Online PDF editors are among the many ways available to the casual PDF user to edit the document format without having to shell out for specialized software. When, before, Adobe Acrobat’s suite of PDF editing features was the only way to make changes to a PDF, now there are several online options that are largely (but not always) free to use. These online tools have democratized the PDF so that anyone can make changes – big or small – to the layout, format, and structure of any PDF. This list will provide users with a comprehensive look at the best PDF editor online, while also detailing important features and distinguishing characteristics.
Using Lumin PDF
Lumin PDF is an online PDF editor that is also available to download to a desktop as well as to a mobile phone. Lumin aims to simplify the most daunting tasks surrounding PDF files like editing, adding annotations as well as making it easier for users to compress or convert PDF files and other file formats.
Lumin lets users try out several PDF download editing and manipulation features for a free-trial period, but more advanced options are available for a monthly or yearly subscription to the service. Among the outstanding editing features of Lumin is the ability to highlight text, add annotations and comments, as well as the ability to remove text.
With Lumin users can also split and merge their PDF files to create a more concise and cohesive document that suits their purposes. Another major feature of Lumin is its ability to sync with cloud-based storage platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox that lets users save and share their files more easily with friends and colleagues.
Using Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is one of the main programs that people use to create a document – any document that is not a PDF, though. In recent years, Microsoft has updated its suite to work more smoothly with PDF files, although it has stopped short of creating a suite of specifically designed PDF editing tools.
With Microsoft Word, users can still save their Word files into a PDF format and view PDF files but that is as far as the program goes. For major changes to the format and layout of a PDF, Microsoft Word is unable to read and display any image or graphic elements of a PDF, so it is best used for those files that are text-heavy.
Using Google Docs
Google Workspace, which comprises all of Google’s many programs like Docs, Sheets, and Drive, is another well-known, commonly used document creation platform that also makes allowances to edit PDFs. Google Docs is the primary method that users can open and view PDF files, although editing options are limited with Google Docs.
Again, some crucial elements of a PDF, like high-resolution images, graphs, charts, and tables will not convert to the Google Docs format. However, if a user wants only to edit the text of a PDF they can do so by opening the PDF in Google Docs. The PDF will appear text-only and users can then make any changes they wish to the document.
After making the necessary changes to the document, users can then Save As, Export, or Print the file and choose to do all three as a PDF document. Choosing any of those three options will create a new PDF with the edited text intact. Users can also save or send this new PDF file.
Using a PDF Editor
There are dozens of different online PDF editors that users can often use free of charge (but not always) to make whatever changes they want or need to important PDF files. The well-spring of PDF editors is never-ending and every day new ones pop up, while the established sites continuously update their offerings so users can get more use out of them.
The way to edit a PDF online using a browser-based editor varies between the different available platforms. Some use a format that resembles the one most people are familiar with, which would be the Adobe Acrobat suite of software. Others take a different approach and have more user-friendly interfaces so users are not overwhelmed by the number of different options.
Typically, online PDF editors will offer users basic services like adding or removing text, as well as features like merging and splitting PDFs into different pages to make them either smaller or bigger. Some platforms will also let users add footnotes or headers, annotations, and comments, and give them real-time collaboration tools so they can work on them with other users.