What Is a PDF Editor?

A PDF Editor is a dynamic and professional app software platform designed for editing important business documents, PDF forms, and other files for personal use. It is a unique document editor that allows the user to easily and quickly edit, sign, and fill PDF documents. Business managers, working professionals, students, and individuals use a PDF editor to customize their documents as they can modify the content, layout, and pages while utilizing the diverse functions of the app.

According to Bundledocs, a sudden surge in cloud adoption takes place in PDF editing. The most commonly used features in a PDF Editor after viewing based on the survey respondents are splitting or combining or manipulating PDF documents (91%), OCR or  Optical Character Recognition (OCR) of PDFs (69%), converting files to Word or other file formats (69%), and text editing (42%). This report highlights the popularity of OCR as one of the most recognized aspects of the PDF editing process in the United States and Canada. Thus, a PDF editor is a worthwhile document editing application software that lets you create major changes to your documents and build new PDF documents. 

Best PDF Editor Apps

There are numerous PDF editor and PDF signer apps that are available out there and they can be used on your Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad, or other smart devices. What are the best PDF editor software applications for students, working professionals, and other individuals? 

1. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC or Adobe PDF is a high-level and professional app software generally used by many business professionals and other people for creating, editing, reviewing, and securing PDF files. Easily navigate to its reliable toolset as it has an accessible tabbed interface design with comprehensive PDF editing features. If you want to fill your documents and get signatures, you can streamline the document using the sharing feature of this software. It is an easy-to-use document editing tool with a straightforward user interface that provides efficiency when it comes to editing and updating forms. 

2. pdfFiller by airSlate

Do you need to edit your PDF file on your web browser like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Microsoft Edge? Try pdfFiller by airSlate, a web browser-based PDF editor that enables you to edit, secure, share and store PDF documents using its intuitive and simple web-based interface. As a comprehensive cloud-native software, it offers rich and versatile editing tools that help you to turn your PDf files into fillable forms for work and store different digital signatures and initials within the app. It acts as a collaborative tool that lets other people work simultaneously on the same document or form.

3. Nitro PDF Pro

One of the excellent and industry-leading PDF software for document management and electronic signatures, Nitro PDF Pro enables the user to perform common editing tasks, collaborate on documents, and secure PDF signatures in a browser without the need to open a desktop program. If you want to have more seamless document workflows, this software helps you to work on your team projects and tasks easier than ever before. With a Microsoft Office ribbon-style interface design and fully integrated with Nitro Cloud, you can easily use different document editing features such as adding text, customizing signatures, and inserting text boxes into your PDF files. 

4. PDF Expert

If you are using Mac, iPad, and iPhone or simply the entire Apple ecosystem, PDF Expert is a fantastic full-featured editor app for Apple devices that you must use as it seamlessly syncs across these devices. Although Mac has a PDF editor on its Preview app, iOS devices don’t have a native PDF editor tool.  PDF Expert is a unique PDF editor that shows a clean and intuitive interface and provides a plethora of accessible editing features and annotation tools like converting scanned documents into PDF editable files and page management. 

5. PDF-XChange Editor

PDF-XChange Editor contains more than 200 free features that you can utilize conveniently for your work. Aside from creating documents and fillable forms, annotating documents, and editing and enhancing files, this PDF software will assist you when you add links to layers, export PDFs to WebP images, go to next/previous bookmark using Hotkeys, manage ‘Do Not Show Again’prompts in the UI, resize pages to match existing document page sizes and save documents automatically while signing digital documents. 

Key Functions of a PDF Editor

After knowing the main features of the best PDF editor apps out there, you must think carefully when you choose the PDF editor app suitable for your needs and preferences. What are the key functions of a PDF editor you need to consider? 

Create, Convert, and Export PDF Documents: The most crucial function of a PDF editor is to create PDF files. You can do this from scratch when you scan hard copies or convert digital documents. A powerful PDF editor will let you convert different file formats to one another seamlessly while maintaining the original formatting. Plus, it must allow you to export PDFs into other editable formats like MS Word, PowerPoint, or HTML. Edit Text, Images, and Other Page Elements: Most PDF editor apps have OCR technology, a unique function that can make searchable and editable PDF text. A good PDF editor will let you edit text, insert, resize, and drag images into different positions, and reorganize the page elements in your PDF document. For example, you can easily and quickly drag and drop graphics and add or remove hyperlinks on your PDF. Review, Annotate, and Markup PDF Files: Editors, proofreaders, project managers, supervisors, quality control specialists, and other professionals use a PDF editor to review, annotate, and markup PDF documents to give their contextual feedback evaluation. Use digital sticky notes or the comment feature in the PDF editor. This is a valuable function for project team collaboration so that each one of the members can give and see their feedback in real-time. Some benefits of this function are to make document management faster and more efficient, eliminate endless email exchanges from the proofreading and editing process, streamline communication among remote project teams, facilitate real-time communication, allow information visualization, and promote asynchronous communication between team members. Mobile Support: If you are always on the go and mostly working in different locations, make sure that the PDF editor you will use has mobile support. It should be optimized for all Android mobile and iPhones. And it should provide cloud access to essential features through a mobile browser. The best PDF editor apps for mobile are PDFelement Android, OfficeSuite: Free Office + PDF Editor, Xodo PDF, Adobe Fill and Sign, and Write on PDF. PDF Document Protection and Security: Check if the PDF editor app ensures that your confidential documents are secured and protected to avoid security breaches or leakage of sensitive information to the public. It should offer PDF document security measures such as password protection, document expiry, self-destruct, access restriction, watermarking, and document tracking of who has viewed the document. For instance, use the self-destruct or expiry option to limit how long someone can gain access to your PDF document as you set an expiration date and time or allow it to self-destruct in just a few minutes.

