Top 12 Best PDF Editors for Windows

Alexandra Meyer
by Alexandra Meyer

First of all, can you even edit a PDF? This file format is a solid one and originally it is not supposed to be changed. Nonetheless, you can do that with a reliable PDF editor although this seems to be a tricky task. If you have the right PDF programs at hand, there shouldn’t be any difficulties with editing a PDF file. The problem is that finding a decent service that corresponds to your needs might be more complicated than it first seems.

Some PDF editors are great for documents containing text, others would be quite helpful when it comes to working with graphic elements of PDF files. We’ve tested popular apps to edit PDF files on Windows to help you find the PDF editing software that fully satisfies your demands.

1. Icecream PDF Editor - the best PDF editor for Windows 10 and 11

Icecream PDF Editor is free-to-download and very easy to use. This software has multiple tools to edit PDF files. You can correct mistakes and edit existing text in your documents, add new text, make it bigger or smaller, change its font, color, opacity, and much more.

Icecream PDF Editor for Windows OS

If you want to add graphics to your document, feel free to do so; simply click the image icon and upload a picture you need to your input file. Draw lines and arrows of color and size of your choice, add rectangles and circles, and this all is only about PDF editing. If you wonder how to annotate a PDF then Icecream PDF Editor will provide you with even more options.

Stamps, notes, highlights, and underlining, and anything you might think of when commenting upon a document without actual editing PDF content. You can make propositions to share your ideas about how you think a document might be edited, get it approved, and edit it afterward.

Besides that, in the Manage Pages mode of PDF editor for Windows, you can combine PDF files. This is done by adding a page or another PDF file seeing the thumbnails of each. You may delete unneeded pages, rotate pages, merge PDF files, or extract PDF pages creating a separate file. This very convenient when working with contracts, portfolio, business plans, or other important documents.

You can also fill in forms in PDFs using the relevant mode .

Last but not least, documents are secure with Icecream PDF Editor. If you want to make sure your files wouldn’t be accessed by anyone without your permission you can password-protect your PDFs.

Licensing: Shareware, Lifetime license $49.95

Our Rating: 10 / 10


  • Full-featured PDF editor.
  • Lets you edit PDF text and automatically recognizes its font.
  • Annotate PDF.
  • Change PDF file permissions.


  • No feature to create fillable PDF forms yet.

2. Foxit PhantomPDF - famous software to edit PDF

Foxit PhantomPDF is a great PDF editing software with an OCR system available. So whether you are working with a PDF file that was scanned or with files that were previously converted to PDF, you can still edit the text. Not only can this PDF editor change the existing content including text. It also annotates your PDF, adds links, graphic elements, images, audio, and video, inclines text markup, highlights areas, works with comments, inserts stamps and forms, rotates pages, and much more.

All these features are easily accessible from the intuitive menu. With this PDF editor for Windows, you can open multiple files at once and they will be kept in separate tabs. This is very handy when you are working on multiple documents. To download this PDF redactor, though, you are required to add your email, first and last name, company, and phone number. This is slightly inconvenient.

Licensing: Shareware, Lifetime license $199.95

Our Rating: 9 / 10


  • PDF editor with OCR system.
  • Nicely designed GUI.
  • Edits both scanned and converted to PDF files.


  • Takes up 483 MB.
  • Personal data is required before downloading the Free version.
  • PRO version of PDF modifier is rather pricey.

3. Nitro PDF Pro - edit PDF file on Windows OS without hassle

Nitro PDF Pro is a PDF editing software with a whole suite for quality work with PDF files. If you wish to edit PDF as a text, you can turn on the OCR feature. This way you can proceed with bringing edits to a PDF document just like to any other text file. Paragraphs of the text can be moved around the list with the drag-and-drop mechanism. With this PDF editor, you can add images, insert blank pages, incline elements from a file, clipboard, or scanner, and delete, crop, and rotate pages. Extraction, splitting, and replacing pages are also supported. In addition to that, add watermarks, page numbers, headers and footers, notes, stamps, links, and drawings with this PDF redactor.

Adding comments and attaching files is also supported by Nitro PDF Pro. In this PDF editor for Windows 11 and 10 users can fill forms, sign their documents. Also secure them with a password, and even upload files to cloud storage. All these multiple advanced editing features might confuse someone who just wondered how to crop a document or add text. By and large, this app is amazing but a bit excessive if you need a basic PDF editing tool.

