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The Best PDF Editor with Lifetime License (2024 Guide)

January 24, 2023
Last Updated
March 15, 2024
5 min read

Owning a PDF editor with a lifetime license means that you'll be able to use and keep the program forever. No subscriptions, no annual memberships. Just pay once and it's yours forever. But which PDF editors offer a lifetime license? Let's explore.


In today's world, subscription services are more popular than ever. And for good reason. It's allowed the people using it access to powerful technology without a steep lump-sum cost, and it allows software creators the ability to have recurring revenue, so they continuously update and improve their technology.

But for some of us, we just want a PDF editor without a subscription.

And for others, we're not interested in maintaining a program with the latest bells & whistles, we just want something that works, and we want to pay for it once; we're not interested in the product improvements in the future, the product now does exactly what we need.

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Nowadays, it's hard to find a reliable, powerful PDF editor, that has a lifetime license, and doesn't break the bank.

Sure, we can use Adobe Acrobat, but they're the epitome of subscription-service PDF editors. Yes, they're powerful, but they're expensive. And most of the tools aren't needed by most people, so you're paying for something that you won't need.

Fortunately, even in 204, reliably awesome PDF editors without a subscription can be found on the market. That's why we created this handy guide! We'll list the most reliable and popular one time purchase PDF editors, so you can choose the best one for you (even if it isn't us!)

What to Know Before You Start

  • A PDF editor with a lifetime license means that the software is a one time purchase — pay once, use it forever.
  • Lifetime licenses are usually more expensive than subscriptions because it's a lump sum payment.
  • Some PDF editors with lifetime licenses require additional payment to get continued upgrades to the latest version and bug fixes.

What is a Lifetime License?

A lifetime license, also called a perpetual license, means that after you pay for the software, you have the right to use it forever.

Provided that the technical requirements of the program and the machine you're using continue to be supported, you can use the program forever without paying more. Usually, new products and large updates are not included in the lifetime license price, and you'll need to pay or subscribe for additional updates.

Lifetime (Perpetual) License vs Subscription as a Service

Compared to a lifetime license (also known as a perpetual license), a software as a subscription (SaaS) PDF editor, means that you can only use the program while you pay for it. You'll always be using the most up-to-date version of the software, but you won't "own" it.

And once you stop paying for the subscription, you will lose access to the software (and potentially the unsaved work you have on it). Both lifetime license and subscription services have their own pros and cons.

Lifetime License Pros & Cons


  • You only pay once.
  • You have the right to use the program forever.


  • The price of lifetime licenses are often higher, because you'll only be paying once (often as a lump sum payment).
  • Usually only have access to the most recent version of the program (updates and future releases often cost extra, and aren't included in the price of lifetime licenses).
  • The future efficacy & support of the software depends on the developers; you have to trust that they'll continue to update and work on the software once they've sold. (Subscription services have more incentive to continue to update and improve the software)

Best PDF Editors with Lifetime Licenses

While many PDF editors can do similar things, not all PDF editors are created equal. They can vary on price, support, the tools they include, and more. Let's compare the best and most popular PDF editors with lifetime licenses.


PDF Pro is our all-in-one PDF editor, creator, converter, merger, OCR tool, and more, made specifically for Windows desktop.

PDF Pro is a no nonsense, affordable Adobe Acrobat alternative. And is one of the few PDF editors that offers a one time purchase of its software.

What does "no nonsense" mean?

It means that PDF Pro was made to be powerful, easy to use, and affordable.

No endless popups, complicated button layout, and steep learning curve. Just open PDF Pro and get to work. Try PDF Pro for free today

Key Features

  • Basic PDF editing
  • Advanced editing tools
  • OCR
  • Batch processing
  • Security and signature tools


  • Lifetime license - $192 (one time purchase)


  • Lightweight program
  • Clean design
  • Powerful tools
  • Easy to use
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Affordable


  • No mobile support


Nitro PDF was originally only for Mac, but they've also created a Windows version of their PDF editor.

Mac programs are known to have a simple design that's clean. There are different tiers or versions of their PDF editor, each with its own price and tools. Each version is powerful, but the PDF editor is on the expensive side, especially if you want access to all their tools.

Their lifetime license isn't available on their most expensive tier, but is on their more basic PDF editors.

Key Features

  • Advanced editing tools
  • OCR
  • Batch processing
  • Ready-made templates & forms


  • Lifetime license - $200 (one time purchase)


  • Simple design
  • Cloud services for sharing & collaboration


  • No dedicated mobile app
  • Updates aren't included in lifetime license price
  • All features aren't available with the lifetime license (will need to subscribe to get access to all tools)
  • The Windows-version of the lifetime license PDF editor contains less features than their Mac version

Foxit PDF

Foxit PDF is a PDF editor that allows you to create, edit, and sign PDF files. Their PDF editor has two versions that have a lifetime license: their basic PDF editor, and a Pro version which has more tools to edit and modify PDFs.

Their tools get the job done, but some features you're looking for may be missing from the basic PDF editor and even their Pro version.

Their most premium version of their PDF editor is subscription-only, and doesn't offer a lifetime license.

Key Features

  • Basic editing tools
  • Fill and sign forms
  • Security tool
  • OCR


  • Lifetime license - $159 (basic PDF editor), $179 (Pro version)


  • 24/7 live support
  • two different versions (more flexibility)


  • eSigning costs extra (not included in lifetime license)
  • Highest tier PDF editor functions not available with lifetime license (like Cloud services)
  • Mobile version not supported in lifetime license (costs extra)

A Reliable PDF Editor, For Life.

If you want a PDF editor that you only have to pay for once, then you'll want a PDF editor with a lifetime license.

Not all PDF editors are the same, and reliable, PDF editors with lifetime licenses are harder and harder to find.

That being said, we've created this guide to help you make an informed decision.

If you need a PDF editor, we recommend PDF Pro, our all-in-one PDF editor, converter, merger, OCR tool, and more.

Ready to try a PDF editor? Download PDF Pro for free today or Buy Now!


How can I edit a PDF permanently for free?

There are a number of free, online tools that you can use to edit a PDF. Be wary when using online PDF editors with documents containing sensitive or confidential information. Only use online tools from a company you trust.

Is there a PDF editor without subscription?

Yes! PDF Pro is a popular PDF editor that offers lifetime licenses; so you pay once and the PDF editor is yours to use and keep forever!

How much does PDF editor cost?

PDF editors vary in their price and functionality. If you're looking for a powerful, reliable, affordable PDF editor, we recommend PDF Pro.

How can I edit a PDF without license?

There are a variety of online PDF editing tools that you can use without a signing up, subscribing, or payment of any kind.

Digital Marketing SpecialistArron Staradub
Arron was a Digital Marketer at PDF Pro, where he wrote helpful and engaging articles for those that that used PDFs in their daily life.

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PDF Pro is a desktop software for Windows distributed by PDF Pro Software Inc. The software "PDF Pro" and the company "PDF Pro Software Inc." are in no way affiliated with Adobe. The PDF file format is an open file format published under ISO 32000-1:2008

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