Top 8 Best PDF Editors in 2023

What is a PDF editor?

A PDF editor has become indispensable for individuals and professionals who regularly exchange electronic documents and forms. A PDF editor, short for Portable Document Format editor, is a software application that allows users to create, modify, annotate, convert, and manipulate PDF files.

This versatile tool has become a cornerstone in document management, allowing users to customize and fine-tune PDF documents to suit their specific needs. Whether you’re a student looking for a PDF solution to highlight text in your e-books, a business professional needing to sign a PDF contract on Mac, or someone looking to merge and split PDFs effortlessly, a PDF editor is your go-to solution.

In this blog, we will review the best PDF editors of 2023, helping you choose the best tool to streamline your document-related tasks.

Table of contents

  1. Choosing the Right PDF Editor in 2023
  2. The Best PDF Editing Software: G2 Fall Report Results
  3. The Most Popular Online PDF Editor: pdfFiller by airSlate
  4. PDF Editor for Windows and Mac: Foxit PDF Editor
  5. Simple PDF Editor to Try: Smallpdf
  6. Best PDF Editor of All Time: Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
  7. Another Popular PDF Editor for Windows: CoolNew PDF
  8. Popular PDF Editor for Mac: Wondershare PDFElement
  9. One of the Top PDF Editors for OCR: ABBYY FineReader PDF
  10. Best Free PDF Editor Version: PDF-XChange Editor
  11. Now You Know Which PDF Editor Is Best for Your Document Management Needs

Choosing the Right PDF Editor in 2023

When selecting the best PDF editors 2023, consider several key criteria to ensure you choose the most suitable option. If you’re a business owner looking for a PDF solution for your document needs, learn how to reduce expenses on a PDF software vendor. Here are the essential factors to take into account:

  1. Ease of Use: Make sure that a PDF solution’s interface simplifies your PDF work. It should offer an intuitive and user-friendly interface while being easy for both beginners and experienced users to navigate and perform tasks without a steep learning curve.
  2. Editing Features: Look for a PDF editor that provides a wide range of editing capabilities. This includes features like text and image editing, annotation tools, page manipulation, and the ability to add or remove elements from PDF  documents.
  3. Compatibility: Ensure that the PDF editor is compatible with your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux) and supports various PDF file formats, including older versions of PDFs.
  4. Security: Security is paramount when dealing with sensitive documents. A good PDF editor allows for the use of file encryption, password protection, and redaction tools to safeguard your information.
  5. Conversion Tools: PDF editors should allow you to convert PDF files to other formats like Word, Excel, or image files, and vice versa. This feature is valuable for document flexibility.
  6. Collaboration Features: If you’re working in a team, consider PDF editors that offer collaboration features such as real-time commenting, sharing, and version control. This will help you regularly work with PDF files with ease.
  7. OCR (Optical Character Recognition): OCR technology allows you to extract text from scanned PDFs or images, making them editable. Choose a PDF editor with robust OCR capabilities if you frequently work with scanned documents.
  8. Price and Licensing: Evaluate the pricing model of the PDF editor. Some offer one-time purchases, while others have subscription plans. Choose one that aligns with your budget and provides the features you need for editing your PDF files.
  9. Customer Support: Reliable customer support can be a lifesaver when you encounter issues. Check if the PDF editor  provides responsive customer support through email, chat, or phone.
  10. Updates and Feature Enhancements: Ensure the PDF editor receives regular updates to stay current with security patches and feature enhancements. Long-term software support is essential for a stable and reliable experience.
  11. User Reviews and Recommendations: Research user reviews, ratings, and recommendations from trusted sources to get insights into real user experiences and satisfaction with the PDF editor.
  12. Trial Period: Many PDF editors offer a free trial period. Before committing, take advantage of this to test the software’s features and suitability for your specific needs.

By carefully considering these criteria, you can choose the best PDF editor that aligns with your requirements and enhances your document management in 2023.


