The PDF format is an established standard for forwarding and archiving documents. However, PDF files cannot be edited afterward as easily as Word documents, for example. However, special PDF editors make it possible to change the content and form of PDFs.
- The PDF format is the first choice for forwarding documents across platforms and devices.
- The big advantage of the format is that the documents look the same on all devices without being dependent on installed fonts.
- However, special PDF editors are required to subsequently change the content or form of a PDF file.
- The paid PDF editors offer significantly more functions for editing PDF documents than the free solutions.
- Many of the PDF editors are available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS and are suitable for use at home, in educational institutions, or companies.
PDF files have a big advantage over Word documents and other Office formats: They look the same everywhere because PDF is standardized. This makes PDF documents ideal for distribution: For example, if you send an application, a document, or a Powerpoint presentation as PDF, you can ensure that all users see the same version of the document, without display errors due to missing fonts or different program versions.
This makes PDF very suitable for archiving documents. And unlike JPEG files, PDF files have the option of saving text content, for example when scanning with text recognition (OCR).
Edit PDFs with editors
In addition to many advantages, the PDF format also has a major disadvantage: the files are difficult to edit afterward. So-called PDF editors – programs that can subsequently change the content and form of PDF files – promise a remedy.
Among other things, they allow you to change texts, make images smaller, or simply rearrange the pages. In addition, many of these editors have compression routines to reduce the file size. In short, PDF editors are extremely useful tools for anyone who deals with PDF files frequently.
A comparison of PDF editors
In the following, we present the Best Free PDF online Editors with different functional ranges. Depending on the variant, the tools are suitable for home users, educational institutions, and companies and are in most cases available for the common operating systems (including mobile).
SodaPDF is not only available as an app on computers and mobile devices, but also as a browser version that can be used independently of the end device.
Soda PDF is an alternative to Adobe Acrobat Pro DC: The tool, which is available as a one-time payment, promises to be able to “edit PDF files like a word processing program”. Unlike the Adobe version, which still works with local apps, Soda PDF is available as both a local app and a browser version of Soda PDF Anywhere. This means that the tool can be used on almost any device.
There are two different licenses: The home license * includes all editor functions, the premium version * comes with professional functions such as PDF / A conversion (this is a dedicated PDF archive format), the creation of Forms, the signing of PDFs, and text recognition (OCR) are added.
PDFfiller remains one of the best online solutions to many of your PDF problems. Besides editing your PDF, it also has other interesting features like converting PDF to other documents, electronic signing, protecting PDF files, splitting PDF, merging PDF, and much more. As with other online PDF editors, any editing is only done online. To use PDFfiller, the following steps apply
- Step 1: Go to the website www. Pdffiller.com
- Step 2: To begin, drag and drop your PDF documents onto the box in Notepad or click “Browse for a Document on Your Computer” to upload your PDF files.
- Step 3: Edit your PDF files by adding or removing text, changing fonts, typing anywhere in the document, and signing forms. Save your edited document and print, fax, or download it to your PC.
PDF2Go is a free, online free PDF editing tool that allows you to edit your PDF files without the need for software installation. With PDF2Go you can do a lot like add text, images, and arrows. You can also use the platform to add watermarks to PDF and highlight passages. The following steps apply when using PDF2Go
- Step 1: Go to the website www.pdf2go.com
- Step 2: Drag and drop or upload your PDF files from one of the storage areas on your computer to the box on the website
- Step 3: After uploading your PDF to the website, you can click the appropriate button to reveal the editing tools. Choose the action you want to take4 and edit your PDF documents as needed and download them to your computer.
Smallpdf prides itself on being an online solution to your PDF problems. In addition to editing your PDF file, it also has other interesting functions such as converting PDF to other documents, electronic signature, etc. Small PDF is very easy to use because all editing can be done online. To use SmallPDF, the following steps apply
- Step 1: Go to the website www.smallpdf.com
- Step 2: To convert PDF to other formats, drag and drop your PDF files or upload them to the platform from one of the storage areas on your computer
- Step 3: The file will be converted after it is placed on the area and you can download your converted file right away.
PDF Candy is one of the best online solutions to your PDF problems. Besides editing your PDF, it also has other interesting features like converting PDF to other documents, electronically signing, protecting PDF files, splitting PDF, merging PDF, and many more. To use PDF Candy, do the following
- Step 1: Go to the website www. Pdfcandy.com
- Step 2: Paste the file you want to convert to JPG into the box on the platform. You can upload your PDF files from any location on your computer using drag and drop or the “Add File” button.
- Step 3: choose the quality of the conversion that you want to do. You can choose Low, Medium, or even High. Then click the Convert PDF button so that the conversion takes place. Then download the converted file to your computer.
DocHub is a free online PDF editor software designed to help organizations create, edit, and share PDF documents with clients and team members in real-time. Using DocHub’s eSignature module, employees can add electronic signatures to business documents or request signatures from external stakeholders via email.
Professionals can utilize the page management module to reorder, append, or delete pages, merge PDF, PPT, DOCX, or other documents, and view page thumbnails.
Features of DocHub
- data import/export
- a drag-and-drop interface
- data encryption
- audit trail
- SSL encryption
- document sharing
- reporting, and more.
Administrators can configure the platform in multiple languages and set up user roles and permissions to facilitate secure data access.
DocHub supports integration with various third-party applications such as Gmail, Google Drive, Dropbox, and more via APIs. It also enables users to create and store document templates and PDF forms in a centralized repository, create new fields for checkboxes, signatures, or signatory’s initials, and publish forms on social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.
