By design, PDF files are not editable. The format was created 30 years ago as the digital equivalent of paper. However, there are numerous times when you will need to modify a PDF; you may want to update your presentation slides or CV with new information, alter the address and corporate logo on an invoice, or add some zeros to a total in a contract.
Knowing what tools you can use and how to edit them on the go is quite convenient given how popular a document type PDFs are and how frequently people need to modify them.
How Do You Edit PDFs on iPads?
In this section, we will cover three tools you can use to edit a PDF file on an iPad and how you'd go about it. The tools include:
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
Using Adobe Acrobat Reader to edit a PDF on an iPad
The Adobe Acrobat Reader is a PDF viewer that also includes limited editing features. With it, you can open and view any PDF document, make small changes such as adding a signature or highlighting text and save the file with the same name and location. However, if you need to make more substantial changes to the PDF file, you will need to look for another tool.
To open and edit a PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader:
1. Tap the Adobe Acrobat Reader app on your iPad's Home screen. The app will open and display a list of recently opened files. If the PDF you want to edit is not in this list, tap the “Select a file” button. You'll be given the option to choose a file's location on your device or in the cloud.
2. Tap the PDF file you want to open. The file will open and be displayed in the Reader.
3. To edit the PDF, tap the Edit icon in the top right corner of the screen. You can now make changes to the file, such as adding annotations or highlighting text.
4. Tap the Save button (floppy disk icon) in the upper-right corner of the Reader window.
5. In the Save As dialog box, enter a filename for the edited version of the PDF and navigate to a location on your iPad where you want to save it.
6. Tap the Save button in the lower-right corner of the dialog box. The edited PDF will be saved and opened in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Using iAnnotate to edit a PDF on an iPad
The iAnnotate app is a more robust PDF editor than the Adobe Acrobat Reader. It allows you to add annotations, highlight text, and insert text and images into a PDF document. In addition, it includes a number of features that are useful for business users, such as the ability to merge and split PDF files, create forms, and password-protect documents.
To open and edit a PDF in iAnnotate:
1. Select the PDF file you want to open and then tap on it. The PDF appears on your iPad screen.
2. Tap the arrow icon on the top right corner of the screen. Tap the "Open In" button.
3. Tap iAnnotate PDF from the "Open In" menu. The document will open in iAnnotate PDF.
4. To edit the PDF, use your finger to interact with the document on the screen. The toolbar at the right side of the screen provides tools for annotating, highlighting, and inserting text and images into the document. The open PDFs on iAnnotate PDF will appear in tabbed windows. You can move from one file to another by tapping its tabbed window.
5. When you are finished editing the PDF, tap the toolbox button in the toolbar to display a new dialog box.
6. To access the Document commands, select "Document" from the top toolbar.
7. Tap "E-mail PDF and Summary". The Sharing Options dialog box will appear.
8. Under "Choose the File format to E-mail", tap "Annotated". The PDF is attached to a blank email that opens on your iPad. Create your email message and send it to the person you wish to receive it.
Using GoodReader to edit a PDF on an iPad
GoodReader is a versatile app for viewing and managing documents. It includes an annotation function similar to iAnnotate, as well as support for adding bookmarks, folders, and password protection to PDFs.
You may access, create, edit, and remove a variety of PDF notes, markups, sketches, and highlights. Annotations that you make or modify in GoodReader are saved in a PDF file so that you may view them later on your computer or on another person's device.
To open and edit a PDF in GoodReader:
1. To begin, move a file to GoodReader and then open the PDF document by tapping its name.
2. Make sure that the document you want to edit is at its original size (not zoomed). To make sure it's at its original size, select the document and then tap "Fit to screen" in the app. Alternatively, you can pinch the screen with two fingers until it matches its original size.
3. You can now annotate and modify your PDF as needed for edits and comments. To edit or delete a previously added note, lightly touch it or press and hold it for a while.
Two distinct gestures are necessary to operate with annotations on the GoodReader app: a quick single tap and a tap-and-hold. Depending on where you touch (a blank space on a page, on an existing annotation, or on a text), you'll be presented with different pop-up menus.
You may also make use of the Side Menu, which appears every time the navigation menu is on. That menu has a "pin" option on it. Use it to keep this menu on-screen for the duration of a huge annotating project, then close it once you're done.
How Do You Edit PDFs on Tablets?
