SwifDoo PDF

One-stop PDF Solution for Windows

  1. Edit PDF documents as easily as Word;
  2. Convert PDF to any other formats or vice versa;
  3. Annotate, organize, compress, and protect PDFs as needed

Table of content

Share this article

Home / Blog / How to Make a PDF Editable for Free with 4 Newest Methods

How to Make a PDF Editable for Free with 4 Newest Methods

By Roche | Follow twitter | Updated on April 29, 2024 | Deutsch Français
First of all, PDF has long benefited from the nature of this file format: stability and consistency. That can well explain why users tend to distribute and share their documents in PDF. However, these characteristics make PDFs hard to edit. Therefore, how to make a PDF editable remains a burning question.

How do I convert a PDF to an editable one? Can PDF editing be as easy as an MS Word document? This post will introduce several feasible methods tomake an editable PDF. In the following paragraphs, we will shed some light on how to create an editable PDF on Windows and macOS.

How to Make a PDF Editable on Windows

We'll introduce you to several top-rated PDF editors and offer detailed steps to solve this problem according to different OS and platforms. Let's start by finding out how to make PDFs editable free on the Windows operating system.

SwifDoo PDF: A Reliable Program to Create an Editable PDF

SwifDoo PDF is definitely an easy-to-use desktop PDF program on Windows. Without a cluttered user interface and too many rarely used features scattered across the menu bar, SwifDoo PDF hopes to simplify the process of working with PDF documents. In addition, more than 30 different features turn SwifDoo PDF into a suitable PDF program to convert a PDF to an editable PDF.

How to convert a PDF to an editable PDF

Even with a professional PDF editor, some users still feel uneasy to write on a PDF document directly and are still apt to edit a Word document. The most straightforward method to make a PDF editable is to convert it to an editable Word file. Check out how SwifDoo PDF Converter makes a PDF editable with a couple of clicks:

Step 1: Open a PDF document using SwifDoo PDF, then navigate to the top menu to click Convert;

How to make a PDF editable in SwifDoo PDF

Step 2: In the Convert tab, select PDF to Word to convert the PDF to an editable Word document.

You can easily make a PDF editable using the method. Nevertheless, this solution only applies to standard PDF documents. Once your PDF document is a scanned copy, the conversion result may be an image-only PDF as well. In other words, users cannot make changes to the non-editable text within the scanned PDF document, as a page is actually an image layer.

If you want to know if there’s any method that can directly make a PDF editable, the answer is yes. With the support of a PDF OCR engine like SwifDoo PDF, you’ll figure out how to effortlessly make PDF files editable.

How to make a scanned PDF editable

What if your PDF is a scanned PDF? SwifDoo PDF’s excellent OCR engine can skillfully deal with scanned copies and convert a PDF to an editable PDF. Many PDF products have widely integrated OCR to recognize handwritten or printed characters within PDFs. This technology will help convert an image-only PDF to a searchable or editable PDF file.

Step 1: Open a scanned PDF using SwifDoo PDF;

Step 2: Click Edit to choose OCR;

How to make a scanned PDF editable in SwifDoo PDF

Step 3: When the Recognize Document dialog pops up, choose how to output the scanned PDF and specify the page range. Hit the OK button to OCR the PDF.

To ensure a better conversion result, one should choose “Document Language”. Your scanned PDF will be converted to an editable file in a short time.

How to make an editable PDF

A qualified PDF editor enables users to write on a PDF document directly, thus converting it to an editable PDF. Follow the instructions below to get the hang of it:

Step 1: Open a PDF document in SwifDoo PDF;

Step 2: Select Edit or Insert Text from the Edit tab;

How to make an editable PDF in SwifDoo PDF

Step 3: When the text boxes pop up, enter the text to modify the current page freely.

When you edit the PDF text, this program allows changing the PDF font style, color, and size; adding an underline or strikethrough; and italicizing the text. If needed, different features have been developed to fully meet the need for editing a PDF document, such as whitening, adding background or images, inserting links, and OCRing. For more information about how to write on a PDF, read the following post.
How to Type on a PDF Directly [Windows/Mac/Online/Phone]

How to Type on a PDF Directly [Windows/Mac/Online/Phone]

Find out how to type on a PDF using the simplest methods. This post shows you step-by-step tutorials to do the work on Windows, Mac, online, iPhone and Android.


How to Convert PDF to Editable PDF on macOS

When it comes to editing a PDF document on macOS, Preview may be the first application on your mind. However, we need to break down this fact: Preview cannot convert a PDF into a Word file or directly edit a PDF file. Under these circumstances, we need the help of a more professional PDF application.

PDF Expert: A Specialized PDF Editor for Mac

Recently, PDF Expert released a big update to enable converting PDFs into editable Word files; therefore, users can directly edit a PDF like a Word document. This long-awaited functionality makes this application a full-featured PDF editor on macOS. We’ll cover how to make a PDF editable by converting the PDF into a Word document:

Step 1: Download PDF Expert from the App Store, and open a PDF document using the program;

Step 2: Select Export from the top menu, then Word from the sub-navigation bar;

Step 3: Your PDF document will be converted to an editable Word file in a short time. If necessary, you can share the file with other apps.

