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10 Best Open Source PDF Editor for Windows, Mac, Linux

    PDF has become a very important part of everybody’s life, from documents for office work to students notes, it is used almost everywhere. PDF stands for Portable Document Format.  The pdf format is a great way to read ebooks, protect important documents and files. Initially, it was created so that users are not given the authority to edit the document but can only read them. PDF’s are pretty important in some companies. For sending and receiving important documents,  PDF is more secure and looks professional than other documents. PDF is more of images of the documents and less of editable text files. Only the creator can edit the PDF, or someone who has the password for the pdf is allowed to edit the PDF.


    Why are PDF editors really required?

    For years whenever we hear the word PDF, only Adobe Acrobat used to come to our mind. The free version of Adobe Acrobat can be used for only reading a document; it does not allow any editing or modification whereas the paid version allows the user to create a pdf and edit it. PDF was propriety of Adobe till 2008, after that it was released as an open standard for all. It is not easy to find a free PDF editor that lets you not only edit the text and add images but also create an entire new PDF document. There are some best open source pdf editors, which does the job easily.

    Usually, you only need to create a pdf not on a regular basis and hence you don’t feel like investing in buying PDF software. That’s where free pdf editor comes in. Free pdf editors are usually delicate which can be used on your web browser without downloading anything. These free pdf editors are developed through open source license. Some people believe that open source tools for creating PDF are not great, but that is not true, they perform as good as premium versions.

    There is much software available to get the best free pdf editor, and all the software have their own advantages and disadvantages. But you can always use multiple open source pdf editor and do tasks which software is good at on that software, and something which it lacks on another software. Let us see the best open source pdf editor which you can use for your work.

    Here is the best list of Open Source PDF Editor for Windows and Mac so you can try one for yourself for free, forever.

    1. PDFsam

    PDFsam open source pdf editor software

    PDFsam is An open source pdf editor with a suite of two free PDF tools. PDFsam visual is a tool that allows you to visualize the document in the form of pages. PDFsam allows you to rotate, edit, move, cut and delete pages.  PDFsam also has features like merging pages, extracting pages and mixing your pdf files. PDFsam is a professional and customizable solution which also allows you to sign and secure your pdf’s. It is free to view and create PDF’s from 300+ file formats. PDFsam allows you to organize your pages,  change the order, save single or multiple pages. PDFsam requires Java to run. It can be a bit confusing at the start.

    Platforms: Windows, MAC

    2. LibreOffice

    libre office pdf editor

    One of the most powerful and free office suite, LibreOffice is a complete office suite that consists of all type of document reading, editing, and creating tools. LibreOffice is free, simple and its community is great. LibreOffice allows you to edit PDF files easily.  LibreOffice allows you to import, export, add or remove pages, texts, and pictures and also gives you the option to digitally sign the document. LibreOffice has all the features that you expect from a best open source editor. LibreOffice has one tool which is known as Draw that basically is a diagram creator but also a strong ability to create and edit PDF files. LibreOffice is compatible with a wide range of documents formats such as  Microsoft word, excel, powerpoint. It also supports a modern and open standard k the Open Document Format. LibreOffice is easily one of the best free pdf editor for windows 10.

    Platforms: Windows, MAC, Linux

    3. Apache OpenOffice

    Apache OpenOffice

    Apache OpenOffice Draw is actually a drawing and graphics tool but can also be used for editing pdf files.  Apache OpenOffice allows you to sketch complex plans, add, edit, delete and rotate images and vector graphics. It also gives you the option to add styles and formatting the files. Apache OpenOffice is easy to use and has a simple user interface. Apache OpenOffice is available in many languages. Apache OpenOffice has a built-in spell checker and more other features.  Apache OpenOffice gives control to the user over images and graphics. One of the drawbacks of Apache OpenOffice is that it is bit slow compared to other open source options.

