How to Edit PDF Files on Windows 11

PDFs (Portable Document Format) files are used to share documents compatible with most platforms. PDFs keep their formatting on virtually all devices or programs. This makes them ideal for sharing documents such as resumes, contracts, tax forms, etc.

Unfortunately, editing PDF files can be complicated, especially if you don’t have the right tools. This guide shows you how to edit PDF files on Windows 11 using various methods, including:

  • Free offline editors
  • Paid offline editors
  • Free online PDF editors (i.e. on a browser)

Using Free Offline Editors

Free offline PDF editor apps offer basic editing features, which will be sufficient for most users. They are useful if you don’t need to do much more than add text and images, electronically sign, or fill out forms.

1. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Adobe Reader is one of the most popular PDF editors. It’s free to download and use. It offers basic editing features, such as adding text and images, signing, and filling out forms.

  1. To start using Adobe Reader, download it from Adobe’s website. Note: During the installation, make sure to uncheck the add-on software it might ask you to install.

    download Adobe Reader from the Adobe website
    Download Adobe Reader.
  2. Once Adobe Acrobat Reader is installed, launch the app and open the PDF you want to edit. To do so, click File > Open, then choose the file you want to edit.

    Launch the app and open the PDF you want to edit
    Launch the app and open the PDF you want to edit
  3. There is a list of options for editing your PDF on the panel on the right. Select the one you want to use and make your changes.

    On the right-hand taskbar, there is a list of options. Select the one you want to use and make your changes.
    There is a list of editing options. Select the one you want to use.

2. Xodo PDF Reader & Editor

Xodo PDF Reader & Editor is another free PDF editor with basic editing features. It’s known to be fast with a user-friendly interface. It is also available for download on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

  1. Download Xodo PDF Reader & Editor from the Windows Store.

    Download Xodo PDF Reader & Editor
    Download Xodo PDF Reader & Editor
  2. Once it’s installed, open it and click on Open Document.

    Click Open Document.
    Click Open Document.
  3. Choose the PDF you want to edit from your files.

    Choose the PDF you want to edit from your files.
    Choose the PDF you want to edit.
  4. On the Menu bar, click the Edit button.

    On the Menu bar, click the Edit button.
    Click the Edit button.
  5. The editing options will appear. Choose one to make your changes.

    The editing options will appear. Choose the one you want to use and make your changes.
    Choose one of the editing options.

Using Paid Offline Editors

A paid PDF editor is recommended to perform more advanced editing tasks, such as OCRed text, adding headers and footers, or extensive annotation.

1. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC offers most of the features you need to edit a PDF, including advanced collaboration tools, commenting, and other tools that come in handy when editing your PDF.

Note: Adobe Acrobat Pro DC has a free 7-day trial that you can use to edit your document. You don’t have to renew your license.

  1. To start using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, visit the Adobe website and click the Free for 7 days button to start your trial.

    To start using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, visit the Adobe website and click the Free for 7 days button to start your trial.
    Click the Free for 7 days button to start your trial.
  2. Choose the plan you want and enter your payment information. Adobe will not charge you until your trial ends. Once the trial is over, you can continue using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC by paying the subscription fee.

    Choose the plan you want and enter your payment information.
    Choose the plan you want.
  3. After installing Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, launch the application.
  4. The main workspace will open. Choose Edit PDF to start editing.

    Once you open the program, the main workspace will open. Choose Edit PDF to start editing.
    Choose Edit PDF to start editing.
  5. In the menu taskbar, you will see all the editing options. Choose the one you want to use.

    In the menu taskbar, you will see all the different editing options. Choose the one you want to use and make your changes.
    Choose one of the editing options.

2. Wondershare PDFelement

Wondershare PDFelement is a paid PDF editor that offers advanced editing features. These include Bates numbering, adding headers and footers, and e-signatures.

  1. To start using Wondershare PDFelement, visit the Wondershare website and select Free Download.

    To start using Wondershare pdfelement, visit the Wondershare website and click Free Download.
    Click Free Download.
  2. After installing the downloaded app, it will give you a list of all available licenses. Choose the one you prefer.

    After installing the downloaded app, it will give you a list of all available licenses. Choose the one you want.
    A list of all available licenses. Choose the one you want.
  3. After activating the app with a license, launch the application. The main workspace will appear. Click Edit PDF and choose the file you want to edit to start editing.

    Once you finish the installation, open up the program. The main workspace will appear. To start editing, click Edit PD
    To start editing, click Edit PD
  4. Wondershare PDFelement offers a wide range of editing options in the taskbar. Choose the one you want to use.

    Wondershare pdfelement offers a wide range of editing options in the taskbar. Choose the one you want to use and make your changes.
    Choose one of the editing options.

Using online PDF editors

Online PDF editors allow you to edit PDFs without downloading third-party software. This is useful when you need to make quick changes, such as correcting a typo or using a public computer.

Many free online PDF editors are available. Popular ones include PDFescape, PDF Buddy, Smallpdf, and Sejda. While we cannot guarantee the content of the websites, they all offered appropriate editing tools for free in our testing.

1. PDFescape

PDFescape has two versions: a free one that works in your browser and a premium one that you can download as an app. The free version is limited but still allows you to do basic editing, such as adding text and images, annotating, and filling out forms.

  1. To start using PDFescape, go to the PDFescape website and click the Free Online option.

    To start using PDFescape, visit the PDFescape website and click the Free Online button.
    Click the Free Online button.
  2. The “Getting Started” window opens with four options. Choose how you want to import your PDF document.
    Note: in the free version, you can only edit PDF files less than 10 MB and 100 pages.

    The getting started window opens with four options. Choose the one that best suits your needs.
    Choose one of the four options that appear.

    Once you upload your PDF, you can start editing. In the upper left window, you will see different editing options.

    Choose one of the editing options.
  3. When you’re done, select Save Document.

    When you're done, click the Save Document button in the left-hand taskbar.
    When you’re done, click the Save Document button.

2. Sejda

Sejda is a free online PDF editor with both basic and advanced tools. It allows you to merge PDFs, delete pages, and add headers and footers.

  1. To start using Sejda, go to their website and click the Edit a PDF document button.

    To start using Sejda, visit their website and click Edit a PDF document.
    Click Edit a PDF document.
  2. In the next window, click the Upload PDF file button. You can also click the arrow icon and select a file from your Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive accounts. You can also import a PDF directly using a URL.

    In the next window, click the Upload PDF file button. You can also click the arrow icon and select a file from your Dropbox or Google Drive account.
    Click the Upload PDF file button.
  3. Once the file is uploaded, you can begin editing it. On the top of the screen, you will find the editing options.

    On the top middle of the screen, you will see all the different editing options. Choose the one you want to use and make your changes.
    Choose one of the editing options.

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