Cite A PDF File – Here is the Detailed Guide to Make in-Text Citations

Last Updated on November 2, 2022 by Tina Clark

Citation a PDF file is important in making an educational or academic paper to avoid further issues or plagiarism. After making a PDF file, you might realize that certain essential details that are missing, such as citations, from the PDF document and that they need to be added. If you do not have the software that allows you to edit and add text to an existing PDF file, this may be a challenging task for you to complete. Or perhaps you wish to implement the material by adding some texts in PDF format. If you want to know how to make citations on PDF documents, here is the ultimate guide.

Cite A PDF File

Part 1: The Text Different Citation Styles to Cite a PDF

Perhaps you need to cite an electronic version of a published book, article, newspaper story, or conference talk; these can all be in PDF format.

How to Cite a PDF in APA

In-Text PDF Citation

All of the sources you would cite adhere to this norm. If you are referring to a particular paragraph or section, use a page number such as this: (Dave, 2019, p. 14). If you are citing an entire book or source, exclude page numbers, like in this example: (Dave, 2019).


  • Book: Surname, First-Initial. (Year of Publication). Book Title. Publisher.
  • Journal Article: Surname, First-Initial. (Year of Publication, Date). Article Title. Journal Title, page number.
  • Newspaper Article: Surname, First-Initial. (Year of Publication, Date). Article Title. Newspaper Title, page number.

How to Cite a PDF in MLA

In-Text PDF Citation

  • Book: (Surname of Author Page)
  • Journal Article: (Surname of Author Page)
  • Newspaper Article: (Surname of Author Page)
  • Published Conference Proceedings: (Surname of Author Page)


  • Book: Surname, First Name. Book Title. Publisher, Year of Publication.
  • Journal Article: Surname, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, volume number, Year of Publication, page numbers.
  • Newspaper Article: Surname, First Name. "Title of Article." Newspaper, Title, Date of the Newspaper released page number.

How to Cite a PDF in Chicago

In-Text PDF Citation

To utilize Chicago-style in-line citations, determine first if you’re quoting a specific section, such a quote. If that’s accurate, then cite the page or pages of the passage, like this: (Surname Year of Publication, Page Number).  If you’re not referring to a specific point in the text, use: (Surname of Author Year of Publication).


  • Book in Long form: Author's Full Name, Their Book Title (Publisher: Place, Year), pages.
  • Newspaper in Long form: Author's Full Name, "Their Article Title," The Name of the Newspaper, Publication date.

Published Conference Proceedings in Long form: If it has been published in a journal, it should be formatted as a journal article. If it has been published as a chapter in a book, format it as follows: Full name of the Author, "Book Chapter Title," in Book Title, edited by Name of the Editor (Place: Publisher, Year), page number.

Part 2: How to Cite A PDF in APA/MLA/Chicago

When you get familiar with a variety of citation styles, how do you properly cite a PDF file? PDFelement is an all-in-one PDF solution, which can be used to cite PDFs with different styles. If you are looking for a PDF editor to cite, edit, annotate, signature, and convert PDF documents. When you need to manage the educational or academic paper in PDF, it is always the initial choice you should consider.

1. Manage and cite the PDF education and academic paper easily.

2. Add author, journey article, article title, page number, and more.

3. Custom the footer, header, texts, links, images, and in-line citations.

4. Provide different editing features to add texts, combine files, etc.

Win Download Mac Download

Step 1: Once you have installed PDFelement, you can launch the software on your computer. Just drag and drop digital PDF paper into the program. You can click the Open files option to pick the PDF to cite. After selecting the file, click the Open button.

Open PDF for Conversion PDFElement

Step 2: Click the Edit tab and move the pointer to the text-entry field you want to cite. If you click this field, it will be selected. Double-clicking will allow you to input citations into PDF documents. After that, you can enter the desired texts as the citation to the PDF.

Add Cite to PDF PDFElement

Step 3. To insert a new text box into a PDF for citations, you only need to click the Add Text button. You can click anywhere on the PDF file to insert the text box, and type the desired content. Once you have finished the process, you can save the modifications.

Add Text as Cite PDFElement

Step 4: After citing a PDF, you can alter the font, font size, text color, word space, and line spacing, as well as align the words. Moreover, it allows you to make some adjustments, such as deletion, rotation, clipping, and replacement of PDF pictures using the Edit button.

Adjust Citation Parameter PDFElement

Step 5: Add annotations to PDF paper, such as highlight, draw mark-ups, and add notes by choosing the Comment tab and selecting one of the annotation tools. Once you have cited the PDF, you can press the Ctrl + S keys to save your document and apply the modifications.

Add Comments to PDF PDFElement Win Download Mac Download

Part 3: FAQ about How to Cite A PDF Document

1Why citing a PDF is important?
Citing a PDF gives acknowledgment to the original writers of the words or ideas you used in your paper. It enables others who are reading your PDF to discover your sources to understand more about the ideas you have to present.
2When you should cite a PDF?
Always cite the PDF according to the source file. Ultimately, a PDF is not a source, but rather a file format and method for displaying a source. If the source you intend to cite is a PDF of a newspaper article, for instance, cite it as you would a newspaper.
3Can you cite a PDF?
PDFs can be cited and referred to in the same manner as printed articles and books. This indicates the reference items, which can include the author, publication date, title, publisher, and a URL or DOI for the source. It is an efficient method to cite it online.


Citing a PDF file online is essential for your credibility, so you must not forget this section on your digital paper. However, if you forgot to include this section on your file, you can still cite a PDF with the use of PDFelement without any problem.

Win Download Mac Download

You may be interested