Best Free Online PDF Editors 2020

You need the best free online PDF editor?

I’ve got you 8 of the most advanced, feature-rich and free PDF editors.

Note that “online” isn’t just a keyword.

All of the tools mentioned below (except the first) are truly online and browser-based.

No downloads required.

In most cases, you do not even need to signup/register.

8 Best Free Online PDF editors

Know that I’ve personally used every single one of these online PDF editors before making these recommendations.

Let’s get that PDF document edited then?

Website: https://pdf.wondershare.com/pdfelement/

Wondershare isn’t an “online” PDF editor.

But, it’s so immensely feature-rich that this list wouldn’t be complete without its mention.

For starters, you can upload any PDF document and start editing right away.

The existing content on the PDF can be edited, or you can add your own content.

The interface resembles with Microsoft Word’s and hence there isn’t a big learning-curve either.

Have an image/screenshot with text on it?

Even that can be edited!

Wondershare offers OCR.

It’s a feature which detects texts on images and turns them into plain/editable text.

Basic image editing such as rotating, cropping etc. is also possible.

Directly drawing on the document is supported as well.

You can also add shapes, speech-bubbles, stamps and icons.

There’s a template-rich library which can be used to create formal/complex documents  in seconds. (No more paying lawyers for that simple agreement you need!)

File-size too big? Wondershare PDF Element has a built-in compressor!

Also allows adding new pages, splitting the document in multiple parts, and even extracting individual pages from the document.

Has in-built form detection and creation features.

Combo boxes, dropdown menu, push buttons, check boxes and many other elements can be added.

Hey, documents may be sensitive, right?

Wondershare PDF editor offers password protection, encryption, and even a redaction feature.

Also allows adding watermarks, and digital signatures.

Finally, there’s also an in-built PDF convertor which can be used to change the formats of the PDF files.

Is 100% free, and truly one of the most advanced PDF editing software. Get it now!

Optional paid plans start as low as $6.99/month. (One-time license costs just $79.00).

It’s available in 9 languages making sure language doesn’t prevent you from editing that PDF document!

Security tip: Wondershare is a lot more secure than any other “online” editor. Your files never leave your computer. No uploads required.

  • Soda PDF

Website: https://www.sodapdf.com/pdf-editor/

Soda PDF is another free online PDF editor.

It’s equally, or in some cases even more feature-rich than Wondershare!

Files can directly be imported from Google Drive or Dropbox.

Has this unique feature of letting us turn any URL (webpage) into a PDF file, and edit it!

In a way, it’s the perfect (and free) landing page ripper!

Enter a URL, change the text/images, download it as an HTML file and upload on your own server!

It even recognizes the tables, boxes and other elements on a document! Simply drag & drop to change the entire webpage /document in seconds.

The interface, alike Wondershare’s PDF Element mimics MS-Word.

Extract, merge, split documents.

Even has an “extract image” feature, detects and extracts all images from a PDF document, in seconds!

OCR for text-detection on images too is available.

Add password, and restrict access to specific functions on the document!

Insert images, watermarks, shapes, batch numbers and a lot more.

Highlight, underline or strike content.

Not only lets you insert stamps, but also “create” custom stamps from any image.

Whiteout (redaction), document comparison, and advanced form creation (radio buttons, dropdown, list boxes, push buttons, checkboxes etc). are some other superpowers that Soda PDF boasts of.

Even has a “search and redact” feature. One-click redaction of specific text! Pretty advanced, eh?

In-built converter lets us convert the PDF file into Word, PPT, Excel, HTML, Text and even RTF files.

Hey, if I’m being honest, this is “the most advanced” free online PDF editor.

If you aren’t going with Wondershare, do give SodaPDF a try.

I bet you can’t find a better option, which is free, SodaPDF is!

  • Sejda

Website:  https://www.sejda.com/pdf-editor

Sejda does allow editing existing content on a document.

So, it’s not limited to simply “adding” new text.

It’s 100% free, and extremely easy to use.

Upload a PDF document (or import directly from Google Drive / Dropbox), select the text you wish to change, and edit away!

Impressive linking feature offered. Add clickable links to web pages, pages within the PDF document or even to emails!

Also offers elements to fill forms, or create your own.

Text boxes, radio buttons, checkboxes and even dropdown fields can be added and customized within seconds.

Digitally sign documents or add stamps.

Advanced annotation features include strikeout, underlining, highlighting and obviously, drawing on the document.

The “Whiteout” feature lets either redact documents, or simply change data.

It also automatically detects unedited text-boxes.

Meaning, if you wanted to add text somewhere, added the new text field, but forgot to actually edit the text, Sejda will indicate this before letting you save the document.

It even creates a sharable link! No downloads required. Simply share this link with others to share the document.

Obviously the download option is available in case you need it.

Sejda is 100% free.

Paid plans start at $5.00 for 7 days, or $7.50 for a month.

  • PDF Escape

Website: https://www.pdfescape.com/windows/

PDF Escape is online, as in, doesn’t require downloads.

It’s 100% free, and doesn’t even require registrations.

However, the online version is a bit limited.

E.g. existing text on a document can only be edited in the Windows app version.

In the online version, you can only add new text, or edit this new text.

There’s a “whiteout” feature, which is similar to the “redaction” feature offered by Wondershare. It’s just, well, white.

The “freehand” feature allows drawing on the document. Use these for annotations maybe?

Also allows creating forms directly. Has reset/radio buttons, text fields, dropdown menu, checkboxes etc.

