An Open Source PDF Editor for Windows, Mac & Linux

I have previous written about PDF Editors for Windows and Linux here and here, so this is, in effect Part 3.

I have used OpenOffice PDF Import Extension, PDFEdit and numerous other tools listed in my first posts but nothing works as well as the latest Inkscape. It has one downside though, right now. That is, you can only edit one page at a time.

So here’s a random PDF I found by googling for random PDF ;). Here’s a shot of the first page in my PDF Viewer (evince).

Now we open Inkscape click File -> Open and you will see the following dialogue box where we can choose which page to import.

Now you can see that the page imported perfectly into Inkscape and objects are editable.

and finally, here’s our slightly edited, more up-to-date version.

A few other tips.

Inkscape won’t import encrypted PDF’s. To get around this you can use pdftops .pdf which turns the PDF into a Postscript file. You can then use ps2pdf .ps to return the file back into an unencrypted pdf.

On Linux, you can print to PDF automatically. On Windows, you will want to have installed a PDF Printer, like PDFCreator and on Mac OSX, read this tutorial about setting up a free PDF printer.

If you need to merge multiple PDF’s into a single PDF, there is a nice tool called PDFtk that can do that for you which is available for Windows, MacOSX and Linux.

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Published by salubrium

I am a Systems Administrator based in Sydney, Australia with some hugely varied interests: Topics covered are Virtualization, Web Hosting, Remote Desktop, Security and Backups, PHP, Python, MVC Frameworks, SEO

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  1. I’ve used Inkscape lots before, but had no idea it could do this. Very useful to know! Thank you. I just made a change in one particular document (some government form) and it worked flawlessly.

  2. Either I am missing something or this is mostly useless for anything beyond a one-page .pdf file.

    Yes, I could open one page from a document, move elements around, but not edit text. But I had to save it as a new document. It was not returned to its place in the original. Nor would Inkscape allow me to navigate into the subfolder where I had the original file.

    It seems to be a novelty with its usefulness limited to playing with one-page posters or flyers.

  3. It’s not useless beyond one page but it’s certainly more difficult because you have to rejoin them together. Although, the problems you had, it seems like your original PDF had text as images if you weren’t able to edit them.

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