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Best PDF Editors 2020

A PDF (Portable Document Format) is one of the most popular file types around, mainly due to the ease with which it can be shared and printed. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using a laptop or a smartphone, nor which software was used to create it. 

However, they often can’t be modified, making it difficult to edit a PDF when the time comes. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available at help you do just that, including the likes of Adobe Acrobat, Foxit, Kofax Power PDF and Nitro.

It’s worth establishing the difference between simple PDF readers and dedicated editing software. The former might allow you to annotate or add comments, but to make changes to the PDF itself you’ll need a paid tool. These are relatively inexpensive, and will work even if a different program was used to make the original file. What’s more, many of these tools can also be used to convert a PDF to Word.

Do I need to pay for a PDF editor?

Not necessarily. It depends on what you need to do with the file. It can be worth trying a free one to see if it has the tools and options to make the necessary edits, but in some cases, you won’t be able to do what you need to unless you pay for a more advanced package.

All software below lets you create PDFs from other files – including .doc – but they also allow you to edit PDF files so that you don’t need to track down the original source file in its native format.

Most of them also provide advanced features like form creation, digital signature and ID certification, and collaborative review and commenting, that you generally don’t get with free PDF packages.

We’ve included options with free trials here, but you can also check out our guide on how to edit PDFs for free for some more basic options that might do the trick.

Online PDF editors

If you don’t want to install any software, you can edit up to three PDFs online using PDF Pro for free, and there’s also FormSwift PDF editor online (you may need to complete a CAPTCHA to access.

Best PDF Editors

Adobe Acrobat DC

Kofax Power PDF 3

Nuance Power PDF 3

Wondershare PDFelement


Nitro Pro

Nitro Pro 11

Foxit PhantomPDF

Foxit PhantomPDF

Able2Extract Pro

Able2Extract Pro

Tracker PDF XChange Pro

Tracker PDF XChange Pro


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