How to Edit PDF Documents Safely
Many people want to know how to edit PDF files, since they are used for a variety of things, from sharing documents online to sending emails with attachments, and more. One thing that many people forget, however, is that PDF documents must be edited, too. Many different programs are available for changing PDF documents, but not all of them are the same. Luckily, there are many simple steps you can take to make sure that your PDF files are as safe as possible.
The first step is to think carefully about whether or not your PDF is “safe” to edit in the first place. First off, we’ll assume that you’re just trying to make some small changes to the document, such as removing some text that’s been changed. Unless there is a lot of extra text in the document, you should have no problem making changes to the text portion of it. However, if there is new formatting or embellishments added, then this is a different story. If you’re not 100% certain that the addition doesn’t cause another set of problems, you’ll want to be extra careful, even if it means changing the whole document. Changing just one little part of a PDF can make it so unsafe to edit that you’ll want to call the experts.
One of the first steps you’ll want to take when learning how to edit PDF files, is to go over the complete document with a fine-toothed comb. If there are any unfamiliar symbols, places, or words, look them up in the help file. Most programs will let you know what things are supposed to be blank, and which ones are supposed to be filled in. You’ll want to double-check this, to make sure that everything is correct, before you begin making changes.
Once you’re absolutely sure that your document is safe to be edited, you’ll need to decide what sort of changes you’d like to make. There are basically two options here. You can either add new content or change the formatting, both of which require Adobe Acrobat to open and view. If you’re adding content, your basic options are to add pages, documents, and graphics. If you’re changing the formatting, it’s a little more involved and includes things like removing table of contents, reordering or renaming items, and inserting images and text.
The biggest drawback of learning how to edit PDF files is that once you learn how to edit them, your changes will be permanent. Unless you save your document in a different PDF format, such as TIFF, there will be no difference when you open the document in Acrobat. Your changes will not override any existing formatting, and any future versions of Acrobat will only see an altered file name and won’t be able to read the file at all.
Learning how to edit PDF files is safe, but it does involve learning a bit of computer jargon, so if you aren’t a computer geek, you may want to stick to other methods of changing or editing your document. There are PDF readers available, such as the free reader that many students use. This type of reader will allow you to view PDF documents, although it doesn’t allow you to change or even read them. Other formats, such as TIFF, are much more readable and versatile, and allow for a greater number of functions if you need them.