Editing PDFs is not something you can do easily – most free tools just let you read the content and search for keywords. There are some services that broaden the possibilities of what you can achieve without a deposit, and I like PDF (opens in new tab) is such an option.
I love PDF: prices
- A free service with additional functionality for subscribers
You can access I Love PDF through their website with 23 tools, all displayed in rows and columns. At the top of the page you will find a selection of the most used: a PDF Merger Toola PDF compressor, and the option to split documents. These are followed by all the options to convert to and from the PDF format and finally a menu of all the available tools, broken down only by category.
You’ll find login and signup options at the top right of the interface, but you don’t actually need to register to use I Love PDF.
While the service is free, there is a $4/£4 per month subscription option (billed annually at $48/£48). You will notice that there are some limitations to the free service compared to the subscription service, such as batch processing for example, which requires you to convert files one by one if you prefer not to pay.
If your needs are modest, you will find the free service more than adequate. However, the option to expand your capabilities even by downloading software so you can work offline activates OCR software functionality, removing ads and accessing customer support can be valuable for those who prefer to subscribe.
I Love PDF: Interface and Experience
- The interface is easy to understand and consistent throughout
Using the available tools is quite simple: you click on an icon and browse your files to select the ones you need – on your computer or through cloud storage service providers Dropbox or Google Drive – or drop them directly on the page.
What happens next, of course, depends on your chosen tool: For example, ‘Split’ will display thumbnails of the PDF pages. You will find contextual options in the sidebar on the right. In this case, you can either select a range of pages and I Love PDF will cut the document for you, or, more interestingly, go to ‘Extract’ pages. Here you can select any page – contiguous or not – to save them in a separate document.
You’ll see that all the tools work that way: large icons, easy-to-understand functions, and thumbnails large enough to see which page to keep and which to discard.
Any option not available on the free service has a yellow “Premium” label next to it so you can easily see what’s banned.
To exit a selected tool and return to the main menu, select a new one from the menu bar at the top of the page, or click the large ‘I Love PDF’ title, top left.
- Interface & experience: 5/5
I like PDF: Tools
- Some tools are implemented in a very smart way
Out of the usual suspects for a service of this type, there were a few implementations that we really liked.
For example, ‘Sign PDF’. The eSign software allows you to add a signature anywhere on a PDF page. You’re given a few options for doing this – type your name with a script font, use your laptop’s trackpad to create a digital signature, or, and this is the part we liked, choose “Draw from your mobile.” device’.
When you select that feature, a QR code will appear. Use your phone’s camera to hover over it to reveal a URL. This will take you to a special page where you can sign your signature directly on your mobile device. Once you’re done, tap “Apply” and that twirl will be returned to the page you’re working on on your computer, ready to use.
This is a great mix of technologies that works seamlessly.
This feature is also used with the Scan to PDF tool. You may notice that your phone can already scan documents with the camera, but here, once the document is scanned, it will be sent directly back to your I Love PDF page on your computer so you can continue working from there. It’s a great feature that we’ve enjoyed using.
Another one we appreciated, although slightly lacking the wow factor of the previous one, is ‘Page Numbers’. If you need to add them to a PDF, here’s a great and quick way to do it: just load the PDF and you’ll be presented with a series of thumbnails for each page. Choose where the number appears on the pages and you’re done.
Yes, there are other options, such as changing the number of the first page to a value other than 1, selecting how the number is displayed, the font, style and other options, and so on. All this is an added bonus, but if you need to number the pages of a PDF document quickly and easily, this is an ideal tool.
I love PDF: PDF editing
- Editing isn’t actually full editing – it’s document manipulation
If you’ve seen other competing software packages, you might think “Edit PDF” lets you change the content of a PDF document.
But I Love PDF is not a full-fledged premium PDF editor Like it Adobe Acrobat DC. It’s more a free PDF editor of species; a PDF manipulator with limited editing capabilities.
See, what is written and displayed in the selected PDF cannot be changed. However, you can add to it. You can insert text boxes, images, and even shapes so you can take notes, add comments, and even highlight sections.
If you want to correct typos or rewrite a section, ‘edit PDF’ can’t go that far.
I love PDF: Scorecard
|Prices||Free and annual subscriptions available||4|
|Interface & experience||Clean, consistent, easy to use||5|
|Tools||Smart implementation and results of classic PDF tools||5|
|PDF editing||Limited editing; mostly document manipulation||4|
Should I try it?
Try it if…
For a free pdf reader and editor service, I Love PDF is quite good. The interface is easy to navigate and the features offered are often only available to paying customers with competing services.
There’s a lot of clicking to get from one tool to another, though, but the proof is in the pudding: the tools are good, they’re easy to use, and you’ll have your modified PDF in seconds.
Don’t try if…
From what we can see, the only feature I Love PDF doesn’t offer is the ability to fully edit the contents of a PDF. If that’s what you need, then this service isn’t for you.