Best of Linux

Top Free Multi-Platform PDF Editors

The recent rise in popularity of eBooks has led to the emergence of several different file formats, of which the most popular and the most widely used is the Portable Document Format, or PDF for short. PDFs are one of the most reliable and efficient formats of documents that can easily be shared across computer systems. These files are also secure enough to prevent people from easily updating file contents. This article looks at seven of the best PDF Editors available on all major platforms.

PDF Studio

PDF Studio is a very reliable multi-function PDF tool that is recommended for both viewing and editing PDF files as well as other advanced functions on PDF files. There is a free and a paid version of the product that can be downloaded from the PDF tool link. Functions of this tool include: annotation, highlighting, underlining, cross-out, PDF Form Editing, Editing text, content, shapes, insert, move and delete pages, text redaction, merging documents, size reduction, as well as security features to add passwords and or encryption, and as many features for working with editing PDF files as you imagine. Here is a screen shot below of the PDF Studio editing a PDF file adding highlighting and extra text to the file. PDF Studio is multiplatform and can be run on Linux, Windows or Apple.

LibreOffice Draw

LibreOffice Draw is one of the applications that comes included with LibreOffice, a free and open-source office suite. LibreOffice Draw is one of the best multi-platform PDF editors available, as it is completely free and open-source. This application has several PDF editing tools bundled inside of it. It sports a simple and easy-to-use interface that is extremely user-friendly and will look quite familiar to users of Microsoft Word. You can easily change the layout and move around different components and toolbars, according to your style and preferences.

LibreOffice Draw allows you to change page properties such as format, orientation, margin, background, and more. You can add different shapes, such as arrows and rectangles, and change the styles of both text and images. You can manipulate and alter existing content, whether it is a text or an image. The red rectangular region in the image below shows the different sections that you can alternate between:

Image Alter Properties:


Okular is another excellent free and open-source choice for a PDF Editor. This application was developed by the people working at KDE, and it is the default document reader in the KDE system. Okular is extremely lightweight and offers a very easy-to-use and user-friendly interface that is easily customizable. This PDF editor offers some excellent features, such as text and area selection tools, which allow you to copy and search for the selected text or area.

Moreover, Okular possesses an extremely detailed annotation tool that allows you to add notes, highlight text or images, draw polygons, add or delete text, and even add stamps to anywhere in the document you would like.

Text Selection Tool:

Editing Tools:


Inkscape is a vector graphics tool that is widely used by professional graphic designers around the world. This PDF editor is a free and open-source product that is available for all the major platforms. With Inkscape, you can add or delete text, change the font size and family, draw shapes such as rectangles, lines, etc., and add annotations to your PDFs.

Master PDF

Master PDF is another lightweight and easy-to-use PDF editor that offers dozens of outstanding features to users. You can create, edit, and merge files, as well as add comments and signatures, to PDF files. Master PDF even has an encryption feature that you can turn on to protect your PDF files. This PDF editor also has some powerful annotation tools that allow users to insert notes, highlight text, and add different shapes, such as arrows and rectangles, to PDF files. Master PDF even allows you to edit scanned documents, which is not a feature that is available in many PDF editors.

Foxit Reader

Foxit Reader is a freemium PDF reader that has become immensely popular among the community. This PDF editor is extremely fast and provides some great PDF editing tools to users. Foxit has some excellent annotation tools that allow users to highlight, strikeout, underline, and replace and insert text. Since Foxit is cloud-based, it also allows you to share your documents across systems, promoting collaboration among users.


PDFsam another excellent PDF editor that is available for all the major platforms, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. What sets PDFsam apart from the other editors is that it falls under the second category of PDF editors that allow users to split, merge, rotate, and extract pages within PDF files. PDFsam also contains splitting and merging functions that allow you to split a PDF either by size or bookmarks, as well as merge two or more PDF documents in different orders.


Scribus is a free and open-source publishing software that is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Scribus provides several different PDF editing tools to users, of which the most notable features include highlighting, moving, and adding text; creating PDFs and lists; and making PDF files more interactive by adding text fields, checkboxes, and more. This is a property unique to Scribus, setting it apart from other PDF editors in this list.

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat puts the office at your fingertips with intuitive PDF management integrated with all the tools you need to remain creative and collaborative, even on the go. Sign, create, edit extract and compress PDF pages instantly from your mobile device, desktop app, or browser. With editor tools like sticky notes, highlights , drawings and more, Adobe Acrobat helps streamline workflows and encourage innovation. Try Adobe Acrobat Pro free for seven days to unlock advanced editing features for detailed PDF work. Edit PDF text, adjust images, add watermarks, create lists, add new content, and more with Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Which Is the Best Multi-platform PDF Editor

There are several great multi-platform options available in the way of PDF editors these days. Each PDF editor offers its own unique features and functions. All seven PDF editors mentioned above are among the most popular and widely used alternatives, each providing users with exceptional features. All in all, any choice from among the above seven would be worth considering.

About the author

Zeeman Memon

Hi there! I'm a Software Engineer who loves to write about tech. You can reach out to me on LinkedIn.