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PDF editing: How to edit a PDF

PDF can be very painful to edit if you do not have the right tools. While some are expensive, a few free tools can get the job done, too. Here’s what you need.
If you have ever tried to edit a Portable Text File, or PDF, you may find that it is more difficult to edit a Microsoft Office document.

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That is because the PDF format was not designed to be edited at all. When Adobe introduced the PDF spec back in 1993, the whole idea was that you could use PDF scripts on the same screen as you would with paper scripts. The PDF was supposed to be a visual, screen-equivalent hard copy. Like any hard copy that was printed, it was not intended to be altered.

It didn’t take long before users wanted to edit typos, replace old product logos with new ones, and change fonts and layouts in their PDFs. Therefore, the makers of production software began to provide PDF editing tools. Even with these tools, you have not been able to edit PDF easily and in contexts such as, a Word document or a Google Doc, and you probably never will. Don’t worry, though. You can edit PDFs, and we tell you how.

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But first, it helps to understand the challenges you face.

Why Are PDF Files So Hard to Organize?

The PDF format was designed before everyone started using web browsers and based on a printed page. That means you can’t add a few lines of text in the middle of the first page, for example, and make the rest of the text flow smoothly on the second page, as I did in the word processor. Instead, you need to change the font size on the first page or resize the box containing the text. If you want to add more text than you will to the page, we offer tips in the latest section, but do not expect full results.
Although many applications call themselves editors, they cannot edit text and images in a PDF file. They only allow you to add comments to a PDF file — either Post-It style notes or lines and text boxes that appear in the background in addition to the actual PDF content.

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When you add a comment to a PDF. It’s like putting a piece of paper under a glass window and writing a comment on a glass. You cannot make permanent changes to the text, such as deleting sensitive data. And anyone using a free PDF viewer like Adobe Acrobat Reader or Preview in macOS can change. Or delete the comment you make. With that in mind, we explain how to turn a permanent comment into a file at the end of this article.


original content to PDF

Original PDF Editor lets you edit, move, delete. And add original content to PDF, in a way that will not allow anyone else to modify your editing. Unless you use the original PDF editor. You can use a high-quality one like Adobe Acrobat DC ($ 12.99 per month). Which has different features for matching fonts to scanned images. But for many purposes, you can get better results from less expensive editors like EaseUS PDF Editor, PDF- Xchange Editor (Windows), PDFPen’s -Nitro (macOS), or Wondershare PDFelement 8 (macOS or Windows). The basic methods are the same for all PDF editors.

You can also find many websites that allow you to upload your files and edit them in your browser at no cost. Maybe you don’t care about security as much as I do, but I’m not ready to upload my documents to websites I know nothing about, and they provide free services in an anonymous way to get my data.

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Editing PDF With Acrobat DC

Adobe Acrobat DC, the ultimate editor, provides an open interface with well-designed controls for editing text and images.

With your open in the Acrobat window, select Edit from the Tools menu. Green boxes then appear next to each item — text or graphics. To correct an error in the text, simply click on the text box and start typing. Below is an example of using Acrobat DC to change text in the header.

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PDF editing tools are cheap

The same basic principles apply to additional budget-friendly applications like -XChange Editor ($ 46.50).

With the open in the application, click Edit in the Home Toolbar, and select the type of content you want to edit — whether it is all page content, text, images, or layout.

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Below is an example of what it looks like to restore or edit images in using PDF-XChange Editor.
Note the default option allows you to set text features like blocks. If you close this setting, the app will only allow you to change blocks for a few words, and you may end up with bad looking spaces between words.

Just click on the text and make your own changes. From the gear icon at the bottom left, you can select the Properties Window to get a menu with font options and role alignment, but you will not find the fine tuning controls provided by Acrobat.

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Problem with Cheap PDF Editing Tools: Fonts

One hidden problem with this type of editing is the fonts. If the font used in the original is not included in your system, the editor may use a different font when inserting or changing the text. Acrobat DC is smart enough to use the same font, but a reader with sharp eyes will notice the difference, perhaps finding that you have converted the original.

Most other editors do a very good job of font matching, and many do not even bother to match the surrounding font when entering text. The only app I could find that made a complete font matching function was a expert for macOS (and iOS) ($ 79.99). When I inserted text into , the application used a font already embedded in the file to make the result look seamless, and it was impossible to see my changes.

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The only Windows-based editors I have found near Apple-only. Expert are EaseUS PDF Editor ($ 79) and PDFelement 8 ($ 69.99). As experts, these two applications try to use a pre-embedded PDF font when converting or entering text. But at least one PDF I have tested, when I try to insert text between common small words.

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