How To Make A PDF Editable

PDF (Portable Document Format) is a widely used file format for sharing and preserving documents in a fixed layout. While PDFs are excellent for maintaining the integrity of a document’s formatting, they can sometimes be challenging to edit. 

However, there are various methods to make a PDF editable, allowing you to add, modify, or delete text and images. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore different ways to achieve this goal.

Methods for Making a PDF Editable

  1. Using PDF Editing Software:

    One of the most straightforward methods for making a PDF editable is by using dedicated PDF editing software. Adobe Acrobat Pro is one of the most popular options, but there are also free alternatives like PDFescape, Foxit PhantomPDF, and Nitro PDF Editor. Here’s how to use Adobe Acrobat Pro:

    • Open the PDF: Launch Adobe Acrobat Pro and open the PDF file you want to edit.

    • Edit Mode: Click on the “Edit PDF” tool from the right sidebar. It will automatically detect and highlight editable text fields.

    • Edit Text: Select the text you want to edit, make changes, and save the file when you’re done.

    • Add Text or Images: You can also add new text or images to the PDF by selecting the respective tool from the toolbar.

    • Save: After making your changes, save the PDF file.

  2. Using Online PDF Editors:

    If you don’t want to install software, there are various online PDF editors that can help you make a PDF editable. Some popular options include Smallpdf, PDF2Go, and Sejda. Here’s how to use an online PDF editor:

    • Upload the PDF: Go to the online PDF editor’s website and upload the PDF file you want to edit.

    • Edit: Use the available tools to edit text, add images, or annotate the PDF as needed.

    • Save: Once you’ve made your edits, save the file to your computer.

  3. Convert to Word or Google Docs:

    Another method to make a PDF editable is to convert it into a Word document or Google Docs. While this method may not preserve the formatting perfectly, it allows for easy text editing. Here’s how:

    • Using Microsoft Word:

      • Open Microsoft Word and go to “File” > “Open.”
      • Select the PDF file you want to convert.
      • Word will attempt to convert the PDF into an editable document. Make any necessary changes and save it as a Word document.
    • Using Google Docs:

      • Upload the PDF to Google Drive.
      • Right-click on the PDF file, select “Open with,” and choose “Google Docs.”
      • Edit the document in Google Docs, and it will automatically save as a Google Docs file.
  4. Optical Character Recognition (OCR):

    If you have a scanned PDF or an image-based PDF, you’ll need to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to convert it into an editable text document. Software like Adobe Acrobat Pro, ABBYY FineReader, and online tools like Google Drive can perform OCR. Here’s how:

    • Using Adobe Acrobat Pro:
      • Open the scanned PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro.
      • Click on “Tools” > “Enhance Scans” > “Recognize Text.”
      • Choose the appropriate OCR settings, and the PDF will be converted into an editable format.


Making a PDF editable is essential when you need to modify text, add images, or make annotations to a document. Whether you choose dedicated PDF editing software, online editors, or conversion methods, there are several approaches to achieve this goal. 

Remember to save your edited PDF with a new filename to preserve the original document. With the right tools and techniques, you can effortlessly make your PDFs editable for various purposes, from editing contracts to collaborating on research papers.