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Top 15 Best Free PDF Editor Software For Windows 10

Free or paid, PDF editors have their pros and cons. To save your precious time, we have curated a list of the top 10 best free PDF editors for Windows (December 2018), so you can know, before downloading any software, which one to use (or try first) depending on your preferences. PDF editors that offer free trials, but are paid in reality, are also included in this list.

Why and who needs a PDF editor? You can save a file as a .pdf document in various software, but you can edit a PDF document in a very few. You need a PDF editor (not just a reader) when, for example, you receive a document in the PDF format and want to make some changes in it. Or, when you have saved a document as a PDF, and lose or delete the original editable document.

There are some other uses. In any case, a brief introduction to some of the top free PDF editors in 2018 with their pros and cons will help you compare them quickly and pick the one that is best for you.

Top 10 List of Best Free PDF Editors for Windows (December 2018)

1. Wondershare PDFelement 6 Professional

wondershare pdfelement review

A paid software offering a free trial, Wondershare PDFelement 6 Professional is definitely the first software to consider. Wondershare PDF Editor helps you edit PDF files; insert and remove text and images easily. You can also change the format from PDF to any other with ease.

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PROS

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    Easy to use
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    Great editing tools
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    Allow trying to the advanced OCR feature in the trial version
  • Support for converting PDF to Word

CONS

  • No multicolor highlighting from toolbar
  • Docx files do load a bit slowly

2. Sejda PDF Editor

pdf editor online

Sejda PDF Editor is a simple PDF editor that allows you to edit preexisting text in the PDF without adding a watermark to the document. It works in most of the popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge,...

PROS

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    Easy to use.
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    Works on popular platforms (Windows, macOS, Linux)
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    No adding watermark
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    Allows you insert a new page into PDF file

CONS

  • Can be used on PDFs with less than 200 pages
  • Can't edit PDFs larger than 50MB

3. ApowerPDF

free pdf editor

The third free PDF editor on our list right now is ApowerPDF. TechRadar rated it at #1 in August 2018. The online version that starts with the 'Launch Online' option, offers real competition to premium software. 

You can edit PDFs from scratch; a rarely found feature in free software. Not just edit, you can also split and merge PDFs with ApowerPDF. A lot of editing tools to try out and the ability to encrypt the files are also prominent features.

PROS

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    Can create a PDF from scratch.
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    File encryption is possible
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    Ability to split and merge PDFs
  • Nice editing tools

CONS

  • Adds watermark to the desktop version
  • Online version cannot remove watermarks

4. PDF-Xchange Editor

free pdf editor

With built-in optical recognition system (OCR), PDF-Xchange editor is a great option for editing the text in a PDF. With the OCR technology, this software can recognize text in a scanned document.

This is particularly useful if you, for example, happen to only have a handout and not the original file. You can extract pages as well as split PDFs with the PDF-XChange Editor. Comments are also a noticeable feature.

PROS

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    Free
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    OCR is good
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    Attractive interface

CONS

  • Adds a watermark to your document when you try the premium version

5. PDFescape

free pdf editor

DigitalTrends' #1 web app for September 2018, PDFescape is a great web app that is compatible with most popular browsers. You can insert and remove text and images. You can digitally sign the PDF document. You can rotate and zoom.

PDFescape can autofill forms. The online version is free while the desktop version having the same functionality has a minimal fee per month after a free trial.

PROS

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    Free online version
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    Ability to add rectangles to hide certain parts of a page when it's printed
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    Ability to create simple forms - a rarely found feature in free software

CONS

  • Cannot edit pre-existing text
  • Does not have OCR features for scanned PDF file editing

6. Foxit Reader/Foxit PhantomPDF

free pdf editor

Foxit Reader is a free and popular alternative to Adobe Reader. You can create PDFs, comment on them, get notified about new versions of a document when collaborating with others, encrypt and sign your documents, and whatnot.

The setup is quick and easy. Another popular but paid editor from the same company is the Foxit PhantomPDF editor, which is essentially an advanced version with several new features. It offers a 14-day free trial.

PROS

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    Free
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    Fast
  •  Secure
  • Collaboration options.
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    Built-in PDF printer feature
  • Protection and encryption

CONS

  • The trial version of PhantomPDF has limited features
  • PhantomPDF appears to be a tad expensive (especially now when software subscription bundles are a norm)

7. AbiWord

free pdf editor

AbleWord, TechAdvisor's #1 free PDF editor in October 2018, has the ability to import PDF files and make them editable. The results are decent only when importing from Word, but it'll try its hand on every PDF; the results will not be as good as you would want. 

AbleWord, with not as many options, can be used as an alternative to Microsoft Word. Headers, footers, tables, images, and spell check are some of the prominent features of AbleWord.

PROS

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    Free
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    Easy to use
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    Ability to edit imported PDF files
  • Supports some of Microsoft Word features
  • Compatible with Windows XP, Windows 10, and all in between them

CONS

  • The final output is not as good as other PDF editors
  • No updates or additional features are expected
  • Limited features

8. Inkscape

free pdf editor

Basically a free and popular image viewer and editor with hundreds of positive reviews, Inkscape can also be used to create PDFs from scratch and edit imported PDF files within the software.

LifeWire's #2 and G2Crowd's #4, Inkscape makes it to #8 on OMGHowTo.com's list of best free PDF editors of 2018 so far. It's open source and suits people who want to add visuals to their PDFs.

PROS

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    Open source
  • Supports many file formats
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    Has many drawing tools and vector graphics
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    Object creation and manipulation is possible

CONS

  • No multipage document creation option
  • Non-customisable and messy user interface

9. Nitro PRO

free pdf editor

A paid PDF editor offering a free trial, and second only to Wondershare PDFelement (according to them), Nitro PRO is another good PDF editor that made it to #9 on OMGHowTo.com's Top 10 List of Best Free PDF Editors for 2018.

As far as the security of documents is concerned, Nitro PRO is a great option to explore. Just like other popular PDF editors, you can edit, merge, review, and collaborate within the software.

PROS

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    Fast
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    Easy to use
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    Safe and Secure

CONS

  • Expensive
  • The trial version offers a limited functionality

10. FormSwift

free pdf editor

FormSwift's free online PDF editor lets you create a PDF without the need of creating an account. With FormSwift online PDF editor, you can upload a PDF document, make changes to it online, and download the revised version as a PDF or Word document. You can even print it. It is not just limited to PDF; you can upload and edit Word documents and images as well.

PROS

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    Several templates to help create a PDF
  • Free online PDF editor
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    Simple to use

CONS

  • Very basic functionality
  • Online only

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Verdict

Although it is hard to find free PDF editors with the functionality of a paid PDF editor, yet some free PDF editors on this list present a good challenge to premium software. All free PDF editors have their pros and cons and suit different people with diverse preferences.

We hope that this curated list of the top 10 best free PDF editors for Windows (December 2018) helps you select the one suitable for you. Feel free to share your experience. Don't agree with the order in this list? Know some better alternatives? Let us know!

Top 15 Best Free PDF Editor Software For Windows 10
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