5 Best Open-source PDF Editors Worth You to Use on PC and Mac

Last Updated on November 11, 2021 by Tina Clark

PDF has become a document format in both the workplace and daily life. Unlike Word and other office file formats, PDF lets you store text, graphics, images, and internet links in a single file. More importantly, it is usually unchangeable once a PDF export. Therefore, you can distribute your information with no worry about misuse. However, you may wonder whether you can edit your PDF after saving it. The answer is yes. And some open-source PDF editors allow you to do it without paying a penny.

Best Open-source PDF Editors

Part 1: Top 5 Open-source PDF Editors

Top 1: PDFsam

Open-source PDF Editor PDFsam

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux

PDFsam is an open-source PDF editor with a set of page editing tools. You can rotate, move, delete or add new pages to your PDF documents. Unfortunately, there is no editing for items in PDF, such as edit text.


  • Edit pages in PDF for free.
  • Organize your PDF pages visually.
  • Extractor split pages easily.
  • Batch process multiple PDF pages.


  • It requires Java.
  • There are some bugs like visual composer shows errors.
  • The learning curve is not friendly to beginners.

Top 2: Inkscape

Open-source PDF Editor Inkscape

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux

Inkscape is another well-known PDF editor released by a developer team. It was a free vector application. Of course, you can edit your PDF documents in this open-source PDF editor.


  • Edit each item on PDF.
  • Support manipulating graphics.
  • Offer a lot of picture editing tools.


  • It focuses on graphic editing but not PDF editing.
  • You cannot adjust pages in PDF.

Top 3: LibreOffice Draw

Open-source PDF Editor LibreOffice Draw

Platform: Windows, Mac, and Linux

LibreOffice Draw is one of the most open-source PDF editor suites. It is even as competent as some professional software. Unlike other open-source projects, the community is good.


  • Edit text and graphics in PDF.
  • No watermark or other limit.
  • Provide many editing tools.


  • You have to download the whole suite that contains a PDF editor.
  • The experiences on different platforms are various.

Top 4: Scribus

Open-source PDF Editor Scribus

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux

Scribus is not only an open-source PDF editor but also a free publishing application. Therefore, you can create a PDF document, add text, graphics, lists, and other items to your file.


  • Available to both animated and interactive PDFs.
  • Integrate a user-friendly interface.
  • Recover damaged PDFs.


  • It cannot edit encrypted PDFs.
  • The font options are limited.

Top 5: Apache OpenOffice

Open-source PDF Editor Apache OpenOffice

Platform: Windows, Mac

If you wish to edit PDF pages for free, Apache OpenOffice is one of the best open-source PDF editors. Similar to LibreOffice Draw, Apache is a graphic program offering basic PDF editing features.


  • Add, edit, rotate, and delete images on PDF.
  • Adjust the pages on a document.
  • Check your spell automatically.


  • It will slow down your machine.
  • It cannot edit existing text.

Part 2: Best Alternative to Open-source PDF Editor

Open-source PDF editors can only meet your basic need for document editing. From this point, we recommend WidsMob PDFEdit. It is a full-featured PDF editor for both Windows and macOS. Its key features include:

  • Edit text, graphics, images, and more.
  • Add new items to PDF, such as watermark, text, etc.
  • Edit individual PDF pages, like rotate, crop, and more.
  • Adjust PDF pages order and delete unwanted pages.

In short, it is the best alternative to an open-source PDF editor to change your documents.

Win Download Mac Download

How to Edit PDF on Desktop

Step 1: Install the best PDF editing software

Firstly, download the best alternative to an open-source PDF editor to your computer. Follow the on-screen instructions to install it. Then launch it when you wish to edit a PDF. Click Open Files and import the desired document.

Open Image File PDFEdit

Step 2: Edit items on PDF

To edit items on your PDF, select Edit on the top menu bar. And you will get the tools on the right-hand column.

To add text, for example, choose Add Text tool, and then click where you wish to add text on PDF and enter text. Then adjust the font, size, color, and more parameters.

If you want to edit an image, select it on the PDF, choose Properties and change it as you need. You can use Add Image on the right-hand column to add a new image. Then import the picture from your hard drive, and place it in the right of the position.

Add Text to PDF

Step 3: Edit PDF pages

Go to the Pages menu on the top ribbon. And you will get all page editing tools on the right-hand column of the best alternative to an open-source PDF editor.

Crop a page on PDF: Select Crop Page, set the Crop options on the popup dialog, and click OK.

Rotate a page on PDF: Choose Rotate Page. Set the options on the popup dialog and hit OK.

Split a PDF: Click Split PDF on the right side, enter the page number, and click OK.

Extract certain pages: Pick Export Pages set the pages you want to extract, and click OK.

Here you can also replace specific pages, add a watermark to PDF, or apply a background.

If you want to protect your PDF documents, go to the Protect menu and add password protection.

Rotate PDF

Step 4: Save edited PDF

After PDF editing within the best alternative to an open-source PDF editor, you have two options to save it. Firstly, go to the Convert menu and transcode the PDF to images. Alternatively, save the PDF as a new document or replace the old one.

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Based on the review above, you might master at least the top 5 best open-source PDF editor applications available to Windows, Mac, and Linux. They can help you add items to PDF or change PDF pages on your machine. On the other hand, if you feel open-source projects are too simple, WidsMob PDFEdit can meet your need. It is easy to use and provides PDF editing tools. We hope that our review is helpful to you.