6 Popular Ways to Edit PDF Files

PDFs have stayed the same for more than 3 decades and in the world of computer tech, that’s saying something. When PDF was invented in the 90s, it was revolutionary because it presented content readable to users regardless of the software and operating system they use to view it. Fast forward to 2020 and businesses, schools, and individuals interact with PDFs on a nearly daily basis. But even though the PDF has stayed the same throughout these years, our needs haven’t.

If you’ve ever tried to edit PDF files, you might have noticed that it’s way more challenging compared to how to edit PDF in Google Docs [1] or in Microsoft Office. This is mainly because the PDF format was never meant to be edited. Initially, the PDF file was created to allow users to work with documents on the screen the same way they have been doing it with hard copies. In other words, it’s the equivalent of a paper document. 

There’s no doubt that the original idea of PDF was brilliant. It gave users the ability to share content without worrying about which kind of operating system the recipients were using. However, as PDF usage has evolved, there are many needs that the format isn’t equipped to meet. Correcting typos, inserting images, and changing fonts and layouts are not possible. Software companies started to address these needs with PDF editing tools. Nowadays, you can find many options for editing PDF files. We would like to guide you through the most popular and effective.

Lumin PDF – The easiest way to edit PDFs

Lumin PDF is a tool that replaces inefficient paper processes with digital PDF ones. It works both on Windows and Mac, as well as on mobile devices. The software is easy and intuitive. It allows users to download, collaborate, annotate, edit PDF files in the cloud. You can connect Lumin to Google Drive and highlight, edit, sign PDF files directly in the cloud storage.

If you access Lumin by installing the Google Docs extension, you will automatically be given a Free account and 1 GB of storage. Editing PDF using Lumin software has some similarities to editing PDF in Google Docs.[2]  If you have a Free account, you will never be charged for using the Lumin service. You can upgrade to a premium account to access more storage space and features. Advanced functions include unlimited storage, unlimited document life, no advertisement, e-signature, premium email support.

Lumin PDF allows users to:

  • annotate PDF files
  • manipulate PDF pages
  • sign PDF files
  • collaborate on the PDF file online

Luin PDF provides users with a powerful toolkit for annotating PDF files:

  • add comments
  • insert images, shapes
  • highlight and underline text 

With page manipulation function you can easily make changes to PDF pages:

  • merge and rearrange PDF pages
  • display files in the Grid mode
  • rotate, delete, crop, insert blank pages in PDf file

Lumin’s seamless software makes the days when people needed to print or scan docs to be signed a distant memory. Using Lumin PDF, you can sign any document online. Plus, it makes handy recommendations for the best option of e-signature for your type of document. You can add a signature by:

  • drawing digitally, the same way as you do on paper
  • inserting a ready-made signature

One of the greatest features that Lumin PDF gives you the opportunity to annotate and share changes to the PDF file online. This feature works the same way as with Google Docs. Using Lumin PDF you can communicate with your team members directly in the document. Add a new answer, continue an existing discussion with the team, or illustrate changes that need to be made.

When your team is working on a large file with several authors, Lumin PDF keeps everyone synched in the PDF file itself.

2. Adobe Acrobat – Classic PDF editing

Adobe Acrobat is one of the most popular PDF editors of all time. Like most of Adobe’s software products, you can get it online by purchasing the Standard or Pro versions of the editor. It works both on Windows and Mac and will cost you around 15$ per month. If you want a professional PDF editor but aren’t to pay for it, you can opt for alternatives like Lumin PDF, which offers a free subscription with 1 GB of storage. 

The Adobe Acrobat software has a powerful set of features that will be handy for both personal and professional use. You can change text or graphics inside the PDF, change the layout of text elements, and crop photos. As one of the first PDF editors, Adobe has powerful name recognition.

However, some Adobe Acrobat processes seem a bit outdated and lacking features that others have. For example, many PDF editors include tools such as moving PDF documents to the cloud while allowing users to collaborate on PDF documents by seamlessly editing and annotating them.

3. Microsoft Word – The built-in way to edit PDFs

If you have Microsoft Word, it can be the easiest way to edit PDF files based on an existing PDF. The two formats are very different , which means that some information like tables with cell spacing and font effects may disappear during conversion. To start editing a PDF file, you need to convert the PDF file to an editable document, and its contents into a format that Word can display. However, it won’t change anything in the PDF itself.

Microsoft Word is an easy-to-use solution for editing PDF files because it’s already installed on most computers. However, it lacks the functionality of other PDF editors and relies on tedious back and forth conversion of PDF to Word.

4. Editing PDFs with Google Docs

This is a quick and free alternative to specialized PDF software. The editing process is simple and very similar to Microsoft Word, with the exception that you can edit PDF in google docs[3]  online. You just need to open the PDF file with Google Docs and make necessary changes in a newly created document and then save it as a PDF. Google Docs also allows users to email or share docs with others via links.

The drawback of editing PDF in Google Docs[4]  is that many users lose the formatting of PDF documents when importing files into Google Docs.

5. Using PDF converters

If you don’t want to use PDF editors, you can always opt for an online PDF converter and convert your PDF file to the most convenient format for editing. The procedure is very straightforward. You just need to choose a PDF Convertor and make a conversion to, let’s say, Word format. You can start editing the content of the PDF in Word and then save it to PDF again.

One problem with this is that it involves many repetitive steps that make editing PDF files frustrating. Alternately, you can use an editor like Lumin PDF that will automatically convert your Google docs into PDFs.

6. Using online PDF editors

Online editors win big on speed and convenience because you can edit files in the cloud with downloading and converting them. Adobe Acrobat is the most well-known PDF editor, but it’s also one of the most expensive. It has the additional drawback of being a download, which means you’ll have to give up memory to use the program — and you’ll only be able to edit PDF files on one device. Luckily, there are alternatives that are lighter on the budget (and on your device).

Programs like Lumin PDF give you a similar range of features — annotation, drawing, e-signatures, and others — from anywhere you have an internet connection. Lumin PDF is one editor that also includes built-in tools for team collaboration, like the ability to make groups of collaborators for each doc.

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