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.


  • olivi78 |

    I had used pdf-xchange at my home (in my work). It's really excellent viewer. I can create the smallest PDF files available - from any Windows application software. Simple to use - highly efficient. Its description

  • Andre |

    I would strongly recommend anyone needing to work with PDF files takes a look at the free PDF-XChange Viewer from Tracker Software - which does numerous things that the FREE version of Foxit wont - it also offers support for XFA PDF form files (as used by many Gov't depts etc) - which neither Foxit nor Nitro do. The support is also excellent and free! http://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-viewer

  • jmac |

    PDF-XChange offers many tools within the program. For those who have little ability(most users) to use the toolbars, any of the toolbars can easily be edited to include the tools found in some of the other toolbars. I have found that editing to the more primary toolbars that have been edited to include some of the other toolbar tools greatly enhances my editing of the pdf document.



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