Do you need to edit the content of a PDF file, but don’t have the faintest idea which programs and apps to use to do it? Well, considering the circumstances, I’d say this is your lucky day – you’re about to find just what you need! Believe it or not, there are numerous tools that allow you to edit PDFs in an incredibly simple and, in most cases, free. Now I recommend some of the most valid, all very simple to use and compatible with the main operating systems, for computers, but also for smartphones and tablets. And that’s not all! So, how to edit PDF?
Online services are also available that allow you to work on documents in PDF format directly from the browser, without installing plugins and without downloading other software on your PC. Just visit them and you immediately have the opportunity to perform various editing operations: from merging to splitting pages, from converting PDFs into images or Office files to removing passwords, up to adding writings or other personalized content. Now, however, stop chattering and let’s take action!
Edit PDF: free
To begin with, let’s find out what are the best solutions you have on your side to edit PDFs for free by acting as a computer. Below, therefore, you will find those that I consider the most useful programs for Windows , macOS and Linux . Try them without hesitation!
LibreOffice (Windows / macOS / Linux)
The first PDF editing software I would recommend is LibreOffice , a renowned productivity suite, totally free, open source in nature and available for Windows, macOS and Linux. It includes applications for processing text, spreadsheets, presentations, printable documents and offers full support for PDFs in both reading and writing. It has a graphic interface and a spelling checker in Italian.
To download LibreOffice on your computer, connect to its website and click on the Download version xx button . If you use a Mac, in addition to the software you must also download the language pack to translate it into Italian (which instead in the Windows version of LibreOffice is included in the basic installation package): to do this, click on the Translated User Interface button and wait a few seconds for the download is completed.
When the download is complete, if you are using Windows , open the LibreOffice installation package and, in the window you see appear on the screen, click on the Run button . Next, press the Next button, select the Typical option and click the Next , Install , Yes and Finish buttons to complete the setup.
If you are using macOS instead , open the first .dmg package obtained and copy the LibreOffice icon into the Applications folder on your computer. Then, right-click on the icon and select the Open item from the menu displayed, then press the Open button in the pop-up window on the screen, in order to start LibreOffice going around Apple’s limitations towards applications from non-certified developers ( operation that must be carried out only at the first start). Afterwards, close the program completely by pressing cmd + q on the keyboard.
Also on Mac, then proceed to open the .dmg package of the language pack , click on the LibreOffice Language Pack executable therein, select the Open item from the menu that appears and click on the Open and Install buttons . Then select the item / Applications / LibreOffice.app from the displayed window and press the Install button . If in doing this you see a warning regarding permissions appear, to complete the setup click on the Yes button, identify me, type the password of your user account and press the OK button (twice).
After completing the LibreOffice installation procedure, you are finally free to edit your PDFs with the program. So, once you can see the suite window is on the screen, click on the Open file button located on the left and select the PDF document to be edited, then wait for the file to be loaded into Draw (the LibreOffice software for creating drawings and documents printable)
At this point, you can proceed with the changes by double clicking on the texts. All the tools are extremely simple to use, just click on their icon in the left sidebar, then in the point of the document where to use them and adjust the related settings using the commands that appear on the right.
When you are satisfied with the result obtained, save the modified PDF by selecting the Export to PDF format item from the LibreOffice File menu located at the top left and clicking the Export button in the window that opens.
Icecream PDF Editor is one of the best PDF editing programs available on Windows. It offers us a complete package to edit PDFs giving us the possibility to modify the existing content of documents, add new elements (texts, notes, images, highlights, arrows, stamps and much more) to them, work with pages (adding new ones, deleting existing ones, rotating them or extracting them) and much more. A truly advanced program that combines professional functions with an extremely intuitive user interface completely translated into Italian . It can download and use for free , but apply a watermark to the output documents: to remove the watermark you need to purchase the PRO version for $ 49.95 (lifetime license), which also gives access to commercial use, to the PDF merge function and priority support.
To download Icecream PDF Editor for free, connect to the official website of the program and click on the download button . Afterwards, open the executable file obtained and click first on the Yes button and then on the OK button . Then accept the terms of the license agreement by checking the appropriate box and finish the setup by clicking on the Next (3 consecutive times), Install and Finish buttons .
Once the installation is complete, you just have to start Icecream PDF Editor and follow the quick initial tutorial that shows the main sections of the application: Edit , in which there are the tools to add or modify text, images,
shapes, and move and resize existing objects (all added objects will become a printable part of the original document); Annotate which allows you to add comments, notes (not printable), underlines, shapes, arrows, stamps and comments to the PDF; Manage pages through which you can add, remove, rotate and extract the pages of the document; and finally Complete the forms which allows you to fill in PDFs that contain forms (which, therefore, must be suitably formatted to allow you to fill in the various fields).
