Add, remove text from PDFs with the free and offline PicoPDF tool

Have a PDF that you need to edit? Most PDF readers don’t give you the option to modify the contents. And the ones that do, often tend to be online tools or commercial products.

PicoPDF is an easy to use, offline PDF editor that lets you edit text and add images to your documents. The program has a ribbon interface, though the Home tab has all the tools you’ll need to edit PDFs.

Drag and drop a PDF document onto the GUI, or use the Open button to select one. PicoPDF displays the contents just like a normal reader. Use the mouse wheel to scroll down pages.

Left click on some text in the PDF, and it changes to a text box that you can use it to edit existing content, fix typos, or add something to the document. You can also use the buttons on the toolbar for the same. The program recognizes the text formatting of the document, and preserves it for changes you make, so you don’t have to worry about the font style looking awkward. Made an error while editing? You’ll be happy to know that PicoPDF supports undo and redo, though there aren’t buttons for these. So, you’ll have to rely on the keyboard shortcuts, Ctrl + Z and Ctrl + Y.

PicoPDF add text

Want to move something on a page? Click the move button, select the content, and drag it any location you like. You can also use PicoPDF to add images to a PDF document, it supports several image formats including JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIF, PSD, to name a few.

Use the save button to preserve the changes you made to the PDF. If you prefer non-destructive editing (keep the original PDF), you may want to use the Save As option, to create a new version of the document. The program will prompt you to save the changes to the PDF, when you exit.

PicoPDF edit text

Note: I noticed that PicoPDF pings a website called, but it belongs to the same developer, NCH Software. Upon further observation, I think it connects to the portal to download the optional programs that you can download from the Suite tab (Wavepad). Speaking of which, none of the programs in that tab are required to use the PDF editor.

PicoPDF is a freeware program. It does not come in a portable version. The application used about 30 – 40 MB of memory while editing text-heavy documents, but it shot upwards of 200MB when I tested it with illustrated eBooks.  I couldn’t get the program to work with PDFs that I had created from Microsoft Word (those have some kind of protection), but it worked fine with others. Protected documents, i.e, the ones which ask for a password can’t be edited either. Even though it has a zoom slider for adjusting the view, I won’t recommend using the program as a PDF reader, as I found it to be slightly slow to render pages than Firefox, SumatraPDF, etc. The application began to chug when I added images to it, which seemed odd, since it was able to handle PDFs with embedded pictures rather well.

PicoPDF isn’t going to win any prizes for what it does, but for the price of free, it does a perfectly good job of basic text editing. If you’re looking for a tool to add/remove additional elements (boxes, tables, etc), this isn’t the program for you.

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