How to Edit a PDF: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide for 2018

Today we are going to show you how to edit a PDF document in any way imaginable, using a simple follow-along tutorial with screenshots.

But, first, a little background story:

We all know that PDF editing is an annoying obstacle that you just have to deal with, at some point. The main culprit for that is the PDF itself, as it is not an editable file format out of the box. And whether it’s editing PDF text directly or editing PDF in Word, it is still a boring task because, most of the times, it’s a super slow process.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Since you are reading this, the chances are that you are have strayed into a tough spot with a certain PDF document. Don’t worry, as that is a common place to be. Fortunately, we have prepared a complete guide that teaches you how to do just about anything with your PDF document, either scanned or native. Even better, this is the only cross-platform tutorial online, as everything applies to Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.

So, let’s jump in straight away.

Tools We'll Use in This Tutorial

Able2Extract Professional 12. One of the best all-round PDF solutions, licensed by 250,000 users and downloaded by millions. You can download it for a 7 day free trial and follow along.

What Do You Want To Do?

We wanted to make this the simplest process ever. Therefore, we organized this guide into 7 sections.

Just see what you’d like to do with your PDF and click on the link to jump to that section of the tutorial.

How to Type on a PDF (Edit PDF Text)

One of the most common reasons for editing PDF is changing the actual content. You can do so by following this quick guide below:

  1. Open the PDF in Able2Extract Professional 12.
    Open PDF in Able2Extract
  2. Click on the EDIT button to go into PDF editing mode. You will see the PDF editing panel on the right toolbar.
    Enter PDF editing Mode
  3. Click on the text or a number you would like to edit.
    Click on the PDF text
  4. Use the typewriter to add and delete text, like you would do in any other text editor. Hit “Convert” to go back to the normal mode and export your PDF from the “File” drop down menu.
    PDF text Changed

How to Merge PDF (Combine PDF Files)

Merging PDF documents is extremely useful when compiling reports, bank statements and other content. Here is how to quickly merge PDF:

  1. Open your document in Able2Extract Professional 12.
    Open PDF in Able2Extract
  2. Hit the EDIT menu on the top.
    Enter PDF editing Mode
  3. From the edit mode, click “Insert from PDF”.
    Insert From PDF
  4. Select your file from the “Open” menu.
    Open New PDF
  5. Choose the range of pages where you’d like to insert the other document. Hit “OK” and your PDFs will be merged instantly.
    Merge PDF Documents

How to Split PDF into Multiple Files

If you have a specific page within your PDF that you would like to extract into a separate document, follow the tutorial below.

  1. Open your document in Able2Extract Professional 12.
    Open PDF in Able2Extract
  2. Click on the EDIT button in the main navigational menu.
    Enter PDF editing Mode
  3. On the right, you will see the editing panel. Choose “Extract”.
    Extract PDF in Able2Extract
  4. Specify the pages you would like to extract.
    Click Extract PDF
  5. Save the newly created PDF and that’s it!
    Save the New PDF

How to Add Image (Picture) To a PDF

Did you know that you can easily add any bitmap image into your PDF? To do that, just:

  1. Open your PDF in Able2Extract Professional 12.
    Open PDF in Able2Extract
  2. Enter the editing mode by clicking on the EDIT button on the top menu. This will open a new editing mode, located on the right toolbar.
    Enter PDF editing Mode
  3. Under the content panel, find “Add” section and choose the last icon, which is an image with a green plus on it. This is a tool for adding images.
    Add Image to PDF
  4. Click and select your image. You can choose any bitmap image (jpg, jpeg, png, bmp, gif, tif, tiff).
  5. Position the green cursor at the spot where you’d like to insert an image and right click. Resize and reposition your inserted image, if needed.
    Resize Image PDF

How to Insert a Vector Shape into PDF

To add rectangles, triangles and other shapes into your PDF document:

  1. Open your file in Able2Extract Professional 12.
    Open PDF in Able2Extract
  2. Click the EDIT button to enter the editing mode.
    Enter PDF editing Mode
  3. On the right side, under the Content panel, click on the icon with the shapes behind it.
    Insert Shapes PDF
  4. Select the shape you’d like to insert. There are a total of 9 vector shapes available in Able2Extract.
    Choose a Shape
  5. Place the cursor where you’d like to insert a shape and left click.
  6. From here, you can drag & drop it to reposition it and rescale it, so it perfectly fits your document. Additionally, you can insert text into your shape and even change the color.
    Shape Inserted

How to Change PDF Text Color (Customize PDF)

To customize visual look of your document:

  1. Open your PDF in Able2Extract Professional 12.
    Open PDF in Able2Extract
  2. Click EDIT button at the top and you will enter the PDF editing mode.
    Enter PDF editing Mode
  3. Use your mouse to find an object that you would like to edit and left-click on it.
  4. Check “Fill with Color” or “Outline with color” depending on what you’d like to do.
    Color Customization Panel
  5. Click on the color next to it to open a pallette.
    Text Color Palette
  6. Select your preferred color and click “OK” to color your selection. This process is entirely the same if you would like to create a colored border around your selection (Outline with Color).
    Colored PDF Text

How to Edit a Scanned PDF Document

Often times, we come across a scanned PDF document that we need to edit.

Scanned PDFs are basically images locked inside a PDF that simply cannot be edited using a regular PDF editing software.

The solution to this problem is resorting to a tool with an integrated Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

OCR is a technology that recognizes the characters from an image and translates them into digital characters which can then be edited.

You can edit a scanned PDF by following the same steps as above. For the purpose of editing scanned PDF, you will also need to download Able2Extract 12 Professional, which has an integrated OCR and will enable you to quickly edit a scanned PDF in the same fashion