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The world has gone almost paperless and the era of online document editing has arrived. In the age of the Internet, there is huge competition for open source PDF editor. To all the newbies out there, these software that lets us edit PDF open source, which means for free. Everyone is looking for the best open source PDF editor online. There are actually many options of the software available, but there is always a drawback. Let's discuss some of the open source PDF editors available online, along with their pros and cons.

Top 5 Open Source PDF Editors for Windows

1. LibreOffice Draw PDF editor

LibreOffice is a strong competitor in the world of PDF editing. It is much like MS Office in terms of power. It is also free and open source software. It's a good option for people who can't or won't use the proprietary software. It has built in all features of an efficient PDF editor open source. Of course, it is not perfect. LibreOffice is a leading alternative to Microsoft Office, just in an inconsistent interface.

open source pdf editor


  • Allows easy editing of PDF files
  • Can Add or delete pages
  • Also allows for editing text and images
  • Allows file conversion support
  • Provides facilities of export and import
  • Digital signing feature available


  • Clunky interface
  • Confusing menu options
  • No cloud options
  • Sometimes messes up with original and backup files
  • Cannot email directly to windows live mail
  • Difficulty in compatibility and file types

2. InkScape

Inkscape is much like its competitors, just more preferred because of the strong performance and a wide range of features that it makes available for the users. To edit PDF files, Vector Graphics are used. It is a totally free Open Source PDF editor Windows for using and downloading. It performs all the basic tasks of a full PDF reader and open source PDF editor with full functions such as removing or adding text or images. The best thing is that you can find its portable version without having to install it.

pdf editor open source


  • Allows exporting to the PNG format
  • User interface is friendly
  • Entirely free to use
  • Is not a heavy software and doesn't take much space for installing
  • Easy editing of document heavy of graphics


  • It looks familiar with other options available
  • It lags or stops in most PCs
  • It is kind of Slow and unintuitive
  • Does not have enough tools

3. PDFedit

PDFedit is a great and widely used tool. It has all the benefits of free and open source PDF editor software. It can be used as a PDF reader and also includes functions of a PDF editor. The user can detect exactly which sections, words or phrases they want. It can also be used to add texts and images into the PDF file. It also allows the functionality to delete information from the file.

edit pdf open source


  • Does not take up too much space for installation
  • Multi-platform support
  • Its tools allow personalization
  • Conversion of files is possible
  • Many more advanced options are available
  • Provisions for protecting file with passwords is available


  • Usage of the tools brings several difficulties
  • Still in beta
  • Some features simply do not work
  • Some other features show error messages

4. Apache OpenOffice Draw

Apache OpenOffice Draw is popular because of the great jobs it gets done. It can be easily used not just as a PDF reader but also a PDF editor open source. A bunch of features can be found in this software such as customizing PDF pages, saving them in different available file formats, removing or inserting any text etc. It also supports import and export features.

best open source pdf editor


  • A great variety of features
  • Multiple platform compatibility
  • Allows easy creation of basic charts
  • Provides feature for spell check


  • User interface looks out of date
  • Excel users face problems due to the functions
  • Takes time in starting up
  • Many being identified in some versions of windows
  • Gets slow and cranky while processing large documents

5. PDFSam

PDFSam basic is a PDF file editor that supports merging, splitting and editing of PDF files. It is also open source PDF editor. It is worth trying if you seek to recompose or reorder numerable pages of the PDF file. It is a java application and it can run on any device having Java runtime.

open source pdf editor windows


  • Supports visual organizing
  • Allows re-ordering of PDF pages
  • User can mix and merge pages
  • Provision for extracting or splitting pages available
  • Rotating and saving one or multiple pages is available


  • Visual document composer shows errors
  • Requires Java
  • A bit difficult to understand how it works at first

Shortcomings of Open Source PDF Editor

  • Most of them are unreliable
  • They involve higher installation costs
  • There is no guarantee of an update
  • They offer very basic functionality
  • They don't offer any proper support
  • They don't work efficiently with all hardware
  • There is no guarantee of a continued service and much more!

A Better Choice than Using Open Source PDF Editor

For solving your entire open source PDF editor problems in one go, PDFelement comes to the rescue. It is a PDF file editing solution that is fully loaded with all professional and easy to use tools that allow you to edit, combine, transform and organize PDFs with ease. Some uses you can put PDFelement to are:

open source pdf editor
  • Create fill-able and fully editable forms
  • Edit both simple and normal PDF files
  • Convert PDF files to Word, PPT, Excel and more
  • Convert different file types to PDF
  • Perform OCR on scanned PDF files
  • Add bookmarks to your PDF files
  • Add text boxes, sticky notes to your PDF file
  • Take care of file protection with password feature
  • Optimize the file size with ease and much more

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Posted by to PDF Knowledge
Published: Dec 04,2017 10:34 am / Updated: Dec 04,2017 10:49 am

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