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Free Open Source PDF Editors 2024- Updated

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2024-07-12 19:37:30 • Filed to: PDF Edit • Proven solutions

PDF editors are extremely common in the market, considering the popularity built by the PDF file format in the professional sector. The use of PDF editors is being considered for managing every other official document present within a certain format. Users, however, look for diversity and distinctiveness within their choice in PDF editors. Thus, some users ask the question of "Is there any open source PDF editor?” Let's discuss some of the best open-source PDF editors available online and offline, along with the pros and cons of each one.

Part 1. Open Source PDF Editors for Windows and Mac

1. PDFelement - Open Source PDF Editor Alternative

Operating systems: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android.

If you need a reliable and secure PDF editor, open source PDF editors are not right for you. Here is an alternative to open-source PDF editor — PDFelement for Windows, which is known to provide one of the best and easiest interfaces at an affordable price in the market. This platform allows users to easily edit PDF documents as a one-stop solution for PDF management.

The reasons that make PDFelement the best alternative to open source PDF editor in the market are as follows:

  • The tool’s device compatibility is extremely attractive, as it allows users to manage PDFs across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android with ease.
  • The PDF editor can edit text, images, link and more in PDFs.
  • It allows you to convert PDF to Word, Excel, Powerpoint, images, text, HTML or vice versa.
  • You can also combine, split, delete or rotate PDF pages.
  • Users can utilize different protection measures across the platform, including password protection, information redaction, and digital signatures.
  • The OCR technology in PDFelement provides users with a clear structure for scanning images and converting them into PDFs for convenience.
  • Through its measurement tool, you can measure distance, perimeter, and area in PDF with ease.
  • Batch Compress and Print PDF files at once.
  • Compare two PDF files to find out the differences quickly.

pdf editor

However, there are certain limitations to the tool, which can be observed across the following point:

  • PDFelement's trial version saves its watermark across every edited PDF document.

2. LibreOffice Draw PDF editor

Operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android.

LibreOffice is a strong competitor in the world of PDF editing. It is free and open-source software, much like MS Office. It's a good option for people who can't use proprietary software. It has all the built-in features of an efficient open-source PDF editor. LibreOffice is a leading alternative to Microsoft Office, though it does have an inconsistent interface.

libreoffice open source pdf editor


  • It allows for easy editing of PDF files.
  • You can add or delete pages.
  • It also allows for editing text and images.
  • It allows file conversion support.
  • Provide for exporting and importing.
  • A digital signing feature is available.


  • Does not have a user-friendly interface
  • Has confusing menu options
  • No cloud options
  • It can be inconsistent with original and backup files.
  • Does not allow for direct email to windows live mail
  • Contains difficulty in compatibility and file types

3. Inkscape - Open Source PDF Editor

Operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux.

Inkscape is much like its competitors but preferred because of its strong performance and wide range of features. It uses Vector Graphics to edit PDF files. As a free Open Source PDF editor, you can download it to perform all the basic tasks of a full PDF reader and open source PDF editor. It contains full functions such as removing or adding text or images. The best thing is that you can use its portable version without having to install it.

inkscape editor pdf open source


  • Allows exporting to PNG format
  • Contains a friendly user interface
  • Entirely free to use
  • Lightweight software that doesn't use up too much space during installation
  • Allows for easy editing of graphics


  • Similar to other options on the market
  • It lags or crashes on many PCs.
  • Slightly slow and unintuitive
  • Does not have all the required tools

4. PDFedit- Free Open Source PDF Editor for Windows and Linux

Operating systems: Unix-like, Windows.

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

PDFedit free open source pdf editor


  • Lightweight for installation
  • Multi-platform support
  • Includes tools for personalization
  • Allows for conversion of files
  • Has many more advanced options available
  • Password protection is also available.


  • Some of the tools have technical difficulties.
  • Still in beta
  • Some features do not work or
  • show error messages

5. Apache OpenOffice Draw - Open Source PDF Reader and Editor

Operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux.

