Movavi PDF Editor

  • Creating a PDF document from scratch
  • Applying digital signatures
  • Adding text, images, and other content
  • Converting PDFs to various file formats

By clicking the button, you’re downloading the free version of Movavi PDF Editor.*

Edited by Nataly Bogorad

July 31, 2020

List of Best Free PDF Editors for Windows

We often need to create or edit a PDF file – for instance, you may need to create a new report from scratch, merge scanned documents into a single file, or edit an existing PDF to keep its content up-to-date. If you are new to working with PDFs, it can be difficult to figure out which PDF-editing tool works best for you. We have compiled a list of the top well-known PDF editors, including our highly recommended Movavi PDF Editor.

Top 10 Best PDF-Editing Software Tools for Desktop

Movavi PDF Editor

  • Type: PDF viewer, PDF creator, PDF editor & PDF converter
  • Operating system: Windows, Mac OS X
  • Upgrade price: $29.95 for a full version

The PDF Editor is one of the most effective instruments for working with PDF files. A free trial provides a full version of the latest Movavi PDF Editor release for free for a limited time (7 days).

Pros:

  • Sleek interface
  • Simple, yet powerful
  • Extremely safe

Cons:

  • The free version can only function as a PDF reader

What you can do with Movavi PDF Editor:

  • Open, navigate, and print PDF documents
  • Add and edit text
  • Insert, crop, and resize an image in a PDF doc
  • Sign PDF documents
  • Combine and merge files into a single PDF
  • Split a large PDF into smaller size files
  • Extract images from PDF files to JPG, PNG, BMP
  • Convert JPG, PNG, BMP, and other images to PDF files

You can also take a look at users’ reviews of this program at g2.com by following the link below:

Go to the reviews

Comparison Table of Free PDF Editors

ProgramCompatibilityBest forText and image editingConversion formatsNo file size limitationsSecurity
Windows, Mac OS XBest usabilityAdd, edit, and format text. Insert, crop, and resize images.HTML, TXT, Word, EPUB, JPG, PNG, BMP
Windows, Mac OS XBest variety of online toolsAdd, edit, or move text. Change the font type, size, and style.Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML, PDF/A
Windows, Mac OS X, LinuxBest speedAdd, edit, and whiteout text. Add and resize images.Excel, Word, JPG, TXT, HTML, PPT
Windows, Mac OS X, LinuxBest variety of versionsAdd, cut, and format text. Insert images.Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML, RTF, TXT, image formats
WindowsBest for simple editsAdd images. Add and edit text.DOC, RTF, image formats
Windows, Mac OS X, LinuxBest compatibility with Microsoft OfficeAdd text and comments.TXT
Windows, Mac OS XBest for editing scanned documentsAdd and edit text and its font. Add, rotate, crop, replace, and copy images.Word, Excel, PPT, EPUB, and image formats
WindowsBest for collaborationAdd, delete, and edit text and images.Word, Excel, PowerPoint, JPG, PNG, TIFF, TXT, RTF
WindowsBest subscription priceAdd and edit text and images.Word, JPG, PNG
Windows, Mac OS XBest for safe editingAdd and edit text and images.Word, Excel, HTML, PPT, image formats

Soda PDF

  • Type: PDF viewer, PDF editor & PDF manager
  • Operating system: Windows, Mac OS X
  • Upgrade price: Home ($10) and Premium ($15) monthly subscription plans. You can also buy separate features.

Soda PDF takes a top position in the rating of the best PDF editors. This app brings a welcome surprise for desktop users. Thanks to its set of features and operating speed, Soda PDF outpaces many other software solutions.

Pros:

  • Integrates with cloud storages
  • Powerful PDF editing tools

Cons:

  • OCR may seem a bit spotty

What you can do with Soda PDF:

  • View and add comments to PDF documents
  • Insert and edit images
  • Add text to a PDF document
  • Apply digital signatures and stamps
  • Crop and rotate pages
  • Split and combine PDF files
  • Compress files

You can also take a look at the review of the program at pcmag.com by following the link below:

Go to the review

Sejda PDF

  • Type: PDF viewer, PDF editor & PDF manager
  • Operating system: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Upgrade price: $64 annually for a Desktop+Web license, or $7.50 per month for a Web-only license

Sejda is a PDF management tool designed for speedy work with PDF documents. It is very simple, originally focused on fast e-signing, and it offers only basic text editing for uploaded PDF files. But that’s also why we like it.