Nitro Pro 10 has a 14-day trial period. You would need to enter your name, surname, and e-mail to install this PDF editor, and you are ready to go. You can activate the PRO version immediately once you installed Nitro but who wouldn’t like to enjoy good things for free first? Nitro Pro 10 allows you to edit PDF on Mac, too.

Licensing: Shareware, $179.99 (Windows)/$129.99 (Mac)

Our Rating: 9 / 10


  • Works with password-protected files.
  • PDF editor with intuitive interface.
  • OCR feature built-in.
  • Full-featured.


  • High level of complexity.

4. ABBYY FineReader PDF - excellent PDF editor with built-in OCR

It has a user-friendly interface that helps launch the software. You can easily import documents into the program and then edit PDFs with a variety of tools. It supports a wide range of file formats, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, HTML, and more.

The PDF editor for Windows also has powerful characteristics that render it a perfect selection for document management and PDF editing. It facilitates the transformation of PDFs into editable formats such as Word and Excel. Furthermore, it aids you to create fillable forms, add signatures and add text boxes to documents. You can also secure your documents with a password for added protection.

The PDF editor also includes the highest-quality OCR feature that serves to transform scanned documents into searchable text files. It also supports batch conversion, streamlining the process of converting multiple files at once.

Licensing: Shareware, $169.99

Our Rating: 9 / 10


  • Supports multiple languages.
  • Can batch process PDFs.
  • Offers advanced features such as OCR, which facilitates search and editing text in PDFs.


  • Pricey on comparing to other PDF editing software.

5. LibreOffice Draw - one of the best 100% free PDF editor

LibreOffice Draw is an open-source PDF editor from a LibreOffice software package. This PDF modifier edits text from a document exactly like in LibreOffice Writer. So there are actually plenty of useful features you can work with. Graphic elements like arrows, stars, and rectangles can be added to your PDF. You can add diagrams and tables, change the layout of a page, and add macros, video, audio, objects, and frames.

This PDF editing app can ease up your work with text documents in PDF format considerably. It perfectly opens PDFs protected with a password. The interface is pretty outdated yet comfortable to work with.

Licensing: Freeware

Our Rating: 8 / 10


  • PDF editor that can easily edit PDF text.
  • Supports the addition of graphic elements.
  • Completely free.


  • No OCR system.
  • Outdated design.

6. Inkscape - editing text in PDF in a minute

Inkscape is a famous free PDF editing app that is open-source and offers plenty of features to edit PDF files. The program is a bit overloaded with buttons, as it’s not only a PDF editor for Windows but generally a vector graphic software. Compared to other PDF redactors like AbleWord or LibreOffice Draw, working with text in Inkscape is rather complicated.

You can delete text and type on PDF easily, but typing new text turns out to be difficult; you need to manually select the font and the size so that the new text fits into an old one. Editing a PDF with graphics is much easier - there are abundance of elements to be added to the PDF. Inkscape PDF editor lets you work with layers, paths, filters, and lots of extended settings for professional editing.

Licensing: Freeware

Our Rating: 8 / 10


  • Variety of tools to edit graphics.
  • PDF editor with advanced settings.


  • Doesn’t modify PDF that are password-protected.
  • Complex text editing.

7. Expert PDF Editor - edit PDF on Windows 11, 10

Expert PDF Editor might be considered one of the best PDF editor for Windows 10 with an interface that is quite simple. This PDF redactor supports the OCR system with multiple languages (compared to the vast majority of PDF editing software that only in English). It also encrypts files with passwords and opens most of the password-protected documents. If your PDF document has a password, you can highlight the text; if it doesn’t, you can fully edit your content.

As for the graphics, you can add sticky notes, and random lines by means of pencil. It is possible to add stamps, ellipses, rectangles, and images, add watermarks and page numbers, and add forms while editing a PDF. You can split, rotate and adjust your documents in size with this PDF editor. Adding a password to protect a PDF file is available. Several files can be opened and kept in separate tabs. If you need an easy yet full-featured PDF editing software then Expert PDF Editor is a good choice for you.

Licensing: Shareware, Lifetime license starts at $39.99

Our Rating: 8 / 10


  • Easy to use PDF editor.
  • Offers basic editing options.


  • Doesn’t edit existing PDF text.

8. Kofax Power PDF - PDF editor for Windows and macOS

The user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate. PDF editing program has a simple toolbar on the left side of the screen that contains all the essential features. It includes tools for creating a new document, editing an existing document, adding text and images to a document, merging documents, transforming documents into different formats, and more.

Kofax Power PDF Editor provides state-of-the-art capabilities such as automatic field recognition, page rotation and cropping. It has integration with Microsoft Office applications, password protection for documents, digital signatures and encryption. This editing PDF application enables the simultaneous processing of multiple documents.

The software is available in two versions: Standard and Professional. The Pro version has additional features such as character identification (CI), redaction instruments for secure document handling, the ability to add watermarks to documents, etc.

Licensing: Shareware, $129.00 - $179.00

Our Rating: 8 / 10


  • Encrypt the documents with passwords for extra security.
  • Compatible with other programs.
  • Multi-platform PDF editor.


  • The program can be acquired as a standard or advanced (only for Windows).
  • There's no live chat or phone support available.

9. Adobe Acrobat DC - cross-platform PDF editor and creator

Acrobat DC is a product made by Adobe; so if you are used to using its apps this might be a great option to edit PDF files. This PDF redactor has all the basic features, such as adding an image to your PDF, drawing lines and arrows, deleting pages from a file, and much more. Not only can you upload your PDFs to edit, but also scanned documents which are important for working with business files and contracts. You can also type on docs if you don’t want to literally edit a PDF.

The interface of the PDF editor for Windows looks pretty outdated which is unusual to Adobe. If wonder how to modify PDF without Adobe there are some other options but with Acrobat DC, you indeed have all tools at hand. But then again, the fact is, they are randomly placed which most probably confuses a new user. Of course, you’ll be able to edit your PDFs the way you need; but it might take more time and effort than you expected.

There’s a real disadvantage in this PDF editor, though: Adobe’s so-called free trial starts with a commitment to monthly or annual payments. You can’t try editing a PDF with this app before entering your credit card data.

Licensing: Shareware, $179.88/year license cost

Our Rating: 8 / 10


  • Built-in OCR system.
  • PDF editor with a lot of advanced features.
  • Edits scanned files.


  • High level of complexity.
  • User-unfriendly interface.

10. Swifdoo PDF Editor - editing text in PDF and convert it

Swifdoo is a powerful and feature-packed PDF editor for Windows. It facilitates users in creating, annotating, and editing PDF documents quickly and accurately. With its intuitive design, it is the perfect choice for both novice and experienced users.

The program grants users the ability to edit multiple PDF files at once and edit them simultaneously. The user can also add comments, highlight important points, and draw freehand lines on the document.

The software supports a range of document formats including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, TXT, CAD, and HTML as well as image files like JPG, PNG, GIF, etc. This renders the conversion of documents into PDFs or vice versa effortless.

Swifdoo offers several security features to protect your documents from unauthorized access. PDF Editor supports file encryption with passwords and digital signatures for added safety. Furthermore, it also provides sophisticated functions like PDF redaction and content removal that help prevent confidential information from being seen or taken without permission.

Licensing: Shareware, $48.00

Our Rating: 8 / 10


  • Turns folders, and emails into PDFs.
  • Quick to edit large PDF files.
  • Support for multiple formats.
  • Works on Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7 and XP.


  • Cloud storage is not available.

11. PDFgear Desktop - PDF editing tool with cloud support

PDFgear Desktop is a comprehensive PDF editor for Windows and Mac users. This software allows you to create, edit, convert over 25 formats, and merge PDF files. You can even turn paper documents into digital ones with its scanning feature.

PDF software is very simple to use, with a streamlined user interface and intuitive icons. To start PDF editing, you just have to drag and drop your file onto the program. Then, you can insert text or images, annotate pages, fill out forms, add signatures, apply watermarks, and more.

PDF modifier also comes with cloud storage integration. This helps you store and share PDFs on Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and other cloud services. You can send the documents directly from the program as an email attachment or via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Licensing: Freeware

Our Rating: 7 / 10



  • Uploads PDFs directly only, without the use of links.
  • The feature set available in PDFgear Desktop is quite limited.

12. AbleWord - straightforward software to edit PDF

AbleWord is a really awesome PDF editing software if the documents you are working with were previously converted from Word. Basically, you can open such a file in AbleWord, automatically make PDF editable, and work with it just like in Microsoft Word. Edit PDF text, add tables, highlight, work with font, change the alignments of text – you’re able to do everything with this compact PDF editor for Windows OS.

