Top 8 Free Open Source PDF Editors for Windows and Mac

In the age of the Internet, the world is going paperless, and the era of online document editing has arrived. PDF is one of the commonly used formats which are difficult to edit on a computer without a proper PDF editor. Due to this, there is huge demand as well as competition among licensed and open source PDF editors. Now, almost everyone is looking for the best open source PDF editor online, and there are many options available. However, they all have certain limitations. So, without further ado, let’s discuss some of the best open-source PDF editors available online, along with their pros and cons.

Open Source PDF Editors for Windows and Mac

In this article, we have listed 8 Open Source PDF editor that works on Windows, Mac and Linux. Despite using any of the devices you will be able to find one that fits your requirement.

  • LibreOffice Draw PDF editor
  • InkScape
  • PDFedit
  • Apache OpenOffice Draw
  • PDFSam
  • PDF Architect Free
  • Okular
  • Skim

1. LibreOffice Draw PDF editor

In the world of PDF editing, LibreOffice is a strong contender among others. The open-source software is much like MS Office and is used by millions of users worldwide. It has all the built-in features of an efficient open-source PDF editor which allows you to modify, edit, save, create PDF files for free. You do not need to buy expensive pdf editors out there and the good news is – LibreOffice runs in Mac, Windows and Linux.


  • You can edit PDF files easily
  • It allow you to add or delete pages
  • You can also edit text and images as per your need
  • It supports file conversion
  • You can use for importing and exporting document
  • Digital signature is available


  • It doesn’t have a user-friendly interface
  • It’s confusing menu options
  • It doesn’t support cloud options
  • Compatibility issue with file types

2. InkScape

Inkscape is professional quality vector graphics software that runs on Linux, Mac OS X as well as Windows-enabled devices. This open-source tool can be used as a PDF editor. You can also download it to perform all the basic functions of a complete PDF reader as well as a PDF editor. It is recommended because of its robust performance and wide range of features. This includes complete tasks like deleting or adding text or images. The best part is that you can use its portable version without even installing it.


  • You can export to PNG format
  • It has a user friendly interface
  • It is totally free to use
  • The software is lightweight and doesn’t use too much diskspace
  • Offers editing of graphics too


  • There are many other options available in the market
  • It lag/crashes on many PCs.
  • The processing is slightly slow
  • It doesn’t have all the required tools

3. PDFedit

PDFedit is a widely used tool due to its multiple platform support. A user can use it on any operating system and have all the benefits of free and open-source PDF editor software. The software has an easy-to-use interface and users can find out exactly which sections, words, or phrases they want to edit. It can also be used to add text and images to a PDF file. This functionality allows the removal of information from the file, if necessary. Besides, it has a password protection feature and many other advanced options to explore.


  • A lightweight software that supports multiple platform
  • It has personalization tool
  • It allow to convert files
  • Many other advanced options available
  • It also has Password protection feature


  • You may face technical difficulties.
  • The tool is still in beta version
  • Some features do not work or show error messages

4. Apache OpenOffice Draw

Apache OpenOffice Draw is the popular open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases, and more. It can also be used as both a PDF reader and an open-source PDF editor. Many features can be found in this software, such as customizing PDF pages, saving them in various available file formats, deleting or inserting any text and importing and exporting features, etc.


  • A variety of features are available
  • It is platform agonistic and support Mac, Linux and Windows
  • You can easily create basic charts
  • It has an ability to check the spelling mistakes


  • An outdated user interface and slow start up
  • Problem in using Excel’s functions

5. PDFSam

PDFsam Basic is a free and open-source cross-platform desktop application. With PDFSam Basic, you can merge, split, extract pages, rotate and merge PDF documents.

If you want to edit or rearrange the order of pages in a PDF file, this program is worth a try. It is a Java application and can run on any device with Java Runtime.


  • It supports visual organization
  • You can re-order PDF or splitting pages
  • Allows for rotating and saving one or multiple pages


  • It requires Java

Difficult for beginners

6. PDF Architect Free

Developed by PDF forge, PDF Architect Free is yet another open-source PDF editor for Windows 10. Using this tool, you can create a PDF from Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and other file formats. It provides you complete control over your PDF files and enables you to modify them as you need. Moreover, it demands no export or copy of the content to another file format in order to perform modifications. Other key features can be seen in the pros section.


  • It allows picture, text, and the diagram editing on PDF files
  • You can merge all the files into one PDF file
  • You can convert PDF files into many other formats
  • It allows you to add annotations
  • You can sign documents using a digital signature


  • A bit difficult to operate for novice

7. Okular

Compatible with all three operating systems (Windows, Mac and Linux), Okular is an open source PDF editor that is very easy to use. The tool comes with many advanced features that are usually available in enterprise PDF editors. One great thing is that it can help you create custom markers, making it easier to navigate your large PDFs. Hence, this option is handy for those who work on PDF-based eBooks.


  • It has all the basic PDF editing features
  • It is a cross-platform PDF editor
  • You will be able to edit text and other parts of your PDF file with ease


  • We found a bit slow while operating a large PDF file.

8. Skim

Using this tool, you can preview PDF files and use the comment feature while reviewing the document. It allows you to create snapshots for quick reference, highlight important text, and navigate between pages using a table of contents with a visual history. In our opinion, a Mac user should look no further than Skim. It has everything you need to edit PDF on Mac.


  • You can view and edit PDF files
  • You can highlight important content
  • It has smart cropping tool
  • Make snapshots for quick reference


  • Works only for Mac


And that’s wrap…..Did you like our latest rundown on the best open source pdf editor for Mac and Windows PC. The aforementioned open-source software can be used as PDF readers and editors. So, which one fits your requirement? Do let us know through the comment box below. Also, check out our other PDF-related articles.

See More: Best Free OCR Readers

See More: Document Scanner Apps for Android

See More: Android PDF Editors

Open Source PDF Creator FAQs

1. Is there an open-source PDF editor?

YES!! The above-mentioned PDF are all open source and free to use.

2. Can you edit PDF with OpenOffice?

Absolutely, you can, but you need to install the PDF extension for OpenOffice.

3. Can I edit a PDF for free?

Yes, most of the PDF editors are open source and you need not pay money to use them.

4. Is there a free alternative to Adobe Acrobat?

Fortunately, there are many great free alternatives available out there for Adobe Acrobat.

Abhishek is a startup ninja who has spent his time meeting entrepreneurs and helping them tell their stories efficiently. You can find him biking around in his past time. Based out of New Delhi, he is a geek at heart, gadgets are his toys and internet technology is what keeps him going. Email:
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