10 Best Open Source PDF Editors [FREE]

Take a look at the list of best open source and free PDF editors to edit PDF files easily.

We all use a lot of PDF files in our day-to-day life. Whether you are a student or someone doing a job, we often have to handle them for our work. And some point in time, we might want to make some minor or major modifications to those PDF files. This is where Open Source PDF Editor software comes into play.

If you search Google for PDF Editors, you will find a ton of different PDF software ranging from free to paid and everything in between. But, in this article, we are specifically talking about Open Source PDF Editors that are 100 percent free to use. Well, if you are in search of a good PDF editor then you have come to the right place.

open source pdf editor

I have done the research for you and managed to find a good number of PDF editors for multiple platforms like Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Web, etc.

Best Open Source and FREE PDF Editors

The list is arranged in no particular order. You can go through every one of them and find one that has the most features. You can take a look at some EPUB file readers as well.

1. LibreOffice Draw

libreoffice draw
Credit: LibreOffice

The first free PDF editor on our list is LibreOffice Draw. A lot of you already know that LibreOffice is a complete office suite that has everything like simple word processing software, sheets, etc. LibreOffice Draw is one such product from the suite. This is basically, a PDF Editor that is open source and free to use as well.

With LibreOffice Draw, one could perform all the basic PDF editing tasks like replacing text and images, modifying text, changing font size, face, color, etc. For doing tasks like this, LibreOffice Draw will be more than enough. Since it is an open-source PDF editor, you are not required to pay anything in order to use the same.

LibreOffice Draw is available for Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS. So you can download the version depending on your device. You can download the installer from their official website itself.

Highlighted Features:

  • Available for all leading mobile and desktop operating systems
  • Digital Signing option available
  • Edit, modify pages on PDF
  • Perform basic PDF editing

Available for: Windows, macOS and Linux

2. InkScape Editor

inkscape pdf editor
Credit: Inkscape

Inkscape is a vector graphics-based PDF editor which is open source and free at the same. There is a bit of difference that makes it stand out from others. Similar to other software out there, Inkscape will let you edit PDF files and perform basic edits like adding/removing texts/images, adding graphs, etc.

One more thing I like about InkScape is that it comes with a portable version which you don’t need to install. You can use the portable version of Inkscape on the go without installing it. Inkscape is actually known as a vector graphics editing software but the same can be used for PDF editing as well.

Inkscape is available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Highlighted Features:

  • Vector graphics-based PDF editing software
  • Comes with advanced tools and options
  • Easy to use interface
  • Regularly updated

Available for: Windows, macOS and Linux

3. Apache OpenOffice Draw

apache openoffice draw
Credit: OpenOffice

Apache OpenOffice Draw is yet another open-source PDF editor software out there. The software comes with some advanced options similar to Inkscape. You can easily add diagrams, new layers of texts, images, etc. Advanced options like adding 3D layers are also available. If you want to add some graphics, the software got you covered as well.

Since it is freeware, you are not required to pay to use it. The user interface of Apache OpenOffice Draw is simple and straightforward. To the left side, you will find all the pages in the PDF, and to the right side comes all the essential tools that will help you edit PDF files easily.

Highlighted Features:

  • Freeware PDF editor
  • Simple to use UI
  • Advanced options

Available for: Windows, macOS and Linux

4. PDFSam Basic

pdfsam basic open source pdf editor
Credit: PDFSam

PDFSam Basic is yet another free PDF editing software for PC. PDFSam stands for PDF Split and Merge. As the name itself indicates, PDFSam will let you edit PDF files by adding/removing various elements, rotating items, adding new items, etc. The basic version of PDFSam, PDFSam Basic is completely free to use.

Apart from the basic version, there are two more versions of PDFSam but those are the commercial solution offering by the company and are not free. But for regular users, to make minor changes to the PDF file, PDFSam Basic will be enough.

From their official website, you can download the installer for Windows, Linux, and macOS. It also supports a command line interface as well.

Highlighted Features:

  • Free and Open source
  • Split and merge PDF files
  • Make all sort of basic PDF file editing
  • Available for multiple platforms

Available for: Windows, Linux, macOS and Command line interface

5. PDFCreator

pdfcreator free
Credit: Softonic

PDFCreator from PDFForge is a free PDF reader as well as an open-source PDF viewer, too. The user interface of the software is really simple and straightforward. Doing tasks like converting printable documents to PDF, adding annotations, digital signatures, etc can be easily done.