In this section, we will show you the various tools you can use to edit a PDF file on a tablet. Our focus here will be on a tablet running the Android operating system. We will cover the following three tools:
- Adobe Fill & Sign
- Xodo PDF
- OfficeSuite: Free Office + PDF Editor
Using Adobe Fill & Sign to edit a PDF on a tablet
Adobe Fill & Sign is available as an app from the Google Play Store. It allows you to fill and sign documents on your tablet. This app can be very helpful when you need to add your own information, signatures, initials, or answers to questions to a PDF in order to send it or submit it to others. If you receive a file from any service provider or any utility company, they'll quite often ask you to fill in the contract, sign it, and send it back to them.
To use Adobe Fill & Sign:
1. First, download the Adobe Fill & Sign app to your tablet in the Google Play store.
2. Once it’s downloaded, click on the app. A welcome message will pop up asking you to log in to your Adobe account. You do not need to sign in to an account to use this app.
3. If you would like to save and access your PDFs from any device using your account then sign in to the app now, otherwise, click the X button in the top right corner and continue.
4. Click Select a form to fill out to locate the PDF. If you have downloaded the PDF to your tablet, use the File Browser button. Find your PDF in your device storage and tap it to upload. If you have never used this app before, a short How-To slideshow will pop up.
5. Swipe through the How To pictures and read the information, then tap anywhere outside of the pop-up to close the slideshow. Now you will see your PDF.
6. Zoom in using two fingers to pinch and scroll around the document.
7. Tap anywhere on the PDF to add a textbox to type in. If you don’t type anything in the textbox, it will not appear after saving so don’t worry if you accidentally add a blank box somewhere. Tap elsewhere to add a new box and continue typing answers or information.
8. If you need to sign a document, tap on the sign pen button and then tap "Create Signature". The screen will flip horizontally, use your finger to draw your signature on the "sign here" line, or click the camera button to take a picture of your signature written on paper.
9. Take a picture of the signature and click "Use Photo". After you take the picture, it gives you a chance to crop the signature. Drag the edges around your signature and then click done.
10. Back on the "Choose Signature" page, click done to add the signature to your PDF. Drag the signature box anywhere on the PDF. You can also change the size of the signature by dragging the edge of the signature.
11. Once you are satisfied with your edits, click "Done" to save your work.
Using Xodo PDF to edit a PDF on a tablet
Xodo PDF is available as an app from the Google Play Store. It allows you to fill and sign documents on your tablet. You can also add text, highlights, underlines, and notes to a PDF.
To use Xodo PDF:
1. Download the Xodo PDF app to your tablet from the Google Play store.
2. Open the app choose the PDF file to open and tap on it. Entering text and tapping checkboxes in Xodo is no more complicated than using Adobe Acrobat.
3. Tap your document to hide or bring up the toolbar.
4. From the "Toolbar Switcher", select "Annotate" and choose one of the tools on the toolbar. You can swipe to explore more tools.
5. To underline, highlight, or strike out any text, press and hold on that text.
6. To edit an existing annotation, tap the annotation. A pop-up menu will appear.
7. To add a signature, scroll to the "Toolbar Switcher" and select the "Fill & Sign" option.
8. Tap the signature symbol then tap anywhere on the document to create the signature.
Using OfficeSuite: Free Office + PDF Editor to edit a PDF on a tablet
OfficeSuite: Free Office + PDF Editor is available as an app from the Google Play store. Its support for PDF files includes PDF camera scanning, Export to PDF, and Fillable forms. It also supports digital signatures and annotations. In PDF documents, OfficeSuite: Free Office + PDF Editor includes “Fast Signature” a feature that allows you to sign a document in a matter of seconds.
To use OfficeSuite: Free Office + PDF Editor:
1. Download the OfficeSuite: Free Office + PDF Editor app to your tablet from the Google Play store.
2. Open the app and tap on the PDF at the taskbar menu at the top of the screen. A new window will open with the options to:
- Scan to PDF
- Convert to PDF
- Fill and sign
The "Convert to PDF" and "Fill and sign" options are premium features, but new users can use the feature within the app's seven days trial.
3. Tap the "Fill and sign" icon and choose the file you wish to open.
4. Tap anywhere on the PDF to add a textbox to type in.
5 To add a signature, drag the signature box anywhere on the PDF and draw it. You can also change the size of the signature by dragging the edge of the signature.
7. Once you are satisfied with your edits, click "Done" to save your work.
PDFs can be edited on iPads and tablets using a number of different tools.
You could consider installing every app we've covered for your iPad or tablet to find out which one would be the best fit for your needs. Each of these tools has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Some applications may have restrictions, and some apps may include extra capabilities that the others do not. Whichever tool you choose, be sure to save your work often to avoid losing any changes you'll have made to your PDFs.