8 Best PDF Editors to Use in 2024

The rise of smartphones, social media, and online communities has seen an explosion in the demand for uploading, sharing, and storing user-generated content. 

With the integration of cloud storage into almost every device or operating system, it’s easier than ever to upload, share, and store your files.

However, not all files are created equal. Documents in PDF format have become one of the most common ways to store and transfer files digitally—which is why so many different software programs have their own built-in PDF reader.

As many as 73 million new PDF files are saved in Google Drive and Mail every day. If you also regularly deal with PDF documents and need the ability to edit them on your device, check out these 8 best PDF editors in 2024:

  1. Smallpdf—best online PDFs combining tool


Smallpdf is one of the most popular online PDF editors. There is a free version and a paid version of the online editor, but the free version includes almost all the basic functions you’d expect in a PDF editor.

The free version provides you access to its 21 tools that let you open and edit PDF files, reorder pages, search for text, and more.

The limitation of processing only up to 2 documents a day in its free version makes it not-for-you if you’re a person who has to edit many PDFs a day.

However, if you only have to edit a PDF or two a day, Smallpdf’s free version is the best bet for you.

Or, if you’re someone that has to deal with a myriad of PDFs a day and are in search of a reliable PDF editor, you must use Smallpdf’s free version for a few days to know if it is what you’re looking for.

What we recommend you to try for once is Smallpdf’s feature that lets you combine your PDFs online. Oftentimes, you’ve to purchase bank-breaking tools to merge, reorder, or trim your PDFs. Fortunately, not anymore. Smallpdf lets you do all of it online, easily, and free-of-cost (as long as you’re only processing upto 2 documents) 

The paid version, on the other hand, has some pro features in addition to all the features included in the free version such as strong compress, converting scanned PDFs to Word, and digital seal protection on signatures.

Plans & pricing 

  • Free: €0/month
  • Pro: €7.5/month (billed annually) or €10/month (billed monthly)
  • Team: €6/month (billed annually) or €8/month (billed monthly)
  • Business: custom pricing
  1. Foxit PDF Editor—best PDF eSigning tool

Foxit PDF Editor

Foxit PDF Editor is a software application designed to help users create, edit, convert, organize, and sign PDF files.

The program is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems.

Users can create PDFs from Microsoft Office, Adobe, and other applications, and edit them in Foxit’s user-friendly interface.

If you want a PDF editor that is easy to use, you can’t go wrong with Foxit PDF Editor. You can create PDFs from almost any type of file, edit them, and organize them.

One of its features we admire the most is eSigning. If you’re someone who has to frequently sign PDFs but is travelling a lot and relies on portable gadgets such as light-weight laptops, Foxit’s eSigning feature helps you sign PDFs on-the-go from your laptop.

To sum up, it’s a great program for anyone who needs to work with PDFs on a regular basis.

Plans & pricing 

  • PDF Editor: $159 one-time or $79/year
  • PDF Editor Pro: $179 one-time or $99/year
  • PDF Editor Pro+: $149/year
  1. Adobe Acrobat—best for heavy document editing

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is one of the most well-known PDF editing tools around. It’s definitely one of the pricier options on this list, but it’s got everything you need for heavy document editing. 

You’ll get support for features like form fields, links, and signatures, while advanced features like redaction and optical character recognition can be used to edit documents with extreme accuracy.

You can easily save a document as a PDF and then add or remove content quickly. It’s also got excellent collaboration tools, so you can easily work on documents with co-workers or clients.

Plans & pricing 

  • Acrobat standard: 15,85€/month
  • Acrobat pro: 24,39€/month
  1. Microsoft Word—free* alternative

Microsoft Word

If you don’t need the advanced features of Adobe’s offering, there is another option.

You can edit any PDF file using Microsoft Word. All you need to do is find and open your PDF file. Then, Microsoft Word will convert your PDF’s content into the format Word can display.

