The Best PDF Editors for Students: Streamline Your Academic Journey

The Best PDF Editors for Students: Streamline Your Academic Journey

Students often face academic challenges that involve working with PDF files. PDFs are great for sharing and storing documents, but can be challenging to modify or personalize. That’s where PDF editing software comes into play. It empowers students to edit PDF files, making them valuable study tools.

But with so many PDF editing tools, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. Being a student means living on a scarce budget. pdfFiller is one of the best PDF editors for students for its ease of use, compatibility, and affordability. It not only offers a wide array of robust features but also provides exceptional value for money. Whether you edit PDFs, annotate lecture notes, collaborate on group projects, or organize research papers, pdfFiller’s rich set of tools empowers students to work efficiently without breaking the bank. 

So, if you’ve ever wanted a PDF editor that allows your digital documents to work seamlessly with your studies, this guide is your key to unlocking their full potential. Let’s find the perfect PDF editor to enhance your academic journey together. It’s time to make PDFs work for you like never before!

Table of contents

  1. How to Choose the Best PDF Editor for Students
  2. 5 Best Paid and Free PDF Editors for Students: In-depth Comparison
  3. FAQs About PDF Editors for Students
  4. Now You Know How to Choose the Best PDF App for Your Student Needs

How to Choose the Best PDF Editor for Students

When students are looking for a PDF editor, there are several important features and considerations to keep in mind to ensure they choose the right tool for their needs. Here are some key features to look for:

  1. Editing Capabilities:
    • Text Editing (add, delete, or modify text within the PDF).
    • Page Management (rearrange, insert, or delete pages in a PDF).
    • Annotation tools (highlighting, underlining, commenting, and drawing tools for annotating PDFs).
  2. PDF Creation:
    • Conversion (convert other file formats (e.g., Word, Excel) to PDF).
    • Creation (create new PDF documents from scratch).
  3. Text Recognition (OCR):
    • If you need to work with scanned documents, look for OCR functionality to make the text searchable and editable.
  4. Security Features:
  5. File Size Optimization:
    • Tools to compress and reduce the file size of PDFs can be necessary for faster sharing and efficient storage.
  6. Form Filling:
    • If you frequently work with PDF forms, ensure the editor supports form filling and creation. 
  7. Collaboration and Document Sharing:
    • Features for real-time collaboration on PDF documents.
    • Integration with cloud storage services (e.g., Google Drive, Dropbox) for easy sharing and storage.
  8. Compatibility:
    • Ensure that the PDF editor is compatible with your operating system (i.e. available for Windows, macOS, Linux) and devices (desktop, mobile).
  9. User-Friendly Interface:
    • An intuitive and user-friendly interface can make editing smoother and more efficient.
  10. Search and Navigation:
    • Efficient search and navigation tools to quickly find specific content within large PDF documents.
  11. Batch Processing:
    • If you need to work with multiple PDF files simultaneously, look for batch-processing features for tasks like merging, splitting, or converting.
  12. Customization Options:
    • The ability to customize the appearance and layout of PDF documents.
  13. Customer Support and Updates:
    • Check if the software comes with customer support and how frequently it receives updates and improvements.
  14. Price and Licensing:
    • Consider your budget and whether you need a free or paid PDF editor. Some editors offer a free version with limited features and a premium version with more capabilities.
  15. Reviews and Recommendations:
    • Before making a final decision, read reviews and seek recommendations from peers or online communities to ensure the software meets your needs.
  16. Offline vs. Online:
    • Decide whether you prefer a desktop application for offline use or an online PDF editor that can be accessed from a web browser.
  17. File Format Support:
    • Ensure the PDF editor can handle various PDF formats and standards, including PDF/A and PDF/X.
  18. Redaction:
  • If you need to redact sensitive information, look for tools to black out or remove confidential content easily.

By considering these features and your specific requirements, you can choose a PDF editor that best suits your academic and personal needs. Remember to take advantage of free trials or demo versions when available to test the software before making a commitment.

5 Best Paid and Free PDF Editors for Students: In-depth Comparison

There are multiple free and paid PDF editor alternatives available for students. Let’s take a look at five of the best PDF editing software tools that offer a range of features to meet the needs of students:

1. pdfFiller

pdfFiller is a powerful PDF editor perfect for students’ PDF editing needs due to its user-friendly interface and offers a  comprehensive set of tools. As a cloud-based solution, pdfFiller’s all-in-one PDF tool enables students to work with your PDF files remotely on Windows and Mac, and/or from any network-connected device. 

Along with the usual set of capabilities such as PDF creation, editing, and file management, pdfFiller allows for converting PDF files from and to popular formats without compromising the overall quality, eSigning, remote online notarization, and much more.

The software also supports merging multiple PDF files into a single document, which can be useful when organizing research materials. Thanks to pdfFiller’s compliance with international certifications and regulations, students and teachers can securely share and collaborate on their PDFs.

pdfFiller provides three subscription plans, including:

  • Basic ($8/mo; edit, fill, draw, print, save, or fax PDF documents; convert Word documents to PDFs and vice versa; highlight & annotate PDFs; access your documents from anywhere; customer support within a day)
  • Plus ($12/mo; everything in Basic plan + create reusable templates; merge, rearrange or add pages; add basic fillable fields; customer support within 30 min)
  • Premium ($15/mo; everything in Plus plan + send out documents to sign via signNow; access document templates in the US Legal Forms library; create advanced workflows; collect and export data; instant chat customer support) 

Additionally, pdfFiller offers a free trial period, allowing students to explore its advanced features before committing to a subscription. Learn why 64 million users choose to trust pdfFiller by airSlate.


