Get started with the easiest way to manage PDFs with PDFelement!
With so many PDF makers, finding a free PDF creator for scanning and editing PDF (Portable Document File) can be challenging. You must consider features like OCR, output formats, inbuilt sharing options, add annotations, and pricing. So, if you need a PDF creator software that can handle all that and many more, this listicle introduces you to twelve excellent options. Make a pick!
Pricing: 79.99/year and free for Reading PDF
Wondershare PDFelement is a simple PDF editor and creator for desktops and mobile phones. It boasts a simple UI where it reads, edits, annotates, and manages all your PDF files. For example, you can open your PDF file and add texts, shapes, free-hand drawings, and annotations. Also, you can quickly merge different document files into a beautiful PDF file. That's not all. It has an inbuilt OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for scanning and converting PDFs into editable and searchable texts. And lest I forget, PDFelement can compress and convert PDF to Word, PPT, Excel, etc.
At the top of the list is PDFelement, which allows you to create PDF from files, scanner, clipboard, and create blank PDF and PDF portfolio. Besides these creating features, it can help you edit, convert, sign, and combine PDF files. There is a series of markups available which enable you to highlight, underline, and strikeout or add links, add bookmarks or headers, and footers to customize your documents.
Cross-platform compatibility on mobile and PC.
Powerful OCR technology.
Scan and export PDF to multiple languages.
Watermarked outputs for free users.
PrimoPDF is a free PDF writer and converter for Windows PCs. It is more of a virtual printer and can create high-quality PDF files from Word documents. After making your PDF file, you can protect and encrypt it with a strong PDF password. But before that, you can merge multiple created PDFs into a single PDF file and add metadata like title, author, subject, and keywords. However, the free version includes some ads.
Combine multiple PDF files.
Create PDF passwords.
Print PDF with excellent quality.
Only Windows version.
No frequent updates.
PDF24 Creator is arguably the best free PDF creator you can find. It's 100% free to use and supports 30+ languages. With this free PDF creator, you can convert any file to PDF without hiccups. Also, we could merge multiple documents to PDF with PDF24 Creator and compress the merged file with lossless quality. I also love that it can add watermarks or stamps to your PDF file. Unfortunately, some text editing tools are missing.
Absolutely free to use.
Convert files to and from PDF.
Add stamps and watermarks to PDFs.
It's for Windows only.
Limited text editing tools.
Pricing: Free, $108/year
Smallpdf is a simple PDF creator online with all the PDF tools you may need. With the free version, you'll access 20+ PDF tools and create up to two documents per day. That's not enough for you? Upgrade to the Pro plan and unlock advanced features like encrypting PDF with a digital signature or password. You'll also access tools for converting PDF to Word, PPT, Excel, and JPG. Another thing, this free PDF creator allows you to split and merge PDFs.
It supports tens of languages.
Add a digital signature to PDFs.
Free file storage for the Pro plan.
A bit costly.
It doesn't view and edit metadata.
Pricing: Free, $48/year
Few on this list can stand toe to toe with PDF Candy when it comes to PDF editing tools. To begin with, it allows you to open and view PDFs before editing smoothly with the help of Undo and Redo tools. You'll find editing tools for adding texts, underlining, rectangles, annotations, etc. Another tool that I love about PDF Candy is the ability to add and edit PDF metadata like author, title, subject, and keyword. Plus, it's available in tens of languages, including English, German, and French.
Merge and compress PDF.
Add digital signature to PDF.
Only one document per hour with the free version.
Most of you probably know Preview as a photo management app. However, Preview also doubles up as a full-featured PDF creator for Mac free that can easily take on most PDF tasks. It features a simple UI with a feature-rich sidebar. Apple Preview supports form-filling, creating digital signatures, and adding strong passwords to PDF documents. You can also insert, rotate, and delete annotations, pages, and signatures. Moreover, you can natively share your PDF files via iCloud.
It comes pre-installed on Mac.
Add digital signatures and passwords.
Share PDF via iCloud and OneNote.
Only for Mac users.
It can't extract and edit PDF metadata.
Pricing: Free, $16.90/year
PDF Creator by PDFforge is a free PDF creator that converts any printable document to PDF. Actually, you can analyze and convert PDFs to and from JPG, PNG, TIF, and Word files. Then, if you need to sign the document to show that it's really from you, PDF Creator allows you to do that with an e-sign. In addition, it houses an automated PDF printer that saves you time when you want to print PDF.
Intuitive multilingual UI.
Free, open-source PDF creator.
Secure PDF with digital signature and password.
Excellent online PDF creator.
Pesky ads on the free plan.
The installation package has unwanted extras.
Whether you're running Windows 11, 10, 7, or Vista, PDF4Free allows you to create amazing PDF files from any app. It installs itself on your computer's print driver, making it seamless whenever you want to print PDF files. But before printing, this freeware offers you features for embedding fonts and metadata like title, author, and subject. Another plus is that PDF4Free supports custom paper sizes when printing documents.
Support for most Windows versions.
Embed unique fonts on PDF.
Add metadata to PDF.
For Windows only.
No PDF converter.
This is an excellent PDF creator free to download for Windows 64-bit versions. With 7-PDF Maker, you can convert anything to PDF. For example, you can save emails as RTF or HTML files and use this free PDF creator to convert them to PFD. Also, creators can add a digital signature to your PDF file and combine multiple PDFs into a single file. Moreover, 7-PDF Maker acts as a free printer for creating high-res PDF files.
Free to use.
Convert photos to PDF.
The portable version is compatible with Linux.
Windows version only.
You don't have to wait to convert any file to PDF, thanks to the easily accessible FreePDFConvert.com. It's a free PDF creator online that allows you unlimited access to 21+ PDF tools. Here, you can convert PDF to PPT, Word, Excel, JPG, PNG, or vice versa. You can also create PDFs from eBooks, iWork, and OpenOffice. For PDF protection, this online tool allows you to add 256-bit AES encryption that's resistant to any brute force.
Compatible with any updated browser.
Compress and merge PDF.
Unlimited PDF conversions.
It works online on desktops only.
No metadata function.
Pricing: Free, $6.99/month
Lastly, use SodaPDF to create PDF files online or offline with the standalone Windows app. It comes with many features and tools for editing texts, adding an e-sign, and OCR. In addition, this PDF creator lets you convert your PDF files to other formats like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and images. Plus, SodaPDF acts as a virtual printer.
Intuitive inbuilt printer.
Quick OCR function.
Mac and Windows compatibility.
Lags when printing batch files.
Adobe Acrobat is the most popular PDF creator from Adobe. It can edit PDFs, convert PDFs, sign PDFs, annotate, and so on. However, this Adobe product isn't free. You'll need to pay $14.99/month, which is a bit steep. But it's definitely worth every penny.
You can quickly know when a PDF file was created. If you're a Windows user, right-click the PDF file and then choose Properties > Details. On the other hand, Mac users should open the PDF file in Preview and then click Cmd + I to view the PDF properties.
A fillable PDF is simply a PDF file with specific fields that you can fill without necessarily using a PDF editor. Just think of it as a PDF table. Fortunately, you can use Wondershare PDFelement to design and create a fillable PDF form quickly and easily. Just click the Form tab and add fields for date, image, signature, etc.
That was a long read, I guess! But up to here, you should be able to choose the perfect free PDF creator for your needs. I recommend Wondershare PDFelement because it comes with all necessary features, including an OCR function and annotations. Nonetheless, choose one that works best for you.