When it is displayed in Microsoft Word, you can edit it and save it as a Word document or a PDF later on. You can change a document’s fonts, layout, and even page size. 

Word does have a few limitations, as you can’t use all of the features of the PDF format. You can’t add things like page numbers, links, or user-defined fields.

Still, it’s a great option for quick, free, and easy editing.

Plans & pricing 

*If you already have MS Office suite, you can edit your PDFs on Microsoft Word for free. Otherwise, you’ll have to purchase it, and the following are its plans and pricing. However, we don’t recommend purchasing MS Office suite for the purpose of editing PDFs as it lacks many functionalities other specifically-designed PDF editors on this list provide.

  • Microsoft 365 business basic: $6/user/month
  • Microsoft 365 business standard: $12.5/user/month
  • Microsoft 365 business premium: $22/user/month
  1. pdfFiller by airSlate—document workflow automation tool

pdfFiller by airSlate

If you find yourself constantly having to create or edit PDF documents, try out a workflow automation tool like pdfFiller. 

You can create templates that can be used to quickly fill out and edit documents. Working on pdfFiller feels like you’re working on a text editor. Add fillable fields such as initial, checkbox, signature, dropdown, and much more.

The program’s built-in software lets you take information from a form, spreadsheet, database, or CRM and turn it into a PDF. You can also use it to turn a PDF into a spreadsheet or database, or even create a new PDF from scratch.

Plans & pricing 

  • Basic: $30/flow creator/month
  • Business cloud: $50/flow creator/month
  1. Wondershare PDFelement—PDF editor with powerful tools

Wondershare PDFelement

Wondershare’s PDFelement software is a more advanced option for editing PDFs.

It comes with all the standard editing features, like the ability to add or remove pages, rearrange pages, and edit the document’s metadata.

You can also use the software to digitally sign PDFs and create document watermarks.

Where PDFelement really stands out is in its features like add remove images, change fonts, and edit the document’s layout. 

The program also supports a number of advanced features, including document OCR and pdf password protection.

Plans & pricing 

  • PDFelement Pro for iOS only for $29.99/year
  • PDFelement Pro for Windows+Mac+iOS for $149.99/year
  1. Nitro PDF Pro—convenient pdf editor

Nitro PDF Pro

Nitro’s PDF Pro is another great option for editing PDF documents.

It comes with a ton of useful features for editing documents. You can choose to add pages, remove pages, rearrange pages, and more.

Nitro’s software also supports digital signatures, so you can sign PDFs electronically. 

The program’s collaboration features are also impressive. It lets you underline text, cross it out, highlight content, and add comments or notes.

Plans & pricing 

  • Nitro PDF Pro for Windows: €179.99/user (one-time license)
  • Nitro PDF Pro for Mac: $129.99/user (one-time license)
  1. Corel PDF Fusion—all-in-one PDF creator toolkit

Corel PDF Fusion

Corel’s PDF Fusion software is a basic PDF editing tool. It’s got all the features you need for basic editing, like the ability to rearrange pages, remove or add pages, or edit the document’s metadata.

Assembling a document is easy with Corel PDF Fusion. You can quickly drag and drop content from multiple sources such as spreadsheets, images, presentations, and more to compile your PDF document. 

The software also lets you track changes, highlight content, add comments, or flag issues with a document, so you can keep track of what’s going on.

Plans & pricing 

  • Software package: $99 (one-time payment)

Wrapping up

PDFs are the most common digital file type used today. They’re used for everything from academic papers to company sales presentations.

If you need to edit or create PDFs, use one of these 8 best PDF editors mentioned above. 

When you’re choosing the best PDF editor for your needs, be sure to consider:

  • The features you want
  • The cost of the software, and
  • What you’re using the editor for

Comment. I would love to read your thoughts.

Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Total Entrepreneurs. A Social Entrepreneur and experienced Disaster Manager. He loves researching and discussing business trends and providing startups with valuable insights into running a profitable business. He created TTE to share ideas and tips to help entrepreneurs run and grow their businesses.

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