11 of the Best Free Linux PDF Tools

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 for document exchange. The format includes a subset of the PostScript page description programming language, a font-embedding system, and a structural storage system.

Over the years PDF has become an extremely important file format. If you want to create documents that can be viewed under all major operating systems, PDF is the ticket, as it maintains the overall look and feel of documents regardless of what platform they are viewed under.

There is a large range of PDF-related software available with many different applications available that can both output to and open files. Many open source software save documents to this format such as OpenOffice.org and GIMP.

This article identifies the best free Linux PDF related software that is available. It covers software that creates, views, manipulates PDFs as well as selecting some useful utilities. All of the applications featured here are released under a freely distributable license, with the exception of Adobe Reader (which is closed source), but this application is too important to ignore. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for anyone who wants to manage PDF documents.

Now, let’s explore the 11 PDF tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the software in action, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

PDF Tools
PDFeditEditor for manipulating PDF documents
ScribusDesktop page layout software which produces commercial grade PDF output
InkscapeVector-based drawing program
GhostscriptGhostscript PostScript / PDF interpreter
EvinceMulti-page document viewer
Adobe ReaderView, print and collaborate on PDF files
okularUniversal document viewer with support for advanced document features
Final PageDocument post production tool
pdftkUseful tool for manipulating PDFs
QPDFTools for and transforming and inspecting PDF files
XournalAdd annotations to PDF files

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Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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