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How to Edit a PDF for Free - 6 Effective Methods

How to edit a PDF document directly without converting? That's an interesting question we often come across because the bulk of so-called PDF editors can only be used as annotation tools that can add text, images, etc. to a PDF but CANNOT edit PDF text and other content that's already there in the file.

So, where do you find a tool to edit PDF documents on Windows and Mac? In this article, we'll familiarize you with different tools for every need and circumstance, along with the methods of how to edit a PDF using these tools.

Method 1. How to Edit a PDF File with UPDF?

Introducing UPDF, the no. 1 PDF editor with amazing editing capabilities that help you make changes to the text, images, links, pages, watermarks, and every element in a PDF document! The PDF editing process is very simple. All you need to do is follow the steps shown here for editing various types of PDF content.

1. How Do I Edit the Text in PDF?

  • Download and launch UPDF and open any PDF containing text elements or blocks.

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  • Click the "Edit PDF" icon at the left toolbar to enter the editing mode and reveal a secondary PDF editing toolbar.
  • Select a block of text that you want to edit and click inside to see the text editing cursor.
  • You can now edit the text easily. You can type the text like you are on a Word processor. You can also select a portion of text and replace it with new text by typing it in or pasting it from your clipboard.
edit text in pdf

When working with a document, how to edit text in PDF is an important question to answer because PDF documents are static by design. In other words, only a true PDF editor such as UPDF can edit existing content, as we saw. However, modifying the content might be crucial to the workflow, which makes it a super-important feature of any PDF tool. Download it and begin editing now!

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Simple and elegant, right? You can also edit an image with different actions in UPDF. That's the next tutorial.

2. How Do I Edit PDF Images?

  • Launch UPDF and open a document containing at least one editable image. Click the "Edit PDF" icon.
  • Now you can double-click any image to see the image editing toolbar.
  • Choose one of the options to apply to the image: rotate, crop, extract, replace, or delete.
how to edit pdf file with updf

For each specific PDF edit, perform the required action. For example, when selecting "Replace Image", choose another image from your local drive to add in place of the current image. Similarly, to crop an image, drag the crop handles to resize the image, and so on.

To resize the image in PDF, you can drag the edges. Alternatively, you can right-click the image and choose the options to edit images in PDF.

3. How Do I Edit PDF Pages?

  • If you want to edit the pages in a PDF document, you need to click the "Organize Pages" icon to reveal the page management tools.
  • In the page management toolbar, choose the action to be performed, such as inserting a blank page, rotating pages right or left, extracting and replacing pages, etc.
insert blank page in updf

Simply follow the on-screen process flow to finish the task.

The above is the tutorial on how to edit PDF pages with UPDF. As a professional PDF editor, UPDF allows you to edit PDF text, images, pages, and other elements, such as watermarks, backgrounds, etc. Free download it to enjoy the amazing editing experience!

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4. How Do I Edit a Scanned PDF?

  • After importing your PDF document to UPDF, go to the "Recognize Text Using OCR" mode to start converting your scanned file to editable format.
  • Once you have entered this mode, apply all the layout settings according to your requirements. Then, select the language of your text and custom page range before hitting the "Perform OCR" button.  
  • After successfully carrying out OCR conversion, hit the "Edit PDF" icon on the left toolbar to start editing your documents. In this mode, you can edit the "Text," "Image," and "Links" present in your PDF documents using the ways described in previous sections.
how to edit a scanned pdf

If you have a scanned PDF or an image-based PDF document, you don't need to worry at all, as UPDF's OCR feature will help you recognize the text and make it editable and searchable. Download UPDF and follow the above instructions, you will be able to edit a scanned PDF.

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Video Guide on How to Edit a PDF

Method 2. How to Edit a PDF with Adobe Acrobat?

Adobe Acrobat is one of the oldest and most widely acclaimed PDF editing tools known for its extensive features. This tool has a vast range of editing features, such as text, images, and other objects in a document. The tool enhances productivity by letting you edit your files from anywhere and on any device. Now, we will explain how to modify a PDF using Adobe Acrobat to utilize the capabilities of this software.

Step 1: Download Adobe Acrobat from your favorite web browser and launch the software on your devices. Now, start the process of editing by adding the file you want to edit on Adobe. After uploading the file, select the "Edit PDF" tab from the right panel to access editing features.