Apache OpenOffice Draw is popular due to its high quality. It can easily be used as both a PDF reader and an open-source PDF editor. Many features can be found in this software, such as customizing PDF pages, saving them in different available file formats, removing or inserting any text and importing and exporting features, etc.

Apache OpenOffice Draw open source pdf editor


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


  • The user interface looks out of date.
  • Excel users face problems due to their functions.
  • It is slow to start up.
  • There are errors being identified on some windows versions.
  • It can be slow while processing large documents.

6. PDFSam - Open Source PDF Editor for Windows

Operating systems: Windows.

PDFSam basic is a PDF file editor that supports merging, splitting, and editing of PDF files. It is also an open-source PDF editor. If you would like to edit or re-arrange the order of pages in a PDF file, this program is worth a try. It is a java application and can run on any device that has Java runtime.

PDFSam open source pdf editor windows


  • Supports visual organization
  • Allows for re-ordering of PDF pages
  • Users can mix and merge pages
  • Contains tools for extracting or splitting pages
  • Allows for rotating and saving one or multiple pages


  • The visual document composer shows errors
  • Requires Java
  • A bit difficult to learn for beginners

Shortcomings of Open Source PDF Editors

  • Many can be unreliable
  • They involve higher installation costs
  • There are no guaranteed updates
  • They offer very basic functionalities
  • They don't offer any proper support
  • They don't work efficiently with all hardware
  • There is no guarantee of a continued service

Part 2. Free Open Source PDF Editor Online

Offline PDF editors are referred to as one significant department that has a lot of user base. However, for simpler tasks and convenience, online PDF editors are also quite commonly used. Although there is an exhaustive list, this article introduces users to the best free open source PDF editor options available across the internet.

1. PDFescape - Free Online Open Source PDF Editor

PDF management is a task that requires feature-rich platforms. While coming onto online PDF editors, PDFescape provides a very impressive user experience within its free online system. With a basic interface to work with, users can perform most of their work with ease.

edit a pdf online for free open source with pdfescape


  • Caters a free service of online PDF editing.
  • Supports hundreds of file formats and creates a PDF out of them.


  • There are a lot of ads across the free online version.

2. Sejda PDF Editor

A powerful online PDF editor with both a free and paid-in system provides a very wide variety of features in PDF editing. The free version, however, is quite limited in file management. Users are only allowed to work across three files a day, with a size limitation for the uploaded document. However, considering the options available in PDF editing, Sejda is comprehensively one of the most feature-rich online PDF editors in the market.

sejda free open source pdf editor


  • A clear integration service with different cloud storage.
  • Provides a very handsome amount of editing tools for making the best out of a PDF.


  • Users are limited to uploading a file lesser than 50 MB in size or 200 pages in quantity across the free version.

3. HiPDF - Simple PDF Editor

Talking about wide functionality, it is impossible to forget HiPDF across this division. HiPDF is known as one impressive online PDF editing tool that complements its online functionality with a wide variety of tools to work with. With processes such as batch processing features and basic usability, HiPDF can surely provide a worthwhile experience while competing with offline PDF editors.

hipdf open source pdf editor online


  • Users can access the tool from multiple platforms.
  • Secures documents with 256-SSL encryption and allows batch processing.


  • There are limited editing features in hipdf.

4. DocFly PDF Editor

DocFly PDF Editor is a cheaper choice in terms of time when seeking an alternative for Adobe Acrobat. Induced with all major editing and management tools, DocFly PDF Editor provides a very coherent system of PDF editing throughout the tool. While offering a very good user experience, DocFly is surely recommended in online open source PDF editor tools.

docfly online pdf editor open source


  • Perform all kinds of PDF editing with the extensive toolkit.
  • Offers a very good opportunity of scanning documents with ease.


  • Users have complained about glitchy customer support over facing issues.

5. iLovePDF Open Source PDF Editor Online

iLovePDF stands among one of the best options for online PDF editing, where it combines a myriad of tools under a single umbrella. With a very conniving user interface, using iLovePDF for any important editing task is very straightforward. The online version of iLovePDF provides an open-source solution integrating cloud services to innovate flexibility within the work.

free open source pdf editor ilovepdf


  • Provides users with the option to batch process PDF files.
  • Multiple file management options are provided in the interface.