PDF Expert is more than a PDF converter; it can directly edit a PDF.

Step 1: Open a PDF document in PDF Expert;

Step 2: Select Edit > Text in the menu bar;

Step 3: Place your cursor on the text you need to modify. When finished editing, remember to save the changes to the document.

If your PDF contains fillable forms and you need to make these forms editable, just fill out the form with a complete set of tools provided by PDF Expert. This application supports invoices, W9 tax forms, contracts, insertion orders, inspection forms, and sales orders. For more details, the related post covers what you need.

How to Create A Fillable PDF Form [Windows/Mac/Online]

How to Create A Fillable PDF Form [Windows/Mac/Online]

If you need to insert a form into the PDF to display data, click in this post to know how to create a fillable PDF form with Windows/Mac/Online PDF programs.


Acrobat: How to Make a PDF Editable in Adobe

Adobe Acrobat is another reliable option when you need to edit PDF files. If you're a fan of Acrobat and have a paid account for this PDF editor, steps to make a PDF editable in Adobe are available below:

Step 1: Open a non-editable PDF in Adobe Acrobat;

Step 2: Choose Tools and select Export PDF;

Step 3: Choose the format to which you want to export your PDF and tap Export;

How to Make a PDF Editable in Adobe

Step 4: Select a location to save the converted PDF file and name it.

Adobe Acrobat offers multiple options for converting PDF to an editable file format, including Microsoft Word, spreadsheet, PowerPoint, etc. You may choose any format you like in step 3 before exporting.

How to Make an Editable PDF Online for Free

Online PDF tools save much trouble if you didn't install any desktop PDF editor. Usually, as long as you've connected to an Internet, you can easily access an online tool and edit PDFs on the web. In this part, we'll take Google Drive as an example and show you how to make PDFs editable for free by using Google Drive and Google Docs.

Google Drive

You may never expect a cloud service provider to make an editable PDF. Of course, these two have no direct relationship, though. But what if Google Drive can really do that? No need to rush; here are the steps to create an editable PDF in Google Drive for free:

Step 1: Choose New on the top left and upload your PDF document to the Drive workspace;

How to make a PDF editbale free in Google Docs

Step 2: Right-click on the PDF to select Open with;

How to make an editbale PDF free in Google Docs

Step 3: In the drop-down menu, choose Google Docs or DocHub. After that, your PDF will be converted into an editable PDF, and you can feel free to make any changes to the document.

How to create an editable PDF online for free in Google Docs

Obviously, Google Drive is a reliable free web-based PDF converter to create an editable PDF. However, for non-standard PDF files, such as scanned copies or image-only PDFs, the formatting and page layout will drive you nuts because everything in the document is wrongly placed, and some text will disappear. This may be a big issue using this free online platform. Considering Google Drive is only a cloud service provider rather than a dedicated PDF program, the performance is quite desirable.

How to Edit a PDF in Google Drive [November 2023]

How to Edit a PDF in Google Drive [November 2023]

How do you edit a PDF in Google Drive? Are you looking for the answer? The article demonstrates a freeway and advanced PDF editing option.


What Is an Editable PDF?

A real or editable PDF containing both text and images is usually created by the Microsoft Office Suite or virtual printers. Truth be told, a PDF document is designed to be non-editable without the assistance of an outside source, specifically a PDF editor. In other words, if you need to make a PDF editable, a dedicated PDF editor is a must.

Wrapping Up

Whether you ever think about how to make a PDF editable, it’s not that hard when you have so many good PDF editors to choose from. Let’s hope the several tools mentioned can help you easily make an editable PDF.



Q:How do I make a PDF editable in Word?

If you need to make a PDF editable in Word, the PDF should be a standard PDF. When ready, follow the guide below to edit a PDF in Word:

Step 1: Launch Microsoft Word, go to File > Open menu, then choose the PDF file you want to edit;
Step 2: Word will automatically convert this PDF to an editable Word document. Feel free to make any edits to the document;
Step 3: Navigate to File > Save As now. Select PDF from the Save as Type dropdown menu rather than Word Document. You now have a revised PDF file that you may distribute as you choose.

Please note that MS Word is not a professional PDF converter, so the converted PDF may not resemble the original one, especially if it has several interactive elements.

Q:How do I make a locked PDF editable?

If your PDF files are protected by the permission password, you can choose either decrypt this PDF or remove the password. Decrypting a PDF means typing in the password while removing the password to bypass the password. Adopting any method can convert your PDF into an editable one. Whatever you choose to make a locked PDF editable, SwifDoo PDF can be a trustworthy working partner.

With 2 years of experience writing reviews and roundup articles in the document management and software industries. Always have a passion for trying new things, especially software.

Related Articles