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How to Edit PDF Files

Your Ultimate Guide on How to Edit PDF Files in Different Ways

If you need to edit pdf files and don't know how it's done, then you have landed on the right page. This article will explain the various ways in which you can do that.
Omkar Phatak
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Portable document format (PDF), developed by Adobe Systems, is one of the most widely used file formats in the world. The quality of PDF files is unmatched by any other, in terms of readability, functionality, and of course portability.

About PDF Files

Adobe launched the PDF file format in 1993 and although it wasn't so popular initially, it became widely accepted later, due to its inherent superior quality. Today, on the web, these files exist in excess of 450 million. The central idea behind its development was to create a file format that is independent of the hardware, software, as well as the operating system installed on a user's computer.

In short, a platform-independent format, that enables easy exchange of data among people, was intended and it was successfully created in the form of PDF file format. Here are some of the unique features of this format, which make it so popular and also make its editing a difficult job.

A PDF file is essentially a 2D image of a document, with a fixed layout containing fonts, text, and images, composed in 2D vector graphics. There are many more additional features which enable navigability throughout the file. Another unique feature is the level of security offered by this format. The file can be encrypted and password-protected for security, and rights for editing the content can be reserved. This is the feature which makes editing these files, a problem sometimes. The files are made for on-screen viewing and printing. An editing option is difficult to execute, as it is an image that needs to be edited and not just text.

Editing the Files

The simplest way to edit such a file, is to make changes in the source file and reconvert it into the PDF format. However, many times, the source file may not be available, in which case, that option is unavailable. There is a facility in the 'Adobe Acrobat Professional' software to edit a PDF file, which can save the day for you unless the file is not protected by password authorization, that prevents editing.

Provided the file is not password protected, and if it is, you have the password, there are following three forms of editing options available. These options can be executed using 'Adobe Acrobat Professional'. The three options are:
  • In-page Text Editing: This is done with the help of a touch up tool, available in Adobe Acrobat Professional. It serves the purpose when it comes to small text editing. This option should only be opted for, when you do not have the source document file.
  • In-page Image Editing: This is easily done with the help of another Adobe software called 'Adobe Photoshop'. You can select the image for editing from a PDF file and embed it back again after making changes.
  • Page merging, reordering, and deleting: This facility of page and even file merging is provided in Adobe Acrobat Professional.
There are other freely available software tools in the market, which can edit these files for you. There are some websites which let you edit online. To edit PDF files on a Mac, the process is no different. Just install Adobe Acrobat Professional on your Mac and using it, you can do the needful. The specific instructions of each type can be gleaned from the 'Help' option, provided in Adobe applications.