The 5 Greatest Linux PDF Editors You Ought to Attempt

Finding a good and reliable PDF editor is a nerve-wracking task as all of these unwanted opinions are flying around the internet. Everyone has different preferences and use cases for their PDF editor. It is important to choose the one that suits you best.

The number of applications available for Linux-based operating systems is immeasurable. But when it comes to PDF editors, only a handful of apps top the list. In this guide, we have compiled a list of the best Linux PDF editors that you can download to your computer for free.

Beginner or advanced, there is no Linux user who hasn't heard the name LibreOffice. Most of the resources on the internet mention that LibreOffice is the best alternative to Microsoft Office on any operating system. But does it have what you need to edit PDFs on your Linux computer?

Enter LibreOffice Draw. Although originally a 3D vector graphics editing tool, users can also use the application to edit PDF files. While downloading a full-fledged PDF editor might be a better choice for some, LibreOffice Draw still offers decent tools and features that support PDF editing.

A user can edit the text with LibreOffice Draw, add new images, and change the page orientation. In order to use Draw on your Linux computer, you will need to download the complete LibreOffice suite.

To install LibreOffice on Debian-based distributions, first add the LibreOffice official PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa: libreoffice / ppa

Next, update your system's repository list and download the package.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install libreoffice

To install on Arch-based distributions:

sudo pacman -S libreoffice

Alternatively, you can manually download the package from the LibreOffice website.

Download: LibreOffice Draw

Qoppa PDF Studio is designed for PDF editing. It contains all of the necessary tools and utilities you may need to modify PDF files on your system. This application allows you to edit the text, shapes, and properties of the content in the file.

PDF Studio comes with the following features.

  1. Edit the text content and its properties

  2. Modify images (resize, move, etc.)

  3. Edit shapes and path objects

  4. Add notes, ink drawings, hyperlinks, headers and footers

  5. Side by side comparison of two files

  6. Optimize the PDF file to reduce the size

Related topics: How to Compress and Resize a PDF

The main disadvantage of using Qoppa PDF Studio is that some features of the software are only available in paid subscription because it is a commercial application. Although you can try the full version for free as a trial version, it still doesn't fill the void.

For professional editors who edit PDFs on a daily basis, Qoppa PDF Studio is the most recommended application on the list.

To install Qoppa PDF Studio on Linux, download the installation script from the official website and run it from your terminal.

sh ./PDFStudio_linux.sh
sh ./PDFStudio_linux64.sh

Don't forget to make the file executable using the chmod command first.

sudo chmod + x PDFStudio_linux.sh
sudo chmod + x PDFStudio_linux64.sh

Download: Qoppa PDF Studio

If you're interested in editing vectors and graphics, you probably already know Inkscape. Inkscape is a free, open source application and is preferred by professional graphic designers around the world.

Inkscape is pretty similar to LibreOffice Draw, both are vector graphics, similar to Adobe Illustrator.

Related: Adobe Illustrator Alternatives for Linux

But when it comes to PDF editing, Inkscape doesn't go away in the crowd. In fact, it enables a user to edit PDF files with ease. You can use almost all of the tools provided to edit PDFs. Adding a signature, inserting a picture, and removing text are some of the tasks you can do with Inkscape.

The only downside to using Inkscape for PDF editing is that it forces you to import the files page by page. This means that you can only edit one page at a time with the application.

You can also install Inkscape on Debian-based distributions snap into place.

sudo snap install inkscape

On Arch-based distributions:

sudo pacman inkscape

Related: Free PDF Editor Websites

Like LibreOffice Draw and Inkscape, Scribus is not just dedicated to editing PDFs. In fact, it is free desktop publishing software that helps a user design the page layout of an image or document.

When it comes to PDF editing, Scribus is quite limited in terms of the features it provides. You can highlight text, move the content, and remove existing text from a PDF file. While Scribus may not be for everyone looking to edit PDFs, Scribus is a good choice if you just want to do light edits.

To install Scribus on Debian and Ubuntu, you need the official Scribus PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa: scribus / ppa

Then update your system repository list and install the package.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install scribus

Installing Scribus on Arch Linux is also easy.

sudo pacman -S scribus

Users who love the KDE desktop environment may already be familiar with Okular as it is the standard PDF viewer included in the KDE application package. However, this doesn't mean that Okular is limited to KDE only. You can install it on any of your favorite Linux desktop environments.

With Okular, a user can highlight text in the PDF, add comments, insert pop-up notes, freehand draw on the page, and much more. Okular is available in most official Linux repositories.

You can install Okular on Debian-based distributions using the standard package manager.

install sudo apt okular

To install Okular on Arch Linux:

sudo pacman -S eyepiece

View and edit PDF files on Linux

When it comes to digital documents and files, PDF is the most widely used file extension in the world. You can find books, certificates, notes, research papers, and documentation online as PDF files. While almost every web browser now supports viewing PDF files, those who wish to edit such files will need specialized software called PDF editors.

In summary, these are the best PDF editors that you can download for Linux for free.

  1. LibreOffice Draw

  2. Inkscape

  3. Scribus

  4. eyepiece

  5. Qoppa PDF Studio

In addition to Linux applications, there are other platforms available that allow users to efficiently edit PDF files. Many websites also allow a user to merge, split, and rearrange PDF files using just a web browser.

The 7 Best Tools to Edit a PDF File Anywhere

PDF is a popular format for sharing files. But do you know how to edit a PDF? These PDF editors should cover all of your needs.

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About the author

Deepesh Sharma
(40 articles published)

Deepesh is the junior editor for Linux at MUO. He has been writing informational content on the Internet for over 3 years. In his spare time he enjoys writing, listening to music and playing the guitar.

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