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    Edit PDF: here's how

    Who I am
    Judit Llordes
    Author and references

    You need to change the content of a file in PDF, but don't have the faintest idea which programs and apps to use to do this? Well, considering the circumstances, I'd say this is your lucky day - you're about to find just what you need!

    Believe it or not, there are numerous tools that allow you to edit PDF incredibly simple and, in most cases, free. Now I recommend some of the most valid, all very simple to use and compatible with the main operating systems, for computers, but also for smartphones and tablets. And that's not all!

    Online services are also available that allow you to work on documents in PDF format directly from the browser, without installing plugins and without downloading other software on your PC. Just visit them and you immediately have the opportunity to perform various editing operations: from merging to splitting pages, from converting PDFs into images or Office files to removing passwords, up to adding writings or other personalized content. You will surely be surprised by their infinite potential. Now, however, stop chattering and let's take action!


    • Edit PDF: free
      • LibreOffice (Windows / macOS / Linux)
      • Icecream PDF Editor (Windows)
      • Microsoft Word (Windows)
      • Preview (macOS)
      • Other solutions to edit PDF for free
    • Modify PDF: online
      • PDFescape
      • Other solutions to edit PDF online
    • Edit PDF: app
      • Xodo PDF (Android/iOS/iPadOS)
      • Other apps to edit PDFs

    Edit PDF: free

    To begin with, let's find out what are the best solutions you have on your side for edit PDF for free acting as a computer. Below, therefore, you will find the ones that I consider the most useful programs for Windows, MacOS e Linux. Try them without hesitation!

    LibreOffice (Windows / macOS / Linux)

    The first software for edit PDF that I can advise you is LibreOffice, a renowned productivity suite, totally free, open source in nature and available for Windows, macOS and Linux. It includes applications for processing text, spreadsheets, presentations, printable documents and offers full support for PDFs in both reading and writing. It has graphical interface and spell checker in 2022no.

    To download LibreOffice on your computer, connect to its website and click on the button Download version xx. If you use a Mac, in addition to the software you must also download the language pack to translate it into 2022no (which instead in the Windows version of LibreOffice is included in the basic installation package): to do this, click on the button Translated User Interface and wait a few seconds for the download to complete.

    Once the download is complete, if you use Windows, april il LibreOffice installation package and, in the window you see appear on the screen, click on the button Run. Next, hit the button NEXT, select the option Typical and click the buttons NEXT, Install, Yes e end, but will conclude the setup.

    If you use instead MacOS, open the first package .dmg obtained and copies theLibreOffice icon in the folder Applications Of computer. Afterwards, right click on the icon and select the item apri from the displayed menu, then press the button apri in the window that appears on the screen, in order to start LibreOffice going to circumvent Apple's limitations towards applications from non-certified developers (an operation that must be carried out only at the first start). Afterwards, close the program completely by pressing cmd + q on the keyboard.

    Also on Mac, then proceed to open the language pack .dmg package, click on the executable LibreOffice Language Pack in it, select the item apri from the menu that appears and click on the buttons apri e Install. Select quindi la voce /Applications/ from the displayed window and press the button Install. If in doing so you see a warning regarding permissions appear, to complete the setup click on the button Yes, identify me, type the Password of your user account and press the button OK (twice).

    After completing the LibreOffice installation procedure, you are finally free to edit your PDFs with the program. So, once the suite window is displayed on the screen, click on the button Open file located on the left and select the PDF document to edit, then wait for the file to be loaded in Draw (LibreOffice software for creating printable drawings and documents)

    At this point, you can proceed with the changes by double clicking on the texts to be retouched and / or using the tools you find in the left sidebar: arrows, geometric shapes, text areas and so on. All the tools are extremely simple to use, just click on their icon in the left sidebar, then in the point of the document where to use them and adjust the related settings using the commands that appear on the right.

    When you are satisfied with the result, save the edited PDF by selecting the item Export to PDF format from the menu Fillet of LibreOffice located at the top left and clicking on the button Export in the window that opens.

