Top Open Source PDF Readers to Get in 2024

July 31, 2023 1.8K views

An open source PDF reader is software that lets you view, save and make a few document changes. Previously open source PDF readers used to view and let you read the content; however, with time, they allow you to make a few changes to the file.

Why You Need an Open Source PDF Reader

An open source PDF reader helps you view, read and make instant file changes. It supports most when you read many PDFs daily. Below are four benefits of having open-source PDF reader softwares:

1. Saves Time

An open source PDF reader lets you view and read PDFs instantly. You can easily read PDF files and save them on your device; this saves you time as you won’t be required to go online, convert PDFs to Word documents, and then read.

2. Best for Offline Reading

When it comes to viewing and reading offline, open source PDF readers are leading it. An open source PDF reader lets you read without the internet. You can save the files on your device and read them later whenever you desire to.

3. They are Safe

Open source PDF readers are safe. You can view, read and make a few changes; however, you may not be able to edit the original content. You can create and protect your PDFs with open source PDF readers.

4. Best for Sharing

If you are a creator/writer, open source PDF readers are for you. You create PDFs, write whatever you want to, and share them with whoever you wish to. Open source PDF readers protect your files and restrict readers from copying and editing your file content.

Top 10 Popular Open-Source PDF Editors

There are numerous open source PDF readers; however, it's essential to know that only some are reliable and useful. We have researched and mentioned the best open source PDF readers.

1. WPS Office

WPS Office is the best open source PDF reader that you can have. The software allows you to view, read, and make changes. You can edit texts, add sticky notes, add comments, annotate, draw, print, and convert PDFs into different formats. Moreover, it lets you protect your files with signatures and restricts readers from editing and copying the file content. The software is free but has premium and business plans; check out their pricing here.

System Support

The software supports Windows, MacOS, and  Linux. It has applications on App Store and Play Store.


  • Allows you to open, read, edit, and save PDF files.

  • Enables you to draw, annotate, add texts and images, comments, sticky notes, and more.

  • Has a variety of tools

  • Allows you to convert printable documents to PDFs and vice versa

  • Allows you to print PDFs

  • Enables you to work on multiple formats simultaneously.

Tip for Using

  • Download the software

  • Edit texts and images, draw, annotate, and do more

  • Save PDFs on your device

  • Share with a few clicks

  • Protect your files with signature and password

  • Restrict users from copying and editing the files


An Appstore review about the software states, “I have been using this wonderful app for quite some time, and the basic free version is sufficient for most of the jobs you need.”

2. Inkscape

Inkscape homepage with a colorful illustration


Inkscape is a free and open-source editor that has been the first choice of many users who create vector images in a scalable vector graphics format. The features in Inkscape are used for artistic and technical illustrations such as logos, cartoons, typography, and much more.

Inscape makes it all possible by using a standardized SVG file format as the main format. Hence, it is easily supported by other applications and web browsers.

System Support

Inkscape is a highly compatible platform that can be used in GNU/Linux, Windows, and Mac OS.


Almost a million people worldwide use Inkscape, and here are a few reasons why

  • Small File Size

  • No Editing Restrictions

  • Compatible Design


Although Inkscape is used by many people, there are a few cons that may be difficult to tackle.

  • Lack of Compatibility

  • Lagging and Crashing Issues


Lucky for users, Inkscape is completely free of cost for everyone to use. You can use all features of this platform without any hidden or obvious.

3. LibreOffice Draw

LibreOffice Draw Home page with a piece on drawing


LibreOffice Draw is one of the most powerful office suites used by millions worldwide. It is believed to be one of the most effective open-source PDF editor platforms. It allows you to edit text and images alike so you can work without any restrictions.

System Support

The LibreOffice platform is very supportive of all operating systems. It is supported by Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.


There are many reasons why the LibreOffice Draw platform is being used by billions of users. Here are some for your reference.

  • Option to Add a Digital Signature

  • You can Add/Delete pages in PDF


Like everything else in life, LibreOffice Draw also has a few cons as an open-source PDF editor.

  • Limited editing access

  • Issues with handling large files


LibreOffice Draw is a free office is a free software for all to use. Hence, you do not have to worry about missing out on any features.

4. PDFsam Basic

PDFsam homepage with a domain for sale


PDFsam Basic is one of the most commonly used open-source PDF editors. It is a multi-platform software that can also merge, mix, and split PDF files. It is an ideal solution for casual users.

System Support

PDFsam Basic is an ideal open-source pdf editor for people with all types of different needs. It is compatible with iOS, Linux, and Windows.


There are many benefits of PDFsam that you must know.

  • Easy to Use

  • Better visual organization

  • Facility to Reorder Pages in PDF


Here are some cons that you may have to encounter using PDFsam Basic.

  • Unexpected Malfunctions

  • Requires Java Installation


PDFsam is free to use for all those in need. You can access all the features of PDFsam without any cost.

5. Apache OpenOffice Draw

Apache OpenOffice Draw Homepage with version 4.1.14 on top


Apache OpenOffice Draw is one of the most used tools among businesses to draw sketches and make intricate plans. Apache OpenOffice Draw has a maximum page size of 300cm by 300 cm, which is one of the best in the market for open-source pdf editors.

There are many styles and formats you can use to access all possible graphic styles. It can also be an efficient open-source pdf editor to help you edit documents, spreadsheets, databases, graphics, and much more.

System Support

Apache OpenOffice Draw is easily functional on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux without any hassle.


There are many benefits of using Apache OpenOffice Draw. These benefits can help you make the right call.

  • Access on multiple platforms

  • Added spellcheck feature


There are some imperfections in Apache OpenOffice Draw that can hold users back from us.

  • Technical Issues with Large PDFs

  • Slow with Heavy Files


Fortunately, Apache OpenOffice Draw is a free-of-cost open-source pdf editor. You can access all the major functions without worrying about any hidden costs.

6. PDFescape

PdfEscape homepage with online and desktop options


PDFescape is a free and dedicated online platform that can help in editing, reading, designing, and filling PDF forms. It is also one open-source pdf editor. Once you have a stable internet connection, you do not need to worry about anything else. It is one of the simple-to-use options.

System Support

The PDFescape platform can be accessed on Windows through a browser with an internet connection. You can also use the PDFescape application as your open-source pdf editor through the application Windows


There are many benefits of using PDFescape, including the following.

  • No Sign in Required

  • Hassle-free Experience

  • You can add/delete pages from your PDF.


Although PDFescape is a great platform, there are some fallbacks.

  • Does not help edit text

  • Limited size Options


Although PDFescape is a great tool, it is free of cost, and everyone can avail of the features.

7. Okular

Okular Homepage with a cute comic illustration


Okular is a fast-paced multi-platform that allows you to read PDF documents, e-books, images, and much more. It is an ideal platform for an open-source pdf editor. It is one of the most popular platforms for individuals and businesses alike.

System Support

There are many operating systems that can support Okular. It is not limited to Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.


There are many benefits of using Okular that people experience every day.

  • Different Language Options

  • Touch Interactions Available


Like all other open source pdf editor platforms, Okular also has some limitations.

  • Unsatisfactory Hi-DPI support

  • Overwhelming KDE libraries


It may feel unreal, but most features in Okular, including being an open-source pdf editor, are all available free of cost.

8. Qoppa PDF Studio

Qoppa PDF Studio homepage with payment plans


As the name suggests, Qoppa PDF Studio is a complete platform for all your PDF needs. Many people call it an ideal alternative to Acrobat while maintaining complete compatibility with the PDF standard.

Qoppa PDF studio allows you to create, convert, review, edit, and annotate your PDFs without a hassle. Of course, it is known to be one of the best open-source pdf editors among individuals and businesses alike.

System Support

The Qoppa PDF studio is completely compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac Operating Systems.


  • Cross-platform Supper

  • Simple UI view


  • Lack of Visual Appeal

  • Difficult to Navigate


The Qoppa PDF studio offers standard and pro options for its users. You can choose the right options as per your liking.

  • Standard Option

The standard option of The Qoppa PDF studio is available for $99 as a one-time fee.

  • Pro Option

The pro option of The Qoppa PDF studio is available for $139 as a one-time fee.

9. PdfFiller

PdfFiller homepage with a file uploading option


PdfFiller is one of the very reliable cloud-based solutions that are ideal for small to medium-sized businesses. It is the best source to access open source pdf editor facilities. You can also use the open-source pdf editor for the best use.

System Support

PdfFiller can be used easily on Windows and Mac OS without any restrictions.


There are many benefits of using PdfFiller shared among regular users.

  • Quick Startup

  • Free Trial


There are also some cons to using PdfFiller as an open-source pdf editor.

  • The instant chat feature is not possible

  • You may need the premium feature for some facilities


There are three types of plans available for PdfFiller available for users according to their needs.

  • Basic Plan

The Basic PdfFiller plan is available for $8 per month.

  • Plus Plan

The PdfFiller Plus plan is available for $12 per month.

  • Premium Plan

The PdfFiller Premium Plan is available for users for $15 per month.

10. Soda PDF

Soda PDF homepage mentioning Android and Mac


Soda PDF has been one of the most reliable platforms providing many services. It is an ideal open-source pdf editor that continues to help millions of people every day. It ensures an easy and smooth experience for everyone.

System Support

The online version of Soda PDF is easily accessible from Linux, Windows, and Mac. You can also download a desktop version in Windows.


There are countless benefits of using Soda PDF. Some of these benefits of Soda PDF are mentioned below.

  • Works with/without internet access

  • Processes in batch


Some of the drawbacks of Soda PDF are mentioned below.

  • Occasional Lags


Soda PDF is available in three different payment plans.

  • Standard Soda PDF

This version is available for $80 per year

  • Pro Soda PDF

The Pro Soda PDF version is available for $78 per year

  • Business Soda PDF

This platform of open source pdf editor and many more sources is available for $200 per year.

FAQs about Open Source PDF Editor

Here are some answers to the frequently asked questions about open-source PDF editors.

Q. How to edit PDF files Online?

A. There are many times when one needs to edit a PDF file. You can use an open-source PDF source to fill the function and lend a helping hand.

  • Visit

Adobe homepage with a blue illustration

  • Go to the PDF & E-Signatures tab and visit all tools

PDF & E-signatures Tab pointing on Adobe Website highlighted

  • Look for the “Acrobat Tools” section and search “Edit PDF.”

Edit PDF acrobat online tool

  • Choose a PDF file by clicking the plus button or “drag and drop” into the drop zone.

Edit a PDF drag a drop/upload section on Adobe website

  • Once the file is uploaded, you can sign in to add your comments

sign up/ sign in option on Adobe website

  • You can use the toolbar to make the changes

Edit PDF content on adobe PDF editor menu

  • Download your file or copy the link to get sharing access.

file download option on Adobe Acrobat

Q. Which is the best PDF editor?

A. There are many reliable PDF editors available in the market. Some resources of open-source pdf editors are free, while others may need monthly, annual, or one-time subscriptions.

It is important to consider all your options carefully and ensure that you make the right choice for your personal and professional use. Here are some of the best options for open-source PDF editors.

1. Acrobat Pro DC (Best PDF editor for Windows)

2. PDF Candy (The best free PDF editor)

3. PDFescape (Best PDF-annotation tool)

4. Apple Preview (Built-in PDF annotation for macOS)

5. PDF Expert (PDF editor with the cleanest interface)

6. PDFelement Pro (PDF editor with some quirks)

7. Sejda PDF Desktop Pro (A PDF editor with too many limitations)

Access PDFs Easily with WPS Office

The top 10 tools above can help you find the best open-source pdf editors. Some resources are paid open, while others may be paid facilities. However, no individual or business can overlook the importance of an open-source PDF editor. After all, everyone needs PDFs from time to time.

While every open source pdf editor has pros and cons, WPS Office seems to be the most useful platform for editing, viewing, and sharing PDFs. The WPS PDF editors can ease your day-to-day tasks and increase efficiency in creating, viewing, editing, and sharing PDF files whenever you want. You can also benefit from free access to WPS for documents, spreadsheets, and slides in one place on all platforms.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.