Clickable links too can be inserted.

It also offers direct sharing options, however, that’s only available for the registered users.

Password protection too is available, even on the online version.

The PDF files can be converted to JPG and PNG files as well.

Some other features such as watermarks, digital signs, and page numbers too are reserved for the Desktop app.

Paid plans sure do exist, the “Premium” plan costs $2.99/month, while the “Ultimate” plan is priced at $5.99/month.

Also offers a 15-day refund policy just in case.

  • Small PDF

Website: https://smallpdf.com/edit-pdf

Another browser-based free PDF editing website.

You can upload documents from your hard disks, or Google Drive and even Dropbox.

Allows adding images as well as shapes.

Unfortunately, you can’t edit existing text.

It’s best used when you need to fill PDF forms.

Just upload the files, and add text wherever you wish.

There is a “draw” feature letting us draw directly on the document.

Claims to offer 100% security (I haven’t verified the encryption manually).

Technically, a number of other features available.

These include merging PDFs, splitting them, even compressing and converting them.

PDFs can be converted to word, PPT, JPG, or excel files.

Password protecting PDFs, or signing them is possible as well.

The only problem?

These additional features are offered on a different page.

In other words, Small PDF has broken its features down and uses different pages to make them available.

  • PDF24

Website: https://tools.pdf24.org/

PDF24 is a suite of online tools.

The PDF editor is pretty limited by itself.

As in, it only allows adding new text, images or shapes.

However, it has other “tools”.

These are hosted on the same URL (domain) but on different pages.

They can be accessed by clicking on the “tools” button on the top-bar.

There’s a PDF compressor, PDF convertor, web optimizer, PDF merger, splitter etc.

There’s also a tool to password-protect the PDF documents.

It too offers OCR.

So, you can upload photos and extract/edit the text.

It also has a PDF page extractor which can be used to extract individual pages from the PDF documents.

It doesn’t need any registration or payment.

The web-version is limited when it comes to features and its Desktop app is what offers all the features.

Does support direct imports from Google Drive and Dropbox. Or, simply drag & drop your file on the screen.

  • PDF Zorro

Website: https://www.pdfzorro.com

Yes, it’s not the most advanced free online PDF editor.

But, it still gets the job done.

The interface despite being extremely basic is pretty feature-rich.

You can add new text to a document.

Add images, rectangles, boxes, lines, or draw freehand.

Also has a compressor which reduces the file size (at an expense of the visual quality).

Additional pages can be inserted, or individual pages can be extracted.

A pretty advanced protection feature lets us add password.

The password offers/restricts printing permissions, quality-control, copying text/images, editing the document etc.

A convertor allows converting the file to Word, Excel, PPT, XML and even HTML!

The redaction tool too is available. A transparent “marking” tool available as well.

The file can either be downloaded directly, saved to Google Drive, or sent via Email.

  • PDF Pro

Website: https://www.pdfpro.co/

It’s extremely feature-rich, however is last on this list due to its restrictions.

The free version only allows editing 3 files/month.

And, you came here for a free online PDF editor, didn’t you?

It does allow adding new text to PDF documents.

Existing content can’t be edited directly.

Images can directly be uploaded, or imported from Google Drive/Dropbox.

Even has an advanced signature-creation tool.

Simply enter your name and you get an e-signature.

Links too can be created, either for external pages or to an internal page within the document.

Freehand drawing too is supported.

Content can be redacted using the blackout feature.

A number of commonly used shapes and symbols too are available.

The form-creator is “the” most advanced out of all the other options on this list.

It allows adding text boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons, initials and signatures field, date boxes, and obviously dropdown fields.

Password protection is available.

Additionally, even editing/printing rights can be password protected.

You also get to choose the resolution of the allowed print.

Text-copying can be enabled/disabled at will.

Merge two pages together, add pages to the document, or reorder pages.

Also offers format-conversion tools, Word, PPT, Excel and image files are some of the available formats.

Costs approximately $7.00/month (INR 499.00), or $39.33 USD /year (approx.)

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Which is the best free online PDF editor?

Wondershare PDF Element is the best free PDF editor in general.

However, SodaPDF without an iota of doubt is the best free online PDF editor.

And, if you still need an alternative, Sejda wouldn’t disappoint either.

  • How to edit existing content on a PDF document?

Simply download Wondershare PDF Element, or use SodaPDF online, in your web-browser. (They both are free!)

Load/import your document and you can  edit the existing content directly, as easily as you edit an MS-Word document!

If for some weird reason you don’t, or can’t use these tools.

In that case, you can use the “whiteout” tool to erase existing content, and then add your own text there.

  • What is the difference between an offline and an online PDF editor?

Security is the primary difference.

With a free online PDF editor, you need to “upload” your document to the website.

This isn’t secure. The file is hosted on the editor’s server.

The company may have access to your files. Or, if and when the server is hacked, your files are compromised as well.

With offline PDF editors, no uploads are required. 100% security.

This is why I use and recommend Wondershare PDF Element.

However, online PDF editors are browser-based. Hence, they do not use up your local storage space.

Also, offline PDF editors may be “device specific”. As in, you need different versions for Windows, Mac, Linux etc.

Online PDF editors have no such  restrictions. They’re compatible on all operating systems as long as you’ve a browser.

But then again, online PDF editors require an active internet connection, offline PDF editing software don’t.

You totally should check my list of best free PDF editors. I’ve enlisted quite a few offline PDF editors as well.