How to Edit a PDF Document

PDF documents with text, charts, and graphics can be professionally edited using the best PDF editor apps available in the market to enhance their content and visual quality. What are the simple steps to edit a PDF document using a PDF editor?

Step 1: Select a PDF Editor App

Do your research when considering the PDF editor app that aligns with your current needs and preferences based on your work. For example, choose Swiftdoo if you want an affordable and budget-friendly yet comprehensive PDF editing tool, especially if you are a working college student. If you are a high school student and an Android user, select PDF Candy, a free PDF editor with OCR function, and many other advanced features such as scanning and multiple file-conversion options.

Step 2: Read the Instructions

Before you use the PDF editor you selected, familiarize yourself with the core features and functions of the app. You need to carefully read the instructions or how-to guide of the PDF editor so that you can easily navigate and utilize the necessary tools for your editing work.

Step 3: Open the PDF Editor

Look for your PDF editor app on your Windows, Mac, Android mobile, tablet, iPhone, or iPad, and then, open the PDF editor tool. If you are using Adobe Acrobat, open the Edit PDF tool at the right panel and click the Select a File button. Then, select the file you want to edit in the Open dialog box and click Open.

Step 4: Edit Text and Images

Modify the contents of your PDF document. For Adobe Acrobat users, click in a text box to change the text and correct the typo. You may add, change, format, delete, or highlight text. If you want to format the text in your PDF, change the font, size, character spacing, line spacing, horizontal scaling, color, or stroke width. To transform the images, click the image, and utilize the options in the Objects section in the right panel to align, crop, flip, or rotate the image. You can also move or resize an image or object and align images or objects.

Step 5: Save the Edited PDF File

Check the overall content, format, and style of your edited PDF. Name the edited PDF file and click Select File and the Save button. Or click Save As to save your document.


What are the best PDF editors?

Some of the best PDF editors available out there are Adobe Acrobat Reader DC or Adobe PDF editor, Foxit Reader, Nitro Reader, PDF Expert,  PDF-XChange Editor, pdfFiller by airSlate, Smallpdf, Wondershare PDFelement, FineReader PDF for Windows and Mac, Lumin PDF for G Suite, PDFLiner, OfficeSuite, Jotform – PDF Editor, and PDF Candy. 

What are the key functions that must be considered before choosing a PDF editor app software?

The key functions you need to check and consider before choosing a PDF editor app software are it must create, convert, and export PDF documents, and edit text, images, and other page elements well. It should allow you to review and annotate your PDFs as you can easily and quickly add your comments to your files. Also, consider if the PDF editor app has mobile support and security features.

Is there a PDF editor available in Microsoft Office?

Use the Microsoft Word or MS Word software application which is part of Office 365 as your PDF editor. Edit your PDF files conveniently in this app.

How to edit a PDF for free?

Use a variety of free PDF editor apps available online like PDF Candy. You can also use Adobe Acrobat to edit your document. Open the Adobe Acrobat app and click on the “Edit PDF” tool in the right panel. Utilize the wide selection of editing tools provided there. For example, edit text, add new text, or change fonts in your PDF file. Lastly, save your edited PDF document as you name it and click the Save button.

How to create an editable PDF form without Adobe Acrobat?

Visit the JotForm website or any other free online PDF editor website. Create your personal account or sign in with your existing Google or Facebook account. After you signed in, select “Blank Form” and choose “Add Form Elements.” Then, tap the fillable fields you want in your PDF form.

Choose the best PDF editor app according to your personal and professional needs and preferences so that you can manage and complete your PDF files. Make sure that the PDF editor will help you to fully edit documents, annotate your PDFs, fill PDF forms, redact confidential details, and sign electronically using your stylized electronic signature. Sample.net offers an extensive template collection of PDF documents and forms such as sales consignment contracts, property lease proposals, and many others that you can easily access and download.