Step 2: After hitting "Edit PDF," you will find various features of editing on the right side of the window. Now, click on the text you want to edit to access editing features. From the "Format" section, make changes to your text, such as text size, font, and alignment. Moreover, you can adjust paragraph spacing and add bullets or numbers to the document.

how to edit a pdf with adobe acrobat

Step 3: If you want to edit images present in the PDF file, access the "Object" section of the editing window. Now, select the image by clicking it and make it personalized with Adobe image editing features. You just need to navigate to any of the icons and select it. In this way, you can rotate, crop, flip, copy, and replace your existing image in the document.

how to pdf edit with adobe acrobat

Method 3. How to Edit a PDF with Foxit PDF Editor?

Foxit PDF Editor is a renowned PDF tool that allows you to apply efficient editing and modification to your PDF documents. It lets you make all sorts of changes, from simple text to more complex tasks like editing images and objects. In this section, we'll go through detailed steps of how to edit a PDF using Foxit PDF Editor for smooth editing.

Step 1: Initiate the process by downloading Foxit on your devices and going through the software installation process. Once it's installed, open the software on your system to edit your PDF file. On the left side, click the "Open File" button, locate the file you need on your system, and bring it into the software.

Step 2: Once you've imported the file, go to the "Edit" tab, where you'll find various tools for editing text, images, and other objects. Choose the "Edit Text" option, click on the text box, and make your desired changes to the file by adjusting everything from text style to opacity. Furthermore, you also have the option to align your text, apply bold formatting, and insert numbers or characters as needed.

how to edit a pdf with foxit

Step 3: If you wish to modify images within the document, navigate to the "Edit Object" tab within the editing section. Once you've chosen the "Edit Object" option, a drop-down menu will appear, and among the options, select "Image." From there, you can personalize it using various image editing features, including adjusting the arrangement and distribution of images. Additionally, you can rotate, modify the z-order, apply effects, and clip the picture to suit your requirements.

how to edit a pdf with foxit pdf editor

Method 4. How to Edit a PDF with Nitro Pro?

Nitro Pro is a PDF toolkit designed to maintain the integrity and uniformity of documents. Whether you're a professional dealing with complex business documents or an individual organizing personal files, Nitro Pro offers effortless PDF modifications. Now, we'll explore the comprehensive steps of how you can edit a PDF with Nitro Pro to its fullest.

Step 1: Download Nitro Pro and fill in the sign-in window for launching it on your device. Once you have launched the software, import your file to the tool you want to make changes in text or images. After importing the PDF file, select the "Edit" option from the top left side of the window to make modifications.

how to edit a pdf with nitro pdf

Step 2: After choosing the edit option, double-click the text to make changes to it. You will find various editing features at the top, from where you can alter font style and size. Moreover, you can manage the spacing between paragraphs, lines, characters, and words. You can adjust the alignments of the text or go for the "Smart Alignment."

how to edit pdf with nitro pro

Step 3: To modify the pictures of the PDF document, double-click the image you want to edit. On the top of the window, under the object tool section, you will see different image editing features. Now, you can adjust the properties of the image, such as brightness, color, and resolution. Furthermore, you can arrange the pictures by bringing them front or back, flipping, and rotating them.

Method 5. How to Edit a PDF Online with Smallpdf?

Smallpdf offers an online solution to streamline the editing process with easy-to-access features. It provides various options for adjusting text, images, and the document's content. You can also use this tool with the Chrome extension to quickly access, process, and download PDFs. Now, let's discuss a step-by-step guide on how to modify a PDF online using Smallpdf.

Step 1: Access the tool online on any web browser and select the "Tools" tab from the main interface. After clicking the tools tabs, a drop-down menu will appear. From this drop-down menu, you have to select the "Edit PDF" option from the "View and Edit" category. Then, proceed with editing by uploading files by hitting the "Choose Files" button on the new window.

how to edit a pdf with smallpdf online

Step 2: After uploading your file, choose the "Edit" tab at the top of the new window. Then, click the "Cursor" icon to select the text you want to edit. Now, you have the flexibility to customize the color, size, and alignment of the text of your documents. 

Step 3: Users can also make changes in images using this online tool. For this purpose, you need to click on the "Edit" tab after uploading your document on this tool. After getting editing features, select the image you want to modify by clicking on it. Here, you can crop, adjust, flip, and rotate your pictures according to requirements. 

how to edit a pdf online free

Method 6. How to Edit a PDF with PDF Expert?