    Platforms: Windows, MAC

    4. Inkscape

    Inkscape pdf editor free

    Inkscape is a professional vector graphics editor, especially for windows. Inkscape can be used to edit high graphics PDF files.  Inkscape is mainly known for its powerful and free design tool. Inkscape can be used as a basic PDF reader and open source PDF editor for removing and adding images or text to the document. Inkscape is a portable software, which means you can just plug in a pen drive and use it anywhere on any device. The highlight of Inkscape is creating sketches and also allows exporting it in PNG format.  The user interface of Inkscape is user-friendly. The drawback of Inkscape pdf editor is that it does not have all required tools.

    Platforms: Windows, MAC, Linux

    5. Sedja

    sejda free pdf editor for windows and mac

    One of the simplest yet versatile pdf editors, Sedja is best to open source pdf editor which works without any problems. Sedja offers a wide range of editing tools like inserting image, texts, links, shapes, graphs, and annotations. Sedja is available as an add-on for Google Drive. Sedja lets you load pdf from other websites. Sedja is pretty easy to use. Sedja allows you to enter hyperlinks and signatures too. You can also add blank pages in Sedja. Adding a new page and deleting a page is simple in Sedja. One thing to remember when you are using Sedja is that its session expires in 3 hours. So before the season expires, make sure that you save the work you are doing.

    Platforms: Windows, MAC

    6. PDFescape

    pdfescape for windows

    PDFescape offers tonnes of options for free to edit your pdf document online. PDFescape lets you add images, texts, forms which are rare for a free pdf editor. PDFescape uses the concept of drag and drops user interface which makes all the operations to be performed very simple. PDFescape is free as well as paid. The free version does all the basic work a pdf editor should do such as editing, filling forms, password protection and sharing documents online. PDFescape is one of the best open source pdf editors.

    Platforms: Windows

    7. Scribus

    scribus editing pdf file

    Scribus is an open source PDF software that is GPL licensed free PDF software. Scribus can be used for both animated and interactive pdf presentation and forms. Scribus is one of the most powerful and useful open source projects out there. Scribus has a friendly interface which is easy to understand. Scribus supports professional publishing features. Scribus has a powerful vector drawing tool, support for a huge number of file types and so on. Scribus can recover damage files and documents.

    Platforms: Windows, MAC, Linux, Haiku

    8. Foxit

    foxit reader free editor to pdf

    Foxit Reader is one of the best free editors for MAC.  Foxit is fast and lightweight. Foxit reader allows the user to read, highlight, add bookmarks, comments, search. foxit also allows the user to protect the pdf document for free. One of the features of Foxit is that it allows the users to customize the document, ie allows the user to add header and footers, add texts, edit texts. Foxit can be said to be one of the best free pdf editors for MAC.

    Platforms: MAC

    9. Smallpdf

    C:\Users\ss\Pictures\Saved Pictures\smallpdf online free pdf editor.png

    Smallpdf is a completely free software which lets you add more text to the PDF, allows you to add white space in the areas which you want to erase. Smallpdf can load different shapes by importing them. It can also load and save PDF’s from various sources. Smallpdf allows the user to merge, split, rotate, digital signing the document as well as giving protection to the pdf file. The user can change the main color and line color and also the thickness of the edge in Smallpdf. One of the drawbacks of Smallpdf is that only two PDF’s can be edited every hour.

    Platforms: Windows, MAC, Linux

    10. FormSwift

    formswift pdf editor

    The free PDF editor by FormSwift is a very simple online PDF editor that can be used without even making a user account. You just have to upload PDF files on the website and by using the menus at the top of the page which lets you perform some basic PDF editing functions before you download it back in your computer.  FormSwift does not leave a watermark when used. FormSwift can erase or remove existing text and images with white or black space. one of the unique features of FormSwift is that it lets you add your own custom text to PDF. It is easy to type, draw and sign the document.

    Platforms: Windows, MAC, Linux



    In Conclusion, we would like to say that PDF’s can play an important part in making your business more professional.  With the mentioned free pdf editors, you can create professional looking documents which can be protected and only the authorized people can be given the right to edit it.

    If you require pdf editor for basic necessities, then there are many free editors other than the mentioned in this article which you can opt for, but if you want something professional, you can always go for premium versions. All the software and open source have some or the other limitations but will do your work of editing the documents.