It's no secret that documents are an essential part of any business. Whether you're looking to create a new presentation for an upcoming meeting, or you need to update an older document, document editor tools are essential for staying organized and on top of deadlines.
And you’ve probably had a lot of document editor experience, from the Microsoft Word days to Google Docs. But in today’s market, there are lots of document editor tool options–both free and paid–that you can try. And with asynchronous collaboration features, knowledge management capabilities, and project management software, the document editors of 2023 go beyond editing, commenting, and light formatting.
What is document editor software?
A document editor software is a software application used to create and edit documents. Documents can be created offline or online, depending on the capability of the application and preference of the user. Document editor tools are popular among individuals as well as businesses in a wide array of industries, such as content creation, marketing, and education.
When you're looking for a document editor, take into account the following factors:
- Pricing: While there are some free tools on this list, sometimes it's worth it to pay for a premium tool that is better suited to your needs. You should also look at how pricing works (e.g., does it use a subscription model or is there just a one-time fee?).
- Features: Different document editors have different features. For example, some offer collaboration and easy note taking, whereas others don't. Make sure to get a tool that has all of the functions you want before committing to one.
- Ease of Use: How easy is the software to use? Can you figure out what buttons do without having to spend time learning the interface? If not, then the editor might be too complicated and difficult for your needs.
- File Formats Supported: Some tools only support certain file formats (like Word) while others have more options (like plain text). Be sure that whatever document editor you choose has all of the formats available so that your documents can be converted easily between them if necessary.
Best Document Editor Tools Reviewed: Free & Paid Software
Almanac is a truly modern document editor with powerful personalization options, revision features, and organizational elements that make it one of the best remote tools out there. Using standardized tagging, nested folders, version control, and custom styling, you’ll quickly be writing and creating documents ranging from company handbooks to personal blogs to internal wikis.
Unlike other editors such as Word, Almanac allows you to collaborate with others on documents in real time, meaning that everyone can work together without needing to be in the same room or even country. Plus, it’s extremely intuitive and easy to use.
Almanac's features account for its superiority over other tools. It also helps make your content more engaging by suggesting edits for your text and providing an estimate of how readable it is, based on factors like sentence length, use of active voice, and number of cliches.
- Groups share documents with multiple people while controlling permission levels
- Linked documents allow suggestions and editing without changing an original
- Fast and easy to use
Google Docs is a great choice, especially if you want to make the most out of your Google account. It's free and available on all operating systems, and it has a clean interface that makes it easy to use. You can also share documents with others and collaborate on them at the same time, making it a good solution for teams who need to work together.
The communication is convenient–you can comment and discuss things with other team members without having to leave the editor–but its collaborative features aren’t as extensive as Almanac or other newer document editor software.
- Voice typing
- Numerous add-on feature options
- Google Doc is available to use for free
Growthbar SEO is the #1 tool for bloggers and content teams that prioritize SEO (search engine optimization). That’s because though it offers a content editor, it also has AI content generation, keyword tracking, and competitive research capabilities–and more. GrowthBar also offers a very convenient Google Chrome extension that provides you SEO insights on the go.
If you want to use GrowthBar for your content writing, you can write, edit and then upload your final product when you’re done–content that is designed to rank.
- AI content generator for increased production
- Keyword research and tracking abilities
- Chrome extension is fast and easy to use
- Standard: $29/mo, create 15 AI outlines/month, track 25 keywords, unlimited keywords and backlinks
- Pro: $79/mo, create 50 AI outlines/month, track 75 keywords across 3 sites, unlimited keywords and backlinks
- Agency: $129/mo, create 150 AI outlines/month, track 150 keywords across 10 sites, unlimited keywords and backlinks
LibreOffice is a free word processor that comes as part of a larger office suite. It's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems so you can use it no matter what kind of computer you have. The beauty of LibreOffice is its clean and intuitive interface that you can start using immediately.
LibreOffice can work with both DOCX and DOC files, as well as many other file formats (see below), so no matter what type of document you have sitting on your computer right now, LibreOffice Writer will be able to open them up for editing or writing new documents from scratch in those formats.
It’s also free, which is great, but you might miss some features offered on paid software.
- Ability to edit numerous types of documents
- Variety of templates to use
- Ability to create picture galleries
- Easy to use/learn spreadsheet program
- Free to use
Microsoft Word has been the de facto standard for text documents for years. It has a friendly interface and intuitive features, so it’s easy to use even if you aren’t familiar with word processing software. It enables you to create a document from scratch or choose from a template with just one click, and then you can add images, tables, pictures, and drawings.
