Genuinely free PDF editors for 2021 with no sign up requirement
Most of the online PDF editors advertised as free have limits on the size of the PDF file you can upload, number of tasks you can perform in a particular period of time and which tools you can use. Some even give an impression that the tools are totally free to use which is true but you have to pay to download the finished document. Most importantly, there are a lot of websites that require you to sign up to edit your PDF document or to download the edited file.
In this article we have tried our best to include only those websites that are truly free (no free trial/ no watermarks) and do not require you to pay or create an account at their site to use various PDF editing and conversion features such as editing, form filling, signing, deleting/ rotating pages, compressing, merging, splitting, converting, combining and a lot of other tools for modifying your PDF documents.
We have only included sites that have a higher number of tools, almost all of which are 100% free to use and are available online. But a few of the listed ones also have offline apps to download for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS.
These are the five PDF editors with no credit card or registration requirements:
Internet based free PDF editors requiring no account creation
1. PDF24 Tools
PDF tools at PDF24 Tools are developed by a Berlin based company founded in 2006 by Stefan Ziegler and are available in a number of languages like German, Italian, Turkish, Japanese, Romanian among others. The site is simple, clean and fast and unlike many other free online PDF tools platforms, there is no limits in using the tools at this site. The only thing lacking with their PDF editor however is an ability to erase texts but that can be easily worked out by using their PDF to MS Word converter, erasing the text and then saving the file as a PDF file.
These tools can also be used by installing an offline version on Windows based computers, installing an app on Android or iOS mobile phones by using Chrome browser or through the Chrome extension in browser. There is a help section which provides latest news & how-to articles like "How to merge files into one PDF?" and also a question section.
You can add text, image, shapes and draw with "Edit PDF" tools. It is also possible to choose the opacity of the text, stroke width, stroke color, fill color and line height in addition to other common features such as choosing the font size. Afterwards, you can preview the resulting file and download it or save to various cloud storage apps.
Features of some of the other free tools at this website are:
- An ability to choose DPI, image quality and color for Compress tool
- No quality is lost with the merge tool
- A separate sign tool where you can either draw your signature, upload an image of it or capture the sign using your camera
- Rotate a single page or all pages (but there is no option to rotate only certain pages by specifying a range)
- You can only remove pages one by one
Unlike most of the top ranked PDF tools on the web, you can make modifications directly to the original PDF document without the loss of any quality at AltoPDF. This makes editing at this free online service very smoother and faster with an ability to delete existing text one character at a time by using backspace/ delete keys or removing entire block of text at once, rotate a block of text, set line height, highlight the text or blacking out it.
This site has more free tools than any of the other most popular free PDF tools online and works better than those top ranked digital platforms. While you can use all the tools except "Edit PDF" from any devices including mobile devices (which will also become accessible from smartphones soon) and Operating Systems through browser, they have a number of free apps (along with paid ones) for :-
- iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and macOS such as I9Form, W-9 Form, W4Form, Form Filler, PDF to Word etc.
- Android apps like Alto PDF to Excel Converter and Document Scanner
- Microsoft Edge add-ons like PDF to PPT converte and JPG to PDF
- and also some apps on Amazon appstore for Android
There are a few unique features of this site`s tools like:
- Adding image up to 3MB either in JPF or PNG formats and an option to crop the image before inserting it into the PDF file
- Drawing the signature, selecting a color for it and choosing thickness
- Deleting a page, moving it up or down or adding a new page by using the Page Manager
- A search and replace tool which allows you to search for a particular text and replace it or all occurrences of it with the new text
Each of the tools page at DeftPDF contains steps to use that particular tool and they also have an YouTube channel with videos of instructions for using some of the tools. You can also use their blogs to know about topics such as how to copy text only from PDF?, if a PDF file has a virus, reading PDF in Kindle, how PDF can be useful to students and teachers? etc.
With their Edit tool, you can insert new text or delete an existing one by using the "Text" button (to delete a text, select the "Text" tool, click on the text and use the backspace or delete button on your keyboard). You can also insert a link, fill out forms, insert images, use signature tool, whiteout any text or image, annotate (strikethrough, underline, highlight etc.), delete a page or insert new pages above or below the other pages.
