Are you on the hunt for a great PDF editor?
Chances are, you only think about PDF editors when you actually need one. Perform a quick Google search, and you'll likely find a tool that can accomplish what you need it to - tasks like converting a file, or adding a signature or text to an online form. But if you're starting to rely more and more on PDFs - and there are plenty of reasons why you should - then it's worth your time to look for a tool that offers all the bells and whistles you need in a PDF editor. So you can spend less time searching, and more time getting stuff done.
Of course, you don't know what you don't know. Some PDF editing programs might not offer all the tools you need, and some might require additional software downloads and paid licenses. Some might add a logo watermark to your final file, or require a paid subscription to access your files in the cloud. To make your search for the best PDF editor tool a little easier, we're sharing our tips on what to look for and what to avoid before you settle on your go-to tool.
First, do I really need a PDF editor?
Admittedly, as creators of a PDF editor and longtime fans of one of the world's most popular file formats, we're biased - but yes, you should have a PDF editing tool you can count on. Here are a few benefits of using PDF:
- PDFs save paper and time. Instead of printing, completing, scanning and resending an online form or document, a great PDF editor skips a whole bunch of those steps. Just add text to the form using an editor, save it, and send it.
- No printer? No problem! If you don't have access to a printer, you're likely already familiar with the sinking feeling in your stomach when you see the words 'Print this Page'. With the right tools, you can skip the stress and skip the effort of digging through your sofa cushions for change for the local print shop. Using a PDF editor saves you the time and money of needing a printer, printer toner cartridges and paper.
- PDFs are easy to share. We share a lot of stuff digitally these days - with family, friends, coworkers and clients. But what if you have really large files - like hi-res images - that won't send over email? "ERROR: your attachment was too large to send." Sure, you could upload them to Drive, or Evernote, or Dropbox and send a link - but why not skip the extra steps of using additional software, and just convert them into a file format that's smaller and more email-friendly? As PDFs, large files are suddenly much lighter - so they take up less space on your computer, and don't trigger error messages. And, if for some reason they are still too large, you can compress them or extract the pages you need..
Digital Form-Filling: Don't panic. Adding text or a signature to an online PDF form is actually very easy. You can even convert a PDF-formatted application or form into a Word document, if you're more comfortable with that software. This is an incredibly effective tool to have in your digital arsenal - forms filled digitally are much easier to read for the recipient, and easier to send (for you!). Plus, if you need to update your information later, say for a change of address on tax documentation, it's easy to do and less confusing than digging through stacks of paperwork. You can also split the PDF with the form to send along only the specific pages your recipient needs.
What tools and features should a good PDF editor have?
- A good PDF editor converts files.
This is a must have feature. A good PDF editor doesn't just convert a Word doc to PDF, but also is able to convert Powerpoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, and image formats like TIFF and JPEG. This feature set is particularly important if you work in an office or team environment where lots of different operating systems are in use. By converting different file formats to PDF, you'll ensure that any files you share can be viewed easily, on any computer.
- A good PDF editor allows you to merge files easily.
Why send four attachments, when you can send just one? Merging files is a fast, simple way to combine multiple files into one PDF - so you can create a sleek business presentation, or include all the forms a new hire may need to fill out in one file.
- A good PDF editor makes it easy to add text.
Adding text to a PDF is one of the most common features of a PDF editor - and for good reason. As the influence of the 'paperless office' ethos grows, it's becoming more common to receive - and be expected to fill out - PDF forms online rather than print them. Not only does this save paper, but it's also much easier for the recipient to read a standardized font, rather than handwriting. And it's much easier to search digitally for specific text included in the form.
- A good PDF editor offers security features.
Good password hygiene isn't just for your online accounts (although that's important too!), but did you know that you can also password protect your PDFs? While you may not need this for everyday tasks, this comes in handy for securing any PDF files that include personal or sensitive information. By limiting who can open the file, your information stays safe.
- A good PDF editor provides access everywhere. But only to you.
Don't be chained to your laptop. With cloud computing and storage, you can access your files from anywhere. Most smaller PDF-tool sites don't offer this capability, and your files are erased after they've been converted or revised. With PDF Pro, you can log in to your account and access your PDFs wherever you are.
- A good PDF editor doesn't require extra software.
If you're in a rush - and who isn't these days? - then you probably don't have time to invest in downloading new software. While PDF Pro does offer a great desktop version, if you're in a rush, you can use all the features directly in your browser. No waiting for extended downloads so you can get your work done.
Still have questions on choosing a good PDF editor? Share your questions with us on Twitter and we'll be happy to help!