5 Free Online PDF Editors That Keep Your Files Safe & Private

PDF file format has become the top choice for important documents. Often you need to fill them in, edit or change their content, or even create your PDFs. Given the sensitive and confidential data that often resides in these files, you should consider these online PDF editors that do not send any of your data to their servers and keep your PDF file safe and private.

Once you visit the website and load your PDF, all the work happens in your browser without anything being uploaded to the website. Your data never leaves your computer. And there’s the added speed benefit of doing all the processing on your PC.

1. PDF Wrench (Web): Private and secure app for signing and merging PDFs

There are some excellent apps to sign documents online for free, but there’s always a nagging issue of privacy and security when uploading sensitive documents. Offline would be better, but you don’t want to install clunky PDF software for such a small task. So, PDF Wrench offers the best of both worlds.

The app lets you add signatures in a variety of ways. You can upload an image of a signature, or hand draw it with PDF Wrench’s tool, or write it as text and choose from a variety of designs.

Aside from signatures, PDF Wrench also allows you to merge images and PDFs to create new files or rearrange the order of pages in a PDF. The rearranged PDF is a fantastic implementation and one of the simplest we’ve seen. Again, everything is in your browser and protects your privacy.

2. PDF Lizard (Web): Fastest way to split PDF into individual pages

When you need to split a PDF into individual pages, the process becomes very slow and cumbersome with online apps. In comparison, PDF Lizard is lightning fast and extremely easy to use.

Once you’ve loaded your PDF files, you’ll see four options: Merge PDFs, Split PDFs, Image to PDF, and Watermark PDF. The last option is a work in progress and not active yet. For merging PDFs or turning images into one PDF, we recommend PDF Wrench as the more powerful option, but PDF Lizard is pretty good too.

To split the PDF into individual pages, you just need to click the Split PDFs button to put it into action. The app almost instantly saves each page as a separate PDF file in your default Downloads folder, labeled as Split-1, Split-2, etc. You can also upload multiple PDFs and share them at the same time.

Copying and pasting text from a PDF file into a notepad or word processor results in many formatting errors and sometimes even incorrect text. One of the coolest features of Google Docs is that you can convert PDFs to Word files. But again, this means sending your data to Google’s servers, which has privacy implications.

Like everyone else, you need to visit the Textractor site and let it load; After that, it runs natively and offline in your browser. Select the file on your drive, then drag a box over the part of the PDF file you want to extract text from. You can also drag multiple boxes across different pages. It’s a neat feature that lets you avoid extracting things like footer text, headers, or page numbers.

After setting your fields, click the Extract button to view the text in a bubble to the right of your PDF file. You can copy and paste this into any notebook or word processor. Because it’s completely offline, Textractor is also faster than Google Drive or other PDF-to-Text options.

4. Look Scanned (Web): Make digital PDFs look like they were scanned

Sometimes the bureaucracy creates unnecessary and frustrating hurdles. Some offices insist on receiving scanned copies of hard copy papers instead of digital PDFs – particularly where signatures are required. It’s a waste of time, paper and energy.

But where there is unnecessary bureaucracy, there is a developer trying to somehow break through the bureaucracy. Look Scanned is a cool app that makes a digital PDF look like it was scanned from paper.

Load your file and you can choose whether you want to create it in color or grayscale and whether you want to add a border or not. You can adjust the rotation of the scan, set the rotation deviation on different sides, choose how blurry you want it to look, and finally add some noise so it doesn’t look like a clear digital file. Preview your final file and download it when you’re done.

5. Photopea (Web): The most powerful free PDF editor and compressor

Photopea is currently the best free photo editing software that gives you the power of Photoshop while working offline in your browser. Not many people know that it also supports PDF files while being a powerful PDF editor.

When you load a PDF file into Photopea, it takes a few minutes for the pages to be processed. Finally, you will see all the pages arranged side by side in a grid as artboards. Photopea converts text into text layers, images into objects, and vector graphics into vector shapes, each saved as a separate layer. You can now export, edit, or modify each of these items individually. And when you’re done, you can save the file back as a PDF, or convert it to PSD, individual JPEGs, or any other format.

In fact, this ability to save as PDF opens up new avenues. First, you can create PDF from scratch using a blank page and add text or images as you like. Second, Photopea becomes a fantastic PDF compression tool as shown in this tutorial. If your PDF file is too big, load it in Photopea, export it as PDF and reduce the quality or resize the image inside the file.

These five apps give you many different ways to edit a PDF or extract data from it while protecting your privacy and security faster than any other online tool. However, there are free online PDF editing multitools better than this one.

If you’re not too worried about a bot reading the data from your PDF, we recommend you try I Love PDF. It’s a swiss army knife of PDF tools that lets you do almost anything you want with a PDF. The interface is simple and there are practically no limitations in the free version for regular users. Also, for privacy and security reasons, I Love PDF encrypts all the data you upload and deletes it from its servers within two hours.