Writing your dissertation in college or grad school is an experience you’d never forget quickly. Many days and nights spent boring pages of documented research, meeting with professors, and experimenting for results – finally, it’s time to write your dissertation.

ESL learners might have a hard time preparing for this extended piece of academic writing in English. Your college professors have also set specific guidelines to help you structure your dissertation piece, which you must follow.

If you can’t hire professional dissertation editing services to ease the burden, you have to write and edit yourself. Gratefully, a PDF editor is among the digital tools to help organize your dissertation from start to finish.

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We bring you the best PDF editors you can employ for professional thesis editing.

Lumin PDF

Lumin PDF offers extensive editing and annotation tools to give your dissertation a professional touch. A free trial with this tool is sufficient to edit text, insert media, make notes, and convert to PDF documents before you submit.

You can assemble your dissertation file with Lumin PDF and add fillable forms and tables where necessary. To make the editing faster, you can get the OCR functionality to edit scanned text when you select a pricing plan.

Soda PDF

Soda PDF is a free online editor you can use to make changes to your thesis and research documents. You can extract and replace content and annotate them on a PDF using this web-based tool.

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The soda PDF converter allows you to collaborate with others on a PDF for more productivity. If you’re doing a group project, you can create, make comments, and share PDFs on the cloud with your teammates.

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is a popular tool you’ve probably encountered in your years of schooling. Its wide range of PDF editing features can also help you with professional editing.

Adobe Acrobat Reader will meet your needs, whether creating, editing, splitting, or annotating PDFs. Apart from being compatible with all Android, Windows, and iOS devices, the paid version of this tool is quite expensive for personal use.

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Xodo PDF

Xodo is another free PDF editor with sophisticated editing features to help you write, highlight and combine files. It’s perfect for your thesis needs because it automatically syncs any changes with Google Drive or Dropbox, and you can easily annotate PDFs.

You can use the Xodo Night Mode version in low-light situations on any device. This powerful PDF reader can be installed on your smartphone, tablet, or as an extension on the Chrome browser.

PDF XChange

PDF XChange editor can help to format your thesis to your college requirements. The free online software caters to basic editing needs, while a paid plan on PDF XChange will unlock advanced settings like OCR and PDF security.

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4 problems that PDF editors can solve when writing a dissertation

If you’re about to create a dissertation PDF file, here are some ways PDF editors can come in handy.

Merge files

Most times, dissertation writing aims to close an unresolved literature gap or improve existing research. This means your research journey begins with learning what other scholars have done in your field of study.

That said, a fundamental aspect of research is collecting relevant articles. You can find hundreds of books, journal articles, and publications that capture your research interest in one way or the other, but how can you organize only vital information?

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Using a PDF tool, you can merge files with similar content as one PDF. To get the best results, cut out the relevant pages from the select few and combine them as one PDF document. This way, you can easily locate the information you need once you start writing.

As you write your piece, a PDF editor can also help you insert images, quoted text, links, and tables into the document. In case your dissertation file becomes too large, you can compress it to a smaller size on a full-fledged PDF tool.

Annotate PDFs

It’s common to locate patterns and links among the articles you read during research. How do you keep track of these discoveries crucial to your work? PDF annotation is the smartest way to make notes, draw shapes around points, and comment on a PDF file’s pages.

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Annotative features on PDF editing software will help you highlight text and add arrows to narrow the scope of research. Anyone who offers you a thesis proofreading service can also provide feedback and observation on the paper without altering the text in the PDF.

For instance, your project supervisor will most likely use annotation tools to comment on your PDF so you can do the dissertation proofreading on your own. That’s the beauty of PDF editors – letting you tweak the ‘uneditable’ file format without hassle.

Edit documents

Ensuring that all the sections in your work are well-structured and complete is very important before you submit the dissertation. That’s why you need to create time for thesis proofreading after you’ve finished writing.

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Nobody is above spelling or punctuation errors, and you may have left out an important table you referenced – so make sure you edit afterward. Take your time to confirm that your citations, references, and appendices are intact and that everything is perfect for submission.

If you want your dissertation format to remain intact while you edit, you can convert it to PDF using an online PDF converter and then edit. Just for extra scrutiny, you can also opt for professional dissertation editing help to help you edit the final piece.

Convert documents

As you prepare your dissertation writing for submission, it’s important to check if your document conforms to your university’s thesis/dissertation format regulations. The fact is, some schools provide instructions for students to convert to PDF formats before they upload.

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To convert Word to PDF documents, you need a PDF converter. Fortunately, you can use any of the PDF tools listed above to convert your document to a text-searchable PDF. But be careful to select a software that allows text within the converted PDF to be searchable.

Sometimes, you encounter files (such as .docx or .pptx files) in other formats that are unreadable using software installed on your computer. Thanks to the universal PDF file format, there’s a way to read those files. You can open them by converting to .pdf file format first and accessing the information you need.


There’s no harm in seeking dissertation proofreading services to review your piece – it’s a smart move. But you’ll be surprised at how much more PDF editors will help you achieve even without thesis editing help.

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So why not get started with a free trial on any of these PDF tools we discussed and work your way to a beautiful dissertation project? As PDF experts, we recommend the Lumin PDF software for your dissertation editing services because it’s supported on all devices.

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