In today's digital age, knowing how to effectively edit and manipulate PDFs can be a valuable skill for professionals in big corporations and for individuals alike. PDF (Portable Document Format) is a popular file type that is widely used for sharing and publishing documents. While people often choose PDF files for their convenience and portability, such documents are anything but easy to edit.
PDF editing is the process of modifying the content of a PDF file. This can include adding or deleting text, images, or pages, as well as formatting and styling the document. PDF editing is a crucial skill for anyone who needs to work with documents regularly—students, professionals, or business owners.
In this article, we will explore the different methods and tools available for editing PDF files, including how to edit a PDF on a Mac or Windows, how to delete pages from a PDF, and some other things you can do while editing PDF files.
Why Edit PDFs
PDFs are used for a variety of purposes—for instance, to create resumes, contracts, ebooks, and more. However, sometimes the information in a PDF needs to be edited, whether it's a typo or a major update.
You may need to edit a PDF to:
- correct typos and errors
- update information
- add or remove pages, images, and videos
- fill out a form
- add comments and annotations
Different Types of PDF Editors
There is a variety of both offline and online PDF editors available, ranging from basic tools to advanced software designed for professional use. When choosing a PDF editor, it is important to consider your needs and the features you require.
Online PDF Editors
Online PDF editors offer a convenient way to edit PDFs without installing any software. They are perfect for personal use, as they are accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection and are cost-effective alternatives to installed apps. Here are some of the most popular online PDF editors:
- Adobe Acrobat Online offers all the most required editing functionality, such as adding text, images, or signatures to a PDF, and is one of the most commonly used online PDF editors.
- Google Drive can be used to convert PDF files into Google Doc format, where users can make necessary edits before downloading the file or converting it back to the PDF format.
- Canva, known primarily as a graphic design platform, also offers PDF editing features, including adding visual elements to a PDF to make it more engaging.
- Smallpdf is another tool that offers a range of different features: file compression, file conversion, and a free PDF editor. Smallpdf also allows users to password-protect their PDFs and add watermarks for security purposes.
- PDFescape is an online PDF editor that offers both free and paid versions. The advanced PDF editing features of PDFescape that require a subscription include the ability to add hyperlinks and form fields. The paid version also lets users create PDF forms, merge PDF files, and convert PDFs to Word and Excel.
Offline PDF Editing Software
Downloadable PDF editing software is a good fit for professionals who need to edit PDFs, but don’t like web-based tools or simply can’t use them due to their company policies. Here are some of the most popular offline PDF editors:
- Adobe Acrobat DC is a paid PDF editor that is known for its reliability and is widely used by professionals and teams.
- Nitro PDF is a powerful PDF editor with a user-friendly interface. The tool is popular among businesses of all sizes.
- Foxit PhantomPDF is a feature-rich PDF editor with advanced editing and collaboration tools. It’s a great tool for teams because multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously.
Now, whether you prefer online or offline PDF editing tools, the choice might actually depend on which operating system you use. Let’s take a look at the different approaches to editing PDFs on a Mac or on Windows.
How to Edit a PDF on a Mac Using Preview
For Mac users, Preview is a built-in PDF editing tool that can be used to make simple edits to PDF files. It allows you to add text or images to your PDF, highlight text, or add shapes and annotations.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Open your PDF file in Preview.
- Click on the "Markup Toolbar" button.
- Select the editing tool you want to use, for example, text or shape.
- Edit the PDF as desired.
- Save the edited PDF.
As you can see, the tool is quite simple and doesn’t require technical skills. So this is probably the best PDF editing option for anyone using a Mac, as long as you’re not looking for lots of advanced features.
How to Edit a PDF on Windows
Windows does not come with a built-in PDF editor, but there are several third-party software options available. These tools offer more advanced editing capabilities than online PDF editors or Mac's Preview tool. All of the most popular downloadable options are compatible with Windows: Adobe Acrobat DC, Nitro PDF, and Foxit PhantomPDF.
If you're using a Windows computer, you can easily edit PDF files in Adobe Acrobat DC. Here's how:
- Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat DC.
- Click on the "Edit PDF" tool in the right-hand pane.
- Use the tools in the Edit PDF toolbar to modify the PDF file. For example, you can add or delete text, images, or pages.
- Click on the "File" menu and select "Save" or "Save As" to save the edited PDF file. If you selected "Save As," enter a new name for the edited file and specify the location where you want to save it.
Voila! Your PDF will be typo-free, and you can edit it to your liking with Adobe’s reliable solution.
Editing PDFs on Mobile Devices
A lot of us assume that editing PDF files is only possible on desktops, but it's actually becoming increasingly popular to edit PDFs on mobile devices. With the rise of mobile apps and cloud storage, it's easier than ever to create PDF documents and make changes to them on the go.
Many mobile devices also offer native apps for viewing and editing PDFs. For example, iOS devices come with the built-in iBooks app, which allows you to view and make simple edits to PDF files. Android devices have several PDF reader apps to choose from: Adobe Acrobat Reader, Foxit, and Xodo.
PDF Editing: Things You Can Change in a PDF
We’ve talked of the tools and approaches you can use to edit PDFs, but what exactly can you change in your documents? Lucky for you, PDF is the clay of digital formats—not only can you reshape it as you see fit, but you can also mold it into an entirely different shape, i.e. convert it into a new format. Let’s see what you can do with your PDFs.
- How to Add or Delete Pages from a PDF
One common editing task for PDFs is to add or remove pages. It can be done with various tools and software we mentioned above. To delete a page, you need to open the document in an editor, locate the page you want to remove, select it, and click the delete button. Some editors may also allow you to remove multiple pages at once.
Adding pages can be done in a similar fashion. You can insert blank pages or pages from other PDFs, and then arrange them in the desired order.
Keep in mind that saving your changes may overwrite the original file, so it's best to make a backup copy before making any modifications.
- How to Password-Protect a PDF File
Sometimes, you may need to share a PDF file that contains sensitive information you don't want to fall into the wrong hands. Password-protecting your PDF is an effective way to safeguard your digital documents. All you need to do is add a complex password to your document. Without authorized access, third-party users will not be able to see the content, make changes to your PDF, or even download it.
- How to Combine PDF Files
Combining multiple PDF files in one is a common task. PDF editors allow you to merge files into a single document quickly and easily. With most PDF editors, you can also customize the final document—rearrange pages and even edit the content of the PDF files themselves.
- How and Why to Convert a PDF to a Different Format
Obviously, PDF isn’t the most user-friendly format. It can take ages to download, it’s not engaging or trackable, and sometimes it’s too heavy to be sent via email. But the good news is that your PDF file can be easily converted into a different format. For instance, an interactive flipbook just like the one below—it was created with FlippingBook. And yes, this used to be a PDF:
As you can see, the format goes beyond a plain PDF. It engages with videos and GIFs, it draws attention with branding, it’s easy to share as a website embed or a direct link in an email or any messenger. Plus, FlippingBook’s built-in stats will tell you how your PDF flipbook performs and how people interact with it. So if you’re looking for a way to not just edit your PDF, but to transform it into a new, exciting format, FlippingBook is just what you need.
In any case, now you know that editing a PDF can be easy with the right tools and techniques. Whether you want to modify the text, change the number of pages or the format itself, or add a password to your document, we hope this article will guide you toward a suitable approach for your business.