Editor software

9 best free PDF editing software in 2021

PDF files are one of the best ways to exchange documents online. PDFs are popular for various reasons. They are easy to create, easy to encrypt, and can be kept safe when traded over the internet. They are also highly compatible with Internet browsers. Creating PDF files can be difficult, however, reading a PDF file can be relatively easy.

Unlike Word documents, not everyone can edit PDF files, which is why they are so popular when you need to share important confidential information with people on the internet. Credit card statements, government documents, and invoices are usually sent via a PDF file. As it has been used for years, PDFs are used for just about everything.

You don’t need unique hardware or software to read PDFs, but unauthorized people cannot edit the data in a PDF. However, this encryption is a two-way street. Editing a PDF is not as easy as opening and reading it. You need specialized tools to manipulate a PDF according to your needs.

Even minor edits require the use of third-party software to edit PDF files. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the 9 best free PDF editing software that you can use for free for simple editing needs. This software can help you edit small parts of your PDF easily. All of the software mentioned in the list below is either completely free or offers basic functionality for free. Let’s go straight to this list:

  1. Apple preview
  2. PDF Xchange
  3. Publisher Small
  4. PDF Adobe Online PDF Editor
  5. Appy Pie PDF Editor
  6. Candy PDF
  7. PDFescape
  8. Sejda
  9. PDFSam Basic

Warning: I am currently employed by Appy Pie as a research manager and therefore have a vested interest in the Appy Pie products mentioned in the article. However, this article reflects my unbiased and genuine opinions on every product mentioned in the article.

1. Apple preview

Apple Preview is default software included with every MacOS device. It is perfect for users who already own an Apple device. The preview is good enough for basic editing and provides a set of advanced tools that should satisfy most use cases.

If you already own an Apple device, you don’t need to go overboard to find PDF editing software. Simply launch your app and start your editing. The only fatal flaw in Apple Preview is the lack of support for third-party operating systems. This will only work on macOS devices.

2. PDF Xchange Editor


PDF XChange Editor is free downloadable pdf editing software. This software can also be used online as it offers an online version only. There is a premium version license that you can purchase.

The Xchange PDF Editor offers most of the PDF editing features you might need, and more. The upside, however, is OCR or optical character recognition. This allows the software to recognize the text of images, which makes it much easier to copy and reformat the text of scanned documents.

One of the shortcomings of PDF Xchange is that using its premium features will leave a watermark on your finished document if you haven’t purchased the premium license. However, given the capabilities of this editor, it may be fine for you.

3. Small PDF


Small PDF is an online PDF editor perfect for editing PDFs on the go. Completely online software, the free version of Small PDF is good enough for most people who need to edit their PDFs.

One of the great features of Small PDF is the ability to electronically sign PDF documents online. The platform also allows you to convert your Word documents to PDF and vice versa. There are other compelling tools on the platform that make it easy to recommend.

The only downside of Small PDF is the excruciating limitation of only being able to edit two documents per day. However, it is perfect for the average individual who needs to edit PDF documents in a pinch.

4. Adobe online PDF editor


Adobe offers a basic PDF editor online, which is again great for edits and suggestions on the go. Since Adobe invented PDF format, you can trust this software.

Adobe’s online PDF editor is perfect for confidential documents and professionals who use Adobe Acrobat every day. They can leave comments and edits on PDF files in the blink of an eye and confirm them when they are on their work computer.

It might not allow direct editing, but it is at the top of this list because it is suitable for professionals who work with PDF files on a daily basis.

5. Appy Pie PDF Editor


Probably the simplest editor on the list, Appy Pie PDF Editor is completely free. With its intuitive interface, editing your PDF files is a snap. Along with electronic signatures and OCR, it provides all the functionality you might need from your PDF editor.

The platform does not have watermark on the PDF files you export and also does not store user data, which means you can edit confidential PDF documents without worrying.

6. PDF candies


Cute name aside, PDF Candy is a compelling pdf editing option. Candy’s feature set tends to be a bit limited compared to the other tools on this list, however, this is a compelling editing option for most people.

The best part is that you can edit large pdf files in one go and then download them directly. You can even create and convert PDF files. PDF Candy is popular for its OCR capabilities and can read the worst of handwriting too! However, its technical editing features are very limited.

7. PDFescape


PDFescape is paid software. However, its online version is free. It provides a good set of tools which can help you easily edit all your PDF documents. Despite its excellent feature set, PDFescape has one major flaw – a maximum size of 10MB.

8. Sejda


One of the simpler tools, Sejda is another free editor focused on privacy and security. It deletes all data once you are done editing your PDF files. Sejda has a simple interface well suited for people new to PDF editing, however, its free version has limited functionality. Still good for normal editions.

9.PDFSam Basic


Simple editing tool, PDFSam is a simple and ad-free pdf editor. Another online tool that doesn’t keep your data, PDFSam Basic might be all you need. If all you need to do is merge files or organize your PDFs, look no further than PDFSam Basic.


This was our list of the best free PDF editing software for 2021. Most of these tools are more than enough for everyday editing. Start editing your pdf for free today! However, if you need to edit PDFs every day, it is still recommended to purchase a complete PDF editing solution such as Adobe Acrobat.

Warning*: I am currently employed by Appy Pie as a research manager and therefore have a vested interest in the Appy Pie products mentioned in the article. However, this article reflects my unbiased and genuine opinions on every product mentioned in the article.