We test and rate the best PDF editors you can get, including packages from Adobe, Foxit, Nuance, Nitro and more. Most of the packages here cost money but it is possible to edit PDFs for free.

Your buyer’s guide for the best PDF editors in 2017

PDF (Portable Document Format) is one of the most popular types of document for sharing as most devices and computers can open a PDF for the recipient to read. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using a laptop or a smartphone, nor which software was used to create it.

But while some PDF reader software allows you to annotate or add comments, such as the free Foxit Reader, sometimes you need to edit the actual PDF itself. This is possible with the tools below, even if a different program was used to make the file in the first place. Such programs allow to to do things like convert a PDF to Word format.

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. In addition, most of them also provide advanced features such as form creation, digital signature and ID certification, and collaborative review and commenting, that you generally don’t get with free PDF packages. We also take a look at one free package – AbleWord PDF editor –  to see just how much you can get without spending a penny.

Online PDF editors

If you don’t want to install any software, you can edit up to three PDFs online using PDF Profor free.