9 Best Free PDF Editors For Windows 11 To Pick From In 2023

Note that free PDF editors have certain limitations

by Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Managing Editor
Being an artist his entire life while also playing handball at a professional level, Vladimir has also developed a passion for all things computer-related. With an innate fascination... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Apart from the basic features like drawing, some free PDF editors for Windows 11 have advanced features like AI, OCR recognition, and bookmarking.
  • Our list consists of PDF editing software tools that are easy to download right away.
  • These tools help in the conversion of PDFs, editing, uploading, deleting, cropping, splitting, extraction, and not only.
What are the Best Free PDF Editors for Windows 11

PDF means Portable Document Format, a type of file format that is easy to exchange documents between users and/or institutions.

This guide will look at the best free Windows 11 PDF editors you can install on your PC to make your choice an easier one.

Why should I save my documents as PDFs?

These editors give users, businesses, and students the ability to change PDF documents that get protected from editing.

PDFs are important when dealing with documents. It ensures that the format and layout of the document aren’t altered.

When creating PDFs, you can merge different files like images, screenshots, and Word documents to form one PDF document making it the best to use.

Most documents are very secure, making it hard for people to make changes. Some people even put passwords on the documents to prevent third parties from accessing the file’s contents.

There are also browser-based PDF editors that can’t match the desktop editor’s features. The Internet provides many free PDF editors for Windows 11.

What are the best Windows 11 free PDF editors?

pdfFiller – Best online PDF editor

You don’t need to download anything because with pdfFiller you may easily edit a document right in your browser.

Actually, with this tool, you may easily fill out any PDF document on any desktop or mobile device.

You will be able to highlight, blackout, erase and insert text anywhere on a PDF. Not only that, but it’s also possible to insert images.

If you need to convert your PDF into another format, you may do so with just a few clicks. Plus, add, delete, or rearrange pages as you please.

pdfFiller also helps you merge or split PDFs and organize them using smart tags if needed.

As for storage, you have your own cloud space, but the tool also has integrations for Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, and Dropbox.

Let’s review some of its best features:

  • Document signature for authentication
  • Powerful PDF conversion
  • Full document editor
  • Very easy to use by anyone
  • Cloud-based app, available from any location or device


Edit your PDF documents and sign them securely with a free editor that offers all the tools you need!

PDF Agile – Best Acrobat alternative

If you need a quick and great alternative to Adobe’s Acrobat Reader, you can’t overlook PDF Agile.

The tool works just like a word processor when it comes to text editing within your PDF documents.

You will be able to change the paragraphs, columns, and pages, change the layout, text size, and font, and even add multimedia.

PDF Agile works as great in the conversion department. You will feel like a Pro when you will be able to change your PDFs into Word, TXT, Excel, Powerpoint, images, CAD, and vice versa.

And the best part is that after you convert them, the documents will still retain their original formating.

Actually, you can do pretty much anything with your PDFs, including merging or splitting them.

It’s simple to just drag and drop pages within a document or from one PDF to another. Then, to personalize them, you can add your logo, headers, footers, and a lot more.

But the cherry on top is the built-in OCR feature that will help you extract the text from any image or scanned PDF seamlessly.

Don’t bother pulling out your credit card yet because PDF Agile has a free trial version to test all its features before buying.

Here are some of its best features:

  • PDF conversion to and from Word, TXT, Excel, Powerpoint, images, CAD
  • Built-in OCR tool
  • Friendly and easy-to-use interface
  • Advanced PDF editing tools
  • Drag-and-drop functionality

PDF Agile

Edit your PDF documents easily and securely with a great tool with a built-in OCR feature.

Adobe Acrobat Reader – Best PDF editor

Adobe Acrobat is one of the best PDF editors for Windows 11. It’s free, and many people use it, including businesses and companies.

If you need to take care of any PDF, then downloading the editor is one of the best decisions one can make.

With Adobe Acrobat, you can do everything you want at no cost. It has a tabbed view that enables users to open several PDFs at once 

It is the most popular used PDF editor for Windows 11. It gives users many options, e.g., using a hand tool to draw, highlight, underline, and add bookmarks to the document. 

Some of its key features include:

  • Share files with others and protect them from third-party users with the help of passwords and the inability to copy, edit, or print
  • Organize the PDF by adding new pages, cropping, rotating, extracting, and reordering the pages
  • Sign electronic forms by requesting others to sign, making a form for others to sign, filling forms, and adding your signatures
  • Ability to export the edited PDF to other formats like Word, PPT, Excel, JPG
  • Enables users to add comments, annotations, and highlights to the PDF document

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Enjoy the best features of Adobe which is the industry standard for PDF editors and readers.

Icecream PDF Editor – Great interface

Icecream PDF Editor has both free and premium versions. It is one of the best PDF editors to use, no matter which type of document.

It has four editing modes that enable it to edit, annotate, fill forms, and manage different pages.

It gives users the ability to change to other languages like French, Spain, English, etc. It secures as it gives users the option of protecting documents using passwords.

