Best and Worst Options to Edit PDF Files

Best worst for edit PDF | Best and Worst Options to Edit PDF Files | PDF files are the best and easiest option for document sharing. Word docs can be tricky for Mac users and anyone who doesn’t have Microsoft Office. Google’s document suite has upped its game in the past few years, but it’s still far from the most robust system.

PDF files, meanwhile, can be opened on any machine, including your smartphone. Even if you don’t have a PDF reader installed on your machine, your internet browser will automatically display the document there. PDF files are clean, simple, and user-friendly.

That all changes when you want to edit PDF files, though. PDF files are some of the most annoying document types to edit, whether you’re completely revamping the formatting or just updating a few words.

If you’ve run into issues trying to edit your PDF file, here are our suggestions for the best – and worst – options.

Best: Adobe Acrobat Pro

Adobe is the master of all things PDF, so it only makes sense that they would be the best option for editing PDF files. As such, you should always turn to Adobe Acrobat first if you need to change something in a PDF file.

We aren’t talking about the default Adobe Acrobat that’s preloaded onto most computers nowadays. That would be Adobe Acrobat Reader. What you need is Adobe Acrobat Pro.

(Click here to see the differences between the Adobe Acrobat types.)

Adobe Acrobat Pro has everything you need to change your PDF file, whether that means editing it, sending it for signatures, or adding images and graphics. Best of all, these functions are user-friendly with clearly labeled icons running alongside the right of the document.

Second Best: Online PDF Editors

The biggest problem with Adobe Acrobat Pro is the cost. It isn’t the most expensive software out there by a long stretch, but you do have to spend some money to get all the features you want. Depending on the subscription type and length you choose, you could end up paying between $13.00/month or $180/year.

If you want most of the same functionality without the hefty bill, your best option is an online PDF file editor. There are a plethora of options to choose from and at a wide variety of price points. Whether you’re looking for fast and free or a long-term but cheap solution, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

These are our top picks:

  1. PDF Pro
  2. PDF Buddy
  3. Sejda


If you’re looking for a robust, comprehensive solution, PDF Pro is your best bet.

Like Adobe Acrobat Pro, PDF Pro is not a free offering. That said, it’s also not subscription-based.

Instead of having to pay a monthly or annual fee like you would for Adobe Acrobat Pro, PDF Pro requires a one-time-only activation license purchase. After that, you won’t have to pay another dime.

PDF Pro has many of the same features as Adobe Acrobat, including edit, draw, organize pages, comment, and sign. If free software isn’t an option for you but you’d rather not pay Adobe prices, this is your best bet.

PDF Buddy

This little tool frequently tops the list of alternative PDF editors, and for good reason.

First, it’s completely free. Although it’s subscription-based like Adobe Acrobat Pro, that subscription doesn’t require any form of payment. All you have to do is create an account and register your software.

Second, it has almost the same editing options you would find in Adobe Acrobat Pro. Whether you need to add comments, delete text, or reorganize pages, PDF Buddy has what you need. The only things it can’t handle are signatures and form fields.

That said, PDF Buddy does have a paid alternative. For just a few dollars per month, you can have a close replica of all of Adobe Acrobat Pro’s extensive features. Signatures, form fields, and heightened security are just the tip of the iceberg.

Best of all, if you aren’t sure that you’re ready to commit to the expense, PDF Buddy will let you use a free trial version of the complete software for free.


For the last 3 years, Sejda has claimed its spot as the best PDF editing tool after Adobe Acrobat Pro. It isn’t difficult to see why, either.

Sejda offers all of the same toolkits as Adobe Acrobat Pro, including signatures, form field creation, text editing, and image conversion. The difference is that Sejda is completely free.

You will have to sign up for an account, but, after that, Sejda is all yours. The interface is a little different from Adobe’s, so you may have to play around a bit to figure out how to get what you want out of the software. Once you have, though, you’ll find that Sejda is one of the most user-friendly software tools you can find.

Worst: Convert to Word Document

The absolute worst thing you can do with a PDF file is attempt to convert it to a Word document. No matter how clean the PDF may look, Word will tear it to pieces. The formatting will go wonky, fonts will change, and some words or images may disappear completely.

For all of these reasons, we strongly recommend against converting your PDF file in Microsoft Word. While you can easily convert Word docs to PDF files, attempting to go the opposite direction will only result in headaches.

(If you want to embed PDF files into a Word document, you’ll have much better luck. Check out this link for instructions on how to do it:

Learn How to Edit PDF Files and Other Tech Tips

Now that you know to avoid Microsoft Word for editing PDFs, a whole world of options are available to you. You can edit text, insert graphics, apply headers and footers, and even include links. Whether you choose Adobe Acrobat Pro or one of its online alternatives, you’re all set to create and modify clean, professional documents.

Knowing how to edit PDF files is just the tip of the iceberg, though. If you want to learn even more tech tips and tricks, check out the rest of our articles.