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5 Best Free PDF Editors in 2023 (With Pros & Cons)

Best PDF Editors

In the realm of digital documentation, the PDF (Portable Document Format) has emerged as a steadfast format for sharing and preserving documents across platforms. However, making edits to PDFs often necessitates specialized software, leading to the rise of free PDF editors. As of 2023, there are several exceptional free PDF editors available, empowering users to modify, annotate, and refine their PDFs without incurring any cost. This article highlights the top five free PDF editors in 2023 that offer a range of features for seamless PDF management.

So... Which 5 Best Free PDF Editors did I choose?

1. PDFescape

Best PDF Editors

PDFescape stands out as an adaptable online PDF editor that offers an array of tools without the need for downloads or installations. Its intuitive interface enables easy text editing, image insertion, text highlighting, shape drawing, and even form field creation. With the advantage of editing PDFs up to 10 MB in size without watermarking, PDFescape is an excellent choice for quick yet substantial edits and annotations.

Review: PDFescape's simplicity and online accessibility make it an appealing option for basic PDF editing tasks. Its diverse tools cater to various editing needs, ensuring that users can make necessary changes without a steep learning curve.


  • User-friendly interface.

  • No need for downloads or installations.

  • Wide range of editing tools.

  • Can edit PDFs up to 10 MB without watermarking.


  • Limited capabilities compared to more comprehensive desktop software.

  • Larger PDF files may require a premium version.

Pricing: PDFescape does have a paid version called PDFescape Enterprise which is for large number of users.

Best PDF Editors

Try PDFEscape here.

2. Sejda PDF Editor

Best PDF Editors

The Sejda PDF Editor is a browser-based solution that boasts an intuitive user interface. It encompasses fundamental editing features, such as text and image addition, shape incorporation, and annotation capabilities. A unique aspect of Sejda is its ability to directly edit existing text, a feature not commonly found in free PDF editors. Additionally, it offers document security through password protection and encryption, catering to privacy-conscious users.

Review: Sejda's straightforward interface and direct text editing set it apart as a practical choice for users requiring text modifications within PDFs. Its security features add a layer of protection to sensitive documents.


  • Intuitive user interface.

  • Direct text editing capability.

  • Offers document security features.


  • Some advanced editing options may be lacking.

  • Limited document processing capabilities in the free version.

Pricing: Besides the free version, Sejda have a paid version with multiple plans for both personal and team discounts.

Best PDF Editors

Try Sejda PDF Editor here.

3. LibreOffice Draw

Best PDF Editors

LibreOffice Draw, a component of the open-source LibreOffice suite, provides a versatile platform for vector graphics editing. While its primary function is not PDF editing, Draw seamlessly handles PDFs, allowing for content modification. This versatility makes it a powerful tool for those seeking more advanced editing options. Though the learning curve might be steeper due to its broader functionality, the editing flexibility it provides is unmatched.

Review: LibreOffice Draw's versatility extends beyond PDF editing, making it an excellent choice for those who require intricate graphics work. While it may require a learning curve, its capabilities are well worth the investment of time.


  • Part of the comprehensive LibreOffice suite.

  • Advanced editing options beyond PDFs.

  • High level of flexibility for editing content.


  • Learning curve for new users.

  • May have more features than necessary for simple PDF edits.

Pricing: LibreOffice is open source and thus totally free. They do have a donate page in which you can consider donating if you really like the software and it has been useful to you.

Best PDF Editors

Try LibreOffice here.

4. PDF-XChange Editor

Best PDF Editors

PDF-XChange Editor distinguishes itself with an impressive feature set among free PDF editors. Alongside core editing capabilities, users can add comments, annotations, and highlights to their documents. The "Typewriter Mode" stands out, enabling direct typing onto PDF pages, reminiscent of a typewriter's mechanics. Available as downloadable software, PDF-XChange Editor caters to both online and offline editing needs. Note that while the free version adds watermarks to saved PDFs, a paid license removes this limitation.

Review: PDF-XChange Editor's extensive features, including annotation and typewriter modes, position it as a versatile tool for diverse PDF editing requirements. Its downloadable nature ensures offline accessibility.


  • Comprehensive feature set.

  • Annotation and typewriter modes.

  • Available for offline use.


  • Watermarks on saved PDFs in the free version.

  • Some advanced features may require a paid license.

Pricing: PDF-XChange Editor also features paid versions with multiple plans. The list is quite long and if I were to list down everything, the page will never end. As such, feel free to explore their site in the link provided below.

Best PDF Editors

Try PDF-XChange Editor here.

5. Smallpdf

Best PDF Editors

Smallpdf is a widely-used online platform offering an array of PDF tools, including an intuitive PDF editor. Its user-friendly interface facilitates tasks like merging, splitting, compressing, and editing PDFs. While the free version may have limitations on the number of documents processed and the PDF size, it remains a practical choice for essential editing needs.

Review: Smallpdf's popularity is well-earned due to its user-friendly platform and diverse range of PDF tools. While the free version has limitations, it serves as a reliable option for quick PDF modifications.


  • User-friendly interface.

  • Multiple PDF tools in one platform.

  • Ideal for essential editing tasks.


  • Limits on the number of documents and PDF sizes in the free version.

  • May not offer as many advanced features as dedicated PDF editors.

Pricing: SmallPDF offers rather standard pricing plan for those on a budget where you can add on users as you go along.

Best PDF Editors

Try SmallPDF here.


The evolution of free PDF editors has democratized the art of modifying and enhancing PDF documents, eradicating the need for costly software. Be it students annotating research, professionals editing contracts, or individuals requiring quick PDF adjustments, these editors cater to diverse needs. From the user-friendly simplicity of PDFescape to the comprehensive capabilities of LibreOffice Draw and PDF-XChange Editor's advanced features, the options are rich and varied. The next time you encounter a PDF that necessitates modification, remember that a potent PDF editor is only a few clicks away, and it doesn't cost a dime.

It is a tough choice to pick 1 out of the 5, but I would personally go with PDFescape as the top choice due to the ease of use and ease of accessibility as there is no need for installations or downloading of any software. PDF-XChange is great too as it is available for offline use; however the watermark part might put some users off.

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