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How to Edit PDF File Documents

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

The question, "how to edit PDF file types" is a very common one. For most file types out there editing and converting is rather straightforward, and often free. But in PDF files, there is often protection embedded into the file to prevent the editing of the file. In PDF files, this is achieved with password protection. While the user can still view the PDF file, they cannot edit the file. This is because the PDF file is somewhat different than most other file types. While in a DOC file, if you see text, it actually is text, in a PDF, it's just an image of text.

So, you still need to know how to edit PDF file type documents? Well, there are several different answers to this question, based on various other criteria. The process for editing an image in a PDF file is different than the process of editing text in a PDF file. Of course, if the PDF file isn't protected (as password protection is an option only), then it makes the process much more simple. Anyone with a PDF editor can edit the file. While straightforward and relatively easy, this is often an expensive option as PDF editors, or the suites which offer them as components, can be very costly. For a cheaper solution, or in cases where the PDF file is password protected, it is necessary to go another route.

This other route does not actually edit the PDF file directly, and so may not at first seem like it is capable of answering the question, "how to edit pdf file types". What happens is a third-party program uses optical character recognition (OCR) software to decipher the text in the file. Because PDF files have protection against editing, but not viewing, this allows the end user to get around that protection. Once the text has been extracted from the PDF file, then it can be manipulated, changed, or converted into many different formats. It can even be "converted" back to PDF format if you have the proper PDF editor. One drawback of this approach is that OCR software is not exact. Even when using top of the line programs that have 99% success rates, there will be errors that will need to be edited later.

If in your specific case, knowing how to edit pdf file documents requires you to edit images, there are other workarounds. Again, an image can't be edited natively in a PDF editing program if the file is password protected and you don't have the password. In such a case, or in cases where you do not have a PDF editor at all, you will need to use a screen capture tool to extract the image from the PDF file. For PC systems running windows, by simply hitting the 'Prt Sc' (print screen) key on your keyboard you will copy everything on the screen into the clipboard. Alternatively, there are many screen capture utilities available, freeware, shareware, or commercial, that will allow you to do the same thing. (Often they will offer advanced features which can help you save time and effort in the process, so check them out!) Then you can paste this into an image ending program to edit or save the image. Because the entire screen will be copied, and the image in the PDF file is likely not full-screen, you will need to crop out the specific image from the PDF file. One thing to bear in mind while doing this is that you should scale the PDF file to it's native resolution (100%) before trying a screen capture. Print screen copies a bitmap representation of the image, meaning every pixel on your screen becomes a pixel in the image. So if you are at a non-native resolution (> 100% <) then you won't copy the image exactly, but rather copy the displayed scaled image exactly. Similarly, if using a third party screen capture utility and requiring an exact copy of the image in question, you may need to direct it to capture as a bitmap, rather than auto-converting to another format as is a common practice to save memory and disk space as bitmaps can be very large as there is no compression. In any case, once you have captured the bitmap representation of the image, there are many option as to how to manipulate and convert that image to your desired format.

By combining the abilities of these two options, you come to the overall answer as to how to edit PDF file documents.



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