The best free PDF readers allow you to read, edit or annotate PDF files and block security threats.
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These days, PDF documents are being used everywhere. That’s because they can be opened on any opening system, are easy to attach to an email or a website, and have the advantage of not being easily altered. And, so everybody uses them at work, in schools, and even for digital copies of the manuals for your peripherals and devices.
While simply opening a PDF as a read-only file is straightforward – you can just do it using your favorite web browser – editing, altering or converting one will require a dedicated PDF reader. Luckily, the best free PDF readers out there are just as capable as their paid counterparts, and they won’t cost you a dime or force you into a monthly subscription.
To help you find the best one for what you need, we’ve highlighted five of the best free PDF readers for Windows and Mac. These should see you through advanced tasks like signing or editing documents, merging PDFs or converting between document formats. For more flexibility, take a look at our guide to the best free PDF editors, which make editing a PDF as straightforward as tweaking a Word document.
Additionally, we've featured the best PDF to PowerPoint converters.The best PDF editor right now is: Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
Need to edit a PDF, not just view it?It's not free, but for professional results, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is the tool for you. It gives you total freedom to create PDFs from scratch and edit existing documents without fuss, on desktop or mobile.'>
The best PDF editor right now is: Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
Need to edit a PDF, not just view it?It's not free, but for professional results, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is the tool for you. It gives you total freedom to create PDFs from scratch and edit existing documents without fuss, on desktop or mobile.
A clear interface and every tool you could want in a PDF reader
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Adobe’s free PDF reader isn’t the most lightweight download, but this software does a lot of things well. If you already use other Adobe products, you can connect Acrobat Reader DC to Adobe’s storage cloud. Alternatively, you can save PDFs to or open them from cloud services including Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, and Box.
What really sets this free PDF reader apart is that it can handle opening multiple large files at once. That means you can read through and annotate thick documents in this program without worrying that it will crash on you. The layout arranges individual documents in a tab view, so it feels a lot like the experience you’d get looking through PDFs in your web browser.
Acrobat Reader DC includes just about all the annotation tools you could want, making this hands down the best free PDF reader. It allows you to highlight text, add comments, and fill and sign forms. There’s even a text-to-speech mode that will read documents out loud for you.
Much more than just a free PDF reader
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Foxit PDF Reader is more than just a free PDF reader – you can also create PDFs from scratch using this software. Integration with Microsoft Office allows you to easily turn documents you’re working on into PDFs. Or, you can scan a document or image and turn it into a PDF using Foxit Reader. The only thing that’s lacking in the free version is support for optical character recognition in scanned documents.
The software can be a little intimidating at first, but it’s relatively straightforward to navigate. That’s thanks to the fact that it uses the same ribbon-style menu as Microsoft Office. Tools for editing, signing, highlighting, and commenting are fairly easy to access. You can also merge or split PDFs by downloading free add-ons for the software.
Note that with the software's latest update, Foxit seems to have removed its PDF virtual printer driver, meaning you can no longer use the software to create PDFs.
To find out more, read our full Foxit PDF Reader review.
A PDF reader that's super fast and super lightweight
Reasons to buy
Make It All About Them PDF Free Download Adobe Reader
Reasons to avoid
Slim PDF is the best free PDF reader for you, if you’re looking for something incredibly lightweight. The software download is really small, so is the perfect choice if you’re limited by hard drive space. Plus, that means that it’s able to open and load your documents faster than most of its competitors.
The downside to this small size is that Slim PDF is pretty basic. You can search and rotate documents, but that’s about it. There are no tools for signing, filling, commenting, or highlighting, let alone multiple reading modes. While there is a menu option to convert a PDF to a Word document, doing this requires another software download.
As a result, Slim PDF is truly just a PDF reader. It does a good job at this, though, leaving out the toolbars that can distract you from what you’re reading. If you frequently need to print PDFs, Slim PDF is one of the fastest and most simple options available.
For more information, read our full Slim PDF review.
A feature-packed free PDF reader, full of handy tools
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Nitro Reader is another powerful free PDF reader in the vein of Foxit Reader and Adobe Acrobat DC. What makes this tool different is that it has a touchscreen mode that’s perfect if you’re working on a tablet. Touchscreen mode is especially nice for reading e-books, since you can flick the pages rather than scroll or click on a button.
While you can’t fill and sign PDFs with Nitro Reader, the software does a nice job of enabling collaboration. You can annotate documents with underlining and strikethroughs in addition to highlighting. Comments are also supported, and they appear like sticky notes that are easy to spot as you read through a document. Helpfully, the software also allows you to convert between PDF and other document formats.
The software has a ribbon-style menu that will be familiar to Microsoft Office users. The menu is pretty easy to navigate since there aren’t all that many options available in Nitro Reader.
If you would like to know more, read our full Nitro Reader review.
Another superb tool for editing text in PDFs, with built-in OCR
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Rather than just being a free PDF reader, PDF-XChange Editor is also a free PDF editing program for Windows. The interface is a little more complex than some others but gives you easy access to plenty of helpful features.
For most users, the main reason to use PDF-XChange Editor is the fact that it comes with inbuilt Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This means that if your original PDF document is a photocopy, PDF-XChange will still recognize the text and allow you to edit it. Also, PDF-XChange Editor lets you reformat text, and even convert it into fonts that aren’t already loaded on your computer.
