There are several different ways to edit PDF files quickly and easily. In this guide, we will provide a number of solutions on how to edit PDF documents.
How to make changes to a PDF
The PDF format is designed primarily as a means for distributing a finished document and allowing it to be viewed on just about any computer with no major software required. As such, it is not created with editing in mind and, consequently, it can be a little tricky to make changes.
Edit PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Pro:
This is paid-for software from Adobe and offers the widest variety of direct editing options.
1. To edit a document using this software you’ll need to open your PDF using Acrobat Pro. In the Acrobat menu, click ‘file’, ‘open’ and then select your PDF.
2. Click ‘tools’ and then select ‘edit PDF’.
3. You now have two main options for editing your PDF document. The ‘Format’ option will allow you to make changes to the text, while the ‘Objects’ option gives you the ability to edit images and objects.
PDF editing with Microsoft Word (only possible with Word 2013 or later):
As most people will have easy access to Word, editing with this software is a good, ready-to-hand solution.
1. As with Adobe Acrobat, you must start by opening the PDF using Microsoft Word. Go to ‘File’, then ‘Open’ and locate the PDF you want to edit.
2. A text box will appear asking you to confirm whether or not you want to convert the file to Word. Select ‘Yes’. You may get a further text box explaining that the PDF contains some elements that cannot be converted.
3. The document will now open and you can edit it as you would any other word file.
4. Once you are happy with the changes you have made, you can choose to save it as a Word file and as a PDF.
Free software alternatives:
There are several free software products that will allow you to make changes to a PDF document. In general, this type of software does not offer the same comprehensive suite of editing options as those mentioned above.
Adobe Reader DC
While this is designed primarily for reading PDF documents, it will also allow you to make annotations and add a signature.
1. Open your document in Adobe Reader DC.
2. Click on ‘Tools’ and then ‘Comment’ to bring up the comment bar.
3. A range of annotation tools, from highlighters to comment boxes will appear for you to choose from.
Preview for Mac
This is a free piece of software included with most versions of Mac OS. It allows for the addition of annotations and signatures to PDF file.
1. Open your PDF in Preview for Mac.
2. The annotation bar offers a range of capabilities. For example, to add a signature, click the pen nib option, then the signature icon. Alternatively, to add a note, click ‘Tools’, then ‘Annotate’, then ‘Note’.
3. Don’t forget to save your PDF once it’s annotated. Simply click ‘File’ and ‘Save’.