Microsoft Word also offers different formatting options that make your document look more professional without having any knowledge of code or HTML. This means you can change fonts and colors, set margins, insert headers and footers, include page numbers and format content using bulleted lists or numbered lists.
- Easy integration
- Ability to mail merge
- Numerous templates to use
- Smaller file size
- $159.99 or ability to buy monthly starting at $6.99/mo.
Evernote is a free document editor that allows you to write notes, save articles, and even organize your documents all in one place. There are also some really cool features in the premium version of this software like unlimited storage, offline notebooks, and customer support. If you're looking for a way to organize your thoughts without having to resort to multiple sticky notes every time, this is a good platform.
Evernote is also easy to use: you can add checklists or reminders within seconds by typing them into an empty note or importing them from another app. This feature makes Evernote great for grocery shopping lists or even reminders about homework assignments—but when it comes to larger enterprise documents, other document editors might be a better fit.
- Can scan handwritten notes and convert to text
- Note linking
- Audio recorded directly through notes
- Good templates available for use
- Free for basic
- $9.99/mo for Premium
- $14.99/mo for Business
WPS Office is a free office suite that can open and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files for Windows computers. It's compatible with Microsoft Office and Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. The free version has some limitations—to go ad-free you'll have to pay $29.99 per year—but it's still a good document editor option, especially since there is a free plan.
You can also use the WPS Office app on mobile devices to view, create, and edit your documents anytime you're on the go, or you can download the app for Android or iOS devices to sync your documents across all your devices.
- PDF Conversion
- File recovery
- Accessible on mobile devices
- Dynamic editing tools
- A free basic version is available. $29.99/yr for Premium, $44.99/yr for Professional and $19.99/yr for Education
Notion is a document editor tool that helps you organize your business workflow. It’s designed to help you organize all your documents and communication in one place.
It’s a document editor tool that’s designed to be simple to use but has many features that can be customized. If you have an idea for a template, Notion will help you create it with its built-in template editor.
- Customization options based on user needs
- User friendly
- Good collaboration tool
- Available to use for free, with a team plan available for $96/year.
Apache Open Office
Apache Open Office is free, open source software that lets you create, edit and share many file types. You can use Apache Open Office on Macs or PCs, but it doesn't work online. The program supports a wide range of file formats—documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It's even compatible with Microsoft files.
Open Office comes with a word processor called Writer; a spreadsheet application called Calc; an app for creating slideshows called Impress; and a graphics program called Draw. There are also apps for creating databases (Base) and mathematical formulas (Math).
- Compatible with Office formats
- Similar Office-like interface
- Apache OpenOffice Base is a free and open-source product.
Confluence is designed for collaboration. The Atlassian app helps teams stay organized and create documents all in one place. With more than 100,000 teams using it around the globe, it's a good document editor option.
Confluence allows users to share notes and documentation with one another, so your team stays up-to-speed and on the same page while working towards a common goal. However, this intensive app has a bit of a higher learning curve than the other document editor options.
- Provide customization for users
- Anchors allows you to jump between needed documents
- Allows for easy documentation since majority of user base is centered around content consumption
- Basic Plan: Fee for up to 10 users
- Standard Plan: $5.50 per user per month or $55 per month for up to 20,000 users
- Premium Plan: $10.50 per user per month or $105 per month for up to 20,000 users
- Enterprise Plan: Billed annually as per the services redeemed
PandaDoc takes the stress out of digital document creation. The software gives you the option to build your digital documents from scratch or select from a library of pre-made templates. You can then customize them to fit your business’ needs.
Once you are done creating your document, send it to the client for review and eSignature. This can all be done within PandaDoc’s platform, which helps streamline the entire process. The software also integrates with over 20 other business apps and can track when a recipient opens their document, when they sign it, and whether a document has been viewed on desktop or mobile device
- e-Signature technology available
- Workflow automation
- Document tracking
- Numerous templates available for use
- Designed with collaboration in mind
- Essential plan: $19/mo
- Business plan: $49/mo
Coda is a new type of document designed to give you an all-in-one workspace for your projects. This tool is similar to Notion, but it's built for teams and large projects. With Coda, you get blocks of tables, kanbans, and text documents that you can use to create your documents.
Since Coda is a developed spreadsheet, using a table can be dynamic. From a simple list to a complicated database, you can simplify how everyone works on each table with views. It can go from a simple document to a convenient app with the use of buttons, and sliders for control. Just know that it’s a unique application that can take some time to learn, and simple functions such as copy and paste across other apps do not respond the same in Coda
- Ability to build as you go
- Customizable views
- Free basic version available
- Pro: $10/mo
- Team: $30/mo
Grammarly is a free, easy-to-use spelling, vocabulary and grammar checking app that can help you improve your writing. It’s available for free in the form of a web browser extension and mobile keyboard that checks spelling and grammar automatically as you type. You can also download Grammarly Premium, an AI-powered digital writing assistant that checks your content for over 250 types of grammatical errors, plagiarism and context issues.
