5 free PDF tools for freelancers.
Free tools for PDF documents help with the hard work of freelancing.
Advantages of free PDF tools for freelancers.
- Efficiency: Get contracts signed and invoices paid faster with digital documents and e-signatures.
- Control: Combine and organize files to keep everything in the right place. And no matter what file type you start out with, you can convert it to PDF to lock in formatting and content.
- Easy collaboration: Stay in sync with collaborators or clients. Share a PDF with a link, and get notified when reviewers add comments or highlights.
With all the freedom comes all the responsibilities.
Freelancing is great for people who want to work flexible hours, choose their own projects and clients, and skip office politics. But going it alone means you have to take care of your whole business. As a freelancer, you’re the marketing department, client relationship manager, creative team, and billing department all in one, so you need easy tools for working with electronic documents. You also need to find ways to be successful working from anywhere.
Check out these free online tools and learn how they can help you live the freelance life.
5. Compress PDFs.
Large project files or portfolios can get pretty unwieldy. With a free Acrobat account, you can resize them and make them easier to handle two times per month with the Compress PDF tool. Without leaving your browser, you can reduce the file size for PDFs of up to 2GB. The PDF compressor balances an optimized file size against the expected quality of images, fonts, and other file content, so you won’t lose quality.
Try the Compress PDFs tool.
1. Identify your freelancing needs.
First, understand the different functions that you are hoping a free PDF tool will serve. Maybe you need to send contracts to clients, so you need an e-signature tool. If you tend to send documents back and forth for refining, you’ll need a tool that will allow you to edit PDFs or at least annotate and add comments. Are you sending large files, or is compressing files not a need for your work? Once you’ve identified your freelancing needs, you can find a free PDF tool that will meet them.
2. Source free PDF tools.
There are countless free PDF tools available online. To be safe, you may want to take recommendations from friends or at least from reviews. Some of your PDF tools may work in a browser, and many require downloading an app which you could upgrade if you find later that you need more features. Choose tools that have good reviews and have the features that meet your freelancing needs.
3. Test and compare the features.
Once you’ve determined your needs and sourced free tools, you can launch into testing and comparing the tools you’ve selected. Remember that the features that matter the most are the ones that will serve the functions you’ve identified as priorities.
1. Allocate a mixture of PDF document types to test.
Since you likely have several uses in mind for a PDF tool based on your freelancing needs, make sure that you have a PDF that you can test for each function. For example, you could have a PDF set aside to test e-signature and form-filling functions and another to test compressing PDF files.
2. Test making changes to text, adding or replacing images, and more.
See what it’s like to use your free PDF tools to edit or annotate text and multimedia. As you’re testing these capabilities, keep your needs in mind and think about your personal criteria for good performance.
3. Compare how the free PDF tools performed.
When you’re comparing performance, keep multiple aspects of the PDF tool in mind. Was it clunky to turn your PDF into a form, or was the tool intuitive to use? Did the tool have all of the capabilities you identified as needs for your freelancing work? Was it fast and reliable? Do you think it will contribute to your efficiency?
4. Choose the free PDF tool that suits you.
Choosing a free PDF tool comes down to your needs and preferences. Maybe you don’t mind using a more powerful PDF tool that isn’t as intuitive, or maybe your priority is having an app that is easy to use and has plenty of customer service in case something goes wrong. Perhaps you can find an app or online tool that has just enough of both for your needs. You’ve evaluated how the tool performs, but the real evaluation that matters is how it aligns with your priorities for your work.
Remember that if you get in the groove of using this tool and find that your freelancing needs expand, you may end up purchasing a paid version of the same tool. Keep the paid versions of the tools in mind, since you want to have the best if you end up purchasing.
Upgrade your tools to tap into even more power and freedom.
If you need more advanced PDF editing features, start a free trial of Adobe Acrobat Pro. With Acrobat Pro for Mac or Windows, you can edit PDF documents to fix a typo, change fonts, or add new content. You can add images and bulleted or numbered lists, and you can insert page numbers or watermarks.
With a free trial, you also get unlimited use of other premium tools. You can turn scanned documents into editable, searchable PDFs with optical character recognition (OCR). Redact parts of your PDF to permanently remove sensitive information, and add password protection. As a freelancer, you depend on your tools, so having the right ones at your fingertips makes going it alone a little easier.
How can I edit PDF files for free?
Create an Acrobat login to enroll in the 7-day free trial to access Acrobat Pro enhanced features. This will unlock tools that you can access from the web or desktop.
- On the web: Whether you use Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, or another browser, you can find the Acrobat online PDF editor and all the other tools in the Home View. Simply choose the Edit tool and drag and drop your file or select it from your local storage. Edit PDF text or images, and choose to edit single or multiple documents at a time. Acrobat online is also ideal for document collaboration with others and making edits while in your browser.
- On desktop: Download the Acrobat app and log in to access stored files and edits made from web or mobile apps. Open your file and edit text to perfection.