Free PDF creation app
Free PDF Editor is a free PDF creator with a really misleading name. Despite claiming to edit PDFs, this program can actually just create a new one - it won’t let you edit PDFs from another source. If you have this clear, the app works just fine but, as we argue, it’s just not necessary anymore. If you want to create or edit PDFs, you have much, much better alternatives.
App to create PDFs, not edit them
Free PDF Editor starts well, by offering a small, fast download of its program. Then it scores another point - there’s actually no need to install this app. It’s a standalone download, which means it can run from the .exe. This makes it perfect for using on the move or on someone else’s computer, as you won’t need to deal with admin rights, etc, if you want to use it.
Getting started with this PDF editing software
Looks-wise, Free PDF Editor is very traditional - it looks like an old-school Windows app. Admittedly, it took us a while to get started and eventually we figured out why. Free PDF Editor isn’t an editor at all! Instead, it’s actually a PDF creation app, which is a pretty big distinction and something very important to realize. Calling this app an “editor” is very misleading - you can’t edit pre-existing PDFs. Once you know this, however, you can use the tool to make PDFs of your own.
Creating a new PDF
When you open a new document in Free PDF Editor (or open a document that you have previously created with the app - it will save as .fpe, not .pdf), you’ll be able to add a number of basic editing functions to your document.
You can insert text, and change the font, size, and color. You’ll also be able to add images in BMP, JPG/JPEG, GIF, PNG, and ICO formats and, once they’re added, resize them by dragging the edge of the image. As well as text and image, you’ll be able to add shapes such as rectangle, ellipses, and borders, editing each by dragging the edges or choosing from the options.
Once you have all the elements on your page, you can drag and drop them to move them around and then use the options, in the top bar, to change color and other aspects.
Saving as PDF
Once you’ve made a PDF with this free PDF editor, check out the options in the main menu to see what is available to you. You can edit the details that others will see for the PDF, such as the author name, creation date, and the title of the file.
When you finally want to create the file - take care! Simply saving it will produce a .fpe file, which can only be opened in the editor. Instead, move down the menu to find create PDF, which will create a bona fide PDF that can be opened by others.
Is this free PDF editor any good?
Overall we can’t shake the feeling that Free PDF Editor is software from another time. Sure, it can actually be pretty hard to find a free pdf editor, but this software isn’t it. Not only does it not actually edit PDFs, but it doesn’t do the task it does do - create PDFs - in a very modern manner.
Too basic for the modern user
Free PDF Editor might have been a great app 10 years ago, but it just doesn’t cut it anymore. Not only is the editor/creator issue pretty confusing, but it’s just no longer necessary to have a standalone PDF creator.
There are alternative apps, like PDFescape Free PDF Editor and PDF Editor which do actually allow you to edit PDFs (from any source), while many apps, including Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and Canva, will allow you to create much more beautiful, professional-looking documents and save them as PDF.
No matter what you need a PDF app for - creation, editing, or both - you can do much better than Free PDF Editor.