Pros:

  • Wide range of editing tools
  • Has both online and desktop version

Cons:

  • Text editing tool may change the font

What you can do with Sejda PDF:

  • Combine and merge PDF files
  • Split one PDF into two or more files
  • Edit text and other content
  • Crop and rotate pages
  • Apply watermarks to PDFs
  • Secure and sign PDF documents
  • White out and highlight content
  • Convert PDFs to Word docs and JPG images

The free version has a few limitations. For example, the page count cannot exceed 200 pages, and the file size of the import cannot exceed 50 МB. Also, the program can perform only 3 tasks per day.

You can also take a look at the review of the program at techradar.com by following the link below:

Go to the review

PDFsam Basic

  • Type: PDF merger, PDF splitter & PDF manager
  • Operating system: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Upgrade price: $49 annually for PDFsam Enhanced

The interface of PDFsam Basic may seem a little too complex. Besides, the free version doesn’t allow its users to edit content or convert from and to PDF for free. Yet, it has a few useful PDF-organizing features available without any fees.

Pros:

  • Basic PDF-organizing tools are free
  • Easy-to-use

Cons:

  • Requires Java

What you can do with PDFsam Basic:

  • Merge PDFs in different modes (combine whole files, alternate odd/even pages)
  • Split PDFs in different modes (split by file size, split by bookmarks, etc.)
  • Rotate pages (if you scan a landscape-oriented spreadsheet in portrait orientation)
  • Extract pages by page numbers
  • Convert from and to PDF ($10)
  • Edit text and other content ($30)

You can also take a look at the review of the program at techradar.com by following the link below:

Go to the review

PDF-XChange Editor

  • Type: PDF viewer, PDF creator, PDF editor & PDF converter
  • Operating system: Windows
  • Upgrade price: $93 one-time payment

PDF-XChange Editor is full-featured PDF-editing software that you can install on Windows. A fair warning though: this program might be a little hard-to-use for beginners because of the huge amount of menus and features.

However, if you have enough time and energy to explore all the features on your own, you'll find that it isn’t as daunting as it might seem first.

Pros:

  • Text editing
  • The free version allows its users to annotate PDF files

Cons:

  • If you use a premium tool in the free version, the program adds a watermark to the edited document
  • The interface may seem unintuitive

What you can do with PDF-XChange Editor:

  • Open and view PDF files
  • Add notes and annotations to a PDF document
  • Split, merge, and reorder PDF files
  • Secure and sign PDF documents (available on a paid basis)
  • Convert PDFs to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (available on a paid basis)
  • Compress files (available on a paid basis)
  • Watermark specific PDF pages (available on a paid basis)

PDF-XChange Editor is a good solution for Windows users who need basic PDF-editing features and are ready to explore these features on their own.

You can also take a look at users’ reviews of this program at capterra.com by following the link below:

Go to the reviews

Foxit Reader

  • Type: PDF reader & PDF converter
  • Operating system: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Upgrade price: free

Foxit is a fast and convenient PDF reader with different view modes. It’s perfect for users that need a simple tool for reading PDFs without additional features. The software is available on all common operating systems.

Pros:

  • Security tools
  • Has plugins for Microsoft Office programs

Cons:

  • Has no OCR or other advanced PDF editing tools

What you can do with Foxit Reader:

  • Read and annotate PDF documents
  • Search for words or phrases in a PDF file
  • Select, resize, and rotate pages in documents

In addition, there is a PDF-to-DOCX conversion option in some tablet versions of Foxit Reader. This option is available within a subscription at a giveaway price of 20 cents per month.

You can also take a look at the review of the program at techradar.com by following the link below:

Go to the review

iSkysoft

  • Type: PDF viewer, PDF creator, PDF editor & PDF converter
  • Operating system: Windows, Mac OS X
  • Upgrade price: $69 yearly

iSkysoft PDF Editor is a full-featured PDF solution that offers everything you need to create, convert, edit, and securely share your PDF files. Available for both Mac OS X and Windows operating systems.

Pros:

  • Has all the necessary PDF-editing tools in one package
  • Simple interface

Cons:

  • Has no mobile app

What you can do with iSkysoft:

  • View and annotate PDF files
  • Edit text and other content
  • Insert, extract, replace, and rotate pages in PDF documents
  • Secure and sign PDF documents
  • Convert PDFs to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Compress PDF files

iSkysoft PDF Editor is good in many ways and would be almost ideal if not for the fact that it has a watermark in its free trial version. The watermark can’t make it difficult to view or print PDF documents, however, it can be a sudden obstacle to editing, saving, and sharing your PDFs.

