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4 Methods on How to Make a PDF Editable Speedily

It is not uncommon to have a PDF document that is scanned such as an invoice or the handwritten minutes of a meeting. Yet, it can be very difficult to make any necessary changes to the document unless you can first convert the scanned document to an editable format.

One of the best ways to do that is to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR). OCR is designed to analyze the text on the scanned document and convert the letters into code that can then be used to process the information on the document.

In this article, we will be looking at four ways you can make a PDF editable, three of which use OCR technology.

How to Make a PDF Editable with OCR?

If you are looking for an easy and effective way to make any PDF including a scanned PDF document editable, UPDF offers the best possible chance. This very easy-to-use PDF management tool will allow you to convert PDF documents to editable formats and use the OCR function to ensure that even scanned PDFs can be easily edited. If you want to try it, you can download it directly by clicking the download button below.

how to make a pdf editable with updf

UPDF is one of the most complete PDF editors in the market with numerous functions to help you manage and edit your PDFs like a pro. These include the following;

  • UPDF can very easily convert a PDF document to any one of the many editable formats including Word, Excel, Text, and more. Very powerful OCR capabilities ensure that you can just as easily convert a scanned PDF to these formats.
  • It is also one of the best solutions to read and annotate any PDF document. Easy and user-friendly navigation tools and a wide range of annotation tools make that possible.
  • UPDF also offers unmatched text and image editing capabilities, allowing you to edit the text and images on the document without leaving the PDF.
  • It also offers one of the easiest and most effective page management tools. You can use UPDF to split PDF pages, rotate them, replace them, add new pages to an existing document and so much more.

The OCR function is also provided in the conversion feature of UPDF, which is another approach used by the platform. You can make use of any of the methods to make PDF editable. As these methods are different from each other, the understanding of both methods is different. Let's see how you can make PDF editable with the OCR feature of UPDF:

Step 1: Selecting Document Type

As you open the PDF, select "Recognize Text using OCR" from the right panel of options. You will find two different options in the Document Type section, but you have to select "Searchable PDF."

make pdf editable using ocr

Step 2: Specifying Layout for OCR

Following this, specify the "Layout" of the PDF document by selecting "Text and pictures only" or "Text over the page image" from the available options. You can also make use of the advanced layout settings available from the "Gear" icon.

how to create an editable pdf with updf

Step 3: Select Language for Detection

Proceeding to the next section, define the language that OCR has to detect. Under the list provided in "Document Language," select any of the 38 languages to execute the function.

make pdf editable online to change language

Step 4: Provide Image Resolution

Next, you must define the "Image Resolution" by selecting any of the values available in the list. For users who are not sure, they can click on "Detect Optimal Resolution" and proceed.

how to make a writable pdf to change image resolution

Step 5: How to Create an Editable PDF

You must specify the page ranges and work through the options to select "Perform OCR" to conclusively perform the method. Select the location where you want to save the converted PDF, and execute the process successfully.

how do i make a pdf editable with ocr

How to Make a PDF Editable

To use UPDF to make a PDF editable, install the program on your computer and then follow these steps;

Step 1: Open PDF and select "Export PDF"

Launch UPDF on your computer and then open the PDF document that you want to convert to an editable format.

The easiest way to open the document in UPDF is to simply drag and drop the file onto the main window.

Once the document is open, click on the "Export PDF" button at the top.

how to make a scanned document editable with updf

Step 2: Choose an Editable Output Format

You will then be presented with a list of editable formats that UPDF supports.

Choose your preferred output format.

how to make a pdf editable to export pdf

Step 3: How do I Make a PDF Editable

A popup window will appear, allowing you to enable OCR capabilities. This will be applicable if the PDF document you are working with is scanned,

Enable "Text Recognition Settings" and in the "Page Range" setting, select the number of pages you want to convert.

turn on ocr to make pdf editable

Step 4: Convert PDF to Text

Once your settings are as you need them to be, click on "Export" and choose the output format. Your PDF document will be converted to an editable format in a few seconds.

Above are the steps to make PDF editable. You can download UPDF for a trial of these steps.

how to create an editable pdf to export the changed file

How to Make a PDF Editable with Adobe Acrobat

As one of the most useful PDF editors in the market, Adobe Acrobat also comes with an OCR function and other document conversion features that can help you make a PDF editable.

The following guide shows you how you can use these features to make a PDF editable with Adobe Acrobat;

Step 1: Open Adobe Acrobat on your computer and then open the scanned PDF in Acrobat.

Step 2: Then click on "Tools" and select "Edit PDF". If the document you have opened is scanned, Acrobat will automatically apply OCR to convert the document to a fully editable format.

Step 3: You will see a prompt at the top-right corner of the screen showing the language that the OCR has detected. If you would like to change the language, click on "Settings" in the prompt for more options.

Step 4: In the settings window, you will also be able to specify the range of pages that you want to convert as well as the font. Just check the "Make all the pages editable" and "Use available system font" to make the changes.

Step 5: Once the document is editable, you can use Adobe Acrobat's extensive editing tools to make changes to the text and images on the document.

Step 6: Then click on "File > Save As" to save the edited document.

How to Make PDF Editable in Google Docs

If you want a solution to make a PDF editable, you can use Google Docs. It may not have as many options as UPDF or Adobe Acrobat, but it can come in handy in pinch. Here’s how to use Google Docs to make a PDF editable;

Step 1: Go to Google Docs, click on "File" and select "Open".

Step 2: Select the PDF file that you want to work with and click "OK" to open the file in Google Docs

Step 3: In the window that appears, go to the "Open With" section and select "Google Doc". Your PDF will then be in an editable format, allowing you to make as many changes as you want.

FAQs on Making PDF Editable

1. How do I Change a PDF from Read-Only to Editable?

Depending on the restrictions placed on the document, you can make a read-only PDF editable by disabling the read-only restriction in the file properties. Just right-click on the document and select "Properties". In the options that appear, uncheck the "Read-Only" option and click "OK".

2. Can PDFs be Editable?

Yes, PDFs can be editable, but to ensure that you can edit all aspects of the document easily, you will need to use a professional PDF editor with all the necessary features. UPDF is a good option.

3. How Do I Convert a PDF to an editable PDF for free?

Some PDF editors may allow you to do that, but we recommend using UPDF as described above. It can convert the popular formats you want to convert. It's more simple to use.

4. How Do I Make an Editable PDF without Acrobat?

One of the best alternatives to Acrobat is UPDF. UPDF has all the features in Acrobat but is far simpler to use.


Making a PDF document editable can be a very simple process if you have the right tool. Of all the solutions available in the current market, UPDF presents the best option because it is easy to use and has all the features you need.