PDF is a versatile file format for sharing documents online. For example, many contracts and documents are signed virtually and saved as PDFs because the format tends to be more secure. However, that means that viewing and editing PDFs can get complicated. Luckily, there are plenty of Windows 10 applications available to help you out.
Xodo PDF Reader & Editor
Free and easy
Xodo is one of many free PDF viewers. It supports annotations that will also work with other PDF viewers such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, and the app makes it easy to mark up documents using digital inking. Best of all, Xodo can save your digital signature for use across multiple documents.
This is the industry standard for PDFs. With it, you can create, convert, edit, mark up, and share PDFs. It's an excellent tool for basic edits, as well as more complex changes and tweaks that you need to make to documents.
Edit and manage
This powerful PDF app allows you to annotate PDFs and organize and manipulate PDF files and pages. You can also use it to encrypt, redact, and sign PDFs, and it supports scanning and editing PDFs. It's a powerful tool that can handle all of your PDF requirements. The app itself is free, but after 14 days, you'll need to purchase a license. The cheapest license is PhantomPDF Standard for $129 per year.
Foxit MobilePDF is a lightweight PDF viewer that supports annotations, zooming, and searching text. You can also convert PDFs into Microsoft Office documents and even create PDFs yourself. It's free and will cover the needs of many people when it comes to PDFs.
PDF Viewer Plus
Viewing PDFs only
This is a PDF viewer, not a PDF editor. Its main aim is to have a clean interface that doesn't get in the way of reading and viewing documents, so if you need the most basic of programs, this is the one for you. It supports zooming in and out to aid reading and also supports encrypted files.
This app allows you to merge, split, extract, and combine PDFs. You can also use it to add or remove passwords and insert pages into documents. This is an excellent app for managing PDFs but is not a PDF reader, so you'll need to use it in conjunction with another app on this list. Also, keep an eye for sales as it is often up to 80 percent off.
If we're making some suggestions
PDFs are a popular format for documents that require signatures as well as books, textbooks, and documents. The PDF application that's best for you depends greatly on what you need to do with your PDFs. If you just want an app to view PDFs and make light edits, Xodo is an excellent option. Its digital inking support makes it simple to add annotations and highlights to documents. You can also use it to save digital signatures to speed up the process of signing documents. These features put together with it being free earn it the top spot on this list.
If you need a more powerful tool, you should grab Adobe Acrobat. It's the industry standard when it comes to PDFs, and allows you to view, edit mark up, convert, and share PDFs. It requires a monthly subscription but has an extensive list of features and works well.
If you're going to mark up a PDF, you'll want a good stylus. These styli will help you create a clean signature and attractive annotations.
Surface Pen ($79 at Microsoft)
This pen works with the latest Surface devices and supports 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. It features low latency, which helps create smooth lines and curves.
Wacom Bamboo Ink Plus ($100 at Amazon)
This pen supports Wacom Active ES protocol and Microsoft Pen Protocol (MPP), meaning it can work with a wide range of hardware.
Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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