Basic PDF Creation
OIT Academic Computing, University of Massachusetts
Editing a PDF
When possible, recreate rather than edit
When a document needs extensive editing, to save time and avoid
frustration, do not attempt to edit in Acrobat.
1. In its native application (such as MS Word), open, edit and save
the original document that was converted to PDF.
2. Convert it again to PDF format (see How to Convert Files to
If you do not have the original and need to make
extensive revisions, export to RTF or Word
If you only have a PDF version of a document to which you need to
make extensive revisions:
1. Go to
File > Save As ...
2. Save a copy of the file in an appropriate format, for instance,
Rich Text Document (.rtf), or Microsoft Word Document (.doc).
3. Open the new document in your word processing application to
make the needed revisions.
4. Save the file in its native file format. (This is your backup, in
case you need to revise again!)
5. Re-convert to PDF format (see page 4).
Some formatting may be lost, but it beats starting from scratch!
Insert, extract, replace, delete, crop, or rotate pages:
1. Go to
Document > Pages ...
for a choice of commands to run on
individual pages, on a range of pages, or on whichever pages
are selected in the Pages tab.
ɻ +ROGSHIFT and click on the page icon in the Pages tab to
select contiguous pages.
ɻ +ROG&21752/DQGFOLFN on the page icon in the Pages tab
to select discontinuous pages.
Rearrange page order
1. Click the Pages tab.
2. Drag and drop page thumbnail icons.
Edit with the TouchUp Text Tool
There’s a reason it’s called the “TouchUp” tool: it’s good for correcting
spelling or other minor changes, but that’s about it. For best results,
open the original document in its native application, change it, then
convert to PDF again.
1. Go to
Tools > Advanced Editing > TouchUp Text
The TouchUp Text Tool can revise, delete, or add text, but
sometimes only within one line. Text may not flow into the
next line. Acrobat has no font formatting options (bold italic,
font size or color, etc.).
2. Go to
File > Save
Editing capabilities within Acrobat are
limited, but can be useful
In Acrobat you can...
clipboard for use in another application
ɻ ([SRUWWKHHQWLUHGRFXPHQWWR57) )
(useful, for instance, if you’ve lost the
Note: you cannot edit pages at all using
Acrobat Reader, and some features require
Acrobat Professional rather than Standard
(See Appendix: Acrobat Versions for details)
Export selected content in a PDF for
use in another application...
To copy text to the clipboard:
1. From the tool bar, click the Select Text
2. Highlight the text.
3. Go to Edit > Copy.
4. Open a page in another application and go
to Edit > Paste.
To copy an image to the clipboard:
1. From the tool bar, click the Select Image
2. Click on the image (it will become
3. Right-click on an image and choose
Copy image to clipboard.