When your editing is finished, just click on "Apply Changes" button and download the finished file to your computer, save it in Dropbox or Google Drive, get a shareable link or send the link to an email, print the file, rename it, delete the file, continue editing with a new task or start afresh with new uploads.
Examples of features and tools at this ad supported site in Beta include:
- Signature tool - Fill the document yourself or request others to fill it
- OCR PDF tool to convert scanned PDF files to searchable PDFs
- Convert PDF to Microsoft PowerPoint or Excel
- Tool to repair a damaged or corrupted PDF
- Split in Half or split by pages
- You can upload files hosted on another website for editing
You can use the PDF tools at PDFzorro on a web browser, by downloading the Android app or via the Chrome extension where you can work on PDF files directly from Google Drive. In the PDF editor interface, there is a global toolbar at the top of the first page thumbnail to make changes that applies to all the pages at once for example -
- to rotate all the pages
- reduce the size of the file (quality is compromised after this though)
- encrypt the file
- setting the file information such as an author
- deleting the pages in a range mixed with individual pages at once
- extracting pages
- printing multiple pages
- converting to Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.
You can also find toolbars just above each of the individual page tumbnails in order to make changes specific to that particular page such as deleting a specific page, moving the page up or down, rotating the page, duplicating the page, adding an image to the page, cutting, cropping or copying, exporting the page to an image, extracting only a particular page (consequently deleting others) and changing the page format. You can also set the background color for the text.
In addition, there are Mark tool, rectangle, pencil, box and line tools. You can also zoom the pages in or out and dismiss a recently made change. All these features are under a single editor window. Note that you have to manually save changes every time you write text or use the pen tool to draw for example. Beside editing tools, there are separate tools for combining PDF files, converting to PNG image format etc.
Their YouTube channel also contains tutorials on using various tools (in German).
Do you need to convert images/ scanned files into searchable PDF files? The OPtical Character Recognition (OCR) PDF tool developed by this France based imaging technology company called Orpalis (established in 2002) lets you do this for over 100 file formats and supports languages such as French, German, Portuguese, Korean, Arabic etc. in addition to English. However, there is a limit on the size of the PDF file you can upload at AvePDF which is 256MB per file.
You can find more tools at AvePDF than other similar services such as:
- Digital Signature - text, draw or image based
- Two delete text modes - for deleting all the text or for removing only the selected text
- Hyper compress PDF - will compress files up to 99%
- Remove or rotate a single page, multiple or all the pages
- Redact - permanently deleting personal/ sensitive text or image
- Optimizing PDF for web
- printing multiple pages
- Scanning from browser to PDF
The tools are available in various languages like Danish, Vietnamese, Polish and others. The blog at this site provides various tutorials on using the tools. One tool we did not find at this site is PDF to Word conversion (please let us know if you find it!).
Beside these free PDF editing service providers, there are a lot of others that can be a suitable fit if you only need to use these tools occasionally, have smaller file size requirement or number of pages, can sign up to use the tools or download the edited file or can pay for the service. These include:
- Sejda - Limited number of file uploads and tools to use on per hour basis
- iLovePDF - Almost all the tools are free to use with limits on the number of files (1 to 25), size of the file (15MB to 200MB) and no support for Mobile and desktop devices
- PDFSimpli - Requires you to sign up to download the final document after making changes
- PDFEscape - Limited number of tools and file uploads up to 10mb and 100 pages
- PDFCandy - A single task per unregistered user per hour but you can use all the tools without any limits if you sign up
- HiPDF - Two free tasks per day with file size limit of 10MB and 50 number of pages and not all tools are available
- PDFill - Merge tool has limits on number and size of files(10 files, 5MB each)
- CutePDF - Supported number of pages - 300 and maximum file size - 10MB
- PDF2GO - Almost all the tools are free to use (and limited OCR) with limited number of files varying from 1 to 5 depending on the tools used and max file size supported is 100MB
- Soda PDF - Need to buy to download
- SmallPdf - Supports mobile and desktop apps but you can only process 2 PDF files in a day
- DocFly - Three files a month
- FormSwift - Sign up required to download the file after the completion of editing
- Adobe Acrobat online PDF Editor - Sign up needed even before starting to edit
- PDFBuddy - Registration required before beginning working on the document
If you have found any of the listed free PDF editors useful, do not forget to let us know. Happy Editing!