    Icecream PDF Editor (Windows)

    Icecream PDF Editor is one of the best PDF editing programs available on Windows. It offers us a complete package to edit PDFs giving us a chance to edit existing content documents, add new items (texts, notes, images, highlights, arrows, stamps and much more) to the latter, work with pages (adding new ones, deleting existing ones, rotating or extracting them) and much more. A truly advanced program that combines professional functions with aextremely intuitive user interface fully translated in 2022no. It can download and use for free, but apply a watermark to the output documents: to remove the watermark you need to purchase the PRO version for $ 49,95 (lifetime license), which also gives access to commercial use, the PDF merge function and priority support .

    To download Icecream PDF Editor for free, connect to the official website of the program and click on download button. Afterward, open the executable file obtained and click on the button first Yes e poi quello OK. Then accept i terms of the license agreement by checking the appropriate box and terminating the setup by clicking on the buttons NEXT (3 consecutive times), Install e end.

    Once the installation is complete, you just have to start Icecream PDF Editor and follow the quick start tutorial showing the main sections of the application: Modification, in which there are tools to add or modify text, images,
    shapes, and moving and resizing existing objects (all added objects will become a printable part of the original document); Write down which allows you to add comments, notes (not printable), underlines, shapes, arrows, stamps and comments to the PDF; Manage pages through which it is possible to add, remove, rotate and extract the pages of the document; and finally Complete the forms which allows you to fill in PDFs that contain forms (which, therefore, must be suitably formatted to allow you to fill in the various fields).

    To open the PDF to edit, just click on the appropriate item of Icecream PDF Editor or drag the file into the program window. It should be noted that Icecream PDF Editor has a convenient tabbed interface which allows you to keep multiple documents open at the same time and switch between them easily. Furthermore, on the right there is a convenient navigation menu with previews of all the pages.

    For the rest, it's all so intuitive that you don't need to add much: just select the tab relating to the operation you want to perform between Modification, Write down, Manage pages e Complete the forms, activate it tool to be used from the left sidebar and act on the desired point of the document.

    For example, to edit text already present in the PDF just access the section Modification of Icecream PDF Editor, select the tool T | (Edit text) from the sidebar and click on the part of the text to be modified. To add new text, stamps (also customized), arrows, forms o photo to the document just access the section Write down of the software and first click on the icon of the tool of your interest and then on the point of the PDF where to insert them, and so on. Each tool has its options, always displayed on the left side of the window.

    As for the section Manage pages, just call it back to find yourself in the presence of miniature of all the pages that make up the document and, at the top, the buttons for add pages and files, delete pages, rotate, extract them, cut them, copy him, glue them e select all.

    Once you have finished working on a document, you can export the final PDF by overwriting the original or creating a copy: just select the appropriate item from the menu Fillet located at the top left (by clicking on the floppy disk in the upper left, on the other hand, you can directly overwrite the original document).

    If you are using the free version of Icecream PDF Editor you must confirm that you want save the file with watermark, or you can click the button for switch to Icecream PDF Editor PRO. More info here.

    Microsoft Word (Windows)

    To edit PDFs you can also consider contacting Word, the word processor included in the Microsoft Office suite. More precisely, using the Office versions equal to or later than 2013 you can import PDF documents and edit them as if they were common DOC / DOCX files.

    Note, however, that this is only feasible on Windows, as the version of Word for macOS does not allow you to import PDFs directly (at least in the version that I tested at the time of writing the guide). Also keep in mind that Word is not free, but I have chosen to report it to you anyway as it can be tried at no cost (together with the rest of the programs that make up the suite) for a limited period of time, as I explained to you in my guide on topic.

    To use Word for your purpose, what you then need to do is start the program on your computer, click on the menu Fillet located at the top left, choose the PDF to be edited by clicking on the item in advance apri and accept the import of the document.

    Subsequently, you can modify the file like any other textual document, i.e. by entering text, formatting it, etc., using the appropriate tools and commands found in the toolbar at the top and in the various tabs.