You can use this platform to merge or split individual PDF files. The only serious downside of this powerful editor is that, if you haven’t signed up to the Pro version, a small 'Created with PDF-XChange Editor' watermark will be added at the bottom of any PDF files that you export.
For more information, read our full PDF-XChange Editor review.
Additionally, discover how to convert PDF to Word with our best free Adobe PDF to Microsoft Word converters.
No downloads required
How To Edit PDF Files Online For Free?
How To Edit A PDF Online?
You can work on PDFs easier than ever with no need to download and install any specialized software utility. Our advanced PDF editor provides you with the ability to adjust documents in online mode: type and edit, fill in forms and sign electronically, insert images and hyperlinks or annotate text, and much more.
Here you can find an easy guide on how to edit PDFs online for free:
Import your document.
You can easily edit a scanned PDF online or any other document. Simply upload the file from your computer or cloud storage. Edit PDF Online is compatible with DropBox, OneDrive and Box. Now you are not tied to your workplace or home computer. Correct the documentation on the go. Our convenient browser program allows you to add or edit the text in PDF format directly from your smartphone.
Write on a PDF file.
Mouse click the Text button and tap on the PDF page where you need to type a text. We offer you the flexible editing tools to enter all the information you need and place it where you want on the page.
Redact existing text.
You can rewrite the text, add any title, correct spelling errors, change font size and type. Changing text and graphics in PDF files is now possible. Add new paragraphs, fix orthography mistakes, rearrange pages, crop or replace images. Everything is performed by clicking the corresponding button in the editor's toolbar.
Use the Image icon to add, replace, move or adjust the image on the page. Upload the picture from your device in a few clicks and continue to edit your PDF online for free. You may insert multiple images into a single document.
Add comments or sticky notes.
Let the recipient know the details. Accompany your form or template with comments. Use the option to the right and add important points to the document. Or you can click on the icon at the top toolbar and place a Sticky Note anywhere on the page.
Select the Text button, click on the document where you want to insert the link, the additional toolbar will appear with the corresponding icon. Next, simply insert the hyperlink as you do in a usual Microsoft Word doc. Rest assured that you can edit your secured PDF and all you hypertext links will be clickable.
Create fillable fields.
You can create a form to complete most easily. Click on Add Fillable Fields green button on the right to open the menu for field type selection and settings. You can add text boxes, dates, drop-down menus, request a signature, etc. The fields can be made required or conditional.
Sign electronically and date.
Сreate your own unique signature. Call up the special Signature Wizard with the Sign button. Draw, type or upload a picture of your autograph. You can easily customize your typed name using one of the professional fonts. The Date button automatically gives you the current date. Drag & drop it to the desired location and edit if necessary.
Other feature sets are also available in our online program to edit PDF files, which doesn’t limit your editing capabilities at all. You may place watermarks, design the drop-down menu, add shapes (arrows, lines) or simply draw, and much more.
Adjusting portable document format files is no problem if you have the right tool for it. To edit the content you need professional PDF editor that allows you to modify the information in the electronic file.
Platforms for document management offer many benefits for their customers such as fast operation, compatibility with devices to work with plus a set of capabilities that help to edit pdf online. Thanks to electronic applications, there is no need to handle tiresome paperwork.
Follow the instructions on how to work on your PDF:
- When you're on the needed web page, add the document out of your personal computer applying the respective button.
- Alternatively, you are able to get the needed file from one of the cloud storages and carry out different actions further like edit pdf online.
- Following that, you'll be taken to the PDF editor.
- Here, you're able to incorporate fillable fields, text and various graphical objects to the pages of the form or contract.
- Manipulate the pages of you document utilizing the Rearrange Pages panel.
- Customize your form by adding sticky notes and comments for your recipients.
- Put an electronic signature to officially approve the document and enable it to be legal. To do this, use Sign Tool.
- On completion, hit the orange Done button in the right top corner.
- With this solution, you can not only edit pdf online but in addition share it with other recipients and request signatures from them.
Use the solution that will enhance your efficiency and assist to put in order your workflow. Effortlessly edit pdf online from any device without the stress and reap the benefits of the user-friendly interface.
- Redact & review PDFs online
- Convert files to and from PDFs
- Fast & Secure
- No Downloads. No Installations. Try Now!
What Our Customers Say
Online PDF Editor for Mac & Windows
Each user knows that it takes a lot of time to find the appropriate freeware for their operating system. After the search, you should install it on your computer without the clear certainty that it’s secure and doesn’t contain viruses. Therefore, the best choice to save time and protect yourself is to use the software to edit PDF document online.
Edit PDF Online is a web-based platform that is fully compatible with any operating system, including Mac and Windows because it works directly from your browser. You can use any browser you prefer- Chrome, Mozilla, Safari, etc.
Tool to edit PDF files for free, in your browser
With Edit PDF Online you can not only scan and edit PDF online, sign documents, create and file fillable forms but also perform many other actions. You can use its conversion features; work on a wide range of the most popular document formats; merge, rotate and split PDFs; secure documents with a password; file and email unlimited legal paperwork including tax forms and much more.
The web-based platform is compatible with different operating systems, browsers and cloud storages, and works on both desktop and mobile devices.