Learning Linux is not always easy, and often novice users ask the question: “What is the best PDF editor?” – especially people who want to use this system for work purposes.
Actually, there are many different ways to change PDF files on Linux. You can pay for the use of commercial software, and can choose one of the free alternatives. The choice is yours, and we’ll just tell you about what you can choose.
1. PDF Studio
PDF Studio is unique in the sense that it is the only paid program in the list and, although, it contradicts the idea that “Linux is free”, it means that you are getting a high quality product, polished developer, and it is plain to see.
PDF Studio comes in two versions. The standard version costs $ 89 and provides some basic functionality, including but not limited to the following:
- Create PDFs
- Annotate and Markup PDFs
- Fill In & Save PDF Forms
- Secure Documents
- Append / Delete Pages
- Apply Watermarks, Headers, Footers
- Create Bookmarks / Table of Contents
- Loupe, Pan & Zoom, Rulers, etc…
On the other hand, the Pro version costs 129 dollars and provides more advanced capabilities, including but not limited to the following:
- Interactive Form Designer
- OCR (Text Recognition)
- Content Editing
- Permanent Redaction
- Compare PDFs
- Optimize PDFs
- Digitally Sign PDFs
- Advanced PDF Splitting & Merging
- Batch Process Multiple PDFs
- Precision Measuring Tools
- PDF/A Validation / Conversion
It is a pity that the edit content is only available in the professional version. PDF Studio is really a complete solution but should be used only if you intend to use the majority of his professional capabilities. Both versions have a free trial version so you can try them.
2. Master PDF Editor
As Studio PDF, Master PDF Editor aims to be a complete solution for everything to do with editing PDF documents, but it has one big advantage: it costs almost twice cheaper.
But does this mean degraded quality? Not quite. For most users features of Master PDF Editor is more than enough. Notable features include but are not limited to the following:
- Full editing of all text, images and shapes.
- Protect documents with 128-bit encryption.
- The ability to convert XPS files to PDF documents.
- Export PDF to popular image formats like BMP, JPG, PNG and even TIFF.
- Documents can be divided and combined into one.
- Digital signing of documents.
The price for the program is $ 50 for the full version. Here you will find version with a lower price with a limited set of possibilities. However, the program provides a trial period so you can evaluate whether you want this app to you.
3. Calibre + LibreOffice
This method does not affect real PDF editor, but it produces results. It certainly has flaws, but if you overtake them, you will have a productive environment for editing PDF, also free.
You can use e-book Manager Calibre on Linux to convert PDFs to a format the rich text format (RTF). You can now open it in LibreOffice and edit it. This method works fairly well for basic editing of text and images, but advanced features like forms, digital signatures will not work.
Fortunately, things like the connection/separation of PDF files, OCR-extract text or secure password protection can be implemented with the help of online services to work with PDF files.
If you rather want to edit visual documents than simple text and images, you might want to use Scribus in place of the method described above.
Scribus is an open source software designed to create professional publications that includes such things as brochures, newsletters and even books. It’s not really based on PDF editor, but it is great for creating layouts that can be easily exported to PDF.
Scribus is able, for example, to import files created in other formats, publishing systems, as well as XPS files.
Did you know that GIMP can act as a PDF editor? We don’t recommend you use it so if you are going to do a great deal of serious work, but for occasional basic edit and change it as well.
The editing process is quite simple: you must launch the program and open any PDF file. GIMP is not so easy to edit a few pages because each page is loaded in a separate layer. Then edit the document – you can edit directly the text, but you can look at the document as an image, so it is enough just to make small changes, and add text. After editing you can export your work in PDF file. Unfortunately, GIMP will export only what he “sees”, so you need to export each layer as a separate PDF and then combine them into one file using other utilities.
As Scribus, GIMP is more suitable for visually-oriented documents, but you can also use it for simple PDF files, consisting of one or two pages and a small amount of text. Advanced and interactive documents, unfortunately, be edited in other ways.
Which method do you prefer?
As you can see, editing PDF documents in Linux is not as simple as in Mac or Windows, if you are not using any paid tool. Alternative free tools can work, but they have flaws that they are impossible to use in some cases.
You frequently edit a PDF in Linux? What tool are you using? Know any alternatives we haven’t mentioned? Tell us in the comments below!