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Top 5 Free Open Source PDF Editors 2019 - Updated

Oct 30,2019 • Filed to: PDF Knowledge • Proven solutions

The world is moving towards going paperless, and the era of online document editing has arrived. In the age of the Internet, there is huge competition among open source PDF editors. Everyone is looking for the best open source PDF editor online, and there are many options of software available. However, they all have theirdrawbacks as well. Let's discuss some of the best open source PDF editors available online, along with the pros and cons of each one.

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 a free and oen source software much like MS Office. It's a good option for people who can't use the 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


  • Allows for easy editing of PDF files
  • You can add or delete pages
  • Also allows for editing text and images
  • Allows file conversion support
  • Provides 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

2. InkScape

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 for Windows, 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 required tools

3. PDFedit

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 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

4. Apache OpenOffice Draw

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 andimporting 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


  • User interface looks out of date
  • Excel users face problems due with its functions
  • It is slow to start up
  • There are errors being identified on some windows versions
  • Can be slow 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 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
  • User 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

A Better Choice than Using an Open Source PDF Editor

Instead of using an open source PDF editor, PDFelement can come to the rescue as a PDF file editing solution that is fully loaded with professional and easy to use tools that allow you to edit, combine, transform and organize PDFs with ease. PDFelement can be used for:

open source pdf editor
  • Create fill-able and editable forms
  • Edit simple and more advanced PDF files
  • Convert PDF files to Word, PPT, Excel and more
  • Convert common file types to PDF
  • Perform OCR on scanned PDF files
  • Add bookmarks to your PDF files
  • Add text boxes and sticky notes to your PDF file
  • Protect your file with password restrictions
  • Optimize the file size with ease and much more
open source pdf software

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Audrey Goodwin

chief Editor

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