Edit text in a PDF

Learn how to edit words, phrases, or even entire pages in your PDF. Editing text directly in Acrobat allows you to accurately and professionally update content without jumping back and forth between apps. This video tutorial uses the new workspace experience.

Learn about the new editing mode that auto-adjusts content.
Stay productive at home or on the go with the easy to use text editing tools in Acrobat that are designed for use on phones, tablets and desktop. With minimal effort you can edit and add text to make sure your PDF is perfect without jumping to another app.
Editing text in a scan PDF is covered in a separate tutorial. Editing graphics in a PDF is also covered in another tutorial.
I need to edit text in this projectt I plan to present to a key stakeholder for funding within my organization. If you’re in the web version of Acrobat at acrobat.adobe.com with the file open. Select edit from the toolbar. Alternatively, if you’re on the desktop version of Acrobat, select Edit from the global toolbar.
Selecting Edit switches to edit mode, and you’ll probably see bounding boxes around the content. These bounding boxes are designed to let you know that you’re in edit mode. If you don’t see them, select the gear icon in the left hand panel and then select Bounding Boxes. You can also set to automatically show spelling errors or restrict editing. Since I have spellcheck turned on, I can see the spelling error over here flagged with a red underline. I’ll just click into the text to fix it.
When you edit text, the text in the paragraph flows within the text box to accommodate the changes. Each text box is independent and inserting text in one text black doesn’t push down an adjacent text box or reflow to the next page. You can also resize the text box and the text will reflow within those boundaries, but it doesn’t change the size of the text font. Text free flowing is limited to the current page unless auto adjust layout is turned on, which we’ll talk about in a minute. You can fine tune the formatting of your text using the controls on the left. You can also try the advanced format options such as line spacing, character spacing, horizontal scaling, and color. I’m going to go ahead and add italics in bold to this project name.
Now, if the original font isn’t available on your system, font substitutions may occur, altering the text appearance to maintain consistency across devices. You should use the available fonts on your system or embed them within the PDF. If the font of the text you want to edit isn’t installed on your system, but is embedded, you can only change the color or font size if the font isn’t installed or embedded. You can’t edit any text to check if a font is embedded. Select menu and then Document Properties or Control Plus D on windows or Command Plus D on the Mac, and then select the font tab.
Now there’s another very useful tool when editing text in a PDF, which I’ll use because we recently changed the name of this project from inspiration for change to Catalyst for change. So to quickly update the project, I can use the Find and Replace tool to update the name.
I’ll search for the word inspiration, which it shows me. There are three matches and then I select the three dots here. I can select replace text and I’m going to go ahead and replace this with the word catalyst. Then it will go ahead and search through the entire document. Replacing inspiration with catalyst.
You can also add new text to a document and use the formatting controls as well. On the left. By default, when you add new text, Acrobat chooses nearby font attributes for the new text, and when you edit text, any font that isn’t available on the system is substituted by a default font. You can set your preferences for these font defaults in the preferences under Content Editing. To access the preferences, select the menu and choose preferences, or use a keyboard shortcut Control K on Windows or Command K on the Mac at the bottom of the content. Editing preferences. You can also turn on Auto Adjust Layout, which allows you to reflow content and auto adjust the layout across pages like a word processor. When turned on, Acrobat attempts to identify the documents, structural elements, layout and order of information, and decides whether it can be auto adjusted so it may or may not work efficiently depending on the layout of your particular document.
I’m going to go ahead and do one more text edit in this document, and notice on this page how Acrobat automatically picks up that this is a bulleted list style. And so when I insert my cursor, it automatically adds the bullet for me on the next line.
You can also change the style of the bulleted or numbered list underneath the dropdown in the left hand pane.
Notice as well how Acrobat warns me that the text is overflowed the text box and needs to be adjusted.
Now, if you have a lot of text edits, like if you’re copying and pasting a lot of text, which I’m going to go ahead and do, Acrobat will notify you that it’s probably better to export the file and make your edits in a program like word, or do the updates in the original file that the PDF was created from. And if something goes wrong, you can always undo or redo using the controls in the toolbar. And that’s it. Acrobat has so many text editing tools at your fingertips to make updating your PDF a breeze.
This video is part of the course Work smarter with Acrobat DC and Microsoft 365 that is available for free on Experience League!