PDF is one of the most popular document formats in the world. There is no doubt that you will have come across this document format before.
In a world ruled by the internet and in which the traditional means of reading documents is no longer bound by the home computer, it is no surprise PDF continues to be one of the most used document formats.
It is a document that will look the same no matter what device you use to read it, whether it is a Mac, iPhone, Tablet or traditional PC. That’s important when over half of all web traffic is no longer on a PC.
That begs the question, how to edit a PDF without Adobe? True, Adobe is one of the most popular reading and editing software for PDF. Yet, there may be many reasons why it suits you not to use Adobe.
Convenience, ease, preference, and simplicity are all compelling reasons you may want to consider alternatives. That is exactly what you will learn in this article.
What’s the Problem with Adobe?
Maybe it is helpful to say from the start, just because you want to learn about alternatives does not imply that Adobe is a bad option or software that you should not use.
Adobe offers a range of software options with excellent functionality. Of course, that comes with a cost.
Simply put, you may not want to pay for Adobe as there are free alternatives. Besides that, it may not be worth paying for as your need to edit PDF documents may only be occasional.
Why Edit a PDF?
If you don’t have much experience editing PDFs you may be asking the above question. After all, you may edit the source document and print it to PDF whenever you are ready.
All of that is true. However, there are occasions when you may not be the owner of the document and therefore do not have the source document. Not only that, even if you own the source document it may simply be quicker and more convenient to edit the PDF. Especially if the edits are not that significant.
A further reason to edit a PDF is that it offers an excellent format for collaborating on documents. There are numerous ways you can annotate the document using comments, written text, drawing, and different types of marker pens.
One of the nice things about using ‘pens’ to edit a PDF when collaborating on a document is that you don’t have t be technically minded. You can mark up the document as you would a real paper document.
How to Edit a PDF Without Adobe – Convert Format
You can take two different approaches to this. When you receive the PDF, you can open it within a free PDF editing program or you can convert it to an editable format for use within another program.
Which approach you take will depend on how extensive the edits will be. It also depends on the nature of the document.
If the document needs to retain its look and feel because it is heavily formatted and perhaps has many pictures or other images embedded within it, then it may be easier and simpler to retain the PDF format and edit in a PDF editor.
If the document is merely in PDF because it is quick and easy to share and is more text laden than other documents, then you can convert it to a format that is easily edited in Microsoft Word or using Google documents and in fact many other word processors.
The important thing to remember is that when you finish you will need to print to PDF again.
Free PDF Editors – Basic Principles
There is an amazing number of options for free PDF editing software. Nearly all options follow these guiding principles. If you use the tool online through your web browser it is completely free.
If you download to your desktop and want to use the tools offline, then you will either get limited editing tools to do that, or you will need to pay a subscription for using the software.
The advantages of using an online tool are that they are cloud-based and therefore accessible from any of your devices. The disadvantage, of course, is that you must use the internet which may or may not be a problem.
Internet through your phone and through free Wifi hotspots are more widespread than ever before so in reality that may not be a problem. Still, it can be problematic if you are working on large documents so keep that in mind.
PDF Editors – Try These
Given that there are many free PDF editors you need to find one that you like the interface and find it easy to work with. Take as a starter, Smallpdf.
This offers free use of the software through the browser. Ignore the free trial prompts as this refers to the desktop version. You will find the software offers a powerful range of tools.
An alternative to the above is PDF-XChange Editor. One of the nice features of this software is that it uses OCR or optical character recognition. That means if your source document was actually a photocopy then you can still read the text and edit it using the software.
There are other online options that convert various formats like XML to PDF or Word to PDF depending on what your needs are. All of these are conveniently available through your browser.
Ready to Get Editing?
In this article, you have read how to edit a PDF without Adobe. There are lots of options and many good reasons why you would want to use them. Check them out and get started editing your documents.
You can read other very helpful articles about software in the ‘apps’ section of this website. For example, check out this article on 5 security problems with Windows 10 PCs.