Nitro Pro

  • Type: PDF reader, PDF editor & PDF converter
  • Operating system: Windows
  • Upgrade price: $159 one-time payment

An alternative program to edit PDF files is the Nitro Pro PDF editor. There is a slight possibility of quality degradation in the exported file, but the program handles all of the operations with PDF documents quickly and efficiently.

Pros:

  • Integrated with Nitro Cloud for easier collaboration
  • Document conversion

Cons:

  • Available only for Windows

What you can do with Nitro Pro:

  • Read and share PDFs
  • Insert and edit images
  • Organize pages in a PDF document
  • Merge and split existing PDF files
  • Digitally sign PDF documents
  • Convert PDFs to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

The software is currently only available for Windows users, so if you are looking for PDF software for Mac OS X, we recommend skipping the program.

You can also take a look at the review of the program at pcworld.com by following the link below:

Go to the review

PDFescape

  • Type: PDF reader, PDF editor & PDF manager
  • Operating system: Windows
  • Upgrade price: $2.99 per month for the Premium version and $5.99 per month for the Ultimate version

PDFescape is another PDF editor for Windows that deserves attention. It lets you view and edit PDF docs quickly and with minimal effort. The only downside is that your PDF files should be less than 10 MB or less than 100 pages.

Pros:

  • All basic editing tools are available online and for free
  • Powerful conversion tool

Cons:

  • There’s a limit on the size of PDF files

What you can do with PDFescape:

  • Open and view PDF files (free)
  • Edit text and other content (available on a paid basis)
  • Merge and split PDF files (free)
  • Change the page order, delete or rotate pages (free)
  • Secure & sign PDF documents (available on a paid basis)
  • Convert PDFs to other file formats (available on a paid basis)

You can also take a look at users’ reviews of this program at g2.com by following the link below:

Go to the reviews

ApowerPDF

  • Type: PDF creator, PDF text editor & PDF converter
  • Operating system: Windows, Mac OS X
  • Upgrade price: $59.95 one-time payment or $39.95 annual subscription

There are two versions of ApowerPDF: a free web app and a premium desktop program. Here, we're using the online editor; if you download the desktop software, you'll only receive a trial of the premium edition.

Pros:

  • Offers encryption and protection options
  • Can convert PDFs to images

Cons:

  • Editing tools are limited

What you can do with ApowerPDF:

  • Create new PDF files
  • Edit text (including formatting)
  • Insert images (JPG, PNG)
  • Add, delete, or move pages in a PDF
  • Digitally sign PDF documents
  • Convert PDFs to image files

You can edit text, insert multiple images, add a signature to PDF documents, convert your PDF to an image file, and vice versa. You can even create a PDF file from scratch. Still, you should remember that the files are processed online and there’s no guarantee your data will be kept secure and confidential.

You can also take a look at users’ reviews of this program at g2.com by following the link below:

Go to the reviews

We have outlined the top 10 PDF editors for desktop users. We hope you find it to be a useful and interesting read.

Frequently Asked Questions

Depending on the number and size of the PDFs you want to edit, try one of these options:

You can use either an online tool or an app.

  • Use our online PDF editor if you need to edit just one file and would rather not install anything.
  • Try a PDF editor app, like Foxit or Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Step 1. Go to the Online PDF Editor Website

Step 2. Upload and Edit Your Files

Choose the tool you need and click Choose Files to add the PDFs. Now it’s time to edit the files.

Step 3. Save and Download the Files

When everything is ready, click the Save and download button and the resulting PDF will be downloaded to your computer.

Different PDF editors have different pros and cons, so it’s hard to point out the best one. You can take a look at the list below to see our recommendations:

There are several good PDF editors for Windows that we recommend. You can see them in the list below:

Usually, free versions of PDF editors offer only basic tools and functions. Here are some of the free PDF editors that you can use for an unlimited amount of time:

Movavi PDF Editor

Everything you need from PDF Software!

  • PDF creation from scratch
  • Different PDF-editing modes (4-in-1 page arrangement, text editing, and object editing)
  • Ready-to-use legal form templates
  • Digital signature solutions
  • One-click file export and print output

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Movavi Screen Recorder does not allow capture of copy-protected video and audio streams.

* The free version of Movavi PDF Editor has the following restrictions: 7-day trial period, watermark on the output PDF. Learn more