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How can I change font color in PDF for free?

Changing the font color in a PDF document can be useful for highlighting important text, color coding information, or just making the document more visually appealing. Thankfully, there are several free online tools and software options that allow you to edit PDF files and alter the font colors with just a few clicks.

Online PDF Editors

One of the easiest ways to change font colors in a PDF is by using a free online PDF editor. These tools allow you to open a PDF file in your web browser, edit the text, and download the updated file. Here are some top free online PDF editors with font color changing capabilities:

Tool Features
PDFEscape – Change font color for both text and background
– Highlight, underline, and strikethrough
– Basic editing features like font type and size
Sejda – Customize font color, size, type
– Add comments and highlights
– Some restrictions on free tier
ILovePDF – Change font color and highlighting
– Annotate and comment
– Unlimited tasks on free tier
PDF Buddy – Edit font color, style, and size
– Highlight, strikethrough, underline
– Convert between PDF and other formats

The main advantages of online PDF editors are that they don’t require any software downloads or installations. You can access them from any web browser on any device. The editing capabilities may be more limited compared to desktop apps, but the basic font color changes are available in all the major free online PDF tools.

Desktop PDF Readers

Desktop PDF readers like Adobe Acrobat Reader, Foxit Reader, and PDF-XChange Editor also provide some free options for changing font colors in PDF files. Here are the font editing capabilities available in popular free PDF readers:

Tool Features
Adobe Acrobat Reader – Add comments and highlights
– Basic annotation tools
Foxit Reader – Change text color
– Highlight, underline, strikeout text
– Add text boxes
PDF-XChange Editor – Edit font color, type, size
– Highlight and comment
– Some restrictions in free version

The advantage of desktop tools is you get access to more robust PDF editing features compared to online editors. The downside is you have to download and install the software on each computer you want to use it on. Overall, desktop PDF readers offer moderately advanced font editing capabilities for free.

Microsoft Word

If you have access to Microsoft Word, you can utilize it to change font colors in a PDF document through these steps:

  1. Open the PDF file in Word. This will convert it to an editable Word document.
  2. Make the desired font color changes using Word’s font color option.
  3. Save the document as a PDF to retain the formatting and font color edits.

The benefit of using Word is it provides full and flexible font formatting options as you’d have in any Word document. The downside is that converting a PDF to Word can sometimes distort the formatting. However, for basic font color changes, Word can be an accessible option if you already have it available.

Other Free Methods

Here are a few other free options for changing font color in PDF files:

  • Print to PDF: On Windows, you can print a PDF into a new PDF file, allowing you to choose font settings in the Print dialog box.
  • GIMP: This free image editor allows you to add text boxes over PDFs and customize the font style.
  • Inkscape: Another free vector graphics program that lets you open PDFs and alter text fonts and colors.
  • LibreOffice: This open source office suite can open PDFs in Draw to edit font properties.

These tools take some more work compared to online/desktop PDF editors but can be handy alternatives if you already have them installed.

Tips for Changing Font Color in PDFs

Here are some useful tips for successfully modifying font colors in a PDF document:

  • Use online PDF editors for quick, hassle-free font color changes.
  • Try a desktop PDF reader like Foxit or PDF-XChange for more advanced options.
  • Convert the PDF to Word first if you want deep font formatting capabilities.
  • Test any tool on a sample PDF before using it on important files.
  • Know that changing font color may degrade image quality in a PDF.
  • Highlight sparingly as large blocks of highlighted text become hard to read.
  • Add comments or annotations for color coded notes instead of highlighting.
  • Use darker muted colors like navy blue to maximize legibility.
  • Avoid fluorescent highlighter colors which strain reader eyes.

Following these tips will help ensure your font color changes improve readability instead of distracting the reader.


Modifying font colors in PDF files is simple to do for free using the wide range of online tools, desktop software, and common office programs covered above. Online PDF editors provide the quickest way to add highlights, change text color, and make basic edits. For more intensive formatting, desktop PDF readers have more options and Microsoft Word gives you full control similar to editing a regular document.

The key is choosing the right tool for your specific needs. Simple color changes are fast in online apps, while major formatting revisions are easier in Word. Just remember to always test out new software on a sample file first. With the resources above, you should be able to find a free solution to edit font colors on both desktop and mobile devices.