A collection of tools for Viewing and Editing PDF documents

On Linux, we have more than enough choices for PDF applications available, and most of them are free. This document has a list of the more popular and common ones to try out, some are simply for viewing, while others can handle editing and arranging, as well as handle signatures. This is not an exhaustive list, but more than likely you will end up using at least several of the applications listed here.

PDF Tools for Linux-GrapheneGoat.com

Download or View the above PDF document here

PDF Tools on Linux (yellow indicates non-FOSS / Proprietary Software)

Document Viewer – View only, native on many Linux distros

PDF Mix Tool – Merge, split, extract, add, delete, rotate

PDF Arranger – Merge, split, rotate, crop in a nice GUI interface

Scribus – Create and edit, manage page layout (similar to Adobe Design)

Okular – Document viewer, supports many formats, sidebar, thumbnails and bookmarks

PDF4QT – Versions for viewing, light editing and comparison tools (four total)

Xournal++ – Hand notes taking, and powerful editor

PDFsam – Split, merge, extract, sign, rotate, fill forms. Paid tier available.

Inkscape – Powerful photo edit software, works well with PDF to edit

Gimp – Photo editing software, works with PDF documents to edit and arrange

Master PDF Editor – Proprietary software, free version has watermark, paid tier for full features

ilovepdf.com – Online editor, not suited for sensitive documents (proprietary)

LibreOffice Draw – Powerful full featured edit, fill, and sign function

Other honorable mentions:

Foxit – Intuitive UI, supports scanning to PDF, add comments, add/verify digital signatures, OCR, Encrypt/Protect, ChatGPT

PDFchain – (old), fill, merge, split, rotate, repair corrupted pdf, change metadata, add watermark

Zathura – (terminal based with GUI viewing for hardcore nerds)

Sejda PDF Desktop – Free to use but with daily limits, or paid tier for unlimited. Very good UI

Qoppa – Free trial, paid software – Create, full edit, OCR, Fill and Sign, Watermark, Docusign integration, Redaction tools, Batch processing, Convert to/from MS 365 files, many other tools for paid users

PDF UnlockR – Unlock/Decrypt protected PDF documents

Other methods:

Install Adobe Acrobat on Linux (not maintained since 2013) Not Recommended!

Use a Virtual Machine to run a Windows Operating System and use Adobe Acrobat Premium inside the Windows Virtual Machine on Linux (best way to use Adobe)

Resources for more learning on these PDF tools:

Scribus tutorial:

PDF4QT video:



Okular documentation: https://docs.kde.org/stable5/en/okular/okular/okular.pdf

Xournal++ documentation: https://xournalpp.github.io/guide/

Master PDF Editor documentation: https://code-industry.net/masterpdfeditor-help/

Foxit PDF Tutorial: https://www.foxit.com/support/tutorial.html

Sejda PDF Instructions per task: https://www.sejda.com/pdf-editor

Qoppa PDF documentation: https://www.qoppa.com/files/pdfstudio/guide/


Download or View the above PDF document here

Download the PDF installer BASH script here

Signing documents in Linux for free without Adobe: Xournal++, Gimp, Okular, Inkscape, LibreOffice Draw, PDF4QT

Watch our tutorial on PDF tools for Linux for a full run down on all of these applications:


View looking down over the Easton Glacier from the summit on Mt Baker, WA state