How to Edit All Your PDF Files Online
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You don’t have to install software just to fill in or edit a PDF.

If you’re stuck on a computer that doesn’t let you set up your own tools and is lacking a program like Adobe Reader 6 Light Alternatives to Open Office and PDF Files 6 Light Alternatives to Open Office and PDF Files Don't clog your system down with superfluous bulk. For the occasional viewing of PDF and Office files, you can use compact apps and you might not need any additional software at all. Read More , which comes with simple form filling and signature features, you can turn to online solutions for all your PDF editing needs.

Here are six simple ways you can edit PDFs online, right in your browser. No downloading required.

1. Google Drive

You can accomplish a lot with PDFs right in Google Drive! We wrote a roundup of 10 PDF tips with Google Drive 10 Tips to Do More With Your PDF Files on Google Drive 10 Tips to Do More With Your PDF Files on Google Drive From managing your files to collaborating on Docs, Drive is a full-functioning office suite. What many people don't realize is its capability to do far more than only view PDFs. Read More .

One notable Google Drive PDF feature is Optical Character Recognition (OCR). When you have a PDF where the text was saved as an image, you typically can’t search it. However, if you save it in Google Docs, it becomes searchable.


In my test, it got rid of the image that was in the document, and stripped the text of their color and fonts.

You could use it to scan photographs of receipts, handwritten notes, and other paper items into PDF format with the Google Drive mobile Android App. Google Drive will also get rid of the background, and make sure that the PDF it saves is high-contrast and easy to read.

Google Drive also lets you connect to a host of other online apps from the Chrome App Store to give you other PDF editing abilities.


2. Nitro’s PDF Converters

If all you need is your Word doc to or from PDF, or a PDF to Excel or Powerpoint, you have got to check out Nitro’s suite of online converters.

There’s,,,, and,


All you have to do is click on the drop down to choose what file type you’re converting to or from, select and upload the file for converting, and enter your email address. Nitro will convert the file and email it straight to your inbox. It couldn’t be easier.

3. PDFescape

We first wrote about PDFescape back in 2008, and it has evolved a lot since then.


Aside from user interface improvements, it has received a variety of new features. You can now highlight, draw, and add text, images links, and annotations 2 Ways to Annotate Your PDF Files Online 2 Ways to Annotate Your PDF Files Online Read More of all kinds.


You can also add a few types of form fields like checkboxes, radio buttons, and text boxes for people to fill in. You’ll have to make sure to draw rectangles around the form fields though to make it clear that they’re interactive spaces upon download.

PDFescape also lets you easily modify the document as a whole, letting you move, rotate, crop, and add extra pages from other PDF documents.

Additionally, PDFescape no longer adds a watermark logo to the forms you save – hooray!

4. Online2PDF Converter

If you just need to make quick changes to a PDF document as a whole, there’s a good chance Online2PDF will do what you need it to.


Online2PDF will let you convert a wide variety of files The Complete Microsoft Office File Converter Guide The Complete Microsoft Office File Converter Guide If you have ever converted a text file, like PDF to Word, you're familiar with the challenge. Sometimes it's as easy as printing, other times you need special tools. Enter this converter guide. Read More back and forth between PDF, including other kinds of documents, images, MSOffice documents, OpenDocuments, and website XPS files.

Occasionally, you might need to combine different files into a PDF. Rather than convert spreadsheets, docs, and slides each into PDF and then combine those into a single PDF, Online2PDF lets you convert and merge up to 20 different files together in one fell swoop.

You can also use Online2PDF to change your document’s page composition, rearrange the order, add, remove, or split files. It’s a quick and easy way to, say, combine a resumé, cover letter, and portfolio sample How to Create a Resume Template with Microsoft Word How to Create a Resume Template with Microsoft Word Your resume could be the difference between interviewing for the job of your dreams or never hearing back from the employer — use these tips to make sure it's the best it can be. Read More into one file for a prospective employer, for example.

As for more unique features, you can rely on Online2PDF to remove password protection from PDFs, add headers and footers, and compress PDFs to reduce file size.

5. PDFfiller

PDFfiller’s main offering is to make it easy for you to fill in PDFs. You can add text, checkmarks, Xs, circles, dates, pictures, and even add e-signatures easily.


One of the coolest aspects of PDFfiller are the many ways it lets you sign a document. You can draw it on a touchscreen, use your mouse, type it as text, photograph a signature with your webcam, or upload an image.


