Top 5 Free Online PDF Editor Applications

Finding a good online PDF editor free with no sign-up can be hard because most free tools are either inadequate or don't have the right features you need. Users are also not accustomed to having access to premium tools in free PDF editors online or even offline. So, after we review this list of Top 5 Free PDF Editors Online, let's look at a robust desktop solution - UPDF that still gives you a cross-platform experience by offering Windows and Mac editions.

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Top 5 Online PDF Editor Services

#1: Smallpdf Online PDF Editor

Smallpdf is a very popular online PDF editor with a range of features that covers nearly all basic and advanced PDF tasks. The feature list includes OCR conversion, advanced batch processing, PDF editing, file conversion, PDF protection, and all major features you'd expect to see in a robust PDF editor for online use. The site offers multiple modules that house various PDF tools.

You can create PDFs from other formats, convert PDFs, optimize file size, perform OCR, and do a lot without leaving your browser. The one downside that irks free users of this platform is that many of the advanced tools are locked behind the paywall, meaning you'll need to upgrade to a Pro plan to take advantage of them. Nevertheless, if you're only processing one file at a time and you're okay with basic features and their limitations, this is one of the best free PDF editors online.

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Pros

  • Free to use for smaller workflows - single PDF processing
  • Eye-catching interface, simple to use
  • Multiple file upload options

Cons

  • Most advanced features are only available when you upgrade to Pro
  • Navigating to the right tool might be a little difficult at first

#2: Sejda Online PDF Editor Free

Sejda is a powerhouse suite of PDF tools online. It comes with both basic and advanced PDF utilities that cover the gamut of PDF workflow requirements such as editing, conversion, forms management, file splitting, and merging, PDF security, OCR, image extraction, PDF resizing, and much more.

Sejda is an accurate online PDF editor with useful tools to handle light to medium PDF workflows. Although Sejda is a great online PDF editor free without watermark, you'll need to upgrade if you don't want to be limited by file size and processing quantity restrictions that apply to the free-forever version. Ideal for one-off requirements.

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Pros

  • A wide range of PDF tools covering the needs of new and experienced PDF users
  • Access to a desktop version
  • A dedicated tool for each feature
  • Generous file size limit of 500MB for all paid plans

Cons

  • The batch process is locked behind the paywall
  • No advanced features for free

#3: PDFescape Online PDF Editor

PDFescape is your basic everyday PDF editor online to replace text, markup files, and perform other simple PDF actions. The replace text function requires a workaround because you can't directly edit the text in a PDF file.

However, it does offer a significant number of core features such as text, image, and shape insertion, freehand drawing, annotations, form field creation, and so on. The interface is severely outdated and very minimalistic so don't expect a superior user experience. It is merely a functional online PDF editor that you can turn to in a pinch and will get you through most document workflows.

Pros

  • Simple PDF features with easy navigation
  • Add a pop-up note along with annotations
  • Special settings to show or hide highlighted form fields and links

Cons

  • Very primitive interface
  • Limited PDF tools
  • No direct PDF content editing

#4: Adobe Online PDF Editor

Adobe also has an online PDF editor but it's more of a PDF reader. Although the company doesn't call it a PDF editor, many users will be confused because they'll assume that all the features from Adobe Acrobat for desktops will be offered here.

They're bound to be disappointed because this is essentially a PDF annotation, review, and commenting tool for online use. However, the main website contains a bunch of other online tools for file conversion, file sharing, PDF protection, eSignature (signing and sending for signatures), and so on. On the flip side, you'll need to sign in or sign up with an Adobe ID if you want to use this tool free of cost.

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Pros:

  • Easy annotation tool for collaborative work
  • Simple upload/download process
  • Extensive markup tools

Cons

  • Requires signing up for an Adobe account (free)
  • No editing of existing content
  • Expensive to upgrade

#5: DocFly Online PDF Editor

DocFly is a sort of quasi-editor for PDF documents. It doesn't allow you to modify existing text but you can add text and remove text with this versatile online PDF editor.

You can use this online PDF editor free without watermark addition for up to 3 documents per month but, after that, you'll need to upgrade to access features such as form creation and form filling. It also offers PDF creation from and conversion to other file formats but the range of files supported is minimal. It also supports password protection for PDFs.

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Pros

  • Simple interface - easy to use
  • 10GB cloud storage with a paid account
  • Fairly affordable PDF tool for editing, conversion, and PDF creation

Cons

  • No in-line text editing in PDF
  • No specific annotation tools but you can add text, images, etc.

Why an Offline PDF Editor is Safer Than Online Tools

Online PDF editors are great because they're convenient, accessible from anywhere, and don't involve installing anything on your system. That also means they're device-agnostic and platform-independent. However, since your data is being transmitted over the Internet, it adds an unnecessary risk factor.

On the other hand, an offline PDF editor such as UPDF gives you many more features, can handle extensive workflows, and is faster because it leverages your system resources in an efficient manner. It's also more secure because you have the option of working completely offline. Here are some of the key features of this versatile and free premium PDF editor - the first of its kind ever.

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UPDF Key Features

  • 100% free premium PDF editor for Windows and Mac
  • Full-fledged PDF editing: Modify, add or delete any PDF content
  • Annotations: Extensive markup tools for notes, highlighting, comments and feedback
  • Read, view, and organize: Read PDFs with a book-like experience with multiple viewing modes and layouts - easily merge and split PDF files and manipulate PDF pages with Replace, Remove, Add, and other functions

Upcoming new features:

  • OCR: Convert scanned PDFs into editable text PDFs
  • PDF Security: Password security, legal digital signatures, etc.
  • Create and Fill Forms: Make your own interactive PDF forms or use UPDF to fill out forms and sign them
  • To and From PDF conversion: Create PDFs from a variety of source file types or transform PDFs into other file formats

Advantages of Using UPDF

  • Zero cost PDF solution
  • Secure offline environment for confidential document workflows
  • The elegant and attractive interface that's also intuitive for navigation, etc.
  • Supports Windows 11, macOS Big Sur, and older iterations of Windows and Mac systems