Best Open Source PDF Editor Software of 2024

March 23, 20231.1K views

Open source PDF editor software enables users to view, read, edit, save, and share PDFs instantly. Open source PDF editors are best known for the encryption and protection of PDFs. They allow users to protect their files with passwords and signatures. Moreover, the software lets users restrict copying and editing of the content.

Why You Need an Open Source PDF Editor

Open source PDF editor softwares helps you with instant viewing, reading, editing, and sharing. They are best when you want to share something with many people and want your content to be safe. Below are some reasons you should download an open source PDF editor:

1. Safety

Open source PDF editors are highly encrypted. They allow you to protect your files with passwords and signatures; moreover, you can restrict readers from editing and copying your content.

2. Easy Editing

With open source PDF editors, you can easily edit your PDFs. Converting your PDFs to supported formats, editing them, and converting again is hard and time taking.

3. Best for Sharing

If you are a creator/writer, open source PDF readers are for you. You create PDFs, write whatever you want to, and share them with whoever you wish to. Open source PDF readers protect your files and restrict readers from copying and editing your file content.

Top Open Source PDF Editors (2023 Updated)

Amongst numerous open source PDF editors, we have researched and found the best ones for you. Below are the top open source PDF editor softwares that are 2023 updated.

1. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Adobe Acrobat is the most used open source PDF editor with a user-friendly interface. The software lets users view, edit, save, and share PDFs. Moreover, its best known for its high encryption. You can add signatures and passwords and protect your PDFs. The software lets you restrict readers from editing or copying your content. The software is available on many websites online. This software has a free and a pro (paid) version. You can easily upgrade from basic to pro and cancel anytime. Adobe Acrobat is compatible with Windows, MacOS, IOS, and Android.

Pros

  • It has excellent protection features.

  • It lets you restrict viewers from editing and copying the content.

  • It lets you edit, add and remove texts and images, add comments, and more on files.

  • It lets you protect your files with your signatures and passwords.

  • You can create, edit, save, and share your files easily.

  • It has a user-friendly interface.

Cons

  • Slow with large and complex PDFs

  • Premium features only on the pro version

Tips for Using

  • Download the software on your device

  • Open or upload a PDF file.

  • Edit, draw, annotate, and do more.

  • Protect your files.

  • Encrypt your files with a signature.

  • Explore the toolbar for more features.

Reviews

A G2 review about the software says, “Adobe Acrobat provides a comprehensive and user-friendly platform for creating, editing, and managing PDF documents, with features such as document conversion, editing, and e-signing, making it an all-in-one solution for professional use.”

2. WPS Office

WPS Office is the best open source PDF editor ever. The software isn’t just software but a min office. WPS Office allows users to view, edit, share, draw, annotate, print, convert, translate, and do more. The software allows users to open Excel spreadsheets, PPT presentations, Word documents, and PDFs in the same window. The software is free to use but has two paid plans. Check out their pricing here. The software is compatible with Windows, MacOS, Linux, IOS, and Android.

Pros

  • Allows you to open, read, edit, and save PDF files.

  • Enables you to draw, annotate, add texts and images, comments, sticky notes, and more.

  • Has a variety of tools

  • Allows you to convert printable documents to PDFs and vice versa

  • Allows you to print PDFs

  • Enables you to work on multiple formats simultaneously.

Tip for Using

  • Download the software

  • Edit texts and images, draw, annotate, and do more

  • Save PDFs on your device

  • Share with a few clicks

  • Protect your files with signature and password

  • Restrict users from copying and editing the files

Reviews

An Appstore review about the software states, “I have been using this wonderful app for quite some time, and the basic free version is sufficient for most of the jobs you need.”

3. Google Doc

Google Docs is a free open source PDF editor. The software has a simple and modern user interface. You can open, read, edit, and convert PDF files. The software is free to use, is available online, and can be downloaded on a device. The software is compatible with every system and is easy to use.

Pros

  • Available and compatible with every operating system and device

  • Straightforward to use

  • Allows users to check spellings

  • It lets users edit PDFs easily

  • The software is free to use

Cons

  • You need a stable internet connection

  • Complex formatting

Tips for Using

  • Open the software

  • Upload or open a PDF

  • The software will convert it to an editable document

  • Edit it and save it as PDF or any other format

  • Explore the toolbar for features

Reviews

A G2 review states, “Google doc is most useful for staying organized with co-workers. I can easily keep co-workers up to date with my progress when we are working on a project together.”


