Unlocking PDF Editing on Linux: The Best Free Tools

The PDF file format has long been the go-to standard for secure document sharing, ensuring that files remain unaltered. When it comes to collaborative editing, we turn to formats like LibreOffice or Word. However, for documents meant to be preserved in their original form, PDF reigns supreme. While Windows boasts a plethora of PDF editing applications, the Linux ecosystem offers a more limited selection. Nevertheless, with the programs listed below, you can confidently work with and edit PDF files on Linux.

When we talk about editing PDFs, it’s essential to clarify our intentions. Some applications allow for annotations, image additions, and text highlighting, while others permit complete text replacement. The latter, often paid solutions, provide comprehensive editing capabilities. In this article, we’ll explore both free and paid options for PDF editing on Linux.

edit pdf linux

Linux PDF Editing Programs

For those seeking the best free Linux applications to edit PDF files, we’ve compiled a list of top contenders.

  1. Scribus: Scribus is a versatile open-source application that empowers Linux users to edit PDF files with ease. It offers features such as adding or deleting pages, reordering pages, text highlighting, freehand annotations, comments, image insertion, stamps, and signatures. You can even move text to different locations or remove it entirely. Scribus is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.
  2. Okular: Developed by KDE, Okular is an open-source PDF application for Linux that offers basic editing capabilities. You can highlight text, add annotations, select and save text as images, make freehand notes, insert custom stamps, and even add your signature to documents if you have a digitized image. Okular is compatible with Linux and Windows.
  3. Xournal++: Xournal++ is a unique Linux application that allows users to add handwritten notes, underline and highlight text, insert annotations, draw shapes, and more. You can create custom plugins to enhance functionality, including adding text boxes and images. Xournal++ is perfect for working with PDF files that need a personal touch.
  4. PDFsam: If your editing needs are limited to tasks like adding or deleting pages, extracting pages from a PDF, or rotating pages, PDFsam provides straightforward functionality. It offers a basic version for free, but you can opt for a monthly subscription to access more advanced text editing features. PDFsam is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.
  5. Master PDF Editor: For comprehensive PDF editing on Linux, consider Master PDF Editor. This application not only offers basic editing features but also allows you to edit existing text, delete sections, and manipulate images. You can add sticky notes, underline text, make annotations, resize images, and create or edit forms. While a free version is available, it includes a watermark. Master PDF Editor can be downloaded from its official website.

Whether you require basic or advanced PDF editing capabilities on Linux, these applications have you covered. From annotating and highlighting text to replacing entire sections, you can tailor your PDF documents to meet your needs.