    However, be aware that the formatting of the original documents is not always kept at 100%, but in general the results that can be obtained are of a good level.

    Preview (macOS)

    Do you have a Mac? Then I inform you that you can edit PDFs without resorting to third-party applications. Using Preview, the default application of MacOS to open images and PDFs you can in fact customize the content of a document by adding highlights, underlines, signatures, arrows and more to it. It also allows you to rotate PDF pages, merge multiple documents into one and delete / extract pages from an existing file.

    To access the PDF editing tools included in Preview, open the document you want to act on by double clicking on its icon. If doing this does not open with Preview, right click on the PDF and select the items Open with> Preview give the menu answer.

    Once the document is displayed, click on the icon of pencil present at the top right, in order to bring up the bar with all the tools for editing: by pressing the button Aa you can select the text in the document by clicking on "T" you can add custom text by clicking on the icon with the square and the circle you can insert geometric shapes and arrows to the document and so on.

    To merge or split documents, instead, activate the thumbnail view from the menu Vista, reorder, delete or add page thumbnails in the left sidebar

    By default, the changes you make are saved directly to the original file. If you want to save a different copy of the document, select the menu Fillet and then choose the item Export as PDF present in it.

    Other solutions to edit PDF for free

    None of the solutions to edit PDFs at no cost from a computer that I have already proposed convinced you in a particular way and, therefore, would you like to understand what other useful solutions you have from yours? I'll settle you right away: you can find some of them listed below.

    • PDF element (Windows / macOS) - it is a software that allows you to view documents in PDF format and to intervene on them by modifying, creating and converting them, all in a very simple way. Basically it is free of charge, but it imprints a watermark on the output documents and provides other limitations that can possibly be circumvented by switching to the paid version (with prices starting from 69 euros / year).
    • PDFill FREE PDF Tools (Windows) - if you don't want to modify the texts contained in PDF files, but you want to act on aspects such as the number of pages, their orientation, or you want to convert PDFs into other file formats, this is the software for you . It is a collection of tools for merging, splitting, rotating, encrypting and tons of other PDF edits. In addition, it supports converting PDFs to images (and vice versa), scan documents to PDF, add signatures / images on document pages and much more. It is totally free.
    • PDF Toolkit + (macOS) - this is a fully translated software for Mac in 2022no that includes numerous functions for editing PDF files. It allows you to merge multiple files into one, split and extract pages from PDFs, convert PDFs to images (or extract images from documents), reduce document size and more. It is paid (costs 2,29 euros).

    Modify PDF: online

    You do not want or cannot download and install new programs on your computer and, therefore, you would like me to indicate which service through which you can edit PDF online? Then you can contact the Web services that I have reported to you below. You can use it from any browser, device and operating system.


    If you need to edit a PDF "on the fly" and therefore do not have time to install new software on your PC, you can rely on the online service PDFescape, which allows you to retouch the aforementioned type of documents directly from the browser, without making registrations or having to install special plugins. It supports editing of files as large as 10MB and with a maximum number of 100 pages.

    To immediately test its effectiveness, connect to the relevant home page and load the document to be edited by clicking on the button Choose file, selecting the file of your interest on your computer and then pressing the button Upload. Alternatively, you can upload the PDF by dragging it directly into the browser window, in the Drop PDF Here.

    Once uploaded, use the toolbar on the left to edit the document. You can select one of the three available tabs: that one Insertion allows you to use the functions that allow you to insert text, images and other elements in the PDF; that annotate allows you to add annotations and highlights using the buttons visible on the screen; that Page allows you to use functions related to editing document pages, such as those to rotate them, delete them etc.

    When the changes are complete, click on the icon with the green background and arrows which you can always find on the left side of the screen to download the edited PDF to your computer. Done!

    Other solutions to edit PDF online

    Are you looking for other solutions to edit PDFs from the web? Then test the solutions that I have reported to you in the list below. I am sure that, in the end, you will be able to find something that will satisfy you.

