Open Source PDF Editor (Updated List)

Ever struggled with a PDF document that needed changes? It's a common problem in our digital world. "Open source PDF editors" come to the rescue in these situations. These tools allow you to manipulate your PDF files, making changes and enhancements as you see fit. They are purpose-built to modify PDF files and their popularity has grown in the digital realm. Let's take a deeper look into open source PDF editors and explore how they can bring value to your work.

What are Open Source PDF Editors?

Open source PDF editors are software tools that allow you to modify the contents of PDF documents. Unlike proprietary software, open source software gives you the freedom to customize, modify, and distribute the software as you wish. The beauty of these PDF editors lies in their ability to edit PDF documents while maintaining the original file format. They are available for free or at a minimal cost, providing an affordable solution for your PDF editing needs. If you look at all the open source PDF editors available, a few really stand out. These tools make editing PDFs quick and easy.

Sejda PDF Editor

Open Source PDF Editor (Updated List): Figure 1 - Sejda PDF Editor

The Sejda PDF editor is a popular tool for many people when it comes to online PDF editing. It's a favorite because it has a lot of features that make editing PDFs easy.

For example, you can easily add text, images, or add signatures to your PDF documents. Filling out PDF forms, which can be a hard task, becomes simple with the Sejda PDF editor. A key feature of this tool is that it can work with many PDF files at the same time. This is very helpful when you are in a hurry and need to work on a lot of documents quickly.


Open Source PDF Editor (Updated List): Figure 2 - LibreOffice

LibreOffice is another great tool in the world of open source PDF editors. This tool is known for its ability to do many things. LibreOffice lets you edit your PDF documents in many ways, such as editing text, drawing shapes, or adding comments.

This tool is unique because it can work with different file types. This means it can do more than just edit PDFs. Whether you want to make a great presentation or manage your PDF documents, LibreOffice Draw can help you.


Open Source PDF Editor (Updated List): Figure 3 - Inkscape

Inkscape is mainly a tool used for creating graphics, but it's also a strong open source PDF editor. With Inkscape, you can move text and images around easily. You can also remove content that you don't want, or add new content to your documents.

Using Inkscape is easy and fun. You don't need to be a computer expert to use this tool. With a few clicks, you can modify your PDF documents just the way you want.


Open Source PDF Editor (Updated List): Figure 4 - PDFsam

The PDFsam editor, which stands for PDF Split and Merge, is another fantastic open source PDF tool to add to our list. As its name suggests, it's especially good when you need to split a large PDF into smaller sections, or merge several PDF documents into one.

You can also rotate PDF pages, mix two PDF files by alternating the pages from two files, and extract specific pages from a document. PDFsam is straightforward to use and will prove to be a useful tool when you need to organize your PDF files in a more manageable way.


Open Source PDF Editor (Updated List): Figure 5 - Okular

Okular is not just a PDF reader. It's also a versatile open source tool that also allows you to edit PDF files. It's compatible with multiple platforms including Linux, Windows, and macOS, and supports a range of file formats, not just PDFs.

With Okular, you can add text annotations, highlight sections, and draw freehand lines. You can also fill out PDF forms right from the viewer. Although Okular may not offer as many features as the aforementioned tools, its simplicity and user-friendly interface make it a great choice for straightforward PDF editing tasks.

Advantages of Using Open Source PDF Editors

If you need to edit PDF files frequently, these open source PDF editors are a godsend. They provide a plethora of benefits that make them stand out from the crowd.

Flexibility and Versatility

Open source PDF editors offer flexibility and versatility. You can edit text, insert images, change the format, add or delete PDF pages, and much more. They also allow you to work with multiple PDF files at once, enhancing your productivity and efficiency.


The majority of open source PDF editors are free or require a small one-time payment. This makes them a cost-effective alternative to expensive proprietary software. If you're a student or a small business owner, these free PDF editors can significantly reduce your software expenses.

Community Support

Being open source, these PDF editors have a community of developers and users who continually improve and update the software. This community also provides help and support, so if you're stuck, you can always find assistance.


Open Source PDF Editor (Updated List): Figure 6 - IronPDF

While we've discussed a number of free open source PDF editors, it's important to also mention tools like IronPDF. Even though it's not free, IronPDF is an extremely valuable tool that's worth considering for your PDF editing needs, especially if you're working with C# programming language.

IronPDF is a .NET PDF Library that provides a range of features to work with PDF files. It's not an open source tool, but the range of capabilities it provides justifies the investment. With IronPDF, you can generate PDFs from HTML, images, or even existing PDF documents. It also allows you to add text, images, and even complex elements like headers, footers, and page numbers to your PDF files. You can also edit the PDF file which is already stored in your machine. Let's have a look at a code example:

using IronPdf;

// Instantiate Renderer
var renderer = new ChromePdfRenderer();

// Create a PDF from a HTML string using C#
var pdf = renderer.RenderHtmlAsPdf("<h1>Hello World</h1>");

// Export to a file or Stream
using IronPdf;

// Instantiate Renderer
var renderer = new ChromePdfRenderer();

// Create a PDF from a HTML string using C#
var pdf = renderer.RenderHtmlAsPdf("<h1>Hello World</h1>");

// Export to a file or Stream
Imports IronPdf

' Instantiate Renderer
Private renderer = New ChromePdfRenderer()

' Create a PDF from a HTML string using C#
Private pdf = renderer.RenderHtmlAsPdf("<h1>Hello World</h1>")

' Export to a file or Stream
VB   C#

This code example helps to create PDF from HTML string. You can make multiple edits in PDF files like merging PDF files, removing pages, adding annotations, attaching a cover page, creating PDF forms and many other things using IronPDF.


In the modern digital age, having reliable tools to work with PDF files is essential. Open source PDF editors like Sejda, LibreOffice Draw, Inkscape, PDFsam, and Okular have transformed the way we deal with PDFs. They are user-friendly, offer a wealth of features, and best of all, they're free to use.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a more specialized tool that integrates with C#, IronPDF is worth considering. Although it isn't free, the extensive features and capabilities it provides can be a game-changer in your PDF editing tasks. Notably, IronPDF offers a free trial, allowing you to test the tool and see if it fits your needs before making a commitment. After the trial, the license for extended use starts from $749.