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.

If you are looking for PDF OCR or any other open-source PDF tools, we got you covered in the following short list:

13 Best Open Source Free PDF OCR Text Extractors
PDF file formats are a compact format widely used to create portable documents, reports, e-books, and more. Originally developed by Adobe in 1992, it has become a world standard. PDF files can contain text, images, and tables, and can be generated by many office suites, document editors, apps, web…
16 Best OS PDF Tools for Windows, Linux, and macOS
Although we have already discussed the availability of various open source free PDF editing applications and PDF OCR software, it is worth noting that the functionality of these tools is often limited. For many users, additional operations on PDF files are necessary beyond what these tools can provi…

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.

2- PDF4Teachers

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 a 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.

PDF4Teachers: The PDF Editor That Every Teacher Should Have
For those seeking to handle more complex PDF tasks, premium software or online services with a wider range of features are often the go-to. However, this post presents the most comprehensive list of free and open-source alternatives available. PDF4Teachers is a free open-source app specifically des…

3- PDFedit

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

5- Xournal++

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.

7- PDFedit

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

PDF Magic is a free open-source web-based tool to edit PDF documents in the browser. Powered by Flutter and many other great libraries.

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.

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