Monday, October 26, 2009

11 of the Best Free Linux PDF Tools

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 for document exchange. The format includes a subset of the PostScript page description programming language, a font-embedding system, and a structural storage system.

Over the years PDF has become an extremely important file format. If you want to create documents that can be viewed under all major operating systems, PDF is the ticket, as it maintains the overall look and feel of documents regardless of what platform they are viewed under.

There is a large range of PDF-related software available with many different applications available that can both output to and open files. Many open source software save documents to this format such as OpenOffice.org and GIMP.

This article identifies the best free Linux PDF related software that is available. It covers software that creates, views, manipulates PDFs as well as selecting some useful utilities. All of the applications featured here are released under a freely distributable license, with the exception of Adobe Reader (which is closed source), but this application is too important to ignore. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for anyone who wants to manage PDF documents.

Now, let's explore the 11 PDF tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the software in action, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.
Creators
PDFedit Editor for manipulating PDF documents
Scribus Desktop page layout software which produces commercial grade PDF output
Inkscape Vector-based drawing program
Ghostscript Ghostscript PostScript / PDF interpreter
Viewers
Evince Multi-page document viewer
Adobe Reader View, print and collaborate on PDF files
okular Universal document viewer with support for advanced document features
Manipulation
Final Page Document post production tool
pdftk Useful tool for manipulating PDFs
Utilities
QPDF Tools for and transforming and inspecting PDF files
Xournal Add annotations to PDF files

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