How to Edit PDF Files and Downloads

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Portable document format (PDF) is a conversion file type used to standardize source material into a format that may be viewed by anyone with a PDF reading program. The format eliminates the need for users to have the source program with which the PDF was created by utilizing a common platform. However, without the source material, it may be difficult to edit the PDF file without PDF writing software. You can edit PDF files and downloads with the right software.

Use a Free PDF Writing Program

  • Install a free PDF writing program to your computer. There are several available, but not all have the same features. Before you decide on a program, be sure that the one you choose has text editing features. PDFill, which has text editing features, is used in the steps that follow. You may download PDFill for free from the PDFill site (see Resources section).

  • Launch the PDFill PDF Editor application, and open the PDF document that you want to edit. Click once on the Open button to access the Open dialogue window. Use the Look In menu to select the folder in which the PDF file is saved. Click once on the PDF file name and once on the Open button.

  • Click once on the View menu and select the Toolbar option to open a list of standardized menus. Click once on the Format option to launch the Format toolbar. Click once on the Whiteout button, which has a white bar icon. Locate a portion of the PDF that you want to edit, click once in the top left, and drag to the bottom right while holding down the mouse button. This action will cover the existing text. When you release the mouse button, a Properties box will generate. Use the available tools in this box to adjust the appearance of the whiteout area.

  • Click once on one of the Text Box buttons. There are two, single and multiple, both of which operate in the same manner. Locate a portion of the PDF to which you want to add text, click once in the top left, and drag to a desired size while holding down the mouse button. When you release the mouse button, a Properties box will generate. Use the available tools in this box to adjust the appearance of the text to match the remainder of the PDF file. Type into the text box, as appropriate, to add text.

  • Repeat steps 3 and 4, as necessary, to edit the PDF file. To access the Properties dialogue window for whiteout and text boxes, click once on the border and click once on the Properties button. Remember to save the edits to the PDF file using the Save button on the standard toolbar.

Use a Commercial PDF Program

  • Install a commercial PDF writing program to your computer. There are many available to download, but not all have the same features. Before you decide on a program, be sure that the one you choose has text editing features. Adobe Acrobat Pro is used in the steps that follow. You may download a free trial of Acrobat Pro from the Acrobat site (see Resources section).

  • Launch the Acrobat Pro application, and open the PDF document that you want to edit. Click once on the Open button to access the Open dialogue window. Use the Look In menu to select the folder in which the PDF file is saved. Click once on the PDF file name and once on the Open button.

  • Click once on the View menu and select the Toolbar option to open a list of standardized menus. Click once on the Advanced Editing option to launch the toolbar. Click once on the TouchUp Text button, which has a text box image with a letter T on it. Acrobat Pro will perform a brief process during which it will identify the various fonts used in the PDF file.

  • Locate a portion of the PDF that you want to edit, click once in the top left and drag to the bottom right while holding down the mouse button. This action will highlight the existing text. You may either delete the existing text, or you may begin typing over it. While Acrobat Pro will match the font and font size of the replaced text, it will not wrap to a new line. The text you type will continue off of the page. When you reach the end of a line, press the Enter key to begin a new line.

  • Repeat step 4, as necessary, to edit the PDF file. To make changes to any of the text you added, highlight it, right-click and select Properties from the list of available options. This will generate a Properties dialogue window that will allow you to edit the appearance, such as font and color, of the added text. Remember to save the edits to the PDF file using the Save button on the standard toolbar.

References

  • Photo Credit informatique image by gilles vallée from Fotolia.com
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