Out of all the common file types found in our computing world, PDF is probably one of the most restrictive ones, while at the same time being available for everyone to use (primarily to read). Indeed, the world of PDF reading is full of sunshine and rainbows, but once you want to create your own PDFs it seems as if you’ll be leaving with an empty wallet – if anything.
No need to fear! While Adobe is hush about it, there are a number of different ways to create and edit PDF files for free without using one of Adobe’s paid products. Let’s find out how this is possible.
LibreOffice/OpenOffice is quite a powerful office suite which you can get for free. While it doesn’t match Microsoft Office’s features 100%, it does include a few of its own. With the free suite, you can edit any document you wish and then export it to PDF.
The only way you can do the same thing directly with the Microsoft Office package is if you have Adobe’s paid tool installed, which will place a plugin into Office. Or alternatively, if you have Office 2007 or Office 2010 already pre-installed on your system, you can save files as PDF’s there as well.
Converting From PDF To Word
While you can easily create PDFs, editing existing ones is a bit more difficult and requires an additional step. You can use sites like this one to convert any PDF to Doc format, which you can then edit in LibreOffice and export to PDF when it’s complete.
Converting From Word & More To PDF
If you’d prefer not to install a separate office suite just to export documents to PDF format, you can also use an online converter as well. I like this site very much as it does a very good job of converting Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoints as well as images, webpages, and other unnamed file types into PDF format.
To use the site that I mentioned, you are not required to enter in an email address (even though it looks like it does). Instead, you can just choose the file you wish to convert and wait until the process completes, where you can then download the finished PDF.
Use An Online Editor
Speaking of online tools, why even use a converter when you could also create PDFs entirely online without ever needing Office or LibreOffice? You can use tools such as PDFescape to do just that. The service only requires that you use a supported browser (which you are more than likely already using at this very moment). You do not even have to be registered to use it, although registering does offer a couple of benefits, the main benefit being the ability to save PDFs to your online account. Registration, of course, is also free.
Those tools should be enough to cover your needs in terms of editing PDF files for free. Word document editors are powerful enough to do a large variety of formatting. Therefore, for the needs of most users, this should be a very good start to PDF editing. Without much time, you’ll be able to start creating professional looking PDF files that you can distribute to numerous people for whatever purposes.
How easy do you find this process? Do you know of a free tool that handles “advanced” PDF features? Let us know in the comments!