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The Best PDF Editing Software: G2 Fall Report Results

When it comes to G2’s Relationship Index, i.e., ease of doing business with, quality of support, and likelihood to recommend, the list of popular PDF editing software looks as follows:

  • pdfFiller by airSlate
  • Foxit PDF Editor
  • Smallpdf
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
  • CoolNew PDF
  • Wondershare PDFElement
  • FineReader PDF for Windows
  • Lumin PDF for G Suite

Let’s take a closer look at each of these PDF solutions in detail.

1.The Most Popular Online PDF Editor: pdfFiller by airSlate

pdfFiller by airSlate stands out as the premier web-based all-in-one PDF software in 2023, providing a versatile and user-friendly solution to your specific PDF editing needs. Whether you’re a professional, an enthusiast of the macOS ecosystem, or anyone searching for powerful PDF tools, pdfFiller has you covered with its robust features.

As a cloud-based PDF editor, pdfFiller offers the flexibility to work with your PDF files remotely, ensuring seamless compatibility. With pdfFiller, you can confidently handle PDF creation, editing, and file management, ensuring your documents fit your requirements.

What sets pdfFiller apart is its ability to convert PDF files to and from popular formats while preserving quality, making it a valuable tool for users who often work with different file types. Moreover, pdfFiller supports eSigning and remote online notarization, and offers password protection for PDF files adding convenience and security to your digital documents.

For those who frequently merge multiple PDF files into a single document, pdfFiller streamlines this process, simplifying the document organization process.

pdfFiller Subscription plans:

  1. Basic ($8/mo): Edit, fill, draw, print, save, or fax PDFs; convert Word documents to PDFs and vice versa; highlight and add annotations to PDF files; access your documents from anywhere; customer support within a day.
    2. Plus ($12/mo): Includes everything in the Basic plan + plus create reusable templates, merge, rearrange, or add pages, and add basic fillable fields; customer support within 30 minutes.
    3. Premium ($15/mo): Everything in the Plus plan, plus send out documents to sign via signNow, access document templates in the US Legal Forms library, create advanced workflows, collect and export data, and enjoy instant chat customer support.

Additionally, pdfFiller offers a 30-day free trial period, allowing users to explore its advanced features before committing to a subscription. Join the community of over 64 million users who trust pdfFiller by airSlate as their preferred PDF editor. Experience the ease and efficiency of pdfFiller for all your PDF editing needs.

2. PDF Editor for Windows and Mac: Foxit PDF Editor

Foxit PDF Editor is a robust PDF management platform empowering users to seamlessly handle tasks such as viewing, creating, editing, sharing, organizing, collaborating, exporting, and scanning PDFs.

Foxit PDFEditor provides its capabilities for large enterprises through pre-installed solutions, namely Foxit PDF EditorPro and Pro+. These solutions, however, require separate licenses for both Windows and macOS.

Efficient document transactions often hinge on the use of eSignatures for timely completion. While pdfFiller integrates a legally binding electronic signature solution for PDFs, it’s worth noting that eSigning PDFs with Foxit’s eSignature service is not supported on Mac.

Foxit PDF Editor Subscription plans:

  1. Foxit PDF Editor Suite Pro for Individuals ($17/mo) is a comprehensive plan that supports desktop PDF versions designed for Windows and macOS users. It provides an array of functionalities, including creating and converting PDFs to/from formats like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, XPS, RTF/TXT, HTML, XML, and images. You can also leverage features to comment, annotate, compare, merge, split, and protect PDF files with passwords and certificates.  
  2. Foxit PDF Editor Suite for Individuals ($14/mo) also caters to Windows and macOS users, offering similar capabilities as Foxit PDF Editor Suite Pro. However, there are distinctions in data security: this Plan allows for file encryption only. 
  3. Foxit PDF Editor Cloud for Individuals ($8/mo) offers everything in the Editor Suite for Individuals, except for the possibility to eSign documents, request signatures, and track responses. There’s also no possibility to scan and compress documents and turn them into searchable, editable, and cut-and-pastable text. 

Additionally, users interested in exploring Foxit’s all-in-one PDF Editor can use a free 14-day trial to experience its features firsthand.

