20 Free Tools To Open, Edit and Create PDF Documents

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Simple things like splitting a document into several pages or fixing a simple typo – these  tasks can be easily done on any text file but are far more complicated when needed to be done on a PDF document. That’s why I decided to share with you some great apps that will make your work with PDF documents much easier, faster and more efficient. And the best part is – all of them are free!


Here’s what you can do with PDF docs:

Open PDF files without hogging resources

foxit-pdf-reader-1If you used Adobe Acrobat Reader 7 or 8, you surely went trough the pain of having to wait 30 seconds to open a PDF file. The latest version of the program, Acrobat Reader 9, improved a lot in performance but many users turned to other lighter and faster tools such as Foxit PDF Reader and Cool PDF Reader. Both offer maximum compatibility, though Cool PDF Reader stands out for its size – only 600 KBs. Foxit includes more features and can be embedded into web browsers. Excellent one!

Create PDF documents with a virtual printer

createpdfcreation_1Some years ago you could only create PDF files with Adobe Acrobat and the Distiller module. Luckily now you can choose between quite a few virtual printers that make use of GhostScript to create a fully compatible PDF file out of anything you print, with no limitations or watermarks at all. The most popular one is PDFCreator, though you can also use DoPDF and Bullzip. DoPDF produces smaller files, while Bullzip can encrypt the file and add watermarks.

Open PDF files in Microsoft Office and OpenOffice

pdf-to-word-converterBeing able to open a PDF file from a productivity suite certainly eases your workflow. If you need to convert a document from PDF to DOC, you can use these free apps: Some PDF to Word Converter and Free PDF to Word Converter. Both try to keep the structure and layout of the original document, but the truth is that results may vary. At least the first one, Some PDF to Word Converter, lets you process several documents simultaneously.

Split and join pages, cut, annotate…

split-it-box-coverIf you need to join PDF files into one or split a large document into several pages, there are also free apps for that. PDF Split & Merge and Adolix Split & Merge PDFPDFill PDF Editor and jPdf Tweak feature a wide range of options. But if you’re looking for a really powerful tool, then you should have a look at , two excellent apps that can add watermarks, combine and split documents, rotate pages and add notes, among other possibilities.

Copy and print text from protected PDF files

free-freeocr-netSome PDF files have copying or printing restrictions, which can be a nuisance. To copy text from a protected PDF you can use FreeOCR.net, a tool that scans documents with a powerful optical recognition engine. Another option is creating an unprotected copy of the file, which you can do with Free PDF Unlocker. This tool uses GhostScript to extract all the information and save into a new document. It has no graphic interface, but is very easy to use.

That’s it. You see that you can do many things on PDF documents for free and without using Adobe Acrobat and other premium software.

After all these things you might want to take it to the next level and see 5 Ways To Convert a PDF To a JPG Image

[tags]adobe acrobat, reader, pdf document, docs, pdf editing, adobe reader, top lists, free apps, software, download free software[/tags]
[via OnSoftware Spain]

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10 Responses
  • Raju Reply

    More than the article itself, i love the structure, design and the images. Can see SEO put in great use as well!!

  • Fred Reply

    Another one is http://a.nnotate.com – it lets you upload a PDF / Word doc and view and annotate it in the browser without needing any external plugins (no adobe reader / flash / java etc). You can then email or post a URL link to the document so several people can add notes/replies to the same online copy for reviews.

  • Bash Bosh Reply

    Great collection of PDF software.
    I really like (and use) Foxit PDF Reader – much better and faster than Adobe Reader!

  • GenniCe Reply

    @Raju, Thanks for noticing. I always try to make the structure of the article easy to read and good for SEO too.

    @Fred, Thanks for sharing that one with us. I tried it and it’s nice one…

    @Bash Bosh, Yeah, Foxit is great. I use it as an alternative to Adobe Acrobat always. Way less RAM demanding…

  • Richard Reply

    You might like to try our new free ‘PDF to Word’ service too — http://www.pdftoword.com.

  • GenniCe Reply

    Thanks for letting us know Richard. I’m sure many will find your free service useful too.

    Enjoy!

  • linky1124 Reply

    most of them are not a batch converter.
    I find the cheapest batch converter –Tweak pdf to word.
    you can try it in http://www.tweakpdf.com/

  • Tommy Reply

    Hi, buddy! Thanks for sharing. That is great.

    How about AnyBizSoft PDF to Word? I am using it right now.

    I don’t need to type the password protected pdfs any more.

    Maybe you can write something for it.http://www.anypdftools.com/pdf-to-word.html#153 Because that is really amazing.

  • Todd Reply

    What about PDF to xls or xlsx ?
    Does anyone have any good suggestions for retaining formatting etc?
    Much appreciated, Thanks

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