PDF is the most popular file format for sharing all types of documents ranging from general documents, presentations, graphical illustration to legal documents and forms. PDFs maintain the original formatting of the source, and have a smaller size than the original document, making them the favorite option for most users. Moreover, PDF files are read-only and you can prevent other users from copying text or printing a PDF document.
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Nonetheless, you may need to modify the content of a PDF file for various reasons such as to update/add text or images, fix typo errors, change the format of a document or remove some details among other things. This is a simple task if you have the source document, as you only need to make changes to the file and convert it to PDF. Without the original file, editing a PDF can be a huge challenge. In this article, we will various tricks that you can use to modify the content of a PDF file.
1. Edit PDF Files Using Microsoft Word (2013/ 2016 Edition)
If much of the PDF file content is text, the simplest way to edit the file is to convert it to a Word document, make your preferred changes and reconvert the updated document back to PDF format.
Convert PDF to Word Document
- Launch MS Word, click “File” on the main menu bar and select “Open” on the File menu.
- Browse through to the location you have saved the file you want to edit, select and click the “Open” button.
- Click “Ok” on the resulting prompt, to convert the PDF document to a Word file.
- Word will automatically convert and open the file.
Edit and Convert Back to PDF
You can make the changes you want on the Word document including adding/deleting text, rearranging pages, add/remove images and correct errors.
- Once done, go back to the File menu, click “Save As” and choose the location where you want to save the edited file.
- A pop-up dialogue will appear. Expand the “Save as type” and choose PDF. You may also optimize the PDF file by choosing either “Standard” or “Minimum size” options.
- Finally, click “Save” to convert the document to PDF.
Note: This method is suitable if your PDF file contains more text and only a few graphical contents. You can convert a PDF file into an editable Word, Excel or Google Docs depending on its content.
2. Edit PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Reader
Adobe Acrobat Reader is one of the popular feature-rich PDF reader and editor. You can download and install the tool on your PC to view and edit PDF files.
- To view the file, right-click the file and select “Open with Adobe Acrobat…” from the context menu.
Basic Editing Options
You can make basic edit on your file by highlighting a portion of the text and then click one of the options available to highlight, underline or strike through the text.
Edit PDF Using Fill & Sign
One of the simplest ways of editing a document in Adobe Acrobat Reader is using the “Fill & Sign” tool. This allows you to add some text in a text box and sign off the document.
- Select the “Fill and Sign” too on the right sidebar and drop the text box where you want to add text on your document.
- Type your text in the text box and use the small and larger letter ‘A’ to reduce or increase the size of the text.
- To add a signature, click “Sign” at the top of the document, then type, draw or add an image signature and click “Apply”.
Full Edit with Adobe Acrobat Reader
Adobe Acrobat Reader allows you to modify the text and images of your PDF files, but you need to pay a subscription fee to use the tool. Fortunately, you can use the tool on a 7-day free trial.
- Start the free trial and on the right side menu, click the “Edit PDF” tool. Now you can click on the text or image that you want to modify.
- An editing panel will show up allowing you to add/remove text on the document, select and drag to resize images as well as move/ replace objects on the page.
- You can also add Watermark, background or header and footer on your document.
3. Edit PDF Files Using Free Online Tools
You can modify the text and other content of a PDF file using a variety of free online tools. Some of the best free PDF editors include Sejda, PDFescape and CutePDF Editor.
Edit PDF Files Using Sejda PDF Editor
- Go to Sejda Editor and upload the file that you need to edit. The tool loads the file and displays editing tools at the top of the screen.
- The tools allow to make changes on the document including inserting new pages, add new text/ image, changing the size and font of the text, adding links to the text and hiding text with the “Whiteout” feature.
- Interestingly, you can use the “Find and Replace” text on the document. Click “More” and select the “Find & Replace” option.
- Type the phrase you want to find and the replacement text and then click “Find” followed by “Replace”.
- To add a link to the text, click the “Links” tool, select the link text and add the URL of the page you want to link.
- Once you are done editing, click the “Apply Changes” button at the bottom of the page and download the file to your PC.
Though PDF is a read-only file format, you can use the above simple tricks to modify the content of your PDF documents without the original file. For some tools like the Adobe Acrobat Editor, you may have to pay some fees to access the full edit features.