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March 23, 2017

Best free PDF editors

CBR lists the best free PDF editors that will enable PDF and other document editing.

By Hannah Williams

Here we have a list of the best free PDF editors compiled by CBR to provide the best PDF editing tools that offer the best service at no charge.

This consists of a selection of PDF editors, some of which can be used across different operating systems and others which are particularly suited for Windows or Mac.

Despite all of the editors being free, all have their significant differences to enable you to select the one which suits you best.


AbleWord is both a word processor and PDF editor, which can read and write PDF files. It is compatible with a wide range of popular document formats such as .DOC and .DOCX, with the feature to open and save as a PDF making it a significantly useful tool to have.

AbleWord can also read and write Rich Text (RTF), Plain Text (TXT) and HTML.

Read more: Adobe tackles ‘document disconnect’ with Document Cloud

This PDF editor enables users to add, remove, modify text and images, check spellings and insert tables and frames which can all be done by just opening the PDF document and leaving AbleWord to do the rest.

It is accessible on all Windows operating systems, and can easily be installed for all users.

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PDF-Xchange Viewer

PDF-Xchange Viewer is a free PDF editor and reader, with features that enable users to both view and edit PDF files from the same platform.

The features make it a lot easier to add all necessary information to PDF documents, such as the addition of stamps, callouts, notes and other additional pieces of information.

PDF-Xchange viewerPDF-Xchange Viewer is also available as a portable app, meaning that these features can also be accessed on the go.

It is a fast and user-friendly programme that allows you to skip pages, view documents in a selection of different layouts and also search and find pages and keywords seamlessly.

When editing, features such as commenting, underlining and stamping can all be done easily with the ability to modify and remove inputs at the click of a button.


PDFSaM Basic

PDFSaM (Spilt and Merge) Basic is a free open source, multi-platform software that offers an editing tool designed to split, merge, extract pages, mix and rotate PDF files.

The merge tool allows users to combine PDF files together, this means that documents can be merged together completely or partially, with the option to organise page selection with comma separated intervals.

PDFSaM BasicThe basic version of PDFSam is a simple desktop utility that offers the most common PDF tasks, accessible from both source and compiled code.

Other features include functionalities which enable it to mix alternate pages taken from different PDF documents in straight or reserve order into a single PDF, visually reorder pages of PDF documents, compose new PDF documents by dragging page from different files and more.

There is also an enhanced version of PDFSam, which provides additional features.



PDFescape is a free web-based PDF editor program, that offers PDF editing, form filling, page arrangement, printing, saving and form publishing.

The first initial release of the program was in February 2007.

The program also provides online storage of PDF documents. It is supported by a wide range of browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome and Opera.

PDFescape can be opened either in the application or imported through the web interface, which can also be modified using a set of tools that are similar to those in PDF apps like Adobe Acrobat.

Its editing features for files and forms enables users to add text and shapes to PDF files, move and delete pages, insert links to other websites and pages, create new form fields and also edit existing content using whiteout tools.



Lastly is DocHub, an online editor that allows users to add text, draw and add signatures to make document templates.

This online PDF editor makes it easier to mark-up documents, type edits and rearrange pages as the built-in tools enable users to customise documents to fit users’ needs.

PDFDocHub’s features include annotation tools, page controls, automatic saving, secure workflow and more.

Although built around PDF’s, DocHub also supports a wide selection of document files including DOC, PPT, XLS, TXT, DOCX, PPTX and many others.

DocHub is also integrated with Google Drive and Dropbox to enable seamless editing, with a provided form-filling functionality.

The program also offers a paid version for an upgraded editor with additional features.

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