Start your free 30-day trial of pdfFiller’s fillable form builder, PDF editor & eSignature solution

2. Sejda

Sejda is a versatile PDF editor that offers students both online and desktop versions. This PDF tool allows you to edit the content of their PDF files, remove or add text, rearrange pages, add watermarks, and many more. The software also supports OCR technology, converting scanned documents into editable text. Sejda’s intuitive interface and powerful editing features make it a top choice for students who need to work with PDF files, text and images regularly. 

Sejda provides three subscription options, including:

  • Web Week Pass ($5/one-time payment for 7 days; access to online capabilities only)
  • Web Monthly ($7.50/mo, recurring billing; access to online capabilities only) 
  • Desktop+Web Annual ($63/year)

3. Smallpdf

Smallpdf is a popular online PDF editor that offers students a standard set of features. With its help, students can split, merge, and compress PDF files, making managing and sharing large documents easier. This PDF software tool also supports various annotation features, helping students to highlight important sections and add comments. Whether you need to edit your PDF or convert it to a different format, Smallpdf provides a simple and user-friendly solution.

Smallpdf has three pricing options:

  • Free (access to 21 PDF tools; website and mobile PDF app)
  • Pro ($9/mo; PDF compression, PDF converter to Word, file storage, etc.)
  • Business (custom pricing offer)

4. iLovePDF

iLovePDF offers a set of typical PDF features for students looking for a free PDF tool. This is another free PDF editor that has a free online PDF plan with limited document processing options. It also has other plans, more on that later. With iLovePDF, students can edit, merge, and split PDF files and convert them to different formats. This PDF program also provides advanced features like electronic signatures and password protection, ensuring the security and authenticity of essential documents. iLovePDF’s intuitive interface and extensive features make it a valuable tool for students.

iLovePDF has three pricing options:

  • Free (access to PDF tools; limited document processing; web pdf version only)
  • Premium (€4 / month; full access to PDF editing tools; unlimited document processing; web, mobile and desktop versions)
  • Business (custom pricing offer)

5. PDF2Go

PDF2Go is a web-based PDF editor that offers a range of editing features tailored to the needs of students. It provides a host of subscription options, such as:

  • Basic plan (completely free; access to basic features)
  • Professional plan (€5,50/mo; file conversion, editing and compression)
  • Enterprise plan (custom pricing offer; personalized onboarding, SLAs, flexible payment options and custom contracts)

With PDF2Go, students can edit text, images, and links within their PDFs and annotate and highlight important sections. The software also supports merging multiple PDF files and compressing large documents, making managing and sharing digital materials easier. PDF2Go’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive editing tools make it a reliable choice for students.

FAQs About PDF Editors for Students

1. Is there a totally free PDF editor?

Yes, several free PDF editors are available for students. However, it’s important to note that some free versions may have limitations or watermarks on the edited documents, which isn’t what students need. It’s recommended to explore the features and limitations of each free to use PDF editor before choosing the one that best suits your needs. 

2. Is it free to edit PDFs on Adobe?

While Adobe offers a free PDF reader version of Adobe Acrobat Reader, which allows users to view and comment on PDF files, editing features are only available with a subscription to Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. The Pro version offers advanced editing tools but comes with a subscription fee. Students can explore the options and choose the one that fits their requirements and budget.

3. How to get Adobe Acrobat free for students?

Adobe offers various student discounts and product pricing plans, including Adobe Acrobat. To get Adobe Acrobat Pro DC for free as a student, you can check with your educational institution to see if they offer discounted or free access to Adobe software. Alternatively, you can visit Adobe’s website and explore their student pricing options.

4. How can I make a PDF editable for students?

To make a PDF editable for students, you will need a PDF editor with editing capabilities. Software like pdfFiller and other editors allow you to easily edit the text, images, and links within a PDF file. Open the PDFfile in the PDF editor, make the necessary changes, and save the modified document. This will make the PDF editable and ready for students to work with.

5. What is the best free PDF editor for Android?

When it comes to free PDF editors for Android devices, students can use the built-in PDF app to view PDF documents. pdfFiller’s Android app offers a vast range of editing tools, allowing students to make changes to their PDF files directly on their Android smartphones or tablets. It offers a user-friendly interface and comprehensive PDF editing features that make it an ideal choice for students on the go.

Now You Know How to Choose the Best PDF App for Your Student Needs

In conclusion, having a reliable PDF editor is essential for students in 2023. Whether you need to edit text, annotate documents, or have your PDFs converted to many formats without hassle, numerous options are available to cater to your needs. From the feature-rich pdfFiller to free or freemium alternatives mentioned in this blog post, students can easily find the best PDF editor that meets their requirements and budget. Embrace the power of these PDF editors and enhance your academic journey by efficiently working with PDF files.