4. PDFedit- Free Open Source PDF Editor

“PDF editor screenshot”

PDFedit is a powerful open source PDF editor that allows users to modify and personalize PDF files according to their needs. With its lightweight installation and multi-platform support, PDFedit offers a range of advanced options for editing and converting files. Additionally, it provides password protection for enhanced security.

Pros

  • Lightweight for Installation: PDFedit is a lightweight application, making it quick and easy to install on your device without consuming excessive resources.

  • Multi-platform Support: Whether you're using Windows, Mac, or Linux, PDFedit ensures compatibility across various operating systems, allowing you to edit PDF files regardless of your platform.

  • Tools for Personalization: PDFedit offers a wide array of tools for personalizing your PDF files. You can easily modify text, images, and other elements within the document, enabling customization to meet your specific requirements.

  • File Conversion: In addition to editing, PDFedit allows you to convert files to different formats, providing flexibility and convenience when working with PDFs.

  • Advanced Options Available: With PDFedit, you gain access to numerous advanced options for editing and manipulating PDF files. These options cater to the needs of advanced users who require more specialized features.

  • Password Protection: PDFedit includes the ability to set passwords for your PDF files, ensuring that sensitive information remains secure and accessible only to authorized individuals.

Cons

  • Technical Difficulties with Some Tools: Although PDFedit offers a wide range of tools, some users have reported technical difficulties with certain features. It is important to explore and test the tools thoroughly to determine their suitability for your specific needs.

  • Still in Beta: PDFedit is currently in the beta stage, meaning it is under development and ongoing improvements are being made. As a result, occasional bugs or issues may arise during usage.

  • Features may not work or show error messages: Due to its beta status, some features within PDFedit may not work as expected or may display error messages. It is advisable to stay updated with the latest version of the software to benefit from bug fixes and improvements.

PDFedit presents an exciting opportunity for users seeking a free open source PDF editor. Its lightweight installation, multi-platform support, personalization options, and advanced features make it a compelling choice for PDF editing tasks. However, it's essential to be aware of potential technical difficulties and the software's beta status. Explore the capabilities of PDFedit and unlock the potential of your PDF files with ease and convenience.

5. PDFsam Basic

“PDFsam Basic screenshot”

PDFsam Basic is a versatile PDF editing tool that allows users to rotate, split, extract, and merge PDF files according to their needs. With its user-friendly interface and support for a wide range of file formats, PDFsam Basic offers convenient features for managing PDF documents.

Pros

  • Free Online PDF Editing: PDFsam Basic provides a free service for online PDF editing, allowing users to perform various actions such as rotating, splitting, extracting, and merging PDF files without the need to install additional software.

  • Support for Multiple File Formats: PDFsam Basic supports hundreds of file formats and provides the ability to create PDF files from different types of documents. This versatility enables users to work with a wide range of file formats and convert them into PDF format if needed.

Cons

  • Ads in the Free Online Version: The free online version of PDFsam Basic displays advertisements. While the service is provided for free, the presence of ads can be a slight inconvenience for some users.

6. LibreOffice Draw PDF editor

“LibreOffice Draw screenshot”

LibreOffice Draw is a powerful and versatile PDF reader that also serves as an effective PDF editor. With its extensive set of features, LibreOffice Draw enables users to easily edit PDF files by adding or deleting pages, modifying text and images, and even converting files. It also provides exporting and importing capabilities, as well as a digital signing feature for added convenience.

Pros

  • Easy Editing of PDF Files: LibreOffice Draw simplifies the process of editing PDF files. Users can make changes to the content by adding or deleting pages, allowing for seamless customization of PDF documents.

  • Editing Text and Images: With LibreOffice Draw, users have the ability to edit text and images within PDF files. This feature allows for precise modifications and updates to be made directly within the document.

  • File Conversion Support: LibreOffice Draw offers file conversion support, allowing users to convert PDF files to different formats and vice versa. This flexibility enhances compatibility and enables easy sharing of documents.

  • Exporting and Importing: Users can conveniently export and import PDF files using LibreOffice Draw. This feature facilitates collaboration and seamless integration with other software applications.

