Many of us often find ourselves needing to make small edits to our PDFs, but it always seems harder than it should be. Generally, PDFs by nature are not meant to be modified or edited by a source other than the original creator. Due to this reason, editing a PDF document is not always a straightforward process. In this article, we are going to teach you how to write, edit, modify or add onto PDFs with the easiest, most practical, and the most reliable techniques. In fact, you can do more than just write on a PDF document. Images, dates, annotations can be added and even scanned documents can be edited with the use of PDF editing tools.
How to add text to a PDF
PDF documents can be created and opened on almost any standard device these days. To add text on a pre-existing PDF document, however, you’ll have to rely either on software with PDF editing or importing capabilities. Here are your major options:
How to add text to a PDF with Microsoft Word
Although it’s not always the best solution when it comes to editing PDFs, Microsoft Word is quite ubiquitous and can easily display a PDF document in Word’s standard .docx format.
STEP 1 Open the PDF file in Microsoft Word, you will receive a notification about converting the PDF into a Word document.
STEP 2 Add the necessary changes to the document.
STEP 3 Go to File then click on Save As.
STEP 4 Find Save as type dropdown options and select PDF.
STEP 5 Save the document.
Your document is once again saved as a PDF with all changes. This method works reliably with text-only PDF files but may struggle with files that have multiple media types, fields, and options.
How to add text to a PDF with Adobe Acrobat
It’s only natural that the creators of the PDF format have the tools to edit and write on one. Adobe Acrobat is free to download application with a set of robust tools to edit PDFs.
STEP 1 Open PDF file in Adobe Acrobat.
STEP 2 Click on the Edit PDF tool on the right pane.
STEP 3 Click on the text you want to edit and make necessary changes.
STEP 4 If you want to add original text, select the Fill & Sign tool, then Add Text tool.
STEP 5 Save the document and you’re good to go.
How to add text to a PDF using Online editors
There’s a huge amount of options available if you’re looking to quickly edit a PDF document on the web. Be careful however, privacy might be a factor to consider when using anonymous or third-party editors. For an online option, we at Docdown naturally recommend, well…. Docdown. It offers a 14 day free trial for all users who sign up and it comes with a strong set of editing tools. If you’re someone who frequently edits PDFs you can also set up workflows to quickly access prepared documents and edit as necessary. Here’s how to edit a document with Docdown.
STEP 1 In the Documents panel, Click on New Document and upload PDF file.
STEP 2 Select the uploaded file and you will be taken to the editing screen.
STEP 3 Select Text option and drag a text field on the document page, drag and resize the text field if necessary.
STEP 4 You can also label and add more details to text field if you like.
STEP 5 Save the document then head to Workflows panel.
STEP 6 Select New Workflow, then Online Form and select your uploaded document in Document field.
STEP 7 Add other details as you see fit and now your Workflow is ready.
STEP 8 Activate Workflow from Workflow panel. You now can follow a custom link in the workflow to edit the document.
STEP 9 Once you have edited the document, click Submit and your document will download automatically.
You can now edit the document multiple times without any setup.
How to add text to a PDF using PDF2GO
PDF2GO is a popular online PDF editing service. Users can upload PDF files to the page and access simple editing options as well as more advanced features for more advanced users. Besides editing documents, you can also Merge, Split and Protect your documents. There are also useful conversion options that turn documents with different formats into PDF format. Once you upload your document to the editor, you can select a set of simple editing tools such as adding text, free form pencil for drawing, highlighting or erasing lines, and adding basic shapes.
Pdf2go can be accessed without signing up but you will miss out on some key features if you do. For quick edits, this can be a good tool.
How to edit a scanned document
A scan is a digital snapshot of a document. Scanned documents can be saved as a PDF as well and then edited using any of the options mentioned above. A scanned document by default is saved as an image. We recommend using Microsoft Word to convert a scanned document into a PDF. Here’s how.
- Make sure that the scanned document is in a common file format such as ‘.jpg’ or ‘.png’.
- Open Microsoft Word and Copy/Paste or Open the scanned image into the Word Document.
- Adjust the size of the image and margins so that it fits into the page.
- When the image is properly adjusted, go to Save As and select Save As Type dropdown.
- Select PDF format and Save the document.
- Your saved document is now a PDF file and can be edited with Adobe Acrobat or online PDF editors such as Docdown.
How to add image to PDF
As a standardized document format, PDFs support both text and images. For this reason, application forms and contracts are created and transacted in PDF format. It protects the integrity of documents, their formatting, and style. If you’re looking to add an image to a preexisting PDF document, there are a variety of ways to do so. Unfortunately, we don’t recommend Microsoft Word for this purpose. Word cannot reliably distinguish between the text fields and image fields of a document and can often overwrite settings. Adding an image can be a hassle due to this reason. Here are the easiest and most reliable ways to add images to a PDF file.
