How to Edit PDF Files without Adobe Acrobat
According to google, there are more than 450 million PDF documents on the Internet. The PDF file format was originally created by Adobe somewhere in the early 1990′s and has overcome the once popular .doc or DOC format.
Why are PDF Files so Popular?
There are several reasons why PDF files are so popular. Usually the PDF files are smaller in size than the original source document and they also can be easily preserved in the original formatting. Another great thing is that you can open a PDF file, that was created using a Windows PC, on a Mac or a Linux machine and your document will still look the same everywhere.
Another thing that people like about the PDF file is that unlike Word and other popular document formats, the contents of the file cannot be changed or modified easily. Yet the biggest advantage is that you can view PDF files on almost any computer (or mobile phone) using the web browser or with the help of free software like Adobe Acrobat Reader or Open Office.
Can We Edit PDF Files?
I know I just wrote above that not being able to change them is what makes PDF Files so great, but it is 2011, right? :) PDF Files by default are “read only”, but there are ways by which you can edit certain elements* of a PDF document for free without requiring the source files or any of the commercial PDF editing tools.
* If you are looking to manipulate the PDF file structure itself like rearranging pages or merging multiple PDFs into one, please refer to the Adobe PDF Guide. This post is here to help you edit or to be able to fill in the file without using Adobe Acrobat.
Here are the ways you can edit PDF Files:
1. Online PDF Editor for Basic Tasks.
There are situations when you’ll need to make only minor changes in a PDF file. For instance, you want to hide your personal phone number from a PDF file before posting it on the web.
You can perform such edits pretty easily with PDF Escape. With PDF Escape, you can hide parts of a PDF file using the whiteout tool or add annotations with the help of custom shapes, arrows, text boxes and sticky notes. You can also add hyperlinks to other PDF pages or Web documents.
2. Edit PDF Metadata (Author, PDF Title, etc.)
If you would like to edit the meta-data associated with a PDF document, you will want to check out Becy PDFMetaEdit. It’s a free utility that can help you edit details like the PDF document title, author name, creation data, keywords, etc. of any PDF file.
This tool can also be used for encrypting PDF documents such that only users who know the password can read the contents of your PDF files. And since this PDF metadata bookmarks editor can be executed from the command line, you can use it to update information in multiple PDF files in a batch.
TIP: If you are planning to post your PDF files on the web, you should consider adding proper metadata to all the files as that will help improve the organic rankings of your PDF files in Google search results.
3. Using WORD to Edit Text in a PDF File
You can also use WORD to edit the text in a PDF file if you want to edit large amounts of text in a PDF file but don’t have access to the source documents. All you have to do is convert the PDF file into an editable Word document or an Excel spreadsheet depending on the contents of the PDF.
Then edit these converted PDFs in Microsoft Office (or Google Docs) and export the modified files back into PDF format.
These should keep you busy for a while! Try them out and let me know what you think of them. As always, if you have anything else you use or comments, questions, suggestions, please leave them below!
Enjoy and don’t forget to share before you go…