Apart from the free version, paid version of the same software with enhanced features and options are also available as well. Performing things like merging PDF, rearranging pages, and other basic edits to the PDF files can be done easily.

PDFCreator is available for Windows only, so keep that in mind.

Highlighted Features:

  • Add annotations to pdf file
  • Rerrange and Merge PDF Files
  • Digital Signature option
  • Simple-to-use user interface

Available for: Windows only

6. PDFEscape

pdfescape
Credit: PDFescape

PDFescape is both an online as well as offline PDF editing software solution. If you want to edit your PDF files without access to the Internet then you might want to download the offline version. But if the Internet connectivity is not a problem for you then you may use their online PDF editor which is free to use.

In order to use the online pdf editor, all you need is a web browser and an active Internet connection. You can also download the offline version from their official website. Once downloaded, it will let you easily add annotations, make markings, add/remove images, edit existing texts, add new blocks of texts, and much more.

Highlighted Features:

  • Both online and offline version available
  • Free to use
  • Add annotations
  • Add/edit texts/images, etc

Available for: Windows and Web

7. PDF Architect

pdf architect
Credit: PDF Architect

PDF Architect is yet another pdf editing software from PDFForge. This is the same company behind PDFCreator mentioned earlier in this article. PDF Architect is not necessarily free software but comes with a free version which will be more than enough for a lot of people.

The free version of PDF Architect will help you open PDF files and view them, merge, rearrange, or even split them as well. The free version also lets you create PDF files from other documents like Word files, etc. These are some option availablein the free version of PDF Architect. If you want more enhacned features and options then you might want to take a look at their premium offerings.

Highlighted Features:

  • Create PDF files from other files like Word
  • Edit/modify PDF files
  • Rotate, Merge or Split PDF file
  • Free to use

Available for: Windows

8. Microsoft Word

microsoft word free
Credit: Microsoft

Yes, you heard it right, Microsoft Word. Yes, Microsoft Word is proprietary software but it comes with a free version as well. A lot of features are not available in the free version of Microsoft Word but for some users, it might be sufficient. Microsoft Word is a multi-platform word processing toolkit that you can use to work with PDF files as well.

Microsoft Word is available for a number of platforms like Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, and Web. While talking about the free features of Microsoft Word free, there won’t be many. You will get about 5GB of cloud storage to store your documents on the cloud so that you can access them anywhere anytime on any device.

Highlighted Features:

  • From Microsoft Family
  • Web-version and offline software available
  • Available for a plethora of different platforms
  • Comes with a free version

Available for: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS and Web

9. Sedja PDF Editor

sedja pdf editor

This one is a free online-based PDF editor that can edit contents in PDF files like texts, images, colors, and other things. Using this free web PDF editor you could perform all sort of tasks you are looking for. And this is the PDF editor that I use on the go if I am about to edit a PDF file.

At times, we might want to make some minor edits to our PDF files like changing the color, change text font, add an additional images or fix some typo in the PDF file itself. Sedja PDF editor will come in handy when you want to perform actions like this.

Since it is a web-based PDF editor, you can use it on pretty much any device that has an Internet connection and a web browser.

Highlighted Features:

  • Web-based PDF editor – No Downloads
  • Free to use
  • Simple user interface

Available for: Web

10. Formulate Pro for Mac

Formulate Pro for macOS

If you are looking for a macOS-only PDF editor then Formulate Pro is one such. It is an open-source and free PDF editor for macOS. One can freely download the software and use it on macOS devices like iMac or Macbook. While comparing it with others in the list, the feature list may not be that impressive but gets the job done.

Users mainly use Formulate Pro at times when they want to fill a simple PDF form, add some graphics or make some minor corrections. If you are looking for a PDF editor for the same use case then you can use Formulate Pro to get the job done.

Highlighted Features:

  • Free and open-source PDF editor for Mac
  • Fill PDF forms and add simple graphics
  • Lightweight PDF editor for macOS

Available for: macOS

Which is the Best FREE PDF Editor?

Above given are some open source and free PDF editor software that you can use to edit PDF files instantly. Depending on the platform and use case type, the best software for different users will change. Go through all the PDF editors mentioned in the article and find one that suits you the best. Me personally, I use free online PDF editors because it is easy for me. Some of the software mentioned in the article can even unlock password-protected PDF files as well.

But for users who do not have an active Internet connection, that might not be the case. All the PDF editors listed in this article are free and can be downloaded from their official website. Download them a give it s shot to see if it works for you.

Castro Joseph
I am the senior editor and social media guy at IPEE World. I do social media management and also write news articles for IPEE World.