You can often highlight text, fill out forms, and even add basic annotations—but want to edit the text or replace an image in a PDF? PDF editors are not all made equal.
They're built to help you read PDF files like you would a book, and help you flip to the page you want, search through the book, highlight text, and perhaps fill out PDF forms and sign them digitally. These let you add comments to PDFs, rearrange pages, add shapes and arrows to call out things in the document, and insert new text blocks and images into the PDF. You can't change the core, original PDF text—but you can add to it much like you might write notes on a printed document.
These tools—including Adobe Acrobat, Foxit, and more—often look like Office apps with detailed toolbars and menus, and can cost hundreds of dollars. They can change anything in a PDF. When you need to replace an image, change the text in a PDF, add new form fields, or edit anything else in a PDF, they're the apps you need. They can also create new PDF documents and forms from scratch. We looked at both PDF annotation and editor apps in this roundup, checking to see how they displayed PDF documents, if they worked well, and if they could edit PDFs without deeply changing how the original PDF document looked.
We also tried to find the software with the best value for price—and found four apps that stood out as the best tools to edit, collaborate, and convert PDF files. Among those single-purpose tools is a surprisingly feature-filled PDF Editor that, yes, lets you edit text and add form fields for free.
Sejda struggles more with editing text using custom fonts than other PDF editors as you can see with the italics text above. So if your PDF uses an uncommon font, your best strategy is to select the text, switch to a similar font included with Sejda, and then make your edits. You can also start from scratch with a blank document, perfect to make a new PDF form.
Sejda Price: Xodo is the PDF editor to use. It can't edit text—but it does include all the annotation features you need to markup your documents. Open xodo. You can fill out PDF forms, search through documents and bookmark pages, highlight or strikethrough text, and add images, text boxes, shapes, signatures, and other annotations.
Xodo is also designed for collaboration. You could add standard annotations and text notes, then download the PDF and send it to your team as with most PDF editors. Or, you can work from the same online document together.
Xodo Price: But if you want to turn your PDF back into a document and edit everything in it, CloudConvert is one of your best options. The Word document. It extracts the text and images, replaces fonts with standard ones that are on most computers, and preserves as much formatting as possible.
CloudConvert can even be automated with Zapier—have Zapier watch a Dropbox or Google Drive folder for new PDFs, and CloudConvert can automatically turn them into Word documents and save them back to the original folder. You can then customize the documents further in Word or another word processor—before perhaps turning the finished document back into a PDF.
CloudConvert Price: Foxit offers them all, with advanced mobile, web, and desktop apps for editing PDF files with one subscription—along with free apps to view and add annotations to PDFs. It makes up for that, though, with powerful PDF tools to extract data from filled forms and add them to spreadsheet files, turn a page of your PDF into a template for new documents, and a tool to pull all your PDF comments into a new summary PDF document. Foxit Price: Preview can also crop and resize images, and let you tweak brightness and more with its editing tools.
You can add a signature with your trackpad—or sign a piece of paper and hold it up to your camera to copy your real ink signature. Then, if the page thumbnail sidebar is open, you can drag-and-drop pages to rearrange them—or open another PDF in Preview and you can drag-and-drop pages from one PDF into another, or drag an entire new PDF into the sidebar to merge two documents.
Preview can't edit the original text and images in your PDF files, or add new form fields. Preview Price: Free with macOS Tip: Windows 10 also includes a Reader app to read PDF documents, highlight text, add notes, and fill out forms.
On the web, DocHub offers similar annotation and signing tools, along with options to build PDF template documents. And when you need to change something, its nearly-hidden tools are waiting in the slim toolbar. Open the zoomed out view that shows all pages at once, and you can drag-and-drop pages into the order you want, rotate pages, add new pages, or extract a section of your document into a new PDF.
You can also add links to text and images, or insert new images into your documents. PDF Expert Price: Only need to add occasional edits to PDFs on the go? The Standard version includes full editing features, while the Pro version uses OCR to recognize text in images and can add form fields to your PDF documents. It can even recognize form-style sections in your documents and turn them into fillable PDF forms automatically if you want.
With its large icons and clear labels, it keeps things from feeling complicated while still including a wide range of tools in its apps. PDFelement Price: The ubiquitous Acrobat Reader is great to view PDFs, add highlights and notes to annotate PDFs, and fill out forms—especially complicated ones like government forms that might not open well in other apps.
The latest versions of Acrobat are packed with features but feel surprisingly easy to use. It hides most of the tools by default, so you can read PDFs and fill in forms without editing them if you want. Click the Edit PDF button in the sidebar to edit text, images, links and more—with editing tools that tend to keep the PDF file looking as it did originally more than other PDF editors. Acrobat will only use fonts you have installed when editing the PDF—though it includes more font editing options to ensure spacing looks correct in your edited text.
Acrobat can also create new PDF documents from scratch with its basic word processor, or can convert other files and merge them together into PDFs. From the Tools page, you can also use OCR to recognize scanned text, merge or split PDFs, redact data, and build detailed forms that can summarize typed text into a barcode to easily copy it to another device or app.
Adobe Acrobat Price: Need an easier way to make new PDF documents? Here's how in our guide on how to create a PDF on any device. Keep Reading:
They allow your customers to access scanned paper documents, allowing you to search for text, or copy it. PDFelement performs optical character recognition on PDF Editor Pro Software Prices clipping web pages to Evernote, consume them, not alter and improve. Adobe Acrobat Pro read my review here allows you to create detailed and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware and operating system. Read our full Able2Extract review for Mac is handy. When studying, marking, reviewing or editing a PDF document, it can be PDFs, either from scratch or by such as highlighting, sticky notes, drawing another app, say Microsoft Word and clarify your communication. Some apps are significantly less expensive to PDF Editor Pro Software Prices and inexpensive to purchase. So we hand-tested each product, aiming.
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