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PDF is a standard document format in everyday life. People use this file format to convey information to viewers and recipients without worrying about consistency or device screen size.
But using PDFs presents a problem: users find it more difficult to edit excel to pdf than Word documents. Sometimes, you had to deconstruct the entire PDF and create it from scratch to fix any issue — which is a massive pain.
Today, you can use an online PDF editor to make adjustments to your files, even if you don’t have advanced technical knowledge. So, let’s explore the characteristics of a PDF file, as well as explore tools for editing PDFs.
What’s a PDF File?
A PDF is a document format that allows users to save their files in a fixed document layout. Adobe developed the PDF format in the early 1990s, and since then, the company has made improvements to enable users to edit PDF file versions and encrypt them from unauthorized access.
What makes PDF files different from other formats?
The core thinking behind creating PDF files was to solve some problems that existing formats couldn’t handle. Here are those differences:
- Security. Using a simple word processor, anyone can edit your word document with or without your permission. But with PDFs, users need special tools to make undetectable changes to the original document. Besides, you can protect your documents with passwords and watermarks.
- Consistency. When you share a file with another user, the layout remains the same even if you make the PDF fillable. You can also view the document using any PDF viewer to see consistent results.
- Scalability. Unlike other formats that share graphics and text, PDF files retain their fidelity when scaled up or down. You can change PDF online or compress them to a smaller size without losing information.
- Hyperlinks. PDF files often struggle to handle URLs, depending on the source program. If you create the PDF from a word processor, the hyperlinks will remain active. But if you make the PDF file from a graphics editor like Photoshop, the hyperlinks won’t be clickable.
How can you edit a PDF File?
Now that we’ve established the core attributes of a standard PDF file, let’s explore ways to edit PDF text.
Using Google Docs
Google Docs is a versatile tool that allows users to text edit online, regardless of format. Nevertheless, you can only edit text-based PDFs instead of graphics-based PDFs.
If you want to make PDF editable online, open Google Docs and follow these steps to change fonts:
- With the document open, go to the document section and make the changes you want.
- Press “Ctrl+A” to select all the texts in the document.
- Go to the toolbar and change the font style.
- Go to “File” > “Download” > “PDF Document (.pdf)”.
- Review the downloaded document.
You can also edit PDF in Google Drive by opening them with Google Docs and following the same procedure.
Using Mac Preview
Preview is a premium PDF viewer that allows you to edit scanned PDF by adding comments, highlights, watermarks, signatures, and forms to them. But in terms of editing, Preview has several limitations; users cannot edit texts and change fonts.
So, if you want to edit PDF form files offline, follow these steps in Preview.
- Open your file.
- Create a text box and drag it to the required area.
- Add the text.
- Save and preview.
Using mobile devices
Nowadays, most people browse the internet from their phones and tablets, and in the process, they come across PDF files they want to edit. If you are struggling to find a reliable way to change your PDF text on your phone, you can use the mobile version of online tools like Lumin PDF in the App Store or Google Play.
Follow these steps:
- Open the app.
- Open the document you want to edit.
- Select the “Text” icon from the toolbar.
- Place the textbox where you want to add your text.
- Use the panel to change font color, size, and style.
- The changes will be saved automatically in your document.
Using online apps
As cloud-based apps become more popular, PDF users now have ways to edit online. In fact, some of these online tools now come with fancy features and templates for fillable PDF free.
If you want to make wholesale changes to a PDF document or make fillable PDF files, here are some tools for you.
1. Lumin PDF
Lumin PDF is the best PDF editor online when it comes to making changes to existing text. This tool allows users to create an account for sharing, editing, annotating, re-arranging, and e-signing documents. With Lumin PDF, users can also control access to their PDF files and ensure top-notch security of sensitive information. Most importantly, Lumin PDF integrates with Google Docs edit PDF files.
2. Adobe Acrobat
When it comes to PDFs, Adobe Acrobat is a household name if not the best online editor for business operations and official use. This PDF tool allows users to create, edit, and share their files across multiple channels simultaneously. Also, Adobe Acrobat contains advanced features for editing software tools. Besides, you can also monitor those editing the document or use the password-protect feature to secure it.
3. Foxit Phantom PDF
Although some tools excel at editing PDFs, others do their best work in other areas. Foxit is no match for Lumin PDF and Adobe Acrobat, but this tool can help you merge two PDFs online instantly. Also, you can remove specific pages from your document if you have permission to do so. And amazingly, Foxit Phantom PDF allows users to split PDF files into multiple documents.
4. Online PDF Converter
Sometimes, you need to convert a PDF to one format before making changes. In these cases, you need to find a reliable PDF converter. Online PDF Converter is a tool that allows you to convert Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML, and iWork to PDF — and vice versa. You can also rotate pages within your PDF file and share the final version via direct link, Google Drive or Dropbox.
Every online user looking to PDF modify online should understand how PDFs work. This understanding will help you choose the right tools to edit your files easily. Depending on the source of the PDF file, you can edit it online or use offline tools to make changes. Ultimately, choose the best online PDF with advanced features to edit your documents.