3. Simple PDF Editor to Try: Smallpdf

Smallpdf, a web-based PDF editor, offers a versatile solution for users seeking to manage their documents effortlessly. The free version equips you with essential features, allowing you to edit text, add annotations, and perform fundamental operations such as merging and splitting PDF files. While the free version does have some limitations, it remains a valuable resource for straightforward editing tasks.

Smallpdf Subscription plans: 

  1. Free: Grants access to 21 PDF tools and is accessible through both the website and the mobile PDF app.
  2. Pro ($9/mo): Unlocks premium features including PDF compression, PDF-to-Word conversion, and file storage, enhancing your PDF editing capabilities.
  3. Business (custom pricing offer): Tailored solutions for businesses, customized pricing to suit specific needs and requirements.

Whether you opt for the free version or choose to explore the enhanced capabilities of the Pro plan, Smallpdf provides a user-friendly platform to streamline your PDF document management on your Mac.

Smallpdf has a free 7-day trial period.

4. Best PDF Editor of All Time: Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is one of the most popular PDF software solutions in the market, offering a comprehensive suite of features for individuals, teams, and businesses. This paid PDF editor provides versatile functionality, enabling you to edit and convert PDF files to various formats, create and complete PDF forms, and bolster document security with encryption.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Subscription plans:

  1. Acrobat Standard ($12.99/mo): Offers a set of PDF editing features that includes viewing, printing, sharing, commenting, text and image editing within PDFs, creating, filling, signing, and sending forms, as well as collecting signatures and facilitating bulk eSignature requests.
  2. Acrobat Pro ($19.99/mo): Builds upon the capabilities of Acrobat Standard by enabling users to transform scanned documents into editable, searchable PDFs, apply redaction for the permanent removal of sensitive visible information, and conduct detailed comparisons between two versions of a PDF to review all differences and more.

 Adobe Acrobat DC offers a free 7-day trial period, allowing users to explore its advanced features before making a commitment.

5. Another Popular PDF Editor for Windows: CoolNew PDF

CoolNew PDF Editor provides a comprehensive, all-in-one solution to enhance your PDF experience for Windows users. It offers versatile tools to boost productivity and streamline your document workflows. With 21 tools, you can effortlessly convert, compress, and edit PDFs to meet your needs.

Conversion features encompass a wide range, including CAD, office documents, images, text, and scanned copy conversions. You can edit text and images, erase content, manage page numbers, adjust size, apply watermarks, format paragraphs, and more.

Furthermore, users can easily combine or split PDFs, extract contents, optimize PDF files, merge and compress documents, facilitate printing, and make annotations. CoolNew PDF is your go-to solution for a seamless and efficient PDF document experience.

CoolNew PDF Editor for Windows has two pricing options: $29.99/six months and $49.99/year, with a free 7-day trial period.

6. Popular PDF Editor for Mac: Wondershare PDFElement

Wondershare PDFElement is a comprehensive PDF solution that empowers users to perform a wide array of tasks, such as creating, editing, converting, annotating, signing, and managing PDF files. This powerful tool finds applications in various fields, including business, education, and personal use.

Some of its key features encompass the possibility to generate PDFs from diverse sources, including documents, images, and web pages; modify PDFs by adding, removing, and adjusting text and images; convert the PDF files to different formats, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and HTML; enhance PDFs with comments, highlights, and stamps, and facilitate electronic signatures; organize, merge, and split PDFs to manage your document library efficiently.

PDFelement is available on macOS, Windows, and iOS. The Mac version has a distinct user interface compared to the Windows variant.

Wondershare PDFElement Subscription plans:

  • Yearly Plan ($79.99/year) offers one-year access to all features and updates, free 20GB вocument сloud storage, no watermark, and free tech support.
  • Two-Year Plan ($109.99/year) offers a similar set of features available for two years.
  • Perpetual Plan ($129.99/year) offers a similar set of features available forever.

 Wondershare PDFElement has a 7-day free trial period.