PDF Expert stands out as a dependable solution and presents an accessible and user-friendly platform for editing PDFs on Mac. It modifies text directly by fixing typos, adding new paragraphs, and playing with fonts in a file. Users can effortlessly add, replace, and resize their images and add logos or graphs. We will guide you through a systematic process to illustrate how you can edit a PDF using PDF Expert.

Step 1: Access PDF Expert on Mac and upload the files you want to alter on this easy-to-use tool. After uploading your file, choose the "Edit" tab from the top of the user's main window. Then, you will find different editing options for editing links in addition to text or images.

Step 2: Once you've viewed the editing features, choose the "Text" button to make changes to the text of your documents. Now, navigate towards your desired text, select the text, and replace words, phrases, or sentences as per needs. Additionally, on the right side of the window, you will see different sections for changing the size and color of the text.

how to edit a pdf with pdf expert

Step 3: On the same window, you can modify the images of your documents while clicking on the "Image" button after accessing the "Edit" tab at the top. Now, hover over to the image and select it, where you will see a drop-down menu. Now, choose one of those options from the menu to cut, copy, crop, replace, or delete the image according to your needs. 

Comparison of the 6 PDF Tools for Editing PDF Documents

So far, we have discussed different tools, their functionalities, methods of how to edit a PDF using these tools, and their possible disadvantages. In the following table, we will compare and contrast these tools to assist you in making a well-informed decision tailored to your specific needs.

MetricsUPDFAdobeFoxitNitroSmallpdfPDF Expert
Edit PDF Text
Edit Image
Edit Link
Edit Scanned Files
Safe to Use
Easy to Use
Cost Effective
Fast Processing
Platform SupportiOS, Android, Windows, macOSAndroid, Windows, macOS, iOSmacOS, iOS, Android, WindowsiOS, Windows, macOSOnlineiPhone, Mac, iPad
PricingUS$35.99 per yearUS$239.88 per yearUS$139 per yearUS$179US$108 per yearUS$79.99

In the above-mentioned table, we evaluated these tools by highlighting aspects like functionality, user-friendliness, cost, and other notable advantages they bring. Consequently, we found that UPDF is the best PDF editor in the market, offering top-notch features at an affordable price. Plus, individuals and businesses can get the following additional benefits to find better ways to work. 

  • The compatibility of this tool is across various platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. This cross-platform support allows you to edit PDFs from anywhere you want.
  • It employs cutting-edge OCR technology for text recognition from images and scanned PDFs, allowing users to edit such files.
  • UPDF blends sophistication with simplicity in its user interface to provide an elegant and minimalist design. 
  • You can get an improved experience with its customer service, which delivers timely assistance and support whenever you need it. In this way, it ensures a seamless and stress-free PDF editing experience.

After evaluating these different tools and considering the advantages of UPDF, we strongly recommend downloading UPDF. Furthermore, you can get a substantial discount if you upgrade to UPDF Pro now.

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FAQs on How to Edit a PDF Document

Q1. Is there a way to edit a PDF for free?

It can be challenging to find a genuinely free PDF editor in the current market landscape. Applications such as Foxit and Nitro offer restricted access once the trial period concludes. Similarly, online platforms like iLovePDF require a premium upgrade to unlock editing capabilities. A noteworthy alternative to these tools is UPDF, which presents a cost-effective solution with minimal pricing rates.

Q2. What elements in a PDF file can be edited?

A good PDF editor will allow you to edit the text, images, and even links present in the PDF document. However, you will need a multi-dimensional PDF editor like UPDF to edit the watermarks, headers, footers, and backgrounds embedded in your PDF file.

Q3. Why can't I edit my PDF?

You need to verify whether your document is protected by a permission password that restricts editing capabilities. Additionally, assess whether the document is a scanned file, as these are often non-editable by default. In the case of scanned documents, it is necessary to employ OCR tools to convert them into an editable format.


As an all-in-one PDF editor, UPDF is the first of its kind in the world of PDFs. The introductory features such as the ability to edit PDFs on Windows and Mac are just the beginning. In subsequent iterations, new and powerful features will be included in this utility. Get more out of your PDF editor by opting for UPDF and saving hundreds or thousands of dollars in annual subscription fees or perpetual licenses. This is the last PDF editor you will ever need for any kind of PDF workflow scenario across multiple industries and professions. Learn more about UPDF on howtogeek. To download UPDF for free, click on the "Free Download" given below and enjoy its useful features.

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