Top 7 PDF Editors to Use in 2021

PDF remains useful even after 25 years to serve our multi-device, cross-platform, productivity needs. Numerous office records are necessary to be in PDF format. It allows users to review and even leave some comments with a free PDF reader.

However, if you need to do more than view a PDF file, a free PDF reader would not suffice. Editing a PDF file or filling out forms in editable PDF format requires a premium PDF editor.

Online PDF editors

People might think, “Why do we have to pay for a desktop editor when you can get free PDF editors online?”

The easy explanation is that with premium versions, you get what you pay for.

Generally, online free PDF editors will let you add text and comments, merge and split documents, and convert files to and from PDF. However, they do not allow you to edit current text, and many have file-size and page-volume limitations. Many of them would even add a watermark to your edited text.

As a result, desktop PDF editors are better used for easy, fast editing tasks. It would be worthwhile to purchase the premium app for more challenging activities.

Online PDF Editors

Things to Look for in a PDF Editor

1. Creation, Conversion, Exporting

The most basic feature of a PDF editor is to create PDFs, either from scratch, scanned hard copies, or by transforming digital documents.

A great PDF editor should convert different file forms, such as Microsoft Office formats, images, and HTML. It can also do so smoothly while retaining the original formatting. It should also include OCR technology, which will enable the PDF text to be searchable and editable.

Similarly, a successful PDF editor must export PDFs to other editable formats such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, HTML, or plain text while preserving the original file’s hyperlinks, images, and other components.

2. Content editing

Another capability that a PDF editor should have is the capacity to change text content. You should be able to insert, rotate, and transfer images using the editor. You should be able to reorganize pages in the PDF, which is more convenient.

A good one would encourage you to do these things as easily as you can in a text document or a slide deck, with inline editing, dragging and lowering graphics, and inserting and removing hyperlinks.

3. Review and Annotate

A good PDF editor should also allow you to add comments and other annotations to PDF files during a review. It should be able to label up both text and graphic-heavy files such as web pages. Sticky notes, callout boxes, highlighting, freehand drawing tools, and stamps with messages like “approved,” “revised,” and “confidential” are all common choices.

4. Security

Every business handles records that contain classified information. Select a PDF editor that includes security features that restrict access to only approved users. Generally, good solutions would include several layers of security, such as password protection, permissions management, and content redaction. Most PDF editors will also have one or more methods for electronically signing documents.

5. Mobile support

Although deep PDF editing is best performed on a desktop computer, it’s convenient to review and annotate files on the go. PDFs can usually be displayed in any PDF reader or editor, regardless of which one was used to produce them. Consider an editor who offers a dedicated mobile app for mobile devices or cloud access to features through a mobile browser.

One of the best features of a PDF is that it can be read and modified in any PDF program, regardless of the program used to create it. So, in addition to the features mentioned here, consider your personal preferences when making your decision.


Best PDF Editors of 2021

For so long, Adobe Acrobat has been the best option in viewing and editing PDFs. Simultaneously, it has become the most expensive app, placing it out of reach for most individuals and small businesses.

This has resulted in a plethora of options with varying features and prices. As a result, we looked into some PDF editors that are comparable to Adobe Acrobat. Find out what they offer and how they stack up against each other.


1. Adobe AcrobatAdobe-Acrobat-Standard-2020

In terms of PDF editing, Adobe Acrobat Pro remains the industry standard. The comprehensive set of production, editing, checking, and security features rendered it virtually unbeatable.

The software’s recent interface redesign makes it much easier to navigate its robust toolset than the nested menus of the past. With its cloud subscription option, more individuals and small businesses will take advantage of its advanced features.


2. PDFpenPro 11


PDFpenPro is an advanced macOS-only PDF editor. The software version can be purchased at a lower price with lesser editing features but available for iOS and Mac devices.  (The version is available for both the iPhone and Mac).

