PDF or Portable Document Format is mostly our first choice when it comes to printing, sharing and emailing documents, especially the large ones. For Windows and MacOS, you might be very much familiar, and also dependent, on the widely used Acrobat products for pdf creation, viewing, and editing. Unfortunately, there is no default pdf creator available on your Linux systems. You can, however, use the LibreOffice products to create and edit PDF files in Ubuntu.

In this article, we will explain how to:

  • Create a PDF File
  • Convert a document to PDF
  • Edit PDF Files

We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

PDF Creation/Conversion Through LibreOffice Writer

The LibreOffice Writer lets you export your document into a PDF File. Through this feature, you can create a new PDF document or convert an already existing document into a PDF file. LibreOffice Writer is part of the LibreOffice package and is mostly available by default in most Linux distros. If your system lacks it, you can easily install it from the Ubuntu Software Manager:

Launch LibreOffice Writer

You can launch the LibreOffice Writer either through the application launcher search bar or directly from the Applications list.

LibreOffice Icon

In order to create a new PDF, create a document as you would in any word processor.

Create PDF Document

When you are done with adding all the text and graphics in your file, click the Export as PDF icon from the toolbar. Alternatively, click the File menu and select Export as, and then Export as PDF. The second method gives you a lot of options for your PDF file creation.

PDF Options

Click the Export button, and name the file if you haven’t already done so. Now your file will be exported as a PDF file.

If you want to convert an already available document to a PDF file, simply open the file in LibreOffice Writer and then export it as PDF.

PDF Editing through LibreOffice Draw

If you are looking for basic pdf editing functions such as editing of text, LibreOffice Draw is the right tool for you. It is also part of the LibreOffice package and is mostly available by default in most Linux distros. If your system lacks it, you can easily install it from the Ubuntu Software Manager:

Launch LibreOffice Draw

In order to edit a pdf file, launch LibreOffice Draw from the system Dash as follows:

Icon

Then open the pdf file you want to edit from the File menu:

Edit PDF File

Then make the alterations to your file; I have added some random text to my Dummy PDF file;

Change PDF File Content

You then need to export the edited file to pdf by using the following icon:

Save Edited PDF file

This will save the output as a pdf file.

Overwrite file

If you get an input/output error while exporting the file, you can save the file by some other name. When you close the file, you do not need to Save the file when you get the following message:

File save dialogue

Click the Don’t Save button and your file will be saved as a pdf file only.

After using these LibreOffice products on Ubuntu, you will hardly miss the Acrobat products for PDF creation and editing.

How to Create and Edit PDF files in Ubuntu