How to Edit a PDF Document with or without Adobe Reader

Last Updated on November 11, 2021 by Tina Clark

PDF stands for Portable Document Format and is a popular way to view and distribute documents on a computer. You can view PDF documents in Adobe Reader, no matter which operating system creates the documents. Since Adobe Reader is free to use, you may use it on your device too. But can you edit a PDF in Adobe Reader? The answer is simple, yes. And this article will show you a complete guide.

Edit PDF with or without Adobe Reader

Part 1: How to edit PDF with Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader is a well-known PDF viewer. As a free tool, you can download it from the Adobe website and use it for free. The drawback is that you cannot get many PDF editing tools in Adobe Reader. You can only use the Comment tools to add some annotations to your PDFs.

Adobe Reader

Step 1: Open your Adobe Reader. If you do not have it, download it from the Adobe website. It will install a Chrome extension too.

Step 2: Click the File menu and select Open to add the PDF you want to edit in Adobe Reader.

Step 3: Then go to the right side and select the Comment tab to view all tools. You can add comments, text box or text on the PDF, highlight existing text, or draw various shapes.

Comment Adobe Reader

Step 4: To add some text, you can locate the desired page and click the Text tool. Put your cursor to the PDF, and type the text.

Step 5: If you want to add your signature to the PDF, go to the Sign tab, select Place Signature and write your signature to the document.

Windows Adobe Signing Documents

Step 6: Finally, press Ctrl + S button to replace the original PDF with the edited document. Alternatively, click File and select Save as to save the edited PDF as a new document.

Note: Adobe Reader cannot change page order or existing content on your PDF. Plus, it cannot handle an encrypted PDF file. You have to decrypt the PDF with third-party tools.

Part 2: How to edit PDF without Adobe

Adobe Reader is not a good choice to edit PDF documents. It makes sense since it develops as a PDF viewer. From this point, we recommend WidsMob PDFEditor, which is an all-in-one alternative to Adobe Reader. Its key features:

  • View any PDF documents on your desktop smoothly.
  • Edit a PDF file without Adobe Reader.
  • Offer a wide range of PDF editing tools, like text, image, comment, and more.
  • Rearrange pages in an existing PDF document simply.
  • Add password protection to prevent others from reading.

In a word, PDFEdit is the best alternative solution to Adobe Reader to edit a PDF document.

Win Download Mac Download

How to Edit a PDF File without Adobe Reader

Step 1: Install the best PDF editing software

When you want to edit a PDF document without Adobe Reader, download the best alternative and install it to your computer following the on-screen instructions. Then launch the editor and drag and drop the PDF file into the main interface. You have set up the PDF editor as the default PDF viewer, double-click on the PDF file to open it directly.

Open Image File PDFEdit

Step 2: Edit a PDF document without Adobe Reader

Edit Text: firstly, browse your PDF with your mouse wheel. If you want to add some text or images, locate the desired page. Click the Edit menu to open the toolbar and select Add Text. Click the blank area on the page and type in the text. Then you can change the appearance of the text, like font, size, color, and more.


Edit Image: To edit an image on the PDF, right-click on it and choose Properties. Then modify the custom options in the pop-up dialog. If you want to add an image on a page, select Add Image in the Edit toolbar, import the image, and put it on the page.

Preview Image PDFEdit

Add Hyperlink: The Links tool on the Edit toolbar allows you to add hyperlinks to your document.

Edit Pages: Adobe Reader cannot edit PDF pages, but the best alternative can do it. Hit the Pages menu to open the Pages toolbar. To split several pages, select Split PDF and set the options based on your need. If you want to replace several pages, choose Replace Pages. To extract specific pages, click Export Pages, add the page numbers, and click OK. Plus, you can apply watermark, background, header, and footer, page number to your PDF with corresponding tools on the Page toolbar.

Edit a Page: On the Pages toolbar, you can get the Crop Page and Rotate Page tools to crop or rotate a page quickly.

Add Signature: Click the Sign menu, select Place Signature, and add your digital signature to the PDF file.

Password Protect PDF: Click the Protect menu and select Protection. Type your password in the pop-up dialog, and click OK. Then anyone cannot view or change your PDF without your password.

Add Comment: Click the Comment menu to open the Comment toolbar. Go to the Annotations tab, and you can get the tools related to highlight existing text or add comments. Or you can draw on the PDF with the Drawing Markups tool.

Step 3: Export edited PDF file

After editing a PDF without Adobe Reader, you can save it directly. If you do not want to change the original PDF file, click File -> Save to export the PDF file as a new document.

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Based on the sharing above, you should understand how to edit a PDF file in Adobe Reader for free. As a PDF viewer, it does not provide rich editing tools. All you can do is add some comments or signatures to your PDF. That is why we recommend the best alternative to Adobe Reader, WidsMob PDFEdit. It is both a PDF viewer and a PDF editor. It allows you to edit text, images, pages, signatures, and more. More importantly, the alternative solution is pretty easy to use. We hope that our guide and suggestion are helpful to you.