5 Best PDF Markup Software for Everyone [Free & Paid]

Summary :

The following are 5 best PDF markup software that should be considered whenever you need to markup PDFs. Check their main features, pros and cons now!

Table of Contents

PDF Markup Software

PDF Markup Software

Marking up is a great way to highlight key information and add your thoughts to the PDFs. However, PDFs can’t be processed like normal Word documents.

To help with that, we’ve found the best PDF software allowing you to draw on PDFs, highlight texts, add sticky notes,  and more. They are all reliable, safe, and easy to operate.

🏆Winner of the Week🎉

PDFgear has earned the title of the best PDF markup software for its free nature and powerful features.

PDFgear – A Free PDF Markup Tool Powered by AI

PDFgear is a free PDF markup software that works across Windows, Mac, and iOS devices.

Its markup tools include adding sticky notes, highlighting, underlining texts, drawing shapes, and so much more. After marking up, you have the option to convert the PDF to Word, to image, or PowerPoint for easy sharing.

Except for markup tools, PDFgear also integrates with lots of AI tools. Take the OCR tool, and Chatbot as examples, the OCR tool can precisely extract texts from an image, making scanned documents editable, and the Chatbot allows you to get the precious answer to a question based on the PDF without reading.

Try this excellent AI PDF editor to refresh your experience with PDFs!

PDFgear Desktop



1. PDFgear is completely free.

2. A wide range of markup tools like highlighting, underlining, and adding notes.

3. Word search tool to help you find information quickly.

4. Fast responding speed.


1. Not able to upload a PDF from cloud services.

Nitro Pro – Powerful & Affordable PDF Editor

In Nitro Pro, you can utilize its text markup tool to highlight, cross out, and underline texts so that anyone can identify the important words on the PDF. You also have access to the drawing tools to add predefined shapes for providing additional comments, explanations, and so on.

By the way, Nitro Pro allows you to customize the markups you added, for instance, adjust the appearance of drawings, add text feedback, and remove the markups.

Nitro Pro offers a 14-day free trial. The lifetime license costs $129. If you’d like to get a monthly subscription, contact the sales.

Nitro Pro

Nitro Pro


1. Reasonable pricing for a PDF editor

2. Beginner-friendly interface

3. A multi-platformPDF editor that works on Windows, Mac, and iOS


1. Different prices for Windows and Mac

2. Line spacing changes while editing texts

Foxit Reader – Collaborative PDF Markup Software

Foxit Reader is a special PDF markup software that costs $9.17 minimum each month. Besides highlighting texts, and adding comments, it enables you to open the calculator and insert calculations into the PDF. Moreover, it allows you to connect markups as links.

Here are more reasons that make Foxit Reader a great PDF markup software. Firstly, it initiated a shared review on the PDF editor.

After adding some markups to the PDF, others can know and refer to them through a network folder or email instantly. Moreover, anyone can quickly go through the PDF annotations in a summary, then export and share.

Foxit Reader

Foxit Reader


1. A PDF reader that provides the best PDF browsing experience

2. Sharing reviews with colleagues

3. Check annotations in summary and export


1. Relatively expensive for a PDF editor

2. Complicated interface that may confuse PDF editing beginners

Adobe Acrobat Reader – Best PDF Reader & Markup Software

Editing PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Reader is free. What a big surprise, its markup tools are quite powerful!

There are three main text annotation tools: insert text, strikethrough and replace text. You also have access to the highlight and comment tools and freehand drawing tools. There is also a distinguishable feature called author queries. As an author whose work is about to be published, the publishing staff may have several questions for you.

With Adobe Acrobat Reader, all those questions will be listed on a single page, and you can provide answers to each author’s query easily and quickly.

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat


1. Completely free PDF markup software

2. Convert PDF documents to other formats

3. Special Author Query feature


1. This software may get sluggish while working with big PDFs

2. It doesn’t work if you are not the computer administrator

PDF Expert – Expert in PDF Marking Up

PDF Expert turns everyone into an expert in PDF editing. You can highlight texts, write in the margins, add stamps, shapes, and comments in PDF Expert in just a few clicks. Indeed, there are loads of PDF Expert alternatives in terms of marking up features, however, you can access them all for free!

PDF Expert is seamlessly integrated into iOS and Mac systems. Whenever you make any edits with PDF Expert, the change can be synced across all your Macs, iPhones, and iPads. The bad news is, that PDF Expert doesn’t work on Windows and Android devices.

PDF Expert

PDF Expert


1. Works across iOS and Mac devices

2. All markup tools are free

3. Easy and clean interface


1. Doesn’t work on Windows and Android devices

2. Slow syncing speed


The above 5 PDF markup tools all provide you with easy-to-use tools like highlighting and adding notes with their own pros and cons.

In general, PDFgear has all the markup tools you need and welcomes everyone to use them for free! Moreover, PDFgear integrates AI to improve your PDF markup experience and efficiency! Give PDFgear a shot right now!

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