When John Warnock created the Portable Document Folder (PDF) in 1991, he hoped to make it easier for people to share documents without needing to print them. Yet when they first launched, PDFs were large and not easy to work with.

Since then, he’s updated them to be more user-friendly. However, PDFs can still be difficult to edit and make changes to.

Keep reading for a guide that’ll answer the question: Can I edit a PDF?

Can I Edit a PDF?

The short answer to the question is: yes, most of the time you can. For the most part, PDFs are created using another program, such as Microsoft Word. They are then exported as PDF files.

The tricky part is that if you’re not the original owner or author of the PDF, you may not have permission to edit the file. This can either be because you lack the access to do so, or because you’re not using the right tools to do so.

Yet if you do have access and are using a proper app to make edits, you should be able to do so without a problem. In some instances, you can also extract the text from a PDF file. Check out this guide on how to OCR a PDF that’ll teach you how to do so.

Keep reading for some different methods you can use for editing PDFs.

How to Edit a PDF Using Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is an obvious choice for editing PDFs, as John Warnock worked for Adobe when he developed the file. As PDFs are Adobe’s brainchild, Acrobat gives you the flexibility to make a variety of different types of edits.

If you have Acrobat, open your file with the app, then select “Edit PDF” on the right-hand side of the screen. You can then click on the image or text you want to edit, and start working away.

When editing, you’ll be able to see all the editing tools available to you. You can even make edits on your mobile device with the Acrobat app. Keep in mind that if some fonts are embedded, you’ll only be able to change the color and font size.

If you use PDFs often, Adobe Acrobat is a must-have. After the week-long free trial expires, it’ll cost you $14.99 a month to maintain your subscription.

How to Edit a PDF Using Preview

Are you a Mac user? If you are, Apple provides you with a free and pre-installed program, Preview. The app doesn’t offer as many tools as some of the other programs, but if you’re a casual user, it should do everything you need it to do.

To add text to the PDF, move your mouse to where you want to insert it. Then go to Tools > Annotate > Text, and begin typing. After you finish, you can change the font, color, or size. Head to View > Show Markup Toolbar, then press A. You can also move the text anywhere on the file.

If you’re reading a lengthy file or eBook, you can use the highlighting feature to help you remember certain parts. Find the text you want to highlight, then select it. You can then switch the highlight mode on and off by clicking the highlighter icon. You can also change the color of the highlighter, as well as remove it.

How to Edit a PDF Using Microsoft Word

If you have Microsoft Word 2013 or later, you’re able to edit a PDF by editing it as a document. Keep in mind that as the file formats will be different, some graphics might be lost when you convert the file.

To begin editing, open Microsoft Word, then find the PDF file you want to work on. A message will then appear, telling you that Word will convert the file to an editable document and that the original PDF will not be altered. Click “OK”.

Once the file opens, you’ll find the editing software to resemble some of the other tools mentioned. You can change the font, text size, and color. You can also highlight certain sections, like in Preview.

Once you’re finished editing, click File > Save, and make sure you change it back to PDF format. You’ll now have a new edited PDF!

How to Edit a PDF Using Google Docs

If you don’t have a program on your computer that can edit PDF files, you can turn to Google to help you out.

Provided you have a Google account, Google Docs is a free to use program that’ll allow you to create and edit documents. You can use it to work on your PDFs as well.

Once you’re logged into your Google account, click “New” on the top left of the screen. Then click “File Upload” and search for the PDF you want to make changes to. Once it uploads, go to the “Recent” tab to find the file. Right-click it, then select “Open With Google Docs”. You can then make edits to the file.

One of the best parts about Google Docs is that after you’ve finished editing a file, you can then share it for others to see. You can also choose to give them permission to edit as well, letting you and others collaborate on a PDF-related project.

Make Changes to PDFs Without a Problem

If you’re wondering, “Can I edit a PDF?”, the answer is yes. By using one of the methods mentioned above, you’ll be able to make changes then save any PDF file you have.

If you enjoyed this blog post, check out some of our other articles for more guides and tips.

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