5 Best free PDF editors in 2022 5 Best free PDF editors in 2022

There is a wide range of PDF tools on the market. However, it’s not that easy to find an option with a convenient interface and a number of handy features that let you edit, manage, sign, annotate, and save PDF documents - all without requiring you to invest a dime. We've tried a handful of free PDF editors and compared them to find the best options. Check out our list of best software for both editing and managing PDF files on your computer.

PDFelement

Standout features:

  • Great OCR capabilities
  • Password-protects PDFs

PDFElementPDFElement

Reasons to avoid:

  • The free version watermarks output PDFs
  • Saving documents requires logging in

The free version of PDFelement includes quite a vast number of tools and allows you to create, edit, manipulate, and sign PDF documents. However, there’s a major limitation: all your output PDF documents will be watermarked. Moreover, the trial version lacks batch-processing mode and lets you convert only half pages of your PDF. The solution is notable for its intelligent paragraph recognition and an extensive library of ready-to-use templates.

PDFescape

PDFEscapePDFEscape

Standout features:

  • Handy annotation tools
  • Handles hundreds of input file types

Reasons to avoid:

  • Limited number of fonts
  • Lacks OCR capabilities

PDFescape is a quite popular free PDF editor. It provides both online and desktop applications and offers a wide range of features, like creating PDF files from scratch, adding, cropping, rearranging and deleting pages, and inserting text, images, links, forms, and other objects. Among its strong points are excellent annotation tools and password protection capability. The solution is free to use if you work with documents that don't exceed 100 pages or 10 MB. For bigger files, you will require an upgrade that starts at $2.99 per month.

Smallpdf

SmallpdfSmallpdf

Standout features:

  • Encrypts PDFs
  • Supports file conversion

Reasons to avoid:

  • Limited customization options
  • The free version allows only two PDF edits per day

Smallpdf is a free PDF editor that can merge, split, rotate, and convert PDF documents to PPT, JPG, Word, Excel, and other formats. Moreover, you can add signatures to PDFs, insert text, images, and shapes as well as customize the object's main and line colour or the thickness of its edge. The solution has no file-size limitations, nevertheless you are allowed to process only two documents per day.

PDF Candy

PDF Candy

Standout features:

  • Provides advanced tools
  • OCR functionality

Reasons to avoid:

  • Lacks native PDF viewer

PDF Candy

PDF Candy offers quite an extensive range of features for a free PDF editor. It offers scanning and OCR functionality. Moreover, you can convert PDF documents to multiple file formats, protect PDFs, add, crop, extract and rearrange pages, add watermarks, and modify metadata. The only limitation of PDF Candy is that it allows you to perform only one task per hour. The restriction can be removed if you sign up for a paid plan that costs $6 monthly.

PDF-XChange Editor

PDF-XChange EditorPDF-XChange Editor

Standout features:

  • Character recognition option
  • Adds QR codes
  • Annotations

Reasons to avoid:

  • Free version watermarks PDF documents

PDF-XChange Editor comes with a broad array of tools, but not all of them are available in the free version. The main restriction of the PDF editor is that all output files will be saved with a watermark on every page. The number of editing options include conversion of scanned documents to editable text, extraction or removal of certain pages and adding of text, images, blank pages or entire PDF documents.

There are many options available on the market and picking the best free PDF editor is not an easy task. Identify your personal preferences and closely examine what each of the solutions has to offer while paying attention to their limitations before making a decision.

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