The best PDF editors for 2019

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

PDFs are a common file type, one that’s popular among businesses and individuals who are attempting to go green and save on paper. That means having access to the best PDF editors and readers is as crucial as printers used to be. This will allow you to edit text, make annotations, add images, convert PDF files to Microsoft Word, and export files to EPUB format with ease.

Like anything available online though, the number of choices can be overwhelming. We’ve taken the time to find some of the best PDF editors in existence, based on what you need most, to help separate the wheat from the chaff.

At a glance

Product Category
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Our Pick
Microsoft Word Simplest editor
PDF Architect 6 Best Adobe Acrobat alternative
iSkysoft PDF Editor Most secure PDF editor
Sejda PDF Editor Best free PDF editor
PDFescape Best web app

Our Pick

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe first introduced the PDF format 20 years ago and today Acrobat Pro DC is the industry standard when it comes to editing PDF files; one that combines the hallmarks of other programs on our list into one, unified piece of software. It’s also one of the few premium programs available for both Windows and MacOS, and boasts dedicated mobile functionality and the ability to convert PDF files into multiple HTML pages, in addition to the standard Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents.

The software instantly converts and saves scanned documents to PDF, and even possesses the ability to merge multiple documents, spreadsheets, webpages, and the like into a single PDF that’s easy to share on multiple devices. Adobe also offers cloud-based storage and document access through acrobat.adobe.com, along with password protection and the ability to redact private information.

Adobe

Simplest editor

Microsoft Word

Past versions of Microsoft Word have been limited to saving a doc in or out of the PDF format, and that was about it. The more recent 2013, 2016, and 2019 versions, however, allow you to open a PDF and then make specific edits to the piece as a Word document. When finished, you simply save it as a PDF again.

It’s a simple tool, and formatting doesn’t always line up correctly based on the PDF, but it’s an excellent alternative if you need to dip into a PDF fast for a bit of basic editing or text changes. Plus, it’s a very easy method for employees and students to use without having to learn a new tool.

Microsoft

Best Adobe Acrobat alternative

PDF Architect 6 

best pdf editors pdfarchitect01

German company Pdfforge offers a unique purchasing option when it comes to PDF-editing software. PDF Architect is a modular program that’s available as a free download, or as part of three separate packages (Standard, Pro, and Pro+OCR). Each package includes a set of modules for the program, which dictates its editing power. These modules — which range from Edit and Convert to Sign & Secure — are available for individual purchase, too, just in case you only need a select number of editing tools and don’t want to break the bank.

Even the Pro+OCR package is available at a reasonable price; and the full suite of editing tools makes up one of the most complete, inclusive PDF editors out there. PDF Architect 6, the notable follow-up to Pdfforge’s flagship product, PDF Creator, is tailored to fit the needs of any consumer, whether you need the power of optical character recognition or just the ability to convert a file from PDF to HTML.

It added spell checking, batch processing, and a crop tool, among other new functions, over PDF Architect 5.

Pdfforge

Most secure PDF editor

iSkysoft PDF Editor

best pdf editors iskypdf01

iSkysoft evens the playing field by providing a streamlined, feature-laden PDF editor for Mac users as well as Windows devotees. The standard version for MacOS allows you to easily convert PDF files to Word, and comes with a score of basic editing tools that allow you to treat any PDF as if it were a word processor file. Users can annotate PDFs quickly, and edit the layout of any document by adding, removing, or flipping pages. Standard users can also fill out PDF forms directly on their computer, without any printing or scanning.

The real power of iSkysoft, however, comes with the Pro package. For a reasonable fee, you can password protect PDF files, convert them to a number of different formats, and edit PDFs using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, thus ensuring greater accuracy. The Pro and Windows versions also allow users to add stamps and signatures, and OCR is supported in more than 20 languages. However, keep in mind that the Windows version requires an additional add-on if you’re looking for OCR support.

If you want to try out iSkysoft’s editor before you buy or just have a couple of one-off edits to make, there is a free trial you can take advantage of too.

Windows MacOS

Best free PDF editor

Sejda PDF Editor

Sejda

Sejda is a web app designed for speedy PDF work, and it does that very well. It’s very simple, focusing on fast PDF signatures, and offers only basic text editing for the files you upload. But that’s also why we like it.

It provides very clear instructions, it’s hard to mess anything up, and it’s quick. If your boss or coworker doesn’t really understand technology or have the patience to download new apps — but you still need their signature on random PDFs — this is one of the best options available. There are also mobile download options available for Android and iOS.

Sejda 

Best web app

PDFescape

PDFescape

PDFescape is a web app accessible through your favorite browser. There’s no lengthy installation process, and users can access the editor using any operating system connected to the internet. This service is currently compatible with Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera browsers — and you can access the web version here.

Once you open a PDF document within the interface, you can quickly add text, white out previous content, add images, and digitally sign documents wherever you are. Users can also rotate and zoom in on the documents to achieve their desired viewing angle, while utilizing a slew of common support tools. It packs a capable reader and form designer, along with various annotation tools and the ability to auto fill forms. Needless to say, it’s a multi-faceted application and takes up little memory.

There’s also a desktop version that provides the same functionality without requiring an internet connection. While the web version is free, the desktop version requires a minimum of $3 a month after a 14-day trial.

PDFescape

Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Changing a PDF into an EPUB file is easier than you might think

If you like to read on a tablet or ebook reader, you'll find that ePUB files offer a number of advantages over PDFs. With this guide, we'll show you how to convert a PDF to EPUB in a few quick steps.
Mobile

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.
Computing

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.
Computing

Get the most out of your high-resolution display by tweaking its DPI scaling

Windows 10 has gotten much better than earlier versions at supporting today's high-resolution displays. If you want to get the best out of your monitor, then check out our guide on how to adjust high-DPI scaling in Windows 10.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.
Deals

Looking for a Chromebook? The Google PixelBook just got a $200 price cut

Once relatively obscure, Chromebooks have come into their own in a big way in recent years. One of our favorites is the super-sleek Google Pixelbook, and it's on sale right now from Amazon for $200 off, letting you score this premium laptop…
Computing

Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over the 1050 Ti

Rumors suggest Nvidia might soon launch the GTX 1650, and a leaked benchmark listing from Final Fantasy XV suggests that the new graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over last generation's GTX 1050 Ti. 
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Computing

Microsoft’s Clippy came back from the dead, but didn’t last very long

Before Cortana, Alexa, and Siri even existed, Microsoft Clippy dominated the screens of computers in the 1990s to help assist Microsoft Office users when writing letters. He recently made a bit of a comeback only to die off again.
Computing

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…