I tested the webcam function, and it works great. You sign a sheet of paper and hold it up to the camera, align it in a blue rectangle space, and it captures it. Then it automatically strips away the background.


You can then change the brightness and contrast, and edit your signature as needed to make sure your signature appears the way you like it.


No longer will you have to deal with the hassle of printing out pdf forms, signing, and scanning the whole thing back just to get a signature on it. Brilliant.

PDFfiller also has an extensive array of ways you can import documents to it. You can upload documents, import PDFs from a URL, connect it to 3rd party cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive.

6. Office Online

If you’re on a computer that doesn’t have Microsoft Office installed and you need to work with any Microsoft Office files, you can get a lot done with Office Online Don't Pay For Word! 5 Reasons You Should Use Office Online Don't Pay For Word! 5 Reasons You Should Use Office Online Office Online is the free and cloud-connected version of Microsoft Office. Limitations are compensated by features, useful even to users of desktop Office. Best of all is its Read More . You can work with a variety of filetypes, including PDFs.


Like many services, Office Online will let you download files to PDF format.


Office Online will also let you open converted copies of PDF files in Word for editing, too. What’s unique here is you can edit the content of the original file, unlike other services that just let you add to it or fill in forms.


I tested it with a PDF of mine. Word Online warns that the layouts sometimes change, and like it said, it doesn’t necessarily hit the mark adequately.


Office Online has no trouble with layout when things flow from top to bottom, but it doesn’t necessarily parse parts that sit side-by-side. It gets colors and images right. However, it doesn’t have all the fonts that could possibly be in the PDF, so that might change.

Office Online seems to try to choose fonts that look similar to the original, which works for documents where the font wasn’t very important. It doesn’t really work at all if you’ve chosen your font carefully though for a graphic or layout design. You’ll really just have to try it yourself to see if it handles your PDF well enough.

What’s Your PDF Challenge?

PDFs are kind of a tricky file type: they’re designed to render properly everywhere, and they’re not supposed to be easy to edit. However, we all need to edit them from time to time.

Fortunately, you can choose from plenty of ways to edit PDFs on your Android The 5 Best PDF Reading, Editing, and Annotation Apps for Android The 5 Best PDF Reading, Editing, and Annotation Apps for Android Need to open, edit, and annotate PDFs on your Android device? Here are the best Android apps for PDFs. Read More or iPhone The Best Apps to Sign, Annotate, and Edit PDFs on iPads The Best Apps to Sign, Annotate, and Edit PDFs on iPads If you find yourself dealing with a lot of PDF files, it's only natural you'll want something other than Apple's basic iBooks before long. Here are our favorite PDF tools for your iPad. Read More . You can even find some PDF editing tricks right in Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer How Chrome's Built-In PDF Viewer Lets You Do More Than Just Read PDFs How Chrome's Built-In PDF Viewer Lets You Do More Than Just Read PDFs Chrome has a built-in PDF Viewer tool that can edit PDF files. Sure, it’s not as powerful as certain programs. Still, as a quick-fix solution, Chrome is perfect. Read More . For documents that contain sensitive data, you should look for a desktop PDF editor 9 Must Have Modern Apps For Viewing, Editing & Managing Documents 9 Must Have Modern Apps For Viewing, Editing & Managing Documents On a tablet or hybrid device, touch first modern apps can be great! Even those for handling documents. Let's look at some of them. Read More .

What annoys you about working with PDFs? Which workarounds have you found? Comment below to let us know about your favorite, under-appreciated software that helps you out with them – we’d love to hear about it.

Explore more about: File Conversion, Google Drive, Microsoft Office Online, PDF, PDF Editor.

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  1. Anonymous
    March 14, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Another vote for smallpdf.comm here.

  2. K. Chavellas
    March 12, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    The question was "How to Edit All Your PDF Files Online". Ie. add text, annotations, highlight text etc. Only PDFescape and PDFfiller can do this job. If "Online" is not a requirement then PDFXchange editor (free) and the latest versions of Acrobat Reader do the job. For Linux users, okular has some capabilities but it is still under development (I recommend using the online applications).

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    March 12, 2016 at 3:56 am

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        March 12, 2016 at 1:39 pm

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  5. Anonymous
    March 12, 2016 at 2:59 am

    I always use . Great site with a beautiful interface.

    • Mathis
      March 14, 2016 at 9:38 am

      What about Smallpdf?