In 1993 San Jose, CA based Adobe Systems Inc, introduced the world to what was originally known as Adobe Acrobat. The software used and still uses a Portable Document Format (PDF) and the main goal was to become the standard for the any kind of transmission of large documents. Although at first it had some glitches and encountered stiff competition, the PDF file achieved its goal and became the format of choice for the whole world. Everyone, from business owners and educators to government personnel use the PDF file to transmit large documents.
Why edit a PDF?
Many of us have encountered situations where PDF files needed to be edited, for different reasons. This is a very tricky process and one may easily destroy a document in the process of editing PDF files. PDF files are an accurate representation of a document. They are meant for output or on-screen viewing. They are not intended to be intermediate files that can still be edited. But what if the PDF file contains grammar and spelling mistakes? Such a document simply cannot represent your business and needs to be edited. Whenever possible, try to make the changes in the Word file, and recreate the PDF from it. But what if that Word file is no longer available? Recreating the PDF will not be an option. The only option is to change the PDF file, edit it to correct any kind of mistakes or add new content. Some PDF files will even block your access to selecting the text and copying it to another file.
The difficulties of editing PDF files
Although it had a great success, the PDF file format has one important drawback. It is a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) format. This means that it cannot be altered from what you see on the computer screen. To alter it, you will need the original password. Why is this? Well, the PDF file format is basically just a snapshot, or a graphic portrayal of text. Although you might think of it as text, it is not. This “drawback” is perfect for a company that wants to send information like annual reports without having to worry about someone editing the PDF file. However, this is not too great for people who need to copy and paste a part of the PDF into a Word document or еdit the PDF in any way.
Converting a PDF file takes time and money. It also takes some knowledge and a premium software pack. So it is not as easy as it tooks. A PDF editor can be quite expensive.
Ways to edit a PDF file
The main question is “How do I edit PDF files?” There are two ways of achieving this goal:
• Editing on a PDF directly
• Converting a PDF to another format
Editing on a PDF directly
PDF editing is not a very difficult process. It can be done by almost anyone, and one does not need specific skills to achieve this goal. You simply open the PDF in Acrobat and edit it. Editing PDf in Acrobat will only work if you have the original authoring password, or if the PDF file is not password protected. While this is mostly easy, some problems might appear. The main problem is the font used. If the PDF file uses a font you do not have, you cannot edit it. There are thousands of fonts available on the internet today, so which one does the PDF file use? Hard question. The answer is “Only the original author knows”. Getting all the fonts and trying them out is not an option. It can take days to find the right one, and you will probably give up long before you find anything. However, most PDF files use standard fonts, like Arial or Times New Roman.
Converting a PDF to another format
The best format to work with is Microsoft Word, and its .DOC documents. In order to convert and edit PDF files, you will need a PDF to Word Converter program. Many PDF files are password protected specifically to prevent actions like PDF editing. The PDF editors basically interpret the snapshot, which is the PDF file, and convert it into a text file recognizable by Microsoft Word. This is achieved by using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or similar technology. Basically, this technology is able to “read” the file and output the text in a Word document. You can also scan a document and run the OCR software to extract the text directly to a Word file. Although it is fast, it has some drawbacks. To make an almost error free transition between PDF and DOC, you need a very good converter, that can cost lots of money. Another drawback is the error number. Although good OCR software will have a typical accuracy rate of more that 99%, errors will still be present. And, if you have a very large PDF file, proofreading the output DOC might take some time and resources.
A quick search of the Internet will turn up dozens of PDF to Word converter programs. Some are free, some are not. Be sure to use premium software; it will get you top quality for its price. One of the best and easy to use tools is Able2Doc 7 PDF to Word Converter, from Investintech.Com. It edits PDF files and converts them to Word files in no time, error free!
“Able2Doc 7 performs fast and accurate conversions to Word with columns, tables, headers, footers, graphics and layout reproduced just as they were in the original document” – www.investintech.com
If you want to convert the PDF into Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Images, HTML, or Text, use Able2Extract PDF Converter 8 from Investintech.Com. This tool is very easy to use and provides high quality conversions. It features lots of useful features, all for under 100$.
“Get quick, accurate, transfer of native PDFs into formatted MS Excel spreadsheets and editable MS Word for editing, analysis and other reversioning. Conversion from PDF to PowerPoint (PPT), HTML, Text and more is included” – www.investintech.com
By using any of these tools, you will save hundreds or even thousands of hours per year in editing time, while preventing errors from manual data entry. Time is money!