WinPDFEditor is shareware that stands above the masses of freeware and just beneath the do-it-all, big-box (and big-bucks) "solutions" for editing and converting PDFs. Since software costing three bills is no "solution" for most users' needs, WinPDFEditor's far more modest price makes it a serious alternative for home users, small businesses, and others who need something they can't find in freeware. WinPDFEditor Version 2 works in Windows versions 2000 to 8. WinPDFEditor is free to try, though the trial version places a watermark on output files, and file conversions are limited.
WinPDFEditor started with a splash screen offering two choices: Edit PDF and Convert PDF. We started with an edit. WinPDFEditor's main interface sports the nearly ubiquitous Explorer-style window-and-sidebar layout. It's a bit drab until you add a file, and then the toolbar's icons come to life. We loaded a multipage PDF manual (the sidebar offers list and thumbnail views) and selected a page to edit. We could edit document text; change colors, fonts, and layouts; add text, images, and objects; and even draw on documents with a pen, brush, line tools, and more. The pen and brush tools performed well enough that we didn't miss a pen or touch input, but managed quite well with the mouse. Saving changes to our PDF imposed WinPDFEditor's watermark upon it, as advertised. Pressing Convert PDFs opened a different, bundled tool, WinPDF Editor Converter, which uses a compact drag-and-drop interface. It converts PDFs to text, rich text, JPEG, Flash, and many other formats. We converted PDFs to Word docs, though the trial only does half the job. But Word compatibility will certainly add to WinPDFEditor's value for some users.
You get what you pay for, it's said, but that doesn't mean you should pay for more than you need. We recommend trying different candidates and letting your needs and experience decide. If you only need to edit PDFs now and then, a free but basic utility might be good enough. Better tools are worth paying for, though, and WinPDFEditor won't deplete the treasury if you decide you need more than freeware can offer.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of WinPDFEditor 2.0.1.