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What is the best way to edit PDF:s?

Posted on 2011-09-08
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What is the best way to edit PDF:s?

To do this directly in a PDF-editor like Adobe Pro, Foxit Phantom or Nitro PDF Professional works to some extend fairly good. But when it comes to page layout (inserting extra rows, moving text pieces, formatting of text) it gets more cumbersome.

So I was wondering if the preferable way would be to export a PDF to Word (or OpenWord) and edit there and when finished just import as PDF (create PDF)?

Or, for more advanced tasks (complex texts and complex page layouts with a lot of different objects and format), which DTP-software or page layout software would be useful for me?
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Question by:hermesalpha
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by:msaltz
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If formatting is an issue, use MS-Word to make your document and print it to a PDF Printer driver.  When I use to make PDF's work we always did it this way, unless the PDF needed to be a form (have textboxes, etc).
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captain earned 500 total points
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I take you are talking about scenarios when you don't have the original source file or it is only a minor changeo.

As you said complex changes cannot be done easily in a Pdf editor, simply because that it is not a purpose of a Pdf to be 'editable' but to be portable whist retaining the format. Hence being overly editable in structure would defeat that purpose somewhat.

You can however, depending on the level of object compression and fragmentation edit PDf in Illustrator (page by page). This will allow you to pick up objects and edit text in layout mode.

BUT, you have to make sure that you save the document back using 'save' and NEVER 'save as' as the latter only saves the current page as the whole Pdf and not the page back in the original multi pager.

There are other drawbacks, if the Pdf has been optimised or if it is created with high levels of object compression you will get fragments on the page, like sentences being single word groups which are hard to edit or tables being tiny blocks and lines rather than rows and cells.

If this occurs you have little option but to use the original application to make the changes. And up until Acrobat X it was not really easy or feasible to export back to MS Office for example. So if you have Acrobat X it may be wortwhile testing to save the Pdf back as Word file and make the changes that way.

In summary by order of preference:
1. Use the Original file and recreate the Pdf anew
2. Use the Pdf editing tools of your Pdf editor for minor edits
3. Use Adobe Illustrator to change larger layout areas
4. Export back to source application, make changes and recreate Pdf

Hth
capt.
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