10 best PDF editor apps in 2023
Some of the best PDF editor apps available on the market are Macro, Sejda, Xodo, Adobe Acrobat Pro, PDF Expert, Wondershare PDFelement, Foxit, Smallpdf, Nitro PDF, and UPDF.
In this article, we discuss their editing capabilities, pros & cons for each, and pricing.
What are the top PDF editor apps?
PDF editors in the market today primarily enable you to add and edit text in PDFs.
The best ones, however, help you do much more, such as annotating, splitting documents,merging documents, adding media or signatures, etc.
Let’s look at some of the top PDF editors on the market.
Macro is a comprehensive tool for editing Word and PDF files. Anyone who works with PDFs can use it.
The software is the go-to choice for leading banks, law firms, and Fortune 500 companies worldwide.
With Macro’s user-friendly design, professionals are able to manage documents efficiently, making their workflow smoother.
What sets Macro apart are features like AI-driven error detection, the ability to compare multiple documents, and hyperlinked definitions for understanding technical jargon.
Macro’s key features
- PDF editing: You can add text, images, watermarks, headers, and footers to your PDFs.
- Annotation features: Change font style and color. Underline, strikethrough, and add shapes to documents.
- Advanced editing tools: From redaction to highlighting, Macro offers a wide range of features to edit documents.
- Smart error detection: Macro's AI capabilities ensure you don't make expensive errors in any PDFs you edit, calling out things like unused terms or duplicates.
- Instant definitions: Click on a term to view its definition without exiting the platform.
- Document comparison: Merge edits from various document versions to create a final draft quickly.
- Effortless PDF navigation: Features like auto-bookmarks and web-style tabs make it easy to move through PDFs.
Pros and cons
✅ The free version has all the editing features you can ask for.
✅ Comes with AI functionality to draft, proofread, and edit PDFs.
✅ Macro’s offline app has web-inspired navigation for quicker document reviews.
❌ Lacks a web-based version.
Macro has a free-to-use app that you can download for Windows and Mac.
The free version has enough features for you to edit PDFs. If you want a full-fledged document workspace, upgrade to Macro's Professional version for $49/user per month.
Enterprise? Contact the sales team for a customized plan, including dedicated support, enterprise security, and compliance.
Sejda is a free web app for making basic edits to PDFs. To edit PDFs offline, you can download its desktop version.
Sejda editing features
With Sejda, you get PDF editing features for adding text, links, images, and shapes. You can make annotations like underlining, strikethrough, and redacting to mark up your PDFs. Create and fill out forms on the platform by adding custom fields and signatures.
Sejda can also convert Excel, PPT, Word, Text, HTML, and JPG files into PDFs, or vice versa.
We believe that the two best editing features of Sejda are OCR and Deskew .
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) enables you to make PDFs machine-readable, and Deskew straightens scanned PDF pages.
- Add Bates numbering and page numbers to your PDFs.
- Extract images from PDFs and grayscale them.
- Watermark PDFs for branding and labeling.
- Edit metadata to change PDF author, title, keywords, subject, and other fields.
Pros and cons
✅ Free-to-use online PDF editor makes it easily accessible for all users.
✅ Sejda’s OCR feature is modern and bug-free.
❌ Text editing features don’t work properly when the text style is new.
❌ Requires a paid desktop version, which is quite expensive.
With Sejda, you can edit three documents (200 pages per document) per day, for free.
If you need to edit more PDFs, subscribe to their Web Week Pass, which starts at $5 for weekly access . Aside from the weekly pass, Sejda has two plans:
- Web Monthly: $7.50 per month
- Desktop + Web Annual: $63 per year
Xodo is a PDF editor app that helps you to edit and annotate PDFs for easy document collaboration. Its ability to balance PDF editing and markup features makes it a versatile solution for different use cases.
Xodo editing features
Xodo's primary function is to read and markup PDFs. These features enable you to:
- Validate PDFs
Furthermore, you can fill out PDF forms and leave comments on them for your team.
In the past, Xodo had various PDF editing limitations. But thanks to their recent upgrade, you can now perform editing functions like adding and editing texts, images, and shapes. You can also use the DOCX editor to edit .docx files.
The software comes with standard PDF management options like merge and split, and you can export text from PDFs with the OCR extractor.
Lastly, there are an extensive list of conversion options to convert JPG, PNG, Word, Excel, PPT, DICOM, and HEIC to PDFs.
- Crop PDF pages to remove extra spacing.
- Comes with a compressor to reduce PDF size without hampering image quality.
- Flatten PDFs to remove multiple layers.
Pros and cons
✅ Collaborate with efficient markup and commenting capabilities.
✅ Has a zoom feature to help tablet and mobile users read PDFs comfortably.
