13 Absolutely Free PDF Tools Every Blogger Should Know About

by Jul 23, 2020Creating Printables

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As a blogger, it is essential to be able to create some type of printable as a blog freebie. This is a way to build your email list and to deliver that printable to your subscribers you will want to save it as a PDF.

Creating printables is one of my favorite parts of blogging. I love coming up with ways to help solve a problem AND make it look visually appealing. 

I make most of my printables in a graphic design tool but I tend to use a variety of tools. I save all parts of my printable as a PDF for two reasons. It prevents my subscribers from changing the printable and it can easily be viewed on many devices.

But every now and then I run into the situation where I need to merge files or add page numbers, and that is where these 13 free PDF tools come in.

While you might have to take one extra step compared to using a paid program, it is very minimal in the long run. Especially, when you are just starting out your blog business.

free pdf tools for bloggers

These tools will allow you to invest your money in other areas of blogging until you are generating an income from it.

Alright, let me tell you about these must-have PDF tools.

What Are the Best Free Adobe Acrobat Alternatives?

The three websites that every blogger needs to know about are ILovePDF.com, PDF2Go.com, and PDFescape.com.

Each of these Adobe Acrobat alternatives is a completely free resource. By completely free, I mean that you don’t even have to sign up and create an account if you don’t want to! 

That’s music to my ears!

I did a lot of research and found that there were a plethora of “free” PDF editing tools online but make sure you look at the fine print with these other tools. They are not as free as they seem.

Some programs severely limit how many times you are allowed to use a tool. Others were only free for their 30-day trial and those are the ones that made me really angry. 

I can’t tell you how many times I thought I found a great free tool, went through the whole editing my PDFs process, created an account, and was ready to download but the website wouldn’t let me have the final product until I added a method of payment.

If I am looking for a free tool, I do not want a program that requires me to add my credit card. So please avoid those websites if you decide to look for other than the three I mentioned above. 

There Are Limits When Using Free Tools.

To find the tool limit information you will need to go to the pricing webpages of each website. You can do it a lot easier by clicking the following links (ILovePDF and PDF2Go) to go directly to the pricing page. It is typically based on per day, so once your day is done then you start fresh the next day. 

I use ILovePDF mostly and have yet to reach the limits. As long as you plan your use wisely, you will have no issues at all.

In regards to PDFescape, there are no limits listed for their free program.

I Only Recommend These 3 Websites as Adobe Acrobat Alternatives.

Part of the blogging journey is finding tools that will help you grow your blog. But when you are starting out, it can become expensive with all the tools and resources that people recommend.

It can be so easy to spend the money but when you realize that it could take a year before you see a return in that investment, it makes you a little more mindful. As a mom to two boys who were already sucking all the money out of our family paychecks, I was aware that I needed to research what I needed to buy verse what I could get for free. 

I got started on looking for free PDF tools simply because I needed a way to merge multiple PDFs together. That ended up being surprisingly difficult. 

Luckily, after a lot of looking, I found these three incredible free PDF tools that solve my need of paying for Adobe Acrobat. One day, I will get to the point that I need to invest in it but thankfully it is not right now.

13 Free PDF Tools for Bloggers

1. Create Editable PDFs

This is one of my most used tools for creating printables. Why would I want to make an editable printable? The simple answer is that it makes my printable much more valuable to my audience. 

Now the person has the option to either print the list or use it digitally. Having a checklist that you can save to your phone and then check off items as you go is incredibly valuable.

Website to Use: PDFescape 

PDFescape is the only website I know that allows you to do this for free. My favorite options to make my PDF editable are the checkbox, text, and text paragraph. If you want to learn more about how to make your PDF editable, check out this blog post: How I Make An Editable PDF For Free (And Take My Printable To The Next Level).

free pdf tools for bloggers

2. Merge PDFs

This is the second PDF tool that I use the most. I tend to create different parts of my printables on different programs like Canva and Powerpoint. Because of that, being able to merge different files is a big need of mine. 

The Merge PDF tool is used to merge multiple documents together. If you have pages with different page setup orientations then this will be the tool for you. I have yet to find a limit of how many PDfs you can add to merge into one. The largest amount of PDFs I have merged into one is seven.

Website to Use: ILovePDF

free pdf tools for bloggers

3. Split PDF

Need to break a PDF into multiple parts. Then this the tool to use. You can separate your PDF into specific groups or by page. It all depends on your needs.

An example of this could be that you created a large bundle that is getting you a lot of subscribers and you want to take a portion out to sell as a product.

Website to Use: ILovePDF

free pdf tools for bloggers

4. Compress PDF

If your file size is too large and you need to optimize it while still retaining good PDF quality, then the compress tool is for you. I rarely use this tool and that is mostly because my free printables are on the small file size.  

But I did a quick experiment with one of my larger bundles at 260KB and it was optimized to 185KB. That is almost 100KB less and the quality looks great!

Website to Use: ILovePDF

Something to note with using the compress feature on ILovePDF. You can only compress one file at a time. If you decide to create an account for their free plan you are able to compress two files at a time.

If you want to compress more then you will need to use one of their paid versions. This isn’t really an issue for most bloggers, especially those just starting out, because you usually will only be compressing one file.

free pdf tools for bloggers

5. Convert PDF

Here is a tool that I have actually used a couple times. The tool will basically take one type of file and convert it to a PDF OR vice versa. Experiment with it one day to see if any of these would work for you.

