Science and technology

Edit PDFs on Linux with these open supply instruments

Open supply studying and enhancing instruments for PDFs are sometimes safer and dependable options to the functions residing within the first pages of “PDF editor” search outcomes. There, you are more likely to see proprietary functions with hidden limitations and tariffs, missing adequate details about knowledge safety insurance policies and internet hosting. You can have higher.

Here are 5 functions that may be put in in your Linux system (and others) or hosted on a server. Each is free and open supply, with all the mandatory options for creating, enhancing, and annotating PDF recordsdata.


With the LibreOffice suite, your selection of software will depend on the preliminary process. While LibreOffice Writer, a phrase processor, permits you to create PDF recordsdata with export from textual content codecs like ODF and others, Draw is best for working with current PDF recordsdata.

Draw is supposed for creating and enhancing graphic paperwork, akin to brochures, magazines, and posters. The toolset is due to this fact primarily centered on visible objects and layouts. For PDF enhancing, nonetheless, LibreOffice Draw provides instruments for modifying and including content material in PDFs when the file has enhancing attributes. You can nonetheless add new textual content fields on the present content material layers and annotate or end the paperwork if it would not.

Draw and Writer are each bundled in a LibreOffice desktop suite accessible for set up on Linux methods, macOS, and Windows.


ONLYOFFICE has been bettering work with PDFs for some time and launched a model new reader for PDFs and eBooks in model 7.1 of ONLYOFFICE Docs.

The doc editor permits creating PDF recordsdata from scratch utilizing DOCX as a base for recordsdata that may then be transformed to PDF or PDF/A. With built-in form-creation performance, ONLYOFFICE Docs additionally makes it attainable to construct fillable doc templates and export them as editable PDFs with fillable fields for several types of content material: textual content, photographs, dates, and extra.

In addition to recognizing textual content inside PDFs to repeat and extract it, ONLYOFFICE Docs can convert PDFs to DOCX, which lets you proceed utilizing the paperwork in totally editable textual content codecs. ONLYOFFICE additionally permits you to safe the recordsdata with passwords, add watermarks, and use digital signatures accessible within the desktop model.

ONLYOFFICE Docs can be utilized as an online suite (on-premises or within the cloud) built-in right into a doc administration system (DMS) or as a standalone desktop software. You can set up the latter as a DEB or RPM file, AppImage, Flatpack, and a number of other different codecs for Linux.

PDF Arranger

PDF Arranger is a front-end software for the PikePDF library. It would not edit the content material of a PDF the best way LibreOffice and ONLYOFFICE do, but it surely’s nice for re-ordering pages, splitting a PDF into smaller paperwork, merging a number of PDFs into one, rotating or cropping pages, and so forth. Its interface is intuitive and simple to make use of.

PDF Arranger is accessible for Linux and Windows.


Okular is a free open supply viewer for paperwork developed by the KDE group. The app options very mature performance and permits viewing PDFs, eBooks, photographs, and comics.

Okular has full or partial assist for hottest PDF options and use circumstances, akin to including annotations and inline notes or inserting textual content containers, shapes, and stamps. You also can add a digitally encrypted signature to your doc so your readers may be positive of the doc’s supply.

In addition to including texts and pictures in PDFs, it is also attainable to retrieve them from the doc to repeat and paste some other place. The Area Selection device in Okular can establish the elements inside a specific space so you may extract them from the PDF independently of each other.

You can set up Okular utilizing your distribution’s bundle supervisor or as a Flatpak.


Xournal++ is a handwriting journal software program with annotation instruments for PDF recordsdata.

Created to be notetaking software program with enhanced handwriting options, it is probably not the most suitable choice for working with text-based content material {and professional} layouts. However, its skill to render graphics and assist for stylus enter in writing and drawing make it stand out as a distinct segment productiveness device.

PDF annotation and sketching are made comfy with layer administration instruments, customizable pen level settings, and assist for stylus mappings. Xournal++ additionally has a textual content device for including textual content containers and the power to insert photographs.

Xournal++ has set up choices for Linux methods (Ubuntu, Debian, Arch, SUSE), macOS, and Windows (10 and above).


If you are searching for a free and secure various to proprietary PDF viewing and enhancing software program, it isn’t exhausting to search out an open supply choice, whether or not for desktop or on-line use. Just remember the fact that the at present accessible options have their very own benefits for various use circumstances, and there is no single device that’s equally nice in any respect attainable duties.

These 5 options stand out for his or her performance or usefulness for area of interest PDF duties. For enterprise use and collaboration, I counsel ONLYOFFICE or LibreOffice Draw. PDF Arranger is an easy, light-weight device for working with pages while you needn’t alter textual content. Okular provides nice viewer options for a number of file varieties, and Xournal++ is your best option if you wish to sketch and take notes in your PDFs.

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