❌ The app lacks key features like creating forms and password management.
❌ Some features are hard to find due to Xodo’s interface.
Xodo has a free-to-use web app with limited features. If you want to access all the features, sign up for Xodo Pro at $12/month . You can also download Xodo on Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android phones.
#4. Adobe Acrobat Pro
Adobe Acrobat is the oldest PDF editor app on this list. Since its launch in 1993, students and businesses have used it as their go-to solution.
Adobe Acrobat Pro editing features
Adobe Acrobat enables you to scan, read, and mark up PDFs for free. The platform makes it quick and easy for users to add comments or suggest changes to other teammates.
With its PDF editing options, you can add and edit text, images, shapes, fonts, links, etc.
You can use OCR to extract text from scanned images and PDFs. The software also has editing options like creating and filling out forms that you can use for e-signature.
Lastly, with Acrobat’s paid plans you can merge or split PDFs, add or remove pages, and convert PDFs to other formats.
- Add and remove password protection from PDFs.
- Rotate and reorder PDF pages for better navigability.
- Edit and save files on the cloud for better accessibility.
Pros and cons
✅ Adobe Acrobat is a comprehensive PDF editor app with multiple editing features.
❌ Complex interface with a steeper learning curve.
❌ Free plan is limiting and its paid plans are expensive.
The Adobe Acrobat Standard pack starts at $12.99/month . It has a few locked features that you can unlock with Adobe Acrobat Pro for $19.99/month .
#5. PDF Expert
If you're on the Apple ecosystem, PDF Expert is a great editor app you can use for iOS and macOS. The software is known for its reading and annotation features.
PDF Expert editing features
With PDF Expert, you can add links, outlines, and page numbers to your PDFs.
The platform mainly focuses on markup and annotation features like highlighting options, stamps, comments, and writable margins.
You can also redact sensitive information, sign documents online, and fill out forms.
Other PDF Expert editing features include merge and split options, add or remove pages, and convert PDF to several file formats.
- Comes with PDF reading capabilities like side-by-side view to compare PDFs.
- Has day, night, and sepia view modes to protect your eyes from screen fatigue.
- Compress PDFs to reduce size without compromising quality.
- Extract pages from PDFs to create a new PDF, if needed.
Pros and cons
✅ Save PDFs on Google Drive so you can view them online.
✅ The app is smooth, bug-free, and fast.
❌ Editing features like adding shapes and changing fonts are missing.
❌ The OCR is a fairly new add-on and often doesn't perform well.
The iOS and macOS versions have different pricing plans. The iOS version costs $6.67/month , and the macOS version is $139.99 for a one-time payment.
#6. Wondershare PDFelement
Wondershare PDFelement is a document editor for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android devices. It helps you easily manage and edit PDFs.
PDFelement editing features
PDFelement helps you edit text fields without changing the format. This makes it a better PDF editor than software that doesn't support all font styles and sizes.
You can modify text size, font, color, and alignment if you need to. Other editing options include splitting, combining, deleting, and rotating PDF pages.
On the platform, you can add, edit, replace, and move images in PDFs. Talking about images, PDFelement lets you crop, rotate, and change image opacity.
Furthermore, you can turn other file formats into PDFs, add annotations, and add digital signatures.
- Summarize key points, generate abstracts, and extract keywords from PDFs.
- Chat and improve your PDF learning experience with PDFelement’s built-in AI.
- Use text pattern analysis algorithm to identify AI content at scale.
- Proofread PDFs by reviewing spelling mistakes, grammar errors, etc.
Pros and cons
✅ Excellent features for viewing, manipulating, and editing PDFs.
✅ Sleek, modern, and attractive look, making PDF editing interesting.
❌ Converting PDFs to MS Word doesn’t work well.
❌ No monthly plans.
PDFelement has three plans to choose from:
- Yearly plan: $79.99
- 2-year plan: $109.99
- Perpetual plan: $129.99
Foxit is a versatile PDF editor app for desktop, mobile, and cloud users. Easily read, edit, and annotate PDFs with one subscription on different platforms.
Foxit editing features
Create and edit PDFs on Foxit by adding text. Edit, rotate, or crop images by leveraging image-oriented features.
Change document layout, modify text size, font, or line spacing, and add multimedia.
Other advanced features include:
- Filling out forms and adding signatures
- Organizing PDFs by merging and splitting them
- Adding or deleting pages
- Converting different file formats to PDFs
Foxit also has OCR to help you scan and extract text from images or non-readable PDFs.
- File protection options like redacting text, adding passwords, and access permissions.
- Real-time collaboration with commenting and drawing features.
- Organize and manipulate PDF pages to support your workflows.
Pros and cons
✅ Only one subscription is needed to access Foxit on multiple platforms.
