4 free programs to edit PDF

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
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Update January 19, 2022: there may be (or you may discover) software that allows you to edit the PDF files in this document. Also, feel free to check out alternatives to Adobe Reader that are used to read PDFs, some of these applications can also help you complete or combine files.

In theory, using the PDF format allows you to create text files that cannot be modified later. But if you receive such a document and find that you need to change something in it, all is not lost.

In fact, with different software completely free and easy to install on your PC, you can open files in PDF format and change certain elements in a fairly simple way.

  • In practice: how to modify PDF files with these 4 free software
  • See also: How to sign, correct a PDF or create a stamp with Adobe Reader

Of course, do not forget that you must be careful to make these changes according to certain rules: do not modify a document if you know that you do not have the right to do so. Use these tricks only when you really need them, for legitimate reasons.

Free Office

If you open a PDF file in the free Libre Office software, you can easily convert it to a format supported by the program and make all the changes you want.

Once the conversion is done, you arrive at a 100% editable file. If you want to recreate a PDF file from the data you have changed, simply export the document again.

LibreOffice is a free suite of office applications for creating text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more, which you can then save in Microsoft Office format.

  • Release date: 06/01/2022
  • Auteur: The Document Foundation
  • License: Free software
  • Categories: Office
  • Operating system : Linux - Windows 32 bits - XP/Vista/7/8/10/11 - Windows 64 bits - XP/Vista/7/8/10/11 - macOS

Acrobat Reader

Many people use Acrobat Reader to read PDF files. With it, you also have the possibility to make some modifications to a document. In fact, you can add new text or drawing areas where you can insert comments or annotations, for example. This is also a great feature to sign a form without having to print it and then scan it.

The possibilities are a bit more limited than in Libre Office, but this software can be enough if you don't need to modify elements in the text.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is the essential tool for your PDF files. You will be able to read, print, comment, digitally sign, convert PDF files and fill in the forms they contain.

  • Release date: 14/01/2022
  • Auteur: Adobe Embedded Systems
  • License: Free license
  • Categories: Office
  • Operating system : Android - Windows - Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11 - iOS iPhone/iPad - macOS

Foxit Reader

Like Acrobat Reader, Foxit Reader includes dialog boxes that you can very easily overlay on the existing document. By adapting the text formatting and making the outlines of this dialog box invisible, you can ensure that your addition goes almost unnoticed and blends naturally into the document.

On the other hand, note that the original text will always remain present in the PDF, underneath your addition, as with Acrobat Reader.

Foxit PDF Reader reads and annotates PDF files (including secure documents), supports plug-ins, and facilitates collaboration and document sharing via email and social networks.

  • Release date: 16/01/2022
  • Auteur: Foxit Software Company
  • License: Free license
  • Categories: Office
  • Operating system : Android - Linux - Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11 - iOS iPhone/iPad - macOS


With InkScape software you have the possibility to modify a PDF file adapting it to the initial format of the document. Every time you open a document with this program, you can use a text editing icon and select the areas of interest.

This solution has the particularity of allowing a modification of the original text of the PDF, which does not happen with Foxit Reader or Acrobat Reader, simply offering the opportunity to superimpose new elements to the existing one. The formatting options are a little more complete than in Libre Office, which makes it easier to avoid typographical errors.

Inkscape is an image editing software that allows you to create, convert and edit images, apply filters and effects and contains a large number of brushes, stamps, templates and tools.

  • Release date: 09/27/2022
  • Auteur: Inkscape Project
  • License: Free Software
  • Categories: Multimedia
  • Operating system : Linux-Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11-macOS

Knowing about this software, you will never again be left without a solution when you need to quickly return a signed PDF document, or add an annotation, or even change/correct certain elements. Choose the most suitable ones according to your comfort of use, functionality and your needs at that moment.

  • In practice: how to modify PDF files with these 4 free software
  • See also: how to sign, correct a PDF or create a stamp with Adobe Reader
  • On the reading side: 5 alternatives to Adobe Reader to read your PDFs

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