For OCRing pdf files, the PDFpenPro is an excellent Mac-only option. You can replace photos and alter the text in a PDF document. For your PDF documents, you can create PDFs, create or edit forms, and create content tables.

Its OCR tools are very reliable. When you open an existing PDF, the program checks to see if it’s a scanned image or if it already has text. If it isn’t the first, the program can search the page for text.

Even with long documents that are over 400 pages, PDFpenPro handles text recognition and search work seamlessly. However, editing recognized text is more difficult than editing text in a non-scanned document.


3. JotForm PDF Editor

JotForm PDF Editor
For businesses that often build contracts and invoices for payment, JotForm PDF Editor is the best choice. If you’re looking for a user-friendly tool to build professional-looking documents, it’s customizable and simple to use. JotForm PDF Editor also has several usable integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox that you can use to synchronize your documents. With the password security of the JotForm PDF editor, you can securely turn collected data into polished documents and archive your submissions.


4. Nitro Pro

Nitro PDF Editor
Nitro Pro 12 is a second good option. It’s now fully integrated with Nitro Cloud. This makes document collaboration and signature capture better than ever. The ability to execute basic editing functions directly in a browser rather than switching to a desktop application simplifies and streamlines document workflows.


5. PDF Architect Professional

PDF Architect


This customizable PDF editor comes in several different flavors, each with its own set of “modules” or tools, so you can purchase only those you need. The PDF Architect Professional edition is the best budget PDF reader on this list, just over $100. But you get a little more for that affordability, as it includes plenty of reviews, collaboration, and security features.


6. Nuance Power PDF

Nuance Power PDF
The Nuance Power PDF editor for Windows can convert, annotate, edit and add encryption on your PDF documents. This PDF editor also boasts unique features such as voice note recognition technology. This allows you to apply comments to your PDF files by voicing them rather than punching them in.

7. PDF Candy


PDF Candy is our most recent pick for the best online PDF editor because it has an OCR text scanning capability that few free alternatives do. This web-based PDF editor does not allow you to edit OCR text, but you can upload PDF files and extract text, and generate a text document, RTF file, or Word document in both .doc and .docx formats.

The 44 files you have in your database will let you expand or convert to PDF documents. Rearranging pages within a document, inserting watermarks, securing PDF files with passcodes, editing metadata within a PDF file, separating or adding pages to documents, and extracting images are also easy. The actual editing feature is much more limited, but the benefit is substantial because we can give you a broad range of flexibility and functionality in the free program.

If you have completed the edits in PDF Candy, you can update the edited document or upload a new document to work on. When you’ve done editing them, PDF Candy saves all of your papers in a queue so you can open them all at once.


BONUS: Microsoft Office Home and Business


Enjoy the benefits of improved efficiency with Office Home and Business 2019’s powerful productivity software. Create professional documents and save them in PDF format easily. Keep tabs on your appointments and communications with the software used by billions of users worldwide.

Microsoft Office Home and Business 2019 is a cutting-edge efficiency suite for every serious achiever. Whether you’re managing your home-based business or hustling the corporate lifestyle, Microsoft Home & Business has the tools you need.

Read More: Office 365 vs. Office 2019: What is the Best in 2021?

Office 365 vs Office 2019: What is the Best in 2021?

Final Words

The advancement of documentation technologies has a major impact on the ease of doing business. Like I mentioned earlier, PDF is one of the most popular business document formats. PDF editors are essential not just for office workers and businesses but also for students and other enthusiasts who regularly handle and share many documents. There are a plethora of PDF editing tools online, and they are all easily accessible. Unfortunately, only a handful of them is genuinely worthy of being referred to as “healthy” editors.

File sharing must be productive and secure, especially in this new normal economy, where most companies and industries are now working remotely to varying degrees. Make sure you have the best business tools to help you work remotely and effectively grow your business.

Check our Softvire online software store for other Microsoft digital products we have on sale to make your purchase more worthwhile. Follow us on @SoftvireGlobal for the latest updates on our best deals and promos.

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