We tried a scanned document but it was recognized as an image. It didn’t make PDF editable in this case, so we wouldn’t recommend this app for those who need to work with scanned PDFs. This PDF editor doesn’t open password-protected files, either.

Licensing: Freeware

Our Rating: 7 / 10


  • Simple-to-navigate interface.
  • Compact size.


  • No OCR system.
  • PDF modifier doesn’t work with scanned and password-protected documents.

How to choose the best free PDF editor for Windows?

With so many options out there, it can be difficult to know which software is best for you. Here are a few tips:

  1. Consider what type of editing you need. Do you need to edit PDF text, images, or both? Different editors offer various features, so ensure that the one you select has all the tools you need.
  2. Look at the user interface. Is it straightforward to employ? If not, it might be worth considering another editor.
  3. Check the features offered by each PDF editor. Do they offer basic editing tools like adding or removing text and images? Or do they provide further capabilities such as text recognition and form filling?
  4. Make sure that the editor is compatible with your system. Some editors are only available for certain versions of Windows and may not work with your OS.
  5. Read reviews from other users to get an idea of how well a particular editor works. Reading reviews can help you make an informed decision.

By taking these tips into consideration, you should be able to find a PDF editing software that is free of charge and fulfills your requirements.


1. What is a PDF editor and why would I use it?

By using a PDF editor, users can modify existing PDF documents, craft new documents from scratch, annotate (draw, leave comments,, stamps, sticky notes, etc.) and much more.

2. What are the characteristics of a quality PDF editor?

A good PDF modifier should have features like editing PDF text, incorporating stamps, annotating documents, forming shapes, and converting other document types to PDFs.

3. What is the difference between a PDF reader and a PDF editor?

A PDF reader is used to view and read existing documents while a PDF editor allows users to modify and create new files.

4. How do I edit the text in a PDF document?

Best free PDF editor gives tools for editing text; just choose what you would like to alter and make your modifications.

5. Is it possible to include pictures or visuals in my PDF document?

Yes, a PDF editor permits you to include images or graphics in the document; drag and drop them into the document from your computer's file explorer or employ the program's insert image function.

Editing text in PDF: Tips

1. Create a Backup of the Document. Save a copy of the document before making any changes. This way, if you make mistakes or want to go back to the original version, you can easily do so.

2. Take Advantage of Keyboard Shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts can help you quickly achieve the desired results without having to navigate through the PDF editor menus.

3. Utilise Toolbar Buttons. Toolbar buttons provide quick access to common tasks such as saving, printing, and searching for text. Use them instead of navigating through menus so that you can work faster and more efficiently.

4. Select Text Easily. To select text rapidly, double-click on the word or phrase you want to choose. Then drag the cursor to pick the entire sentence or paragraph.

5. Add Annotations. Annotations are an awesome way to add comments or notes to a document without editing text in PDF. They are also useful for highlighting important parts of the document so that they stand out from the rest of the text.

6. Make Use of Drawing Tools. Drawing tools give you flexibility when editing a PDF file. It allows you to draw shapes, lines, or arrows as needed in order to better illustrate your point or emphasize certain parts.

7. Check Page Size/Layout.

Page size and layout can be changed according to your needs by using options such as adjusting margins, adding columns, or changing paper size for example A4 or A5 paper size etc.

Best PDF editor for Windows 10: Bottom Line

Finding a PDF editor out of a great variety of PDF programs that suits all your needs, offers just the proper amount of features with a modern and easy-to-use interface yet is a secure software to use is quite a task. We reviewed offline apps because we know that you need your documents and contracts not to be uploaded elsewhere or handed to third parties which sometimes happens with online PDF modifiers.

Besides that, it doesn’t matter how fast your internet currently works if you use offline PDF editing software - it still is going to work as fast as it possibly can. We hope that our list of the top 12 PDF editors for Windows in 2023 helped you find your best PDF editing application to use.

Alexandra Meyer
by Alexandra Meyer
Related articles:
PDF files can be easily opened and viewed, but modifying is much more complicated - especially when it comes to text editing in a PDF.
PDF documents are not supposed to be edited. One needs to have a special program for each and every editing operation when editing a PDF ...
PDF is a very common format to keep documents in. When sharing such files with others, you may need to leave comments or highlight text in ...