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 to be a burning question.

How do I make a PDF editable so that editing a PDF document is as easy as an MS Word document? This post will introduce several feasible methods to make an editable PDF.

How to Make a PDF Editable on Windows

SwifDoo 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 to work with PDF documents. More than 30 different features turn SwifDoo PDF into a suitable PDF program to make an editable PDF. In this section, we will provide two different approaches to make a PDF editable on Windows:


Even with a professional PDF editor, some users still feel weird to write on a PDF document directly and are still apt to edit a Word document. The most straightforward is to convert PDFs to editable Word documents. Check out how SwifDoo PDF Converter saves a PDF document as a Word file with a couple of clicks:

Step 1: Download and install SwifDoo PDF from the official website or Microsoft AppSource;

Step 2: Open a PDF document using the program, then navigate to the top menu to choose Convert;


Step 3: In the Convert tab, select PDF to Word to convert the PDF to an editable Word.

                                                                              Free Download

You can easily make a PDF editable using the method. Nevertheless, this solution 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 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 dedicated PDF editor like SwifDoo PDF, you’ll figure out how to effortlessly make a PDF editable.


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

Step 1: Open a PDF document in SwifDoo PDF;

Step 2: Go to the Edit tab, then select Edit or Insert Text;


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

When you edit the PDF text, SwifDoo PDF allows changing the font style, color, size, adding underline or strikethrough, and italicizing the text. If needed, different features are 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.
Complete Guide to Directly Write on a PDF [Online & Offline]

Complete Guide to Directly Write on a PDF [Online & Offline]

We may need to directly edit the PDF from time to time just like we do in MS Word documents, and this post offers the most complete guide to type on a PDF.


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

Step 1: Open a scanned PDF using SwifDoo PDF;

Step 2: Click Edit to choose OCR;

Step 3: When the Recognize Document dialogue 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 a PDF Editable 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 this fact: Preview cannot convert a PDF into a Word file or directly edit a PDF file. Under this circumstance, we need the help of a more professional PDF application.

PDF Expert

Recently, PDF Expert released a big update to enable converting PDFs into editable Word files; therefore, users can directly edit a PDF like Word files. 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 App Store, and open a PDF document using the program;

Step 2: Navigate to Export on the top menu, and choose Word in 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, and 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 at 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.

Best Free PDF Form Fillers and Creators [Online & Offline]

Best Free PDF Form Fillers and Creators [Online & Offline]

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 online and desktop PDF programs.


How to Make a PDF Editable Online

Google Drive

You may have never expected a cloud service provider to make an editable PDF. Of course, these two have no direct relation, though. But what if Google Drive can really do that? No hurries, we have listed the steps to make a PDF editable in Google Drive:

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


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


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.


Obviously, Google Drive is a reliable free web-based PDF editor and converter to make 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 platform. Considering Google Drive is only a cloud service provider rather than a dedicated PDF program, the performance is quite desirable.

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 mentioned several tools can help you easily make an editable PDF.



Roche has been an active PDF user for 6 years and tried different types of professional PDF tools (both online and desktop version) since at his bachelor degree. Now, Roche works as a columnist for SwifDoo PDF over the course of the last one year, and provides useful and practical solutions pertaining to various PDF topics for users from different features.