To open the PDF to be edited, just click on the appropriate item of Icecream PDF Editor or drag the file into the program window. It should be emphasized that Icecream PDF Editor has a convenient tabbed interface that allows you to keep multiple documents open at the same time and switch from one to the other with ease. Furthermore, on the right there is a convenient navigation menu with previews of all the pages.
For the rest, it’s all so intuitive that you don’t need to add much: just select the tab relating to the operation you want to perform between Edit , Annotate , Manage Pages and Complete Forms , activate the tool to use from the sidebar left and act on the desired point of the document.
For example, to edit text already present in the PDF just access the Edit section of Icecream PDF Editor, select the T | (Edit text) from the sidebar and click on the part of the text to edit. To add new text , stamps (including personalized ones), arrows , shapes or photos to the document, just access the Annotate section of the software and click first on the icon of the tool of your interest and then on the point in the PDF where you want to insert them, and so on. Each tool has its options, always displayed on the left side of the window.
As for the Manage pages section , just call it up to find yourself in front of the thumbnails of all the pages that make up the document and, at the top, the buttons to add pages and files , delete pages , rotate them , extract them , cut them , copy them , paste them and select everything .
Once you have finished working on a document, you can export the final PDF by overwriting the original one or creating a copy: just select the appropriate item from the File menu located at the top left (by clicking on the floppy disk icon at the top left, instead , you can directly overwrite the original document).
If you are using the free version of Icecream PDF Editor you must confirm that you want to save the file with watermark , or you can click on the button to switch to Icecream PDF Editor PRO. More info here.
Microsoft Word (Windows)
To edit PDFs, you can also consider turning to Word , the word processor program included in the Microsoft Office suite . More precisely, using Office versions equal to or later than 2013 it is possible to import PDF documents and edit them as if they were common DOC / DOCX files.
Note, however, that this is only feasible on Windows , as the version of Word for macOS does not allow you to directly import PDFs (at least in the version that I tested at the time of writing the guide). Also keep in mind that Word is not free, but I have chosen to report it to you anyway as it can be tried at no cost (together with the rest of the programs that make up the suite) for a limited period of time, as I explained to you in my guide on argument.
Do you have a Mac? Then I inform you that you can edit PDFs without resorting to third-party applications. Using Preview , the default macOS application for opening images and PDFs, you can customize the content of a document by adding highlights, underlines, signatures, arrows and more to it. It also allows you to rotate PDF pages, merge multiple documents into one and delete / extract pages from an existing file.
To access the PDF editing tools included in Preview, open the document you want to act on by double clicking on its icon . If doing this does not open with Preview, right click on the PDF and select the Open with> Preview items from the context menu.
Once the document is displayed, click on the pencil icon at the top right, in order to bring up the bar with all the tools for editing: by pressing the Aa button you can select the text in the document, by clicking on the “T ” You can add customized writings, by clicking on the icon with the square and the circle you can insert geometric shapes and arrows to the document and so on.
To merge or split documents, instead, activate the thumbnail view from the View menu , reorder, delete or add page thumbnails in the left sidebar
By default, the changes you make are saved directly to the original file. If you want to save a different copy of the document, select the File menu and then choose the Export as PDF item in it.
Other solutions to edit PDF for free
None of the solutions to edit PDFs at no cost from a computer that I have already proposed convinced you in a particular way and, therefore, would you like to understand what other useful solutions you have from yours? I’ll settle you right away: you can find some of them listed below.
- PDFelement ( Windows / macOS ) – it is a software that allows you to view documents in PDF format and to intervene on them by modifying, creating and converting them, all in a very simple way.
- PDFill FREE PDF Tools ( Windows ) – if you don’t want to modify the texts contained in PDF files, but you want to act on aspects such as the number of pages, their orientation, or you want to convert PDFs into other file formats, this is the software that is for you. It is a collection of tools for merging, splitting, rotating, encrypting and tons of other PDF edits. In addition, it supports converting PDFs to images (and vice versa), scan documents to PDF, add signatures / images on document pages and much more. It is totally free.
- PDF Toolkit + ( macOS ) – it is a software for Mac completely translated into Italian that includes numerous functions for editing PDF files. It allows you to merge multiple files into one, split and extract pages from PDFs, convert PDFs to images (or extract images from documents), reduce document size and more.
Edit PDF: online
You do not want or cannot download and install new programs on your computer and, therefore, would you like me to indicate which service through which you can edit PDF online ? Then you can contact the Web services that I have reported to you below. You can use it from any browser, device and operating system.
