Brief: It is not an easy task to find a good PDF editor for Linux. But we still tried to create a list of PDF editing tools in Linux for you.
Linux systems do not come with a default PDF editor. If you are in need of an application which can do some basic editing stuff, there are many options available. However, when it comes to a software which provides advanced facilities like Adobe Acrobat for your Linux system, the choices are limited.
If you ask how to edit PDF files in Linux, LibreOffice Draw could be an answer. However, it is limited when it comes to editing PDF in Linux. And this is why we have included proprietary software like PDF Studio and Master PDF are fully featured PDF editors available for Linux users.
Best PDF editors for Linux
Just a quick note. I have used Ubuntu Linux while writing this article. But it is not just a list of Ubuntu pdf editors. This list is applicable to other Linux distributions equally.
1. LibreOffice Draw [FOSS]
LibreOffice draw provides a handy way of editing a PDF file. If your requirements are very limited and mostly text editing in a PDF document, Draw will serve your purpose. It is not a full-fledged PDF editor and comes with some limitations like you can’t edit a scanned PDF document.
We have a detailed article on how to edit PDF files using LibreOffice Draw.
LibreOffice is free and comes bundled with most of the distributions.
2. Okular [FOSS]
Okular is a popular free and open source document viewer developed by KDE which includes basic PDF editing features.
Once you open a PDF file in Okular, you can copy a part of the text to the clipboard by selecting it, or save it as an image. You can choose Tools > Reviews to get other options like adding pop-ups notes, inline notes, freehand line drawing, highlighter, stamp and other features.
Okular can pretty much handle your basic PDF editing tasks, however, for advanced editing, it may not be that much useful.
Okular is available in the software repository of almost all major Linux distributions. You can install it from your software center. Source code should be available as well.
3. Qoppa PDF Studio [Not FOSS]
PDF Studio is a commercial PDF editor from Qoppa Software that has all the necessary PDF editing features. You can create, review and edit a PDF file.
- Edit text contents and properties, shapes and path objects, move and resize images and optimize PDFs to reduce file size.
- Add sticky notes, text boxes, freehand annotations, hyperlinks etc.
- Attach a file to a PDF document
- Features an interactive form designer, fill in and save interactive PDF forms and flatten any form fields.
- Scan papers directly to PDF and extract, insert or delete pages.
- Apply headers, footers, watermarks and custom actions.
- Add password to a PDF document and digitally sign a PDF document.
- Supports advanced features like text search, comparing 2 PDFs side by side, Rulers and grid views.
- Supports a touch mode for touch screens laptops.
Get a .deb package from the official page. and install it using dpkg.
Or download the installer script from the official download page. Navigate to the download folder and type in the below command start the installation.
The content editing is available only in PDF Studio Pro Edition and costs a one-time $129. You can get a free trial before buying the full version.
4. Master PDF Editor [Not FOSS]
Master PDF Editor is another proprietary application for editing PDF files. With Master PDF Editor, you can do almost everything ranging from editing a PDF file to editing scanned documents and signature handling.
- Add or edit text in a PDF file, insert images, change the size of objects and copy objects from a PDF file to clipboard.
- Provides powerful annotation tools like Sticky notes, measuring tools and shapes, enhancing capabilities like strikethrough, underline and highlights.
- Support creation, editing and filling of PDF forms.
- Edit scanned documents and documents containing images.
- Merge or split a PDF file; create, edit or remove bookmarks.
- Supports digital signature and much more.
Both commercial and free version of Master PDF editor is available for Linux. The free version comes with some limitation like digital signatures, encryption or watermarks are not available. If you just need to create or edit a PDF file, you can still opt for the free version and get your work done. Commercial version costs $50.
Both .deb and .rpm package are available to download and you can get them from here.
There are many other PDF editors available for basic editing as well as for advanced users. People like me always get the work done from LibreOffice while some need tools like Master PDF editor and PDF studio.
While we have not been able to add many, please feel free to suggest any open source pdf editor that you know and we will be happy to include it here.