Create and edit PDFs for free!

Niamh Lynch


If you’re looking for PDF utilities, you’ve got plenty of choice if you want to open and view without paying a fortune. What’s not so easy is creating and editing them, a problem that leads lots of users to avoid this handy file format altogether.

Just remember: creating PDFs may not be as easy as creating other types of document, but there are still lots of tools that will help you get the job done!


Creating PDFs is most easily achieved by using a PDF ‘printer’ like PDFCreator. Once installed, this program appears like another printer on your printer list. You create the document in your usual Windows application and once you are ready to turn it into a PDF, send it to the PDFCreator printer. This tool will convert your document into a portable, professional PDF, while PdfFactory Pro and Bullzip PDF Printer will do the same job.

What if you have a PDF that you’d like to edit or a form you need to fill in? This one’s a bit harder, as there are very few free apps that do the job well. Obviously there are master programs designed specifically for the purpose, but unless you have a spare $500, you can kiss that option goodbye.


If you have just one document that you want to modify, the trial versions of programs like PDFill PDF Editor and PDF Suite will do the job. If you need a less limiting – and free – option, PDF-XChange Viewer will give you plenty of editing powers. Also bear in mind that some office suites, such as OpenOffice, have PDF functionality built in.

As a final option, you could give online editors like PDF Hammer and PDFescape a try. Just remember that these tools get mixed reviews and only offer basic editing tools, especially in the case of PDF Hammer.

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