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How to Edit PDFs like a Pro: Tips and Tools for Writers

All About Editing PDF Files

Converting PDF files into editable Word documents is an essential skill for writers. Whether you need to update your PDF file with new content, fix typos, or reformat the layout, having the right PDF editing tools can save you time and frustration.

This guide will explore the best methods for editing PDF files with ease. Ready? Then let’s go …

Why Edit PDF Files?

For authors, retaining flexibility and control over your files is crucial. Screenwriters may also need to update their PDF files. Knowing how to do this is very important, especially if the PDF file is all you have after a writing software meltdown or a computer exploding (learn from my mistakes!).

However, PDF documents are notoriously difficult to manipulate once created. So, how do we edit an existing PDF file without having to build a new one from scratch? Thankfully, the right PDF software makes revisions simple.

Reasons eBook authors may need to edit their published PDF files include:

  • Fixing typos and formatting mistakes
  • Adding or updating content
  • Changing layouts and styles
  • Removing or reorganising pages
  • Inserting new images and graphics
  • Preparing translations into other languages

Rather than attempt to manually alter a PDF, converting it into an easy-to-edit Word document first opens more possibilities for effortless revision.

Handy Tools for Converting PDF to Word

To modify PDF as needed, use a reliable PDF to Word converter tool. Leading choices with excellent functionality include:

i) Smallpdf

As a free online PDF editor, Smallpdf makes it simple to convert PDF to Word plus many other functions to update your PDF file like merge PDFs, sign documents, and compress files.

Their easy-to-use interface and versatile toolset establish Smallpdf as a top choice for occasional PDF editing needs. Limits apply to free users, but their paid plans add features like cloud storage and password-protection too.

While the free version caps users at specific thresholds, even moderate PDF manipulators can get a lot done without hitting the limits. So, Smallpdf works perfectly fine for anyone without intensive editing volumes. Upgrade anytime if your needs scale up.

ii) Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

As the premium software from the inventors of PDFs themselves, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC shines as a top-choice tool for manipulating PDFs. Users highlight text and use editing tools similar to Word to update documents seamlessly. Other perks include optical character recognition for detecting text in scanned documents and built-in exporting to Word format.

The price tag is higher than other options, but frequent PDF editors get their money’s worth from Acrobat’s versatility. However, for more casual users, the cost may not justify itself depending on your workflow. In that case, one of the alternative PDF software options with lower pricing may suit your budget better.

iii) Google Docs

Surprisingly, even Google Docs now provides users with basic PDF editing capacities for free. Simply upload the file to Google Drive and open it with Google Docs. Use familiar Word-like editing features to make minor text revisions. While formatting limitations exist, Google Docs works in a pinch for quick changes.

Leveraging tools you already use daily in Google Drive sets the barrier to entry very low to start editing PDFs right away. But power users will quickly notice Google Docs’ functionality ceiling when manipulating PDFs. Still, take advantage of this free built-in option for small document updates when needed.

Compare these top contenders to determine the best solution tailored for your specific PDF editing workload and budget.

Step-by-Step Guide to Update PDF Content

Ready to convert that PDF into an easy-to-edit Word file? Follow these steps:

1. Choose your PDF to Word converter

Based on the options outlined above, select your preferred PDF editing software. Download or access the web app as needed. Consider usage volume, budget, and functionality requirements when deciding.

2. Upload your PDF

In your chosen program, locate the import, open or convert functions to upload your existing PDF. Ensure the file finishes processing and opens properly.

3. Save or export PDF as a Word doc

Once opened, save or export the PDF file as a Microsoft Word .docx document through the available options in your software. Double check that formatting, images, and text converted cleanly.

4. Edit Word doc content

With the document now open as an editable Word file, insert, modify or format text as needed. Use familiar Word tools to alter layouts plus insert images and graphics at will. Revise thoroughly to avoid another editing round.

5. Save final Word file

When finished editing in Word, save the final .docx file to retain the changes. Perform any last reviews in Word before converting back to PDF.

6. Convert back to PDF

Lastly, reconvert your updated Word document back into PDF format through your program’s export tools. The edited PDF now reflects all inserted modifications and is ready for distribution.

Handy Tips for Seamless PDF Editing

Streamline your workflow when editing PDFs with these pro pointers:

  • When possible, request original source files from creators before converting to PDF to allow easier editing later.
  • Use paragraph styles in Word before PDF conversion to preserve formatting when editing.
  • Compare the new edited PDF against the original to double-check all updates occurred as expected. Pay close attention to any section break or layout shifts.
  • Ensure any new text or images added to the Word document convert properly into the new PDF too. Review this thoroughly as some elements may fail to apply during conversion.
  • For scanned documents, OCR conversion quality varies greatly so double-check that text integrity was maintained through editing cycles. Expect to clean up odd translations from image to text.
  • When extensive changes occur, including major formatting shifts or reorganisation, rebuilding a PDF from scratch may simplify further manipulation than editing repeatedly.
  • Leverage the comment tools in PDF editing programs to annotate issues for the creators rather than attempting to edit directly. This allows authors to address revisions themselves later.
  • Many PDF editing suites also enable you to request approvals from stakeholders when changes finish through digital signatures and automated workflows.

As critical publishing preparation tools, having the skills to efficiently edit PDF documents gives eBook authors greater creative freedom and managerial control. Rather than attempt to manually alter PDF files, converting them into malleable Word documents first opens more possibilities for seamless revision.

Equipped with the right knowledge of top PDF editing software choices plus handy workflow tips, self-publishing authors can update their eBooks with ease and professionalism.

Good Luck!

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