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The Top 8 Free PDF Writer in 2021

2021-11-30 19:13:03 • Filed to: Top List of PDF Software • Proven solutions

For writing or editing documents, you may think that MS Office is the primary application you need. However, as PDF format becomes more and more widely used, free PDF writers also become increasingly popular. There are some of the top free PDF writers available both online and offline. So how do you find the best free PDF writer tool on the market for your needs? This article will help! We've covered the top 8 free PDF writer tools currently on the market, including - PDFelement, adobe acrobat, and so on.

When Would You Need to Write on PDF Files?

Let’s say you receive an invoice from a supplier that has overquoted the price of an item. You want to send the invoice back but you’d like to add a note to it so the supplier knows what you’re referring to. The easiest way to do this is to include the note within the PDF invoice itself rather than as a separate message. And how do you do this without paying any money? With a free PDF writer, of course! Here are some more scenarios where writing on a PDF becomes necessary:

  • Commenting on a design file where you need to communicate with the designer to provide feedback or commentary
  • Marking text for editing in a document that will be published online
  • Writing a note for other viewers of the file to see and respond to
  • Making private notes on a PDF for future reference
  • Writing study notes on a digital textbook

While there are several scenarios where PDF writing becomes essential, the problem for the user is picking the right free PDF editor. You don’t want one that gives you a free service with a lot of restrictions; neither do you want a tool with very little additional functionality. For that reason, we’ve curated a list of the best free PDF writer applications that you can try - both offline and online options have been provided.

Part 2: TOP 8 Free PDF Writer

1. PDFelement - PDF Editor and Writer

PDFelement is a PDF Writer that compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android systems. It is currently one of the best free PDF writers on the market. With its professional features, you can easily write on PDF documents, such as adding texts, drawing shapes, and adding handwritten signatures in PDF. Moreover, with this software, you can also convert PDFs, create, edit, combine and organize documents with ease.
For annotation, it allows you to add notes, underline or strike out any text, and draw on PDF using the Pencil and Erase features. What's more, if you need to protect your document from copying and editing, you can also add the passwords for it within PDFelement. So, this makes it a fantastic option for your needs, and you can download it for a free trial.


  • Flexibility
  • Security
  • Ease of use
  • OCR feature available
  • High-quality conversion results
  • Support of multiple different languages
  • The ability to easily edit PDFs

2. Document Cloud - Free PDF Writer

Wondershare Document Cloud is an online PDF writer that allows you to add notes, draw and insert texts in PDF. To collaborate with other authorized users, the secure cloud storage platform is dedicated to PDF documents, allowing users to upload, share, print, download, and comment on PDF files in the cloud, making it the ideal tool for online PDF collaboration. It is also OS-agnostic since it runs off any modern browser on a connected device. Moreover, you can access it securely from any system using your Wondershare ID that also works with all other Wondershare products such as PDFelement, HiPDF, and so on.


  • Easy to use
  • Clean labeling and layout for simple navigation
  • Powerful tools for collaborative annotations and commenting
  • Public and private annotations
  • Secure sharing with permissions and access expiry deadlines


  • Only hosts PDF files
  • No direct PDF editing
online pdf writer document cloud

3. Adobe Acrobat  PDF Writer

Acrobat is an offline PDF writer that you need to install on your PC or Mac. As a free PDF writer, the functionality is limited to annotations and signing PDFs, and these features are available after the free trial period is over. Nevertheless, the advantage is that you can upgrade at any time to the full version, which allows PDF editing. The free version acts as a useful tool for making annotations and commenting on PDF files.


  • Polished UI with clear feature segregation
  • Easy upgrade to Acrobat DC or Pro DC
  • Get access to a mature PDF tool with lots of additional features when you upgrade


  • The free PDF writer is actually a downgrade from the full version
  • Upgrading to a paid subscription or perpetual license is expensive
adobe acrobat pdf writer

4. Free CutePDF Writer

CutePDF Writer is one of the best free PDF writer programs available that allow you to export any files generated from a Windows application to a PDF file. You can export documents from their original file formats to PDF by choosing CutePDF Writer and by accessing the print menu on your computer. Supported models include Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10.


  • Available in multiple different languages
  • It's free to use
  • No watermarks


  • Installs other unsolicited software on your device
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5. PDFescape Online PDF Writer

PDFescape Online PDF Editor is also a free PDF writer online. With this PDF writer freeware, you can use the features of this free PDF writer to edit PDFs, create PDF forms, protect PDFs and annotate PDFs. Supported models include Chrome, Firefox, Edge, IE, Opera, Safari.


  • The comprehensive set of features
  • Produces high-quality documents
  • Offers security


  • Can't work offline
pdfescape free pdf writer

6. Hipdf Writer

Another great online tool from Wondershare is HiPDF, a free online PDF service that gives you all the tools you need to handle PDF workflows. You can also register and take advantage of extra features, but even the basic service includes advanced tools such as OCR.


  • Free online service - easy to access
  • No registration is required for using one-off tools
  • Extensive options for PDF editing, file conversion, annotations, security, forms, etc.