  • The free mode of iLovePDF is limited in processing files.

Part 2: Which is the Best Open Source PDF Editor Software?

As discussed in this article, there is a very diverse set of options available when finding the best open-source PDF editor for you. These options can range from offline Windows editors to online editors, considering the amount of work that needs to be associated with these tools. Conclusively, offline editors tend to hold more control over the diversity of features than online editors.

While searching for the best alternative to open source PDF editor, you may come across PDFelement. Over consistent usage and detailed analysis, it is clear that PDFelement is the best option that may come in sight of any user who is looking for an impressive open-source PDF editing software for their work. This is majorly due to the diversity of features offered by the tool across a straightforward and effective user interface.

The use of an open-source PDF editor for your PDF files is considered quite efficient since the user wishes to perform beyond editing. There are numerous tools that users can come across in the market; however, if someone is looking for an offline solution to impressive PDF editing, PDFelement is surely the answer. This article also featured some of the best online solutions in PDF management.

Part 4. FAQs About Open-Source PDF Editors

Q1. How Can I Edit a PDF Without Paying?

HiPDF is a free online tool that allows you to easily edit PDF files without paying. You can follow these simple steps to edit your PDF:

  1. Go to the HiPDF website using a web browser, and click the "Edit PDF" button.
  2. Click the "Choose File" button and upload the PDF file you want to edit.
  3. Choose the desired option, such as "Add Text," "Add Image," "Add Shape," or "Sign."
  4. After making the necessary edits, click the "Save" button. Finally, click the "Download" or "Share" button to retrieve your edited PDF.

Q2. Which PDF Editor Is Best and Free?

HiPDF is the best and free PDF editor available. It offers a wide range of editing features and tools for text, images, and shapes in PDF documents. It is user-friendly and compatible across different platforms. With HiPDF, you can edit, merge, compress, convert, and more. It's a reliable and efficient choice for all your PDF editing needs.

Q3. Is There a 100% Free PDF Editor?

Technically, no PDF editor is 100% free. Most editing software programs offer a limited free version and require a paid license for full access. HiPDF, for example, provides extensive editing capabilities without cost, but some advanced features, like OCR, may require a paid license. While it's not completely free, HiPDF stands out by offering a wide range of editing options without the need for a paid subscription.

Q4. Is There Any Open Source PDF Editor?

Yes, there are several open-source PDF editors available. Some popular examples include: Qoppa PDF Studio, pdfFiller, PDFSimpli, LightPDF, LibreOffice, PDFSam Basic. These open-source PDF editors provide free alternatives for editing PDF files. Each software offers its own set of features and functionalities to modify and manipulate PDF documents according to your needs.

Q5. Why is PDF Software Essential for Work?

Many benefits can be generally associated with PDF software since the tool successfully influenced a very diverse set of industries throughout its inception. Any PDF software is considered beneficial for work due to the following benefits:

Ensuring File Security

Many businesses manage their customers’ sensitive information across PDF software. To protect these files from illegal access, the users are advised to protect their content with passwords, which keeps the PDF files secure from all kinds of thefts.

Compress Your Files Immediately

Rather than shifting to different file formats for compressing the file size, PDF software provides you with a complete option of compressing files unconditionally. Users can convert their PDFs into different qualities of compressions if they are working across limited storage.

A Consistent Tool

As a file format, PDFs have set their standards as one of the official methods of sending professional documents. To manage PDFs, PDF editors and software are necessary. Thus, it is very likely that this file format and software will not leave the market any soon. They would set up to be a very good investment for the developers.

Document Sustainability

PDFs are remembered to protect one important trait of any document, its format. PDFs became popular because they were able to sustain the formatting of any document and keep it intact across every platform. The PDF format allowed businesses to show well-organized and structured files to their clients to gain their attention.

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Audrey Goodwin

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