    • DocHub - is an editor for PDF documents (and not only) that allows you to intervene on the aforementioned type of file by adding highlights, geometric shapes and much more. It is incredibly simple to use and also has a nice interface. To be used it requires the creation of an account and basic is free, but eventually it is also available in a paid version (at a cost of $ 4,99 / month) that allows you to use some additional functions.
    • iLovePDF - it is an incredibly easy to use online service that provides users with various tools for editing PDFs: there is the tool to merge them, to divide them, to convert them to Word and so on. It is not mandatory to register, but it allows you to process only one file at a time and imposes an upload limit of 200 MB. To cope with this and unlock other functions, you need to subscribe to one of the paid plans (with costs starting from 6 euros / month).
    • PDF Candy - another online service that offers users numerous tools to convert, divide, merge, edit etc. the PDFs that are fed to them. Basically it is free and can be used without registration, but possibly also offers paid plans (at a basic cost of 6 euros / month) to take advantage of some extra functions.
    • PDF Buddy - is another browser-based service that allows you to edit PDF files, even by inserting new texts and modifying those already present. Basically it's free and registration is not mandatory, but by creating an account and / or subscribing to one of the paid plans (with prices starting at $ 7,99 / month) you can keep your files online and enjoy other benefits.

    Edit PDF: app

    You don't have a computer close at hand, so you'd like me to suggest some app to edit PDF through which you can perform the operation covered by this guide on the go, from smartphones and tablets? I'll settle you immediately! In the following lines, in fact, you will find indicated what I believe to be the best applications for Android e iOS / iPadOS. Try them now!

    Xodo PDF (Android/iOS/iPadOS)

    If you want to edit PDFs from your smartphone or tablet, I suggest you first turn to the app Exodus PDF, available for both Android and iOS / iPadOS. It is one of the most reliable no-cost PDF editors available for smartphones and tablets. Thanks to it it is possible to add writings, signatures, highlights, notes and arrows to PDF documents and, moreover, it interfaces with the main cloud storage services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

    To download the app to your device if you are using Android visit the relevant section of the Play Store and press the button Install (if you are using a device on which the Play Store is not available, you can download the app through an alternative store). If you are using instead iOS / iPadOS, access the relevant section of the App Store, press the button Get, by your complaint Install and authorize the download by Face ID, touch ID o Password Apple ID. Then, start the app by tapping its icon added to home screen.

    Now that you are viewing the main Xodo PDF screen, select the PDF file you want to edit, tap on the icon pencil present on the toolbar at the top and, depending on the changes you intend to make, select the instrument of your interest: pressing the icon with the comic you can enter comments on the one with the "T" underlined you can underline the lyrics, on the one with the signature you can enter your signature etc.

    When changes are complete, touch the icon "X" placed at the top and all changes made to the document will be saved automatically.

    Other apps to edit PDFs

    If you are looking other apps to edit PDFs from Android or iOS / iPadOS, you can contact the ones I have included in the following list. Find the solution that you think will do the most for you and download it now.

    • Foxit Mobile PDF (Android / iOS / iPadOS) - is a free PDF viewer that includes numerous editing features. It allows you to add highlights, text, notes, arrows and more to your documents in a very simple way. It should be noted that some additional features are usable only through in-app purchases (at the base cost of 11,49 euros).
    • PDF reader (Android / iOS / iPadOS) - this is another app that allows you to view and edit PDFs. It's incredibly simple to use, packed full of useful tools, and free, but offers in-app purchases (at a base cost of $ 3,49) to unlock extra features.
    • Write on PDF (Android) - app developed by Samsung and specific for Android devices that allows you to view documents in PDF format and edit them by adding annotations and drawings. It is totally free.
    • Fillet (iOS / iPadOS) - this is the default and free file manager of iPhone and iPad which, perhaps not everyone is aware of, also allows you to view and make simple changes to PDF files.

    Article created in collaboration with Icecream Apps.

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