Some teachers and students require editing their PDF to add annotations, and study notes.
Editing a PDF file is not an easy task, sometimes because of lack of a proper software. And it gets worse when you want to edit a badly encoded PDF file.
While there are many commercial apps that help to achieve this goal, they are not open-source and not for everyone. Therefore, we offer you our collection of free open-source PDF editors.
Here, we present to you the best PDF editor apps that are free and open-source. Most of them are cross-platform apps, and comes ready to use without difficult setup or complex configuration.
PDF4QT is an open source PDF editor for Windows/Linux. It is a modern solution for viewing/editing/rendering PDF documents, for users and developers alike. For developers, there is a C++ library and a command line tool for use in scripts. For users, there are four applications offering many features.
The project is hosted on GitHub and uses license LGPLv3.
PDF4Teachers is a free open-source PDF editing software in large quantities. Designed for teachers, this app keeps recorded previous annotations, and offers features like marking scale, PDF conversion, and many more.
PDF4Teachers includes special functionalities for annotation of grades and offers a tool for grading scale (marking scheme). When using numerical grading system, the tool computes the total and sub-totals, and exports the grades of a whole set of corrected documents as a .csv spreadsheet.
A set of pictures can be converted in PDF documents, and pages format can be edited (rotation, position…) through buttons located in the footer of each page.
PDF4Teachers is available for Windows, Linux, OSX. Go to the download section with the release button above.
PDFedit is a free open source PDF editor and a library for manipulating PDF documents, released under terms of GNU GPL version 2. It includes PDF manipulating library based on xpdf, GUI, set of command line tools and a PDF editor.
4- Offline PDF editor
Offline PDF editor is a simple web-based PDF editor that works completely offline. It allows you to add images, signatures, and text to any PDF file directly within your browser.
You can also adjust line height, font size, font family, and add text annotation easily.
The app is responsive for mobile and tablet screens. You can test it directly from the
Xournal++ (/ˌzɚnl̟ˌplʌsˈplʌs/) is an open-source and cross-platform note-taking software that is fast, flexible, and functional. A modern rewrite and a more feature-rich version of the wonderful Xournal program. Support for pressure-sensitive stylus and drawing tablets (Wacom, Huion, XP-Pen, etc.) Robust and customizable pen, highlighter and eraser tools, allowing you to write how you want to write.
With Xounral++ you can add and use layers to make complex notes that are still pleasant to work with. Keep track of the notes by using page previews.
You can add images and create various shapes, from circles to splines to axis. Snap objects to rectangular grid or degrees of rotation. Create anything from differential equations to electrical circuits or the structural formula of molecules using our built-in LaTeX editor. Customize your toolbar to create a new layout, tailor-made for you.
6- Super PDF Editor Lite
Super PDF Editor Lite is a free PDF editing suite that support batch file edit, PDF meta tag editor, and PDF creation from images, HTML, text and more.
It features include PDF file size compression, page cloning/ duplication, PDF merging, PDF printing in batch mode, and more.
The lite version has many useful features, however, the pro version includes more advanced features as built-in OCR, PDF file search, hide content, adding masks, scale pages, and export to Word and many more.
PDFedit is a Free editor for PDF documents. Complete editing of PDF documents is possible with PDFedit. You can change raw PDF objects (for advanced users) or use many GUI functions. Functionality can be easily extended using a scripting language (ECMAScript).
PDFedit is released under the GNU General Public License Version 2.0 (GPLv2).
8- MagicalPdf Editor
MagicalPDF Editor is a free open-source PDF Editor for Android devices. It is originally based on OpenPDF Core and AndroidPdfViewer.
With MagicalPDF Editor you display PDF files, add annotations, images, save new data into the same file, convert images to PDF, and add transparent items into PDF pages.
9- React PDF Editor
React PDF Editor is a PDF Editor that allows you to add images and drawings to your PDF directly from your browser. This project is a React port of the svelte version here so most of the PDF generation and editing logic was lifted from there.
You can easily upload images, add drawings, delete images and your text easily.
10- PDFCreator for Android
PDFCreator is an Android application to create and edit PDF files.
PDF Creator features
- Create PDF-pages from text or pictures
- add PDF-pages from text or pictures to existing PDFs
- merge PDFs
- protect PDFs with password
- delete pages from existing PDFs
- edit metadata from existing PDFs
- convert PDFs to images
11- PDF Magic
As our list come to an end, let us know if we miss any free, open source PDF editor, and we will gladly add it to our list.