You can also add custom stamps to your PDF documents when using the editor. It has a pretty UI making it easy to use and improving the user experience.

Other features of the editor include:

  • Ability to add and remove other pages from a document
  • You can add all types of image formats to the PDF document
  • It can draw shapes, lines, and arrows to a file
  • Easy to combine and extract PDF pages

Icecream PDF Editor

Icecream PDF Editor is an all-in-one software that allows you to edit all PDFs efficiently.

SwifDoo PDF – Best annotation tool

SwifDoo is an outstanding all-in-one PDF tool that allows you to convert, create, compress, merge and sign PDF documents instantly.

It has a powerful system for PDF annotation. It offers many practical tools to help you comment on your PDF files, including highlight, underline, shape, and many others, which solves your issues easily.

You can also encrypt and decrypt your PDF files as you wish. On top of that, you can add watermarks and e-signatures to your files which can protect the copyright substantially.

Other best features of SwifDoo PDF include:

  • Only takes up 10MB of disk space
  • Intuitive tabbed interface
  • Safeguard sensitive and private information
  • Fast PDF converter

SwifDoo PDF

A PDF software with exceptional features that helps you create, convert and so much more in an easier way.

Free Trial Visit website

Nitro PDF PRO Free – Great file format compatibility

Nitro is one of the most powerful and commonly used PDF editors after Adobe and Foxit editors. It has a user-friendly interface with powerful features that makes editing PDFs easier.

It has a QuickSign feature that enables users to sign documents easily, especially forms. Even more, it comes with OCR features that help in recognizing scanned documents.

You can also improve the document’s security by sending a digital certificate to the users who need access to the file.

Other features of the editor include:

  • It supports over 250+ file formats
  • Easy to collaborate with other users 
  • Has the ability to type, draw and upload photos to the document
  • Ability to share feedback through highlights, comments, and sticky notes
  • Ability to change the orientation and color of the documents

Nitro PDF Pro Free

Get a DF editor that supports over 250 file formats and presents the OCR technology essential for editing scanned PDFs.

Readiris PDF editing tool – Ideal for scanning PDFs

Readiris is a management PDF software that helps convert scanned documents into editable PDFs through OCR technology. It’s easier to install and use due to its simple user interface.

It saves time by converting files in less time due to its speed to generate tables, text, graphics, numbers, words, and not only.

It offers a 10-day free trial to test for premium features if you are interested in upgrading.

Other features include:

  • It can produce colored texts and backgrounds
  • It produces documents formats that work with over 70 applications from browsers, word processing programs, design software
  • Ability to work with image formats

Readiris PDF editing tool

Get a PDF software that converts scanned documents into editable PDFs through OCR technology.

PDF Element – Good PDF editing features

It’s an advanced editor with many modules that make it easier to handle PDFs.

It’s mostly used by businesses and Fortune companies to control their content and keep it private.

It is easier to customize it by using the checkboxes, templates, buttons, and more.

Features of PDF Element include:

  • Change the fonts, check the spelling, and use OCR to edit scanned files
  • Create and fill PDF forms
  • Protect your files using password encryption and permissions
  • Collaboration features
  • Convert PDFs into other formats like images or Word documents

PDF Element

Get a PDF editor with security to protect your files using password encryption and permissions.

PDF Candy – Great PDF converter

It’s a free online editor with over 40 features that simplify PDF editing. These tools help in the conversion of PDFs, editing, uploading, deleting, cropping, splitting, extraction, and more.

This software solution is reliable and has important features like adding watermarks, resizing pages, adding passwords, and extracting pages.

It limits performing one task per hour for freebies and 6 USD monthly for a premium upgrade.

Some of its key features include:

  • RTF to PDF conversion
  • The option to add watermarks
  • You can extract text and images
  • PDF rotation

PDF Candy

A free online editor with over 40 features and a Jack-of-all-trades when it comes to PDF editing.

Foxit PDF – Lightest PDF editor

Foxit is one of the best free PDF editors working with the Windows 11 version. Foxit is lighter and has many features compared to the other PDF editors.

It has a text viewer mode that enables text display like a Notepad-like view and simplifies the formatting. You can use this PDF editor to sign documents with your handwriting or signatures.

Some of the best features of Foxit PDF include:

  • Easy to collaborate with others when working in a team
  • It has many editing features, i.e., merging and adding PDF pages recognizing OCR documents
  • Has advanced security features that protect the PDF from unauthorized users

Get Foxit PDF

In some scenarios, some people may require a PDF editor only for a few hours or to correct the document once. Several online options with a few features let you perform the edits without installing any software.

The web-based programs can help if you are in a hurry and want to edit the documents immediately.

Most of them limit their extensive features, which require a subscription making it hard to enjoy the benefits you would get when using installed editors on your Windows 11 PC.

Free PDF editors lack other extensive features found when using the paid version of PDF editors. Some of the features you may miss include AI editing, text recognition, and extreme formatting.

We hope at least one of the above editors caught your eye. Please give us feedback on the one you found helpful in the comments section below.

This article covers:Topics: