Portable Document Format or PDF is one of the most commonly used file formats to store text files. The primary reason PDFs are popular is that once created, there natively cannot be any changes made to the file itself. Text can’t be edited or formatted and elements like images cannot be added or removed, which makes it perfect for official documentation like forms, user manuals, circulars etc.
However, you may at times encounter a situation wherein you might need to edit a PDF file in order to make some changes or add some text yourself. We recently took a look at a few ways you could edit PDF files on PC, both online and offline, but you may not necessarily have your computer with you at all times whereas your smartphone always resides in your pocket, so a general question would be, can you edit PDFs on Android smartphones? Well, we decided to test out a few apps that help you edit PDFs on the go, and here’s the list of the top 5 free PDF editor apps we found to edit PDFs on Android.
What can PDF Editor Apps on Android do?
As mentioned earlier, PDFs by default do not have the ability to be modified, so let’s say you’re reading a book in the form of a PDF and you wish to underline or highlight some text for future reference, you can do so using a PDF editor app. Another use would be for filling up online application forms, which can be done by using an app to edit PDF on Android. You can even convert PDFs to editable formats like Microsoft Word Documents or .jpg in case of an image.
Best Free PDF Editor Apps for Android
We installed multiple PDF editor apps from the Google Play Store and tested each one out based on a few aspects like UI, usability, ease of access, the time consumed and overall output quality. Based on these parameters, we came up with the top 5 PDF editor apps for Android.
1. Fast PDF Converter and PDF Reader
This is one of the best apps on the Play Store which will facilitate you to edit PDFs on Android. The UI looks clean and all the important icons are bold with self-explanatory text below them. There are a ton of ads however on the app but that’s a price you will have to pay in order to edit PDF files for free on your smartphone. All conversion features work flawlessly and while it does take a short amount of time (about a minute or so) to convert files depending on their sizes, the ability to convert your PDF to a document, an Excel spreadsheet, a PowerPoint presentation or even into a .jpg and convert back to PDF once the editing is done makes us forgive, if not forget most of the drawbacks.
There are some other handy functions too that this app provides, including the ability to split or merge PDF files or to add an encrypted key to protect your file. A must-have app for sure if you deal with a lot of PDF files.
2. PDF Reader – PDF Manager, Editor & Converter
This app is very similar to the previous one, in terms of both functionality as well as the UI, and just like that one, this gets the job done pretty well too. It has all the functions that let you convert your PDF to other editable formats like word documents or excel spreadsheets. You can then convert the edited file back to PDF. There are utilities built into the app that even let you compress your PDFs. If for whatever reason you did not like the previous app or were unable to edit your PDFs using that, you can give this one a try.
3. Xodo PDF Reader and Editor
While the previous two apps let you convert your PDF into an editable format and then convert back to PDF, this app does not offer that feature but instead lets you edit the text that is already present in the PDF. You can underline, highlight or even strikethrough text. There’s also an option to doodle on the PDF if you want to mark something free-handed.
A very convenient option that this app provides, is that you can directly sync your edited PDFs with your cloud storage such as Google Drive or Dropbox, and you can even open Word documents or Excel sheets, edit them and convert them to PDFs. You can also use this app as a PDF reader with some nice features like a dark theme and the ability to open multiple tabs at once. Limited functionality, but sufficient to edit PDF on Android.
4. PDF Reader – Scan, Edit & Share
This PDF editor app is also very similar to the previous one in terms of functionality. You can underline, highlight and strikethrough text along with doodling free-hand on your PDF file. The extra functionality here is the ability to scan documents and convert them to PDFs, similar to CamScanner which is a popular app that helps you do the same.
You can also use this app as a document explorer as it can even read and display Word documents, Excel Spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations, along with being a PDF reader of course. If you’re looking for a PDF scanner and editor both integrated into a single app, this is a good option.
5. PDF Reader & PDF Editor Plus
While this app also offers similar functionality to the previous two, the unique aspect of this PDF editor app is that unlike the all the aforementioned apps that display a ton of ads, this one does not come with any and thus offers a very neat and tidy experience. You can highlight, underline and mark-up text and there’s even an option to add a watermark to your PDF files.
Rest of the functionality is pretty generic. You can convert files with different formats into PDFs, encrypt PDfs and even merge or split them. If you’re looking for a PDF editor app with a no-frills UI and non-obtrusive ads, this one is for you.
These were the top five PDF editor Apps we found on the Play Store that will help you edit PDF on Android seamlessly and on the go. You can install each of these apps and check which one fits the bill for your needs and choose to keep that one. Every app may have some limitations and some apps may provide a few features that the others don’t, so it’s advisable to try out each app for yourself before you decide which one is the best PDF editor on Android for you.