  • Digital Signing Feature: LibreOffice Draw includes a digital signing feature, providing users with the ability to digitally sign their PDF files. This adds an extra layer of security and authenticity to important documents.

Cons

  • Non-User-Friendly Interface: Some users may find that LibreOffice Draw lacks a user-friendly interface, requiring a learning curve to navigate through its features and functionalities.

  • Confusing Menu Options: The menu options in LibreOffice Draw may be confusing for some users, leading to difficulties in finding specific tools or features. Familiarizing oneself with the menu structure may be necessary to make the most of the software.

  • No Cloud Options: Unlike some other PDF editors, LibreOffice Draw does not offer cloud options for easy storage and access of documents. Users need to rely on local storage solutions or other file-sharing methods.

  • No Direct Email to Windows Live Mail: LibreOffice Draw does not provide a direct email option to Windows Live Mail, which may be an inconvenience for users who prefer this email client for sharing PDF files.

LibreOffice Draw offers a robust PDF editing experience with its array of features and capabilities. While it may have a learning curve due to its interface and menu options, its ability to edit text, images, and pages, along with file conversion support and digital signing feature, make it a valuable tool for managing and modifying PDF files.

7. Inkscape Open Source PDF Editor

“Inkscape screenshot”

Inkscape is an open source PDF editor renowned for its strong performance and wide range of features. It offers a friendly user interface and allows for easy editing of graphics within PDF files. Inkscape is entirely free to use and is known for its lightweight nature, ensuring it doesn't take up excessive space during installation.

Pros

  • Exporting to PNG Format: Inkscape enables users to export PDF files to the PNG format, providing flexibility in sharing and utilizing graphics from PDF documents in various contexts.

  • Friendly User Interface: Inkscape boasts a user-friendly interface, making it accessible to both novice and experienced users. The intuitive design allows for seamless navigation and efficient utilization of its features.

  • Free to Use: Inkscape is completely free to use, offering an open source solution for PDF editing needs. This affordability factor makes it an attractive option for individuals and businesses looking for cost-effective software.

  • Lightweight Software: Inkscape is a lightweight software that doesn't consume excessive system resources during installation or usage. This ensures smooth performance even on devices with limited capabilities.

  • Easy Editing of Graphics: Inkscape excels in graphic editing capabilities, allowing users to modify and enhance graphics within PDF files effortlessly. This feature is particularly useful for designers and artists who need precise control over graphical elements.

Cons

  • Similar to Other Options: Inkscape may have some similarities to other PDF editing options available in the market. Users looking for unique or specialized features may find limited differentiation between Inkscape and other software.

  • Lag or Crashes on Some PCs: In certain cases, Inkscape may experience lag or crashes on certain computer systems. This can be attributed to hardware or compatibility issues, and users should ensure their system meets the necessary requirements.

  • Slightly Slow and Unintuitive: Some users may find Inkscape to be slightly slower compared to other PDF editors, and the learning curve for mastering its features may be a bit steep for beginners.

  • Not All Required Tools Available: Inkscape may not have all the specific tools or functionalities required for advanced PDF editing tasks. Users with specialized needs should assess the available features before utilizing the software.

Inkscape stands as a reliable open source PDF editor with its strong performance, user-friendly interface, and versatile graphics editing capabilities. While it shares similarities with other options in the market and may experience occasional performance issues, its affordability, lightweight nature, and exporting options make it a valuable tool for various PDF editing requirements.

Problems Encountered When Using Open-Source Editors

Open-source PDF editors provide valuable alternatives to proprietary software, but they may also come with certain challenges. Here are some common problems users may encounter when using open-source editors:

FAQs on Open Source PDF Editors

Are open source PDF editors free of cost?

Yes. PDF editors are free of charge. However, some softwares have paid versions.

Which is the best open source PDF editor?

WPS Office is the best open source PDF editor in 2023 because it allows users to multi-task, convert, edit, and more.

Learn More about Open Source PDF Editor

Open source PDF editor softwares are a necessity as we all use PDFs today. Whether a teacher, student, or professional, you need a PDF editor. There are several softwares; one best open source PDF editor is WPS Office.

WPS Office is best because it allows users to use multiple document formats in a single window. Moreover, users can edit, add or remove texts and images, draw, annotate, print, translate, and do more. Download yours now here!

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.