How to add image to a PDF with Acrobat
- Open the PDF file where you want to add image in Adobe Acrobat.
- Navigate to Tools in the top pane then to Edit PDF.
- You will see the Add Image option, select it.
- Select the image file you want to add then click Open.
- Now, place the image wherever you want in the document
- Resize the image as Acrobat loads it at its original image resolution.
- Save the document and now you have successfully added an Image to a PDF document
How to add image to a PDF with Docdown
- In your Docdown account, click the Document Panel.
- Select New Document button and upload the PDF document. Once uploaded, select the document.
- You will be taken to the editing panel, the Image option is at the edge of the options panel.
- Drag an image field, this specifies where an uploaded image is shown. You can move it around to format it as necessary.
- Save the document and head to Workflows tab at the top of the page.
- Select New Workflow and set the trigger to Online Form.
- You will be asked to specify the document in the workflow, specify your document and save it.
- Your workflow has now been generated and you will have a unique link to edit that specific document as many times as necessary.
- Follow the unique link and Add your desired image.
- Click Submit, now your image will be added to the PDF document and automatically downloaded for convenience.
How to draw on a PDF file
By drawing on PDF files we refer to adding simple annotations like lines, shapes, and patterns to the document. This can make navigation easier, help readers focus on the important bits, and visually draw someone’s attention. It can be quite handy for documents that need to be shared and explained to clients.
We recommend using Adobe Acrobat for this purpose as well.
How to draw on a PDF file with Acrobat
- Open the PDF document on Adobe Acrobat.
- Navigate to the Tools section and select Comment.
- Here, click on Drawing Tools.
- Drawing Tools comes with the option to add basic shapes and lines.
- If you’re looking to let your artsy side show, there’s the Pencil tool to create further drawings as well.
- Save document.
How to add date to a PDF
If you need to add a simple date to a ‘Date’ placeholder on a PDF document, you can use Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat or online editors like Docdown as mentioned above. But if you need to add a Date & Timestamp, here’s how.
How to add date to a PDF with Docdown
- Upload your document to Docdown and Open it for editing.
- Docdown has a custom Date field to add on documents.
- Drag the field across the document and move and resize it as desired, label the field if you will be filling out different dates over and over again.
- Set Date format and other details as required on the editor screen.
- Once your document is saved, add it to the Workflow and Activate said workflow.
- Now you can open your Workflow‘s custom link and add a new date whenever required without any hassle!
How to write on PDFs on Mac
The macOS supports most of the major PDF applications such as MS Word and Adobe Acrobat. However, macOS already ships with an app called Preview which is a handy application to make quick edits to a PDF document.
Although you can’t edit the text in your document using Preview, there are markup tools to write feedback and collaborate. Some of the tools available in Preview are:
- Text Selection tool to highlight text, copy, and delete.
- Sketch & Draw to add single stroke lines and shapes.
- Shapes tool to add simple shapes and patterns in the document.
- Sign tool to add signatures in the document.
If you need to edit text on documents, Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, and online options like Docdown and PDF2GO are available for macOS.
Docdown for businesses and professionals
We hope the above tutorials were sufficient to help you solve your editing needs. If you’re someone who frequently deals with paperwork or has a constant need for fresh documents and editing, Docdown is an ideal solution for you. Here’s why.
- Docdown helps you automate business documents, removing the need for additional time or manpower investment.
- By setting up workflows you can easily automate the form filling/ filing process.
- After uploading a document and adding necessary edits, the changes are saved and remembered with their custom links.
- Our Drag and Drop editor makes it extremely easy to create and modify changes into documents. It is very beginner-friendly.
- Our visual workflow editor creates a sequence of steps from generation to delivery, anyone can take over existing workflows and modify them as required.
- You can add conditional logic from the editing menu.
- With Zapier, you can connect to 2000+ services, here’s how.
- Email, Slack, and native integrations are available for all users.
- You can configure incoming Webhooks
- You can live view added fields and processes as you update them.
- Docdown’s pricing plans are upfront, no hidden charges, no strings attached.
If this interests you, visit docdown.io for more information. We’re eager to answer any queries you have and are continually updating Docdown to become better and more robust.
Why are PDFs hard to edit
Being a highly complex and cross-platform format, PDF files maintain the original formatting of a document. For this reason, they are primarily utilized for viewing and sharing, rather than editing or creating. Almost all industries rely on PDF documents for information dissemination and to share resources. Application forms, business contracts, rules and guidelines, organizational handbooks, and countless other public and private use documents are saved as PDFs. The PDF format was first developed by Adobe in 1993 and has since been adopted widely. The format is ISO certified.
Editing a PDF document is possible, as our tutorial above shows. But it’s not exactly a straightforward process. Opening PDF documents in text editors can overwrite PDF settings and modify their original formatting. This is a deliberate feature to discourage unwanted edits and to remove oversight.