Here is an example of how I used this for blogging. I created a checklist in PDFescape and when you download it only gives you the option of PDF. I wanted to create a mockup, so I used this feature to make a PNG file for each page.

It was quick and the quality looked great! 

The types of files that you can convert are PDF, JPG, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and HTML. This is a great option if you want to make create images to give a preview of your PDF or to transform your PDF into a different format.

Website to Use: ILovePDF

free pdf tools for bloggers

6. Add Watermark

I haven’t really used this tool at all because I tend to do add my watermarks using Canva. But if you need a PDF tool that will watermark ALL your printable pages in one shot, then check this out.

It might take some time playing around with it to get it right but once you do, you have a powerful tool available at your disposal.

Personally, this isn’t my favorite free PDF tool online but that is mostly because I use Canva for adding watermarks. But I wanted to include this on the list in case another found value in it.

I am a full believer that not all tools work for everyone. So if you do like the watermark tool, please tell me about your experience in the comments below! I would love to hear what you liked about it.

Website to Use: ILovePDF

I just wanted to give you a quick alternative if you don’t like using the online tool. You can add the watermark in the original graphic design tool (Canva, PowerPoint, PicMonkey, etc.) you use to create your printable.

free pdf tools for bloggers

7. Remove Pages

This is a great tool for bloggers who have a bundle with a lot of different elements and decide they want to remove a page or pages from that bundle. Using this tool will allow you to remove the pages want and then download the updated file.

Website to Use: ILovePDF

free pdf tools for bloggers

8. Organize PDF

If you are ever at the point where you want to rearrange your PDF, then this is the tool for you. You can add multiple files and organize them in any order you want.

A nifty thing about this tool is how it helps you stay organized. Once you upload your file it will number the pages. Then as you organize into the order you want, you can tell which where you moved them based on the assigned page number. 

If you add multiple PDF files then they color code those files so you can know which page 1 belongs to which PDF.

Website to Use: ILovePDF

free pdf tools for bloggers

9. Page Numbers

If you are writing an ebook or something similar then this is the tool for you. Depending on what program you are using to creating your printable, it might be easier to use this tool to add page numbers. 

Website to Use: ILovePDF

free pdf tools for bloggers

10. Lock PDF

Locking your PDF gives it an added layer of protection. Now you may not use this as much when giving it to your subscribers but it may come handy if you are collaborating with a group. 

To lock a PDF you have a password associated with it. So if anyone wanted to view it or print it (depending on how you set it up) they would need to have the password.

Website to Use: ILovePDF or PDF2Go

ILovePDF only allows you to lock the PDF file. It does not do any other security. If you want added security choice then I would use PDF2Go. With PDF2Go you can choose an added layer of security by preventing users from printing, copying, or modifying.

11. Unlock PDF

With this tool, you are now able to undo the locking protections that are associated with a PDF. But you can only do this if you know the password. 

Website to Use: ILovePDF or PDF2Go

12. Rotate Pages

Another useful tool if you find some of your printable pages are not facing the correct direction. This is a great tool if for some reason when you combined PDF files, one of the files was added in the wrong direction. Or if you received a PDF file with pages that were not in the formated direction.

Website to Use: PDF2Go

PDF2Go is way better than ILovePDF for this particular tool for one important reason. You are able to adjust individual pages in PDF2Go compared to ILovePDF where it will only rotate the entire PDF file.

free pdf tools for bloggers

13. Change PDF Page Size

If you sell different size products of the same print, then this could be a simple and easy tool to use. 

For example, if you use the free plan for Canva then you are unable to resize your design in one click. Instead, you would be required to create a new design and start from scratch. That could cost you a lot of time.

Website to Use: PDF2Go

This is another tool that I am not particularly fond of but it can work depending on the PDF file you want to change. When I tried the tool I noticed it worked great with printables that had mostly white space at the top and bottom of the PDF compared to those that had color blocks or graphics. 

The biggest reason I decided to include this tool was that even though the new PDFs I created were not perfect, the quality of it was. When I later tried with a PDF that had more white space, the change in page size looked even better.

free pdf tools for bloggers
printables kickstart toolkit

The One Free PDF Tool You Should Avoid.

And that tool is the PDF editing tool. Don’t waste your time with it because it adds no editing value to your printable. The reason for that is because all you can usually do is add a text box, image, draw, or shape.

If you find that you need to add any other those above, then it would serve you better to use the graphic design tool that you created your printable it. I have tried at least 5 free pdf tools that offered editing and none of them really do anything worthwhile.

In this case, free isn’t always the best option. I hate it when that phrase is true but it does happen. I know it sucks (because I really wanted a free PDF editor tool) but the good news is now you know and can now focus on other ways to grow your blog.

Are You Ready to Start Using These Tools?

If so, let’s get out there and make printables that will grow your blog! Having access to quality tools is a key element that will grow your blog business. 

Managing PDFs when you don’t have a PDF editor like Adobe Acrobat can be a nightmare but these 13 free tools will save you a lot of heartache and frustration. They will help you develop quality freebies that in turn will build your blog. 

What are your thoughts before you go?

Will these help you solve a problem you have been having with PDFs? What is your favorite tool from this list? Do you have one I did not mention?

Tell me all about it in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!

Happy Days –

the printables blog

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