✅ Affordable solution compared to similar PDF editor apps.
❌ Steeper learning curve due to a high number of features.
❌ Not possible to add page numbers in the app's mobile version.
The Foxit PDF Editor Suite costs $15.05/month, and the Editor Pro Suite costs $18.55/month .
Smallpdf is a minimalistic and fast PDF editor app for PDF management and edits. It's available as a free web app with paid desktop and mobile versions.
Smallpdf editing features
For basic editing options like editing text and adding images to your PDFs, Smallpdf has everything.
You can convert Word, Excel, PPT, and JPG files to PDF. Merge and split multiple PDFs and add or delete pages.
Lastly, there is an option to add e-signatures or request client signatures on PDFs.
- Reduce file size without losing quality.
- Create PDFs from scans on your mobile.
- Remove passwords, encryption, and permission from your PDFs.
Pros and cons
✅ Perform PDF edits in a few clicks.
✅ Easily accessible on browser, desktop, and mobile devices.
❌ Limited editing and annotation functionality.
❌ Very limited free tier. Most people have to get on the paid version to get work done.
The basic editing tools on Smallpdf are free for all. To access premium features, you can purchase the Pro plan starting at $10/month.
#9. Nitro PDF
Nitro PDF is an editor for Windows, macOS, and iOS that helps create and edit documents. The tool is on the list because of its numerous annotation and document management features.
Nitro PDF editing features
Nitro provides entry-level capabilities for adding and changing text or images in your documents.
When finalizing contracts with Nitro, you can hyperlink text to back up your statements and add document signatures.
To organize PDFs, there are features like merge, split, and convert. You also get access to OCR to scan texts from images.
Nitro PDF has collaboration features to highlight text, take notes, and add comments.
- Nitro lets you sync your favorite document management system to your account.
- Password-protect, encrypt, and sign PDF documents securely.
Pros and cons
✅ Covers pretty much all the basic editing features.
✅ Scanning and viewing PDFs is simple with Nitro Pro.
❌ The platform has limited formatting choices.
Nitro PDF has plans starting at $9.99/month for the bundle that includes both PDF and eSign solutions. There is also a one-time payment option of $179.99 per user .
UPDF's PDF editor has various features to enhance user experience and streamline PDF management. This all-in-one editor has a built-in cloud to access files across different devices and platforms.
UPDF editing features
UPDF lets you edit text by changing its font size and style. When it comes to editing images, you can resize, reposition, replace, copy, delete or crop without leaving your PDF.
The advanced OCR tool of UPDF will help you recognize text in scanned PDFs. It makes your scanned PDF editable and searchable with the best accuracy and results.
The editor also has AI capabilities to summarize PDFs, translate text in your document, and generate AI content if needed.
Lastly, you can annotate PDFs by highlighting text, adding text boxes, shapes, and other elements to PDFs directly.
- Convert PDFs into Word, Excel, CSV, PowerPoint, RTF, Text, Image, and other formats.
- Lets you split, rotate, reorder, replace, extract, and add new pages to your PDF.
Pros and Cons
✅ Has a simple and easy-to-navigate interface.
✅ Comes with page management tools.
❌ It’s an expensive PDF editing tool.
❌ No monthly subscription is available.
UPDF has two individual plans to choose from:
- Yearly Plan: $29.99 per month billed yearly
- Perpetual Plan: $49.99
How to choose the best app for editing PDFs?
The tools we discussed above all have their strengths and weaknesses. Choosing your PDF editor means aligning strengths with what you care about.
So how do you know which one’s the best for you?
Consider these three factors and gauge if the PDF editor you’ve chosen is the right one for your needs.
#1. Features and all-in-one capabilities
The obvious factor while choosing a PDF editor app is to get what you need, in one place.
Do you want basic editing features? Pick a tool that is affordable and gets the job done easily.
Do you want a PDF editing tool with all the bells and whistles? Sign up for comprehensive software.
Some users want access to specific features like OCR or error detection. If you're one of those people, make sure to pick the editor that has these key features.
#2. Ease of use and accessibility
Finding a PDF editing tool you’ll be happy with daily is all about accessibility and ease of use.
Look for a tool that has a great UI and easily integrates with other solutions in your arsenal.
If you plan to use the PDF editor app on multiple devices, consider a solution accessible anywhere.
#3. Reviews and general reputation
If you’re short on time, signing up for a free trial isn’t a good idea.
Several review sites include verified user reviews with honest opinions and feedback. These reviews can help identify flaws and perks for the tools on your list.
You can also confidently make a purchase decision, knowing that other users like you have had a great experience.
Read and edit documents faster with Macro
Want to start editing PDFs immediately? Sign up for Macro. It comes with free-to-use downloadable software you can use to comprehensively edit documents!