We’ve covered PDF editors in great detail before, whether you’re looking for an open source PDF editor or one worth your hard-earned money, there’s just one for you. Today, I’m going to take a look at the ever-popular Linux platform, and its equally famous brother, Ubuntu. As both are used by thousands of developers and programmers around the world, we wanted to know which PDF editor they are using to get the job done.
Turns out, their choices aren’t that different from ours. Some of these PDF editors are even popular in the TW office. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best PDF editors for the Linux and Ubuntu platform, both free and paid.
Note that while Adobe has a product, Acrobat Pro, for the Windows and Mac platforms, the company that pioneered the PDF standard has not supported the Linux platform for some reason. While expensive with a subscription plan, Adobe Acrobat Pro is still one of the best PDF editors in town on any given day.
Read also: Top 6 Free PDF Editors Without Watermark For All Platforms
Best PDF editor for Ubuntu
1. LibreOffice Draw
Don’t let the name fool you. Although LibreOffice Draw may seem like it’s only good for drawing and annotating, it’s also just as good for editing PDF files on the fly on Linux distributions. Most Linus distributions like Fedora and Ubuntu come with LibreOffice pre-installed. Yes, it is so popular, reliable, and open source.
One limitation is the fact that LibreOffice Draw cannot edit scanned PDF files. So if you scanned a document with your smartphone, which many of us do today, you are out of luck because that would need OCR technology as the scans are originally images.
You can edit text, add / remove pages, fill out forms, annotate, and do much more with LibreOffice Draw. While LibreOffice works out of the box most of the time, if you are dealing with complex PDF files, it can alter the fonts, only sometimes, or render the output incorrectly. That is why I will look at some other PDF editors below.
- Free and mostly pre-installed
- Reliable and easy to use
- Multiplatform support
- Cannot edit scanned PDF files
- I can’t handle very complex PDF files
Download LibreOffice Draw (Free, open source)
Different people have different needs and we understand that. For example, many people only search for a fast and efficient tool to split and merge PDF files. And what is more? They want to be able to do it using the command line because that’s where Linux really shines. Once you learn to work with it, it is beautiful. For you guys, I suggest PDFtk (toolkit, in case you’re wondering).
Read also: 9 best PDF editors worth your money
PDFtk will allow you to merge two or more PDF files on the fly with minimal effort. Want to remove a page you don’t like from the final report before submitting it? PDFtk will remove it in a jiffy. The free version works well with the command line and if you need a GUI, the pro version will only cost $ 3.99.
- Really fast
- Free (command line users)
- Only good for splitting / merging PDF files
Download PDFtk (Freemium)
Try Inkscape, which is a free and open source PDF editor that also works as a great graphics editor. You can import and edit PDF documents, but only one page at a time. Many users still prefer and recommend Inkscape because it can write text, annotate, and handle fonts correctly most of the time.
It is very similar to LibreOffice Draw that we covered before and GIMP which is another image editor capable of handling PDF files.
- Free and open source
- Can edit and handle fonts very well
- Multiplatform support
- Multi-page support is missing
Download Inkscape (Free)
4. PDF Studio – Qoppa
Looking for something more professional? A complete PDF editor? Qoppa offers PDF Studio in two different flavors and both are paid. I guess you get what you pay for. While the above-mentioned PDF editors are image / vector editors in the first place, PDF Studio was built from the ground up to offer advanced PDF features on all platforms including Linux.
You can not only edit PDF files, but also scan and create new ones. Other features include annotations, form filling, add / delete pages, watermarks, and create ToC. The Pro version adds more functionalities such as the ability to compose text, edit text online, OCR to edit scanned pages, split / merge and batch processing, which will save everyone a lot of time.
- Advanced editing features
- Multi platform
Download PDF Studio – Qoppa (Starting at $ 89)
5. Master PDF editor
Master PDF Editor is probably one of the oldest PDF editing programs designed for the Linux platform. There are two versions to choose from. The unregistered version, which is free, will allow you to create new PDF files, edit old ones, add / delete pages, split or merge PDF files, and annotate and comment on them. The free version should be good enough for most users.
The commercial version, best suited for startups or small businesses, will allow buyers to add watermarks, support 256-bit encryption for added security, digitally sign documents, and optimize PDF files to save valuable space and bandwidth. It will cost you $ 69.95.
The user interface is a bit dated and not very intuitive, but it will get the job done easily and efficiently.
- Easy to use
- Free version good enough
Master PDF editor (Free or $ 69.95)
Read also: Top 5 PDF Editing Apps for Android
6. Apache OpenOffice Draw
Notice how many PDF editors have the word Draw in their name? This is because These are graphics editors that can handle PDF files as well.. This shows how Linux, while widely used, still lags behind Windows and Mac, which are easier to use and with much better options. Apache OpenOffice is more comparable to LibreOffice in the sense that it is a complete office suite.
OpenOffice Draw can be used to change PDF objects, sign and fill documents, and annotate with various options. There are some external plugins available for OpenOffice that can allow you to create new PDF files.
- Open source
- Comes with add-ons
- Not as robust as paid solutions
Download Apache OpenOffice Draw (Price)
Unlike OpenOffice, PDFedit, which is also a free and open source PDF editor, will allow you to edit text with ease as well. You can easily add or edit text, images, and other objects within PDF files. Other basic features are there like token, padding, annotation, but because it is free and open source, there is no cloud storage support.
Please note that PDFedit has not undergone active development for the past two years. Although the Linux PDF editor still works, I would recommend giving others a try.
- Easy to use
- Free and open source
- Not in active development
Download PDFedit (Free)
Okular is a popular KDE PDF editor for the Linux platform, but it is also available on Windows and Mac. You can easily select a part of the text to edit in the Clipboard section. It’s not the best way to edit a PDF document, but it gets the job done and you’ll quickly get used to the concept. Other than that, it’s also a good tool for drawing, which means more options for annotations.
Okular is a very good PDF editor, but if you are looking for advanced features or working with PDF files day after day, there are better solutions listed in this very guide.
- Free, open source
- Full text editor
- Multi platform
Download eyepiece (Price)
What is the best PDF editor for Ubuntu?
If you are looking for a simple PDF tool that can help you quickly split and merge PDF files, PDFtk is a lightweight editor that will work best for you.
If you want a decent PDF editor for Linux or Ubuntu that can do more like text editing, signing, annotating, etc., then LibreOffice Draw or Okular are good solutions. They are also free and open source.
If you are willing to pay money and want a feature-rich solution that is scalable, Qoppa is a powerful PDF editor.
Choose your PDF editor or let us know which one you are using and why. Did we miss something?