Author: Berts Njoroge
Tuesday, May 25, 2021

How to edit a PDF without Adobe?

Category: Windows Software

Adobe launched the PDF file format in the 90s. At the moment, it’s the most popular format to exchange and send documents in the world. For example, major documents such as CAD drawings, presentations, legal documents, government forms, and invoices are exchanged in PDF files.

Reasons why PDF file format is popular.

  • PDF file formats are compact, smaller in size than the source documents, and preserve their original format.
  • It’s not easy to modify the content of the PDF file. This can prevent users from copying and printing your content.
  • You can open the same PDF file on different devices without losing format and content. For example, a PDF file will be the same on Windows, Mac, and Android devices.
  • PDF files offer a layer of security, as they can be password protected. So, if you ae your organization is exchanging PDF files, you can protect susceptible documents.

Are you trying to edit PDF files on your device? Don’t worry.  We will guide you through the best way to edit a PDF file without Adobe Acrobat.

Adobe is considered the best tool in the market for editing PDF files. Well, not everyone has it. However, it has some of the best features like adding tables, inserting images, editing texts, and many more.

However, it is costly, especially for individuals and small businesses. So, not everyone will have it, regardless f the best features it has. Adobe Acrobat costs about $15 per month or $179 per year. It is also not easy to learn and can be time-consuming.

Are you still worried about how to edit your PDF file? There are free or cheaper options that you can consider to edit your files.

Here are the best ways to edit your PDF without Adobe:

  • Online PDF Editing Services.

There is online PDF editing software that has features to help you edit your files. However, ensure that the file you want to edit online has no sensitive and confidential information, as some online editing software have weak security features, especially free ones.

Once you confirm your file is ready and okay to be edited online, go ahead and upload it. Again, use the feature on the software you have chosen.

 Remember, you can do this on any device. There are even some great Apps available for Apple and Android phones.

Take your time to select the best software with the best features for impressive results. The free ones have basic features, but they are worth trying. If you want more features, you can consider paying extra coins to get more advanced features.

Here are some of the free online PDF editors:

  • Small PDF- edits and converts PDFS to word documents.
  • PDF Pro- allows you to edit up to 10MB of PDF file
  • Sejda PDF editor- it’s a web-based PDF editor
  • SodaPDF- allow you to edit and split PDF files
  • PDF Buddy- your buddy in editing PDF files.

 How to edit a PDF without Adobe?

  • Use Microsoft Word to Edit PDF files.

If you are using windows PC, it’s easy to use Microsoft Office Word to edit PDF files. You only need to open the PDF files using Microsoft Word, and you will automatically see the document is editable.

You will be able to edit texts and images just like you do on normal documents. Once done, you can save it back to PDF format.

Here are steps to follow when editing PDF using Microsoft Office Word:

  • First, open word, and go to file.
  • Click ‘open’ and select the PDF file you want to edit. Word will give you a pop-up, as shown on the screenshot below, and click ‘ok.’

How to edit a PDF without Adobe?

Microsoft Word will automatically convert your file to an editable doc.

  • Do the changes you want to the document. The document will look similar to the original one, especially if it has some graphics.
  • Once done, click ‘file’ and then ‘save as.’ Next, select to save as PDF on the dropdown.


  • Preview App- for Mac Only

Preview is a built-in app on Mac that converts photos and PDFs. In addition, it can be used to view and edit PDF files to the required standards.

It allows you to underline texts, highlight necessary sections, annotate, and many more features. It has almost similar features as Adobe Acrobat, but you don’t have to download from other sources, and it’s free. First, however, you need to master how Mac works before you edit your PDF files.

Follow the following steps to edit PDF files on Mac Preview:

  • Select the ‘text’ item on the top toolbar
  • Select the section of the text you want to edit.
  •  Make all the changes you want, and click on the blank space.

How to edit an image using Mac Preview

  • Click ‘edit’
  • Choose the image item
  • Click on the page and choose an image from the Finder
  • Move or resize the image

How to edit a PDF without Adobe?

  • Edit PDF files using Google Docs

Google Drive is one of the best tools to do many tasks on one platform. Google docs allow you to create and edit documents and sheets and share them with colleagues or other parties anywhere in the world.

However, many people are not aware that google docs can convert PDFS to editable documents. Therefore, you can edit PDFs easily on google docs before downloading or sharing them.

Steps to edit PDF files using Google Docs

  • Upload your file on google drive
  • Open it using google docs
  • Make the changes you want.
  • Download the document in PDF form.

Note that if the document has images and graphics, they will not appear on the opened file of the google doc.

  • Standalone PDF editing Software.

If you are not ready to pay for Adobe Acrobat, you can opt for other cheaper one-time editing software. They have no monthly or yearly charges. Instead, they cost between $50 and $150, a one-time purchase.

Most of this software is tested to have the best features and provide a convenient user expert which. So why not try one of them?

We had mentioned free versions of this software above, but you can go for paid ones as they have more advanced features.

Before you pay for any of them, go through the reviews. Some are sold at higher prices, yet they have similar features and user experience as the cheap ones.

Factors to consider when choosing a standalone PDF editing Software.

PDF editing Software User experience

Check if the software is smooth and speedy to work on. They have different speeds, and some have features that are hard to understand. For Mac, there are some features that you need to understand before you can use it. Consider those few aspects before you decide on the software you will use to edit your PDF files.

PDF editing software Cost

You must consider the amount you want to spend to get the right editing software. If it’s a one-time use, you don’t have to pay anything. Use free versions. Don’t spend much or less on features you can get on free versions of PDF editing software.

Quality outcome

There are different variations in quality for PDF editing Software. However, all the software we mentioned here has the best quality. We encourage you to go through reviews to see what other users experienced with certain editing software.

We have given some of the best ways to edit PDF files without Adobe.

Which one will use?

You are free to use free or paid ones, but it depends on the tasks before you. Choose paid PDF editors if you want to use them for a long time. If your PDF file doesn’t have graphics and pictures, avoid using google docs and Microsoft Office Word.

All in all, each PDF editor has its limitations, successes, speed, user experience, and different qualities.

Don’t Delete Your PDF Files. Edit them.

Instead of deleting your PDF files, use the best ways, as mentioned above, to edit them and salvage your PDF.

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