Of course, a premium and powerful PDF suite is great. Being able to create, edit, publish, and then view a document is a very handy tool to have. But not all of them are free and almost none of them are portable.
But why settle for anything less when you can create your own free, portable PDF suite instead? Download these apps, put them on a portable drive, and never be left in the dark with your PDFs again.
1. STDU Viewer – To view PDF files
The first is STDU Viewer, a basic app that will at least allow you to open and view most PDF files you’ll come across.
STDU Viewer also supports additional formats used for scientific and technical documents and comes with a robust toolset that enables basic search and rotation functionality.
It’s a great first step in building your own PDF suite.
To download: STDU Viewer (Free)
2. Tomahawk PDF+ – For PDF Editing
Tomahawk PDF+ is next, and it’s your solution for basic text editing in a PDF document.
Otherwise, it’s a full-featured word processor, which interfaces with most text formats you can think of, including HTML links.
It can also import PDF files, allowing you to edit or export the plain text. While it probably won’t replace your favorite text editor, you want your basics to be reliable, and that’s exactly what Tomahawk PDF+ is.
To download: Tomahawk PDF+ (Free)
3. GSView – To convert PDFs
It’s more of a niche program, and other apps on this list can convert PDFs to a basic extent.
GSView is actually a GUI for a separate script. This means that the download actually includes many scripts that run in a rather basic program for your convenience. If you want to learn more, be sure to check out what exactly a GUI is.
To put it simply, GSView will cover extracting pages accurately from your PDF files, as well as converting them using print scripts.
To download: GSView (Free)
4. i2PDF – To capture images in PDF format
One of the most useful functions of any PDF program, capturing images and converting them to PDF is an indispensable tool. It’s very rare to find a tool that lets you do this for free, let alone run a USB drive directly.
Enter i2PDF. Although it’s not the most powerful image to PDF converter, having it in your software kit will bring you one step closer to a complete PDF suite.
To download: i2PDF (Free)
5. UnityPDF – For PDF Processing
For something more capable of handling raw PDFs. UnityPDF lets you organize documents and text in a PDF before processing them into a more standardized format.
It has a wide range of tools that will allow you to merge, split, split and reposition the PDF you have created with the previous tools so far.
To download: UnityPDF (Free)
6. Scribus Portable – For PDF Publishing
The latest version is the portable version of Scribus. Function similar to Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Publisher, it supports many features that will help you put your PDF together for the final touch.
Scribus supports by far the most export features, but comes at the cost of being the biggest app on this list.
If you don’t have much space left on your mobile USB key, you can do it without Scribus. However, it is included here as the best way to get your PDF file assembled on a professional level.
To download: Scribus Portable (Free)
A portable PDF suite as powerful as any other
With at least some of the apps above, your software toolkit will become a bit more capable of handling on-the-go tasks. With the complete package, you have more or less built a complete PDF suite capable of editing professional quality PDFs.
Portable apps may not completely replace their installed equivalent, but they should still have a place on any power user’s USB.