ILovePDF is a free, free online PDF file editing tool that can help you edit your PDF files online. There is a lot you can do with iLovePDF, such as adding text, images, and arrows. You can also use the platform to add watermarks to PDF and highlight passages. Other functions include splitting, merging, and compressing PDF files and converting PDF files to and from other file formats. When using iLovePDF, the following steps apply
- Step 1: Go to the website
- Step 2: To compress PDF files, click “Select PDF File” on the platform and upload it from your computer storage. You can also select PDF from Google Drive or Dropbox by clicking the icons next to the box.
- Step 3: After uploading your PDF to the PDF editor, your PDF files will be compressed and you can download them to your computer.
PDFzorro is an online service for editing PDF files. Chrome users integrate PDFzorro directly into their browser using an extension.
A number of useful online tools for editing PDF files can be found on the PDFzorro website. PDF files to be edited, but also files in other formats such as text, Excel, and image files, can be easily dragged and dropped from the file explorer into the upload area of the service. Alternatively, when you click the upload button, a dialog opens in which saved files can be selected and uploaded.
In the editor, various PDFs can be merged into a multi-page document, individual pages can be removed from a multi-page document or several pages can be extracted from a multi-page document. With PDFzorro you can fill out forms, add a signature or comments and mark text passages in color.
Another useful feature is the permanent blocking of redacted content. If, for example, a text is covered with a white or black surface, this can be removed again using the PDF editor and the hidden text is visible again.
With the “Permanent block blackened/erased areas” function, PDFzorro offers a secure solution by converting a blackened PDF file into an image and then converting it back into PDF. After this process, blackened areas cannot be restored.
Using the conversion function, PDFzorro converts PDF files into various formats, such as DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, DFX, XML, HTML-5, and PNG, and thus enables direct further processing in Office applications such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
PDF Buddy is one of the easiest online PDF editors out there for you to use. The “whiteout” function allows you to erase the contents of the original file and only remove the unwanted items in your PDF file. This method is known as removing or deleting. All in all, you can easily delete text in a PDF using this tool. Below are the steps to use this tool to delete text in PDF.
- Click “Choose PDF to Edit” to upload the relevant file
- Select the “Whiteout” button
- Drag the cursor onto the text you want to delete
- Once done go to “Save changes” to save the changes
- Download your file by going to “Download”
Sedja is a free online PDF editor that helps you edit and manipulate your PDF files and does not require any software installation. You can do a lot with Sejda, such as adding text, images. You can also use the platform to add watermarks to PDF and highlight PDF passages.
Other functions include splitting, merging, and compressing PDF files and converting PDF files to and from other file formats.
The following steps apply to using Sejda
- Step 1: Go to the website www.sejda.com
- Step 2: Upload your files from your computer or drag and drop them into the box in the PDF editor. You can also choose files from Dropbox and Google Drive
- Step 3: Edit your PDF texts by selecting the text tool on the top toolbar. Click on the text you want to edit and edit it if necessary. Save the changes by clicking the “Save” button and then downloading them to your computer.
Apowersoft Online PDF Editor
The powerful Apowersoft Online PDF Editor runs in every modern browser and offers you many editing tools. You don’t need a plugin download for this, you can start directly by clicking on “Start online”.
The PDF editor will then open in your browser and you can get started. The exported PDFs are not watermarked and are converted.
Small disadvantage: sometimes the text doesn’t flow the way you want it to.
PDF editors: free or paid?
The commercial solutions are superior to the freeware variants: If you want to work seriously and regularly with PDF documents and create, adapt and change them, you can hardly ignore one of the purchase solutions. And here, too, it is worthwhile to fall back on the larger versions to have the complete range of functions at hand.
Free tools are sufficient if you just want to separate individual pages from a document or join several documents together: even the free version of PDFsam does a good job here. Most PDF readers are now able to comment on PDF content so that you don’t have to buy a full-fledged PDF editor for this function alone.
Disadvantages of using the online PDF editors
There is no doubt that online PDF editors have solved many problems for PDF users, especially considering that it is simply free. The benefits are numerous, but how things go means there are limitations on the online PDF editors. Below are the disadvantages
- Not easy to use on PDF with rich media: this is a disadvantage of online tools. It’s not as easy to create or edit PDFs using rich media like videos and surveys. These types of PDFs are easier to create with desktop PDF editors. PDFs with a lot of media content are demanding and online editors will struggle with them, especially since their functions are not really sufficient for the task. While they don’t have any problems with minor tasks like conversions and text editing, they don’t seem to get beyond these simple tasks.
- Editing directly is not possible: Editing texts directly with online editors is not ideal, and that’s simply because it requires a lot of computing power. This is not ideal, especially with today’s browsers. This is a huge disadvantage for online editors and unless something changes soon this problem can persist.
- Data security remains a concern: while online PDF editors do some good job of editing PDF, it’s important not to forget about the security implications of data on a public server. Data security remains a major concern of online editors and that is a major disadvantage, especially for those who want to keep their data confidential.
- Convenience: While online editors may look simple, it’s important to be reminded of how uncomfortable it can be. Online editors must be connected to the internet before they can use the tool. When you lose your internet connection or travel out of town, it becomes a problem and that is a major disadvantage.
- Companies that handle sensitive data such as contracts require the highest level of data security. Online editors are not known to adopt the international standard on data protection for files uploaded through their service.
Conclusion: competition stimulates business
PDF editors only show their full potential as purchase versions. Since there are now many solutions in competition with one another, all editors available on the market now have a similar range of functions, which are implemented more or less easily.
All tools are available as test versions, so users can extensively deal with the programs before making a purchase. Free or open-source programs are only an alternative to a limited extent but should be included in the considerations.