How To Edit A PDF Document Using Free Tools Like Adobe Acrobat Reader Or Apple Preview

We are the products of editing, rather than of authorship.
~ George Wald

I was asking myself the other how can I edit a PDF and because I learned how to edit a PDF I figured there might be others out there who would like to know how to do this too.

It is really easy once you know how. Editing a PDF is pretty much as easy as using a Word processing software. And if you have a certain ease with using Microsoft Word or Apple’s Pages or even Open Office then you are well and fully qualified for learning how to edit PDFs.

I’ll go through 2 ways that you can edit a PDF document. The first way is learning how to edit a PDF with Adobe Acrobat Reader and then I’ll also show you how to edit a PDF with Apple’s Preview.

That way it doesn’t matter if you’re a Mac or a PC we can all get along and edit each others PDFs, even if it happens to be easier with Mac… Just sayin’

How to edit PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Reader
Adobe Acrobat Reader is probably the most well known and most common PDF reader out there, so we’ll start in the playground where most of you play.

First of all you need to open the PDF document that you want to edit and read. In case you were wondering what PDF means, it stands for Portable Document Format and it was developed by Adobe systems in 1993.

To open a PDF you’ll most commonly click or double click on the document and your default PDF reader which for most PCs is Adobe’s Acrobat Reader will open the PDF for you. Alternatively you can right click on the PDF you want to open and then choose something along the lines of “open with” and then choose Adobe Reader.

Once the PDF is open editing is a breeze. You just click on “Sign” which should be found on the main menu bar of the PDF itself. Then you click on “Add Text” and place your cursor on the document where you want to start typing and left click once. This will position the cursor so you can start typing.

Start typing and your words will magically start appearing on the page!

If you’ve made a mistake while you are typing you can just hit the delete button like you normally do in a Word document to erase your previous letter(s). If you’ve made a mistake and you need to undo, you can choose “Undo” from the “Edit” menu options to undo the text box.

You are creating a text box in which you are typing so bear that in mind.

How to edit PDFs with Apple’s Preview
Editing with Apple’s Preview is just as easy if not easier for those of us familiar with the Apple operating system.

Open the PDF document you want to edit by double clicking it which should open the document with Preview as that is the default PDF reader than ships with Macs. Alternatively you can right click on the document and choose open with “Preview”.

To edit the PDF you’ll need to make sure that the “Show Annotations Toolbar” is checked. You can click on this or verify that it is checked under “View” on the menu bar and there should be a check mark next to the “Show Annotations Toolbar”. If there isn’t then click it once and you will notice a menu bar at the top of your PDF document appear.

At the very right there will be an arrow, followed by a highlighter icon etc.

To add text you need to click on the box that has a big A and a little a in it. You can choose to add text in just a text box or a speech bubble or even a thought bubble, whatever you prefer.

There are many other things you can do to edit the PDF like highlighting text, striking through things etc.

The best way to learn is just to go nuts on a PDF document that you own. Remember, you can always undo by clicking on “Edit” in the main menu and then clicking “Undo Typing”. You can undo as much as you want. Just keep clicking it.

One caveat. If someone has password protected the PDF you will need the password to edit it in Adobe but even if you have the password in try to edit it in Preview you won’t be able to if it was encrypted.