  • Requires a stable and fast Internet connection for intensive tasks or to process large files
  • Registration required for batch processing
pdf writer freeware hipdf

7. Xodo PDF Editor and Writer Online

Formerly operating under the name, this online PDF editor has now migrated to but it essentially contains all the same tools previously available. The service has some unique tools such as a viewer for Office files and a DICOM to PDF converter.


  • Robust conversion tools
  • Unique modules - PDF/A validator, Office files viewer, etc.
  • Simple interface, easy navigation
  • Also available for desktop and mobile


  • Limited tools - no PDF editing, OCR, security, etc.
  • Office viewer only works with Word files
xofo pdf writer free

8. Nitro Cloud  Online PDF Writer

Nitro offers an online service called Nitro Cloud, which is essentially a cloud platform for Nitro Sign. The core features are very similar to Wondershare Document Cloud but the interface is very different, being similar to Windows applications. That makes it easier for Windows users to navigate through the tabs and features to get to what they need.


  • Extensive tools for conversion, eSignatures, etc.
  • Direct upload to other cloud storage services such as Drive and Dropbox


  • Limited tools to write on PDF (text note only)
  • Need to register a free account before using the service
nitro free pdf writer

Which is the Best Free PDF Writer for You?

Choosing free PDF writers is not an easy one because it depends on your specific requirements. For instance, if you only need a platform to send documents for signing or add notes to a document, then Wondershare Document Cloud or Nitro Cloud are obvious choices. However, you should also consider several other factors, as outlined below:

  • Ease of use - One of the major factors in your decision to use a free PDF writer for Windows 10, Windows 11, macOS Monterey, and other platforms should be how easy it is to use. Are the tools clearly labeled with neat and relevant iconography? Is it easy to find a tool or is it buried in the menu? Such questions will help you gauge the usability factor, which is very important.
  • Security features - When sharing PDF files, it is imperative that you’re able to generate secure sharing links. With Wondershare Document Cloud, for example, the links are absolutely secure and you can even set permissions and a deadline for access to expire, making it much safer than other, similar platforms.
  • Additional tools - The right free PDF writer should also give you access to other PDF tools for conversion, security, forms management, etc.
  • Integration with desktop - Not many cloud-based tools is integrated with desktop PDF utilities. The most well-known one is Adobe Document Cloud, the other one being Wondershare Document Cloud, which is integrated with PDFelement, the desktop PDF editor from Wondershare, which we have highlighted in the next section.

Part 4: Online Free PDF Writer VS Offline PDF Writer

Online tools are certainly more convenient because you don’t have to install anything and you can access the service from any computer with an Internet connection and a modern browser like Chrome or Edge. However, there are also several disadvantages:

  • Security risk when uploading/downloading PDF files that are sensitive or confidential
  • Large files require a fast and stable connection
  • You’ll need to log yourself in and out each time you use the service if you’re using a public computer or someone else’s machine

On the other hand, using a desktop PDF editor and writer such as PDFelement offers several key advantages:

  • Robust set of PDF tools for editing, conversion, security, annotations, OCR, forms, etc.
  • Faster processing and conversion since local resources can be used
  • 100% secure when you work completely offline, which is not an option for online tools
  • Advanced tools such as automatic form field recognition, conversion to interactive PDF, etc.

In summary, choosing the best free PDF writer is a matter of knowing what you want and then reviewing each product in that category and checking off the boxes where the product either meets your requirements or does not. In the end, you’ll see that Wondershare Document Cloud used in collaboration with PDFelement for Windows or Mac gives you the most comprehensive combination of online and offline PDF tools that can handle heavy PDF workflows, file conversions, batch processing, OCR, and other resource-intensive tasks.
In short, with the PDFelement Pro DC bundle, you get the best of both worlds - a desktop utility that handles all the hard work and a cloud storage platform with excellent collaboration tools for sharing, annotations, eSignature collection, and much more.

Part 5: How to Write on a PDF File with PDFelement

One common challenge many people have with PDF files is that they are unable to make edits to the text within the PDF document. If you want to make changes to your PDF file, PDFelement lets you easily make changes and alter text within your PDF file. If you want to know the best PDF editor, here is a comprehensive list of free PDF editor tools on the market. Now, follow the steps outlined below to learn how to use PDFelement as a PDF writer on Windows.

Step 1: Import and Open PDF Document 

First, install and run PDFelement on your computer. After that, click the "Open files" button found on the Home window to locate and upload your file. Next, click the "Open" button to view the imported document.

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Step 2: Write on PDF for Free

After you have opened your PDF file, click on the "Edit" tab. Click on the "Add Text" button to add new content to your file. You can also add a text box, where you want your notes to appear on the PDF document, and you can make the desired changes like changing color, size, and text box positioning. By double-clicking on the text you want, you can make all desired changes.

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What's more, you can also draw on the PDF or add notes to a PDF under the "Comment" tab within PDFelement. It's quite easy to use, and it can help you improve your work efficiency with many useful tools.

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Step 3: Save the PDF Document

After writing a new text on your PDF document, save the edited file to your computer. Click the "File" tab found in the top left corner. Then, click the "Save" button to store your file or click "Save As" to choose a new location to save your documents.

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Elise Williams

chief Editor

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