, and images. Also, you can sign or mark your document through this tool.

This tool breaks every single line of text in the document into a single text entry so that you can edit entire paragraphs of text. You can even add new images to your document, but you cannot edit or remove existing images using this tool.

You are allowed to perform 3 tasks and upload 50MB, or 200 pages of information to the Sejda platform every hour.

Sejda is a good option when you need to make quick changes to an existing PDF document and you don’t have any other tool available, it is compatible with both the Windows and macOS operating systems.


  • Sejda is a web-based tool that makes it very fast to use when you have no other options available.
  • It has a very nice user interface which makes it easy to use.


  • Data security might be an issue while using Sejda.
  • Sejda does not come with OCR technology.


You can even use Sejda for free but as we discussed above there are certain limitations. It comes with 3 paid packs:

  • The web week pass, which costs $5 per year.
  • The web monthly pass, which costs $7.5 per year.
  • The Desktop+ Web annual pass, which costs $63 per year.

6. Acrobat Pro DC

Acrobat Pro DC

You’d expect Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to be the best because it is designed by Adobe, the company that designed the portable document format (PDF).

Acrobat Pro DC offers a complete set of PDF-editing tools, and it even lets you edit scanned documents by using OCR engine which is capable of converting scanned documents to text.

It even allows you to edit images and text in your documents but the document should not be scanned.

The interface might be a problem while using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, editing tools surround your document, and the UI feels disorganized, which makes it hard to use and slows down your working speed.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is designed to work on both macOS and Windows, so the operating system is never an issue while using this amazing software.


  • Acrobat Pro DC is designed by Adobe, the one who created the PDF.
  • It offers a complete set of PDF-editing tools.
  • The OCR technology is capable of converting scanned documents to text.


  • The user interface might be a concern while using this tool.


Acrobat Pro DC costs you $180 per year. 

7. PDF Buddy


You do not need to download and install PDF Buddy on your computer to edit PDFs for free, it is a free PDF editor for Windows that allows you to easily edit PDFs files online.

PDF Buddy is capable of performing all the actions like any other paid PDF editor.


  • PDF Buddy is very easy to use because of the interface they provide.
  • They provide you with clear instructions, and you can quickly complete your tasks.
  • PDF Buddy is a free PDF editor for Windows


  • The features are limited, so there are many things you cannot do with this editor which includes merging PDF files and creating a PDF file.
  • The security and privacy of your data might be a concern with this editor because it’s an online tool.


Pdf Buddy comes with 2 packs which are as follows:

  • Free version: up to 3 PDFs per month and 1 GB storage
  • Pro Version: $7.99 per month with Unlimited PDFs and 25 GB storage

 You can even add more PDFs by paying some extra dollars.

8. Foxit Phantom PDF


Foxit Phantom PDF is another PDF editing tool which uses OCR technology that allows you to work with scanned PDFs, it comes with many other functions, including merging and splitting PDFs, marking and sharing PDF files, creating PDF forms, and converting PDFs to other file formats. You can even add encryption(passwords) to your important documents, redact PDFs, and sign PDFs.


  • You’ll get a trial of 14 days to try it out.
  • It uses OCR that allows you to work with scanned documents.


  • The trial version comes with limited features.
  • You won’t be impressed with the user interface of this software.


It comes in three versions:

  • Standard
  • Business

The standard version is $109 in a one-time payment.

9. PDFSam


If you’re looking for a software that features splitting a PDF into multiple documents, merging several pages together, or changing the orientation of pages then PDFsam is the perfect tool for the job.

It’s a small-sized desktop app that makes it a very lightweight tool that’s well worth keeping installed for just such tasks.

Before you download it I want you to know that PDFSam won’t let you change the actual content of your PDF. You don’t have to worry about any watermarks with the free version, and you don’t have to saddle your documents to an unknown third party.

PDFSam Enhanced is their premium version that comes along with many other pro features, they even offer a trial of PDFsam Enhanced but you can simply ignore it if you’re not interested. 


  • Because of its small size, it’s a very fast and lightweight tool.
  • You don’t have to saddle your documents to an unknown third party.


  • The features are limited with the basic version.


PDFSam comes in 2 versions, PDFSam basic and PDFSam Enhanced. PDFSam has 3 packs which are:

  • Standard: $49 yearly
  • PRO: $59yearly
  • PRO + OCR: $69 yearly


  • PDFelement: Affordable and provides good value for money.
  • Nitro Pro: Works with large files and uses OCR.
  • Small pdf: Free online PDF editor.
  • PDF-XChange: Free versions available with small watermarks.
  • Sejda: Web-based PDF editor at a cheap price.
  • Adobe Acrobat pro: Professional choice at a high price range.
  • PDF Buddy: Free version available with basic features, the pro version is also very cheap
  • Nuance Power PDF: Special voice note recognition technology, but not affordable.
  • Foxit Phantom editor: A decent tool at a fair price range.
  • PDFSam: Fast and lightweight tool that offers high security.

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