If you need to edit a PDF “on the fly” and therefore do not have time to install new software on your PC, you can rely on the PDFescape online service , which allows you to retouch the aforementioned type of documents directly from the browser, without registering or having to install special plugins. It supports editing of files as large as 10MB and with a maximum number of 100 pages.
To immediately test its effectiveness, connect to the relevant home page and upload the document to be edited, clicking on the Choose file button , selecting the file of your interest on your computer and then pressing the Upload button . Alternatively, you can upload the PDF by dragging it directly into the browser window, in the Drop PDF Here area.
Once uploaded, use the toolbar on the left to edit the document. You can select one of the three available tabs: the Insert tab allows you to use the functions that allow you to insert text, images and other elements in the PDF; the Annotate one allows you to add annotations and highlights using the buttons visible on the screen; that Page allows you to use functions related to editing document pages, such as those to rotate them, delete them etc.
Once the changes are complete, click on the icon with the green background and the arrows that you can always find on the left side of the screen to download the edited PDF to your computer. Done!
Other solutions to edit PDF online
Are you looking for other solutions to edit PDFs from the web? Then test the solutions that I have reported to you in the list below. I am sure that, in the end, you will be able to find something that will satisfy you.
- DocHub – is an editor for PDF documents (and not only) that allows you to intervene on the aforementioned type of file by adding highlights, geometric shapes and much more. It is incredibly simple to use and also has a nice interface. It requires the creation of an account and basic is free, but eventually it is also available in a paid version (at a cost of $ 4.99 / month) that allows you to use some additional functions.
- iLovePDF – this is an incredibly simple online service to use that offers users various tools for editing PDFs: there is the tool to merge them, the one to split them, the one to convert them to Word and so on. It is not mandatory to register, but it allows you to process only one file at a time and imposes an upload limit of 200 MB. To cope with this and unlock other functions, you need to subscribe to one of the paid plans (with costs starting from 6 euros / month).
- PDF Candy – another online service that offers users numerous tools for converting, splitting, merging, editing, etc. the PDFs that are fed to them. Basically it is free and can use without registration, but possibly also offers paid plans (at a basic cost of 6 euros / month) to take advantage of some extra functions.
- PDF Buddy – is another browser-based service that allows you to edit PDF files, even by inserting new texts and modifying those already present. Basically it’s free and registration is not mandatory, but by creating an account and / or subscribing to one of the paid plans (with prices starting at $ 7.99 / month) you can keep your files online and enjoy other benefits.
Edit PDF: app
You don’t have a computer at your fingertips and, therefore, would you like me to suggest some apps to edit PDFs through which you can perform the operation covered by this guide on the go, from smartphones and tablets? I’ll settle you immediately! In the following lines, in fact, you will find indicated what I believe to be the best applications for Android and iOS / iPadOS . Try them now!
Xodo PDF (Android / iOS / iPadOS)
If you want to edit PDFs from your smartphone or tablet, I first suggest you turn to the Xodo PDF app , available for both Android and iOS / iPadOS. It is one of the most reliable no-cost PDF editors available for smartphones and tablets. Thanks to it it is possible to add writings, signatures, highlights, notes and arrows to PDF documents and, moreover, it interfaces with the main cloud storage services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive .
To download the app on your device, if you are using Android , visit the relevant section of the Play Store and press the Install button (if you are using a device on which the Play Store is not available, you can download the app through an alternative store ) . If you are using iOS / iPadOS , access the relevant section of the App Store , press the Get button , then the Install button and authorize the download using Face ID , Touch ID or Apple ID password . Then, start the app by tapping on its iconadded to home screen.
Other apps to edit PDFs
If you are looking for other apps to edit PDFs from Android or iOS / iPadOS , you can turn to the ones I have included in the following list. Find the solution that you think will do the most for you and download it now.
- Foxit Mobile PDF ( Android / iOS / iPadOS ) – is a free PDF viewer that includes numerous editing features. It allows you to add highlights, text, notes, arrows and more to your documents in a very simple way. (Additional features at the base cost of 11.49 euros).
- PDF Reader ( Android / iOS / iPadOS ) – this is another app that allows you to view and edit PDFs. It’s incredibly simple to use, packed full of useful tools, and free, but offers in-app purchases (at a base cost of $ 3.49) to unlock extra features.
- Write on PDF ( Android ) – app developed by Samsung and specific for Android devices that allows you to view documents in PDF format and edit them by adding annotations and drawings. It is totally free.
- File ( iOS / iPadOS ) – this is the default and free file manager of iPhone and iPad which, perhaps not everyone is aware of, also allows you to view and make simple changes to PDF files.