LibreOffice is a powerful open source cross-platform Office suite that works in many regards just like Microsoft Office.

While you can use LibreOffice apps to edit spreadsheets or Word documents, you may use it as well to create, edit and save PDF documents.

LibreOffice PDF Editing

LibreOffice supports the editing of PDF documents by default and opens them in the LibreOffice Draw application. You can open Draw directly and use the File menu to load PDF documents, or use the startup wizard instead.

You may also associate LibreOffice with the PDF file format if LibreOffice is your main app for PDF documents so that you can double-click on PDF documents to have them opened in LibreOffice automatically.

The loading of PDF documents may take a moment in LibreOffice. While a one or two sheet PDF opens near instantly, PDF documents with hundreds of pages may take a minute or so to load.

You may also start a new document from scratch instead using Draw. Just make sure you select File > Export as PDF when you are done to save it as a PDF document.

LibreOffice Draw displays the pages of the loaded PDF document on the left in a sidebar, and the content of the selected page in the main editing area.

Text content displays fine for the most part but you may notice that the editor may have issues with complex layouts. Take a look at the title of my Windows 10 ebook to see what I mean:


This means unfortunately that you can't use LibreOffice to edit documents with rendering issues as these may get saved automatically after the editing.

The editing works exactly how you'd expect it to, however. You can click on any position to add, edit or delete text, and even use advanced features such as inserting images, changing the formatting or adding tables.

Once you are done editing the document you need to select "export as PDF" from the File menu. If you don't, you end up saving the document as an ODG file, the default format that LibreOffice Draw uses.

Pdf options

Selecting export as PDF opens the PDF options. The options are quite extensive and give users full control over the process. To name just a few features supported by the export module: sign with watermark, set compression level, set encryption and permissions, add digital signature to document, define initial view and layout, and a lot more.

It is recommended that you check the exported PDF document to make sure that its layout and content is intact and not garbled.

Closing Words

LibreOffice Draw offers a simple straightforward option to edit PDF documents. It is most suitable for basic PDF documents with little to no formatting or advanced layouts. The program does not offer the same level of functionality as Acrobat Reader or other commercial PDF editors but it is sufficient for basic tasks.