7. One of the Top PDF Editors for OCR: ABBYY FineReader PDF

ABBYY FineReader PDF is crafted to help both Windows and Mac users create PDF documents while enhancing the efficiency of editing workflows. FineReader is a PDF editor that allows for digitizing paper documents and scans with OCR, converting, editing, and sharing a diverse array of custom PDFs, including editable forms. Teams operating within digital workspaces can seamlessly collaborate and endorse PDFs from remote locations worldwide. ABBYY FineReader PDF supports multiple languages, catering to a global audience that includes English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Chinese, and more.

ABBYY FineReader PDF Subscription plans:

  1. FineReader PDF Standard for Windows ($74/year) is an AI-powered PDF application designed to streamline unified workflows, seamlessly handling both digital and scanned documents.
  2. FineReader PDF Corporate for Windows ($122.5/year) is a versatile productivity toolkit tailored for PDFmanagement and document digitization. It boasts features such as document comparison and automated conversion of up to 5,000 pages per month.
  3. FineReader PDF for Mac ($52/year) represents a top-notch OCR application optimized for macOS. Its capabilities encompass converting PDFs, paper documents, and their associated images into searchable and editable documents with precision.

ABBYY FineReader PDF Editor has a free 7-day trial period.

8. Best Free PDF Editor Version: PDF-XChange Editor

PDF-XChange Editor, a worthy successor to the acclaimed PDF-XChange Viewer, is undeniably one of the finest free PDF editors available today. It allows for free download with limited functionalities. Still, if you want to experience all of its capabilities, PDF-XChange Editor inherits its predecessor’s robust features. These include various editing tools for tasks like text highlighting, text selection, and text striking out. Notably, it offers a selection of stamps and commenting functions, allowing for seamless tracking of document changes—features often absent in free PDF readers.

Moreover, this versatile tool allows users to extract or remove entire pages from lengthy PDF files effortlessly. It even enables embedding new content, whether text, images, blank pages, or full PDF documents. PDF-XChange Editor doesn’t stop at basic editing. It excels at document conversion between PDF and Word formats, and it even incorporates OCR (optical character recognition) functionality for transforming scanned documents into editable text.

PDF-XChange Editor Subscription plans:

  1. Free PDF Editor and PDF Viewer ($0) offers basic capabilities allowing users to view and edit PDF files.
  2. PDF-XChange Editor for Windows ($58/year) will enable you to create, view, edit, comment, OCR, and digitally sign PDF files, etc., with the licensed version. Also includes the PDF-XChange Lite program, 190 stamp templates, and a training manual.
  3. PDF-XChange Editor Plus for Windows ($74/year) is a package that provides users with an enhanced OCR plugin, 
  4. the option to create dynamic stamps (e.g., date stamps) as well as fillable PDF forms; the PDF-XChange Lite program, as well as 190 stamp templates and a training manual.

PDF-XChange Pro for Windows ($125/year) is a package that includes PDF-XChange Editor Plus, PDF-XChange Standard Printer, PDF tools, Office2PDF, as well as 190 stamp templates and a training manual.

Now You Know Which PDF Editor Is Best for Your Document Management Needs

In the dynamic world of digital document management, the best PDF editors of 2023 have showcased their prowess in simplifying and enhancing our daily workflows.  Each PDF editor on our list has its unique strengths and features tailored to meet diverse needs. Whether you’re a PDF expert professional seeking comprehensive editing capabilities, a student looking for an affordable yet powerful PDF solution, or a Mac user in search of the perfect PDF tool, the options we’ve explored in this blog offer a multitude of paid and free online choices. 

These PDF editors are equipped with AI-powered OCR, efficient collaboration tools, and seamless conversion options, ensuring that you’re well-equipped to tackle any document-related task.

As we conclude our exploration of the best PDF editors in 2023, it’s clear that these tools have evolved to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of digital document management. Choosing the right one for you depends on your specific requirements and preferences. Whichever you choose, these PDF editors are here to empower you, making your document management endeavors more efficient, productive, and hassle-free in the year ahead.