5 Tools to Convert and Edit the PDF Format

Justin Pot 10-10-2015

PDF files are the digital equivalent of the paper document: made to be shared and read, and occasionally filled in like a form, but not really intended to be easily edited. You could argue the format is outdated in our increasingly post-paper world The Future Is Here - Your Guide to Having a Paperless Life Today Paperless – a term that is used quite often now days. But what does it mean? And to what extent does it apply? Certainly we all still use paper to some degree despite the advancements... Read More , but PDF documents aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.


Happily, there are a number of tools that make working with PDFs a lot easier. You can print to PDF The 6 Best Tools to Print to PDF PDF printer tools let you save any file you can print as a PDF. Here are some of the best PDF printer apps for Windows 10. Read More to create these files from almost any program, and use your PDF files on Google Drive 10 Tips to Do More With Your PDF Files on Google Drive Google Drive is a full-featured office suite. Some of its key features include the PDF capabilities built into the cloud app. Read More to make all sorts of features easy.

Next to the industry’s gold standard, Adobe Acrobat Pro, you’ll find a number of free online tools.

Today, Cool Websites and Tools features five sites most people haven’t heard of that make life with PDFs just a little bit easier, starting with a simple way to convert these files. Let’s get started.

Small PDF (Web): Free Convert PDF to Word and More

There is a wide collection of sites out there for modifying and converting PDF files, but many of them are ad-riddled nightmares (that occasionally, shudder, require Java Is Java Unsafe & Should You Disable It? Oracle’s Java plug-in has become less and less common on the Web, but it’s become more and more common in the news. Whether Java is allowing over 600,000 Macs to be infected or Oracle is... Read More ). Small PDF stands out because it’s clean and doesn’t require any plugins to run.



This isn’t going to replace full-featured solutions like Adobe Acrobat, but great if you just need to accomplish one-off tasks quickly. Common tasks like compressing, splitting and merging PDFs are simple. But perhaps more interesting are the conversions

Some things are easy; some are complicated. Converting a static PDF to an editable Word file, for example, is way more complicated than you might assume (and basically impossible if you want everything to look exactly the same). Knowing this, I decided to try my hand at converting an old MakeUseOf manual. The results weren’t perfect, but way better than I expected.


You can see a few inconsistencies, but for the most part everything is where it should be. So if you need to turn a PDF into a Word file, give this site a shot.

I Love PDF: Various PDF Editing Tools

Small PDF offered lots of tools for converting PDFs to other file types; I Love PDF specializes in the opposite. You can turn Word, Powerpoint, and JPG files into PDFs quickly.


There’s also tools for adding watermarks and page numbers to PDFs, and a compress option if you need to shrink PDF files How to Compress a PDF, Reduce the File Size, and Make It Smaller This guide covers how to make a PDF smaller and manually reduce its size using simple programs and tools. Read More . Bookmarking this site and Small PDF gives you a pretty complete PDF converting toolkit with a few editing tools, so keep them both in mind.

PDFy: Quickly Share Any PDF File, Complete with Previews

There are a few ways to publish your PDFs online 3 Websites to Publish & Share Your PDFs Online Read More , but most of them require an account for uploading. If you’d like a simple upload-and-share alternative, sort of like Imgur but for PDFs, PDYy is a great go-to.


The upload button on the site doesn’t work as of this writing, but you can submit PDFs by email. The site is free and doesn’t have ads, meaning it needs donations to keep running.

Paperjet: Fill In PDFs Online

Have you ever been sent a PDF to fill in, only to realize it’s not a form? The expectation may be that you’ll print the form and fill it in with a pen, like some sort of 1500’s peasant, before scanning it back in.


That’s not how you want to do things, of course, which is why Paperjet is here to save you from that indignity (and save other humans from your handwriting). Upload any form to Paperjet and you can fill it in with your computer, as God intended. You can even add your signature.

Basically, this brings all the features Mac users get in Preview to Windows and Linux users. The service is free for up to 10 uploads a month, after which you’ll need to pay $5/month or $50/year.

Uberflip eBook Generator: Turn PDFs Into an Interactive Online eBook (Uses Flash)

You made a beautiful PDF document; now you want to embed it on your website, in a way that’s more interactive than a file download. There’s even a neat page-turning function.


There’s a pretty big downside here: Adobe Flash. The page-turny flip books you get from this service seem like a natural fit for mobile devices, but Uberflip’s mobile interface was kind of underwhelming and tiny in our tests. So this is in many ways a gimmicky relic of a bygone era, but a somewhat enjoyable relic I’m sure a few of you will like.

What Are Your Go-To Online PDF Tools?

I could go on, of course. There are ways to extract the images in PDF files How to Extract Images From a PDF and Use Them Anywhere PDF files can be containers for embedded images. We show you how to extract images from a PDF file and save them to your desktop. Read More , and plenty of great PDF readers for Windows The 6 Best PDF Readers for Windows in 2019 The best PDF readers don't cost any money. Read our roundup of feature-rich PDF viewers that out perform even Adobe Reader. Read More . But I want to learn from you.

What great online PDF tools do you use and love? Let’s compile even more resources in the comments below, okay?

Related topics: Cool Web Apps, Digital Document, PDF, PDF Editor.

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  1. lily amelia
    July 29, 2016 at 5:18 am

    Thought-provoking suggestions ! I Appreciate the specifics . Does someone know if my business could possibly acquire a blank a form form to use ?

  2. Anonymous
    October 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Thanks for the post gents. Paperjet loves ya'll.

    • Justin Pot
      October 21, 2015 at 6:33 pm

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Anonymous
    October 13, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    I use Nitro PDF Converter to do conversions (Word, Excel, Powerpoint). It does a pretty good job and it's free.

    Here's the link:

    Good luck!!!

    • Justin Pot
      October 14, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      Thanks for the link!

  4. Anonymous
    October 12, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Great article. I'd like to recommend PDFescape ( It is free to use online and there's no need to register. It surprises me how powerful that tool is.

    • Justin Pot
      October 12, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      That one looks great too!

  5. Anonymous
    October 11, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    I frequently need to split or merge PDF documents and my go-to app is PDFtk (free,

  6. Anonymous
    October 10, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Quick tip if you need to interact with a copy-protected PDF (say, because you want to copy and paste a part of it) and the security settings are such that you're not allowed: print it to a Microsoft .XPS file. The XPS file can be converted back to PDF or to a friendlier format if necessary.

    It's not a online tool, but it's a common need that people actually have.

    • Justin Pot
      October 10, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Nice one!

    • Anonymous
      October 13, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      That's a pretty cool trick! Thanks for the post!!!