Grammarly has a clean, user-friendly interface which makes it very simple to use for everyone. It alerts you to any potential errors in your content with a red underline that appears on misspelled words or phrases. Plus, you can use it in collaboration with other tools on this list, like Almanac.
- High level of accuracy when checking grammar and other conventions
- Very user-friendly
- Available for both desktop and mobile
- Basic free version available
- Monthly plan for $29.95
- Quarterly for $19.98 billed as a one time payment of $59.95
- Annual for $11.66 billed as a one time payment of $139.95
Quip is a cloud-based document editor tool that allows team members to communicate and collaborate on documents in real-time. It also allows users to create their own workflows, providing a centralized hub for the individual needs of each team member.
It’s built for Salesforce users, allowing customers to transform processes like Account Planning, Mutual Close Plans, and Qualification Notes. Standardize, automate, and embed real-time, collaborative documents inside Salesforce records.
- Real-time collaboration with live editing capabilities
- The ability to create and customize individual workflows
- Great for Salesforce users
- Starter: $10/mo
- Enterprise: $25/mo
Surfer SEO is a lightweight content editor suitable for both beginners and advanced users that focuses on search engine optimization. Get optimized AI content, unique paragraphs categorized into the proper headers which you can tailor to match your tone and voice. Surfer provides guidelines based on top-performing pages which you can apply to greatly increase your content quality and your chances for high rankings.
While it’s good for content optimization, Surfer doesn’t have as many editing and formatting options as other applications that focus more on document editing than SEO.
- A real-time keyword research tool
- Editorial calendar with automatic topic suggestions based on your keywords
- Basic: $59/mo
- Pro: $99/mo
- Business: $199/mo
Best Free Document Editor Tool?
There are a number of great free document editor tools available out there currently. Document editor tools like WPS, Open Office, and Google Docs are terrific free tools but Almanac offers a free option that is robust and easy to use.
While free options may get the job done, paid features can really make it worth it because of the numerous features and functionality they provide. Almanac offers superb capabilities that will make your life easier and more organized when it comes to your work.
Best PDF Editor?
Out of this list, the best PDF editors are:
- Microsoft Word
- WPS Office
How to Edit Your Documents Like a Pro
Editing documents isn’t always easy, especially when you are using a new document editor software. Here are some top tips to make the process the most straightforward.
Learn the Document Editor Features
Document editors are powerful software tools that were created to help you create and format texts. They work as word processors, letting you make documents, edit them, and share them over an email or upload them online. Different document editors come with various features for formatting text and creating new content for your documents.
Before making a purchase decision, check out what features they offer, and compare that with what features you’re currently using (and might be missing). And then once you get started, take advantage of any helpful resource the document editing platform offers, from help articles to product tours to full onboarding videos.
Document editing tools were created to help with organization. That means you want to take advantage of all the organizational features the document editing tool offers! For example, Almanac makes organization easy with:
- Edit requests: Bring collaboration requests into your doc editor so feedback doesn’t get lost in email or Slack.
- Version merging: Merge different versions depending on what parts of each document you like best
- Bidirectional mentions: Dynamic links to other docs to keep knowledge connected.
- Easy search: Search across workspaces to find the right doc the first time.
- Tagging: Add standardized tags to docs that help you stay organized and find docs in your workspace.
As much as we love our solitude, sometimes it's best to work with a team. Some projects need multiple people and multiple perspectives to get the job done the way you want, so it's important to find an editor that allows collaboration.
Ideally, you'll be able to track all activity on a document and limit access for those who don't need it. If all members of your team have different levels of experience with document editing, you might also consider an editor with many templates or styles that can be applied easily.
Things to look for:
- Version history: A simple feature that lets you keep track of any edits made by any user
- Access control: A more advanced version of version history; this will show you exactly who contributed which piece of content
- Collaboration settings: These allow you to choose whether your project is public or private and decide who can collaborate on it
Conclusion: What is the best document editor tool?
So, which document editor tool is the best? Well, that really depends on your needs. If you need PDF editing, try WPS Office. Looking for easy ways to make lists and notes? Check out Evernote. Interested in document editing, easy collaboration, organization, and knowledge management? Get Almanac for free today. Almanac is the ideal choice for any organization that wants it all at a great price point. Its variety of deployment options make it easy to use anywhere and anytime. Plus you're getting an excellent document editor at a reasonable price. Overall, Almanac is an excellent choice if you need a versatile document editor tool that can handle anything you throw at it.