I'll preface by saying that I am not a graphic designer, so this question might be staggeringly obvious...

I have several 100+ page PDFs that consist only of tables of text, and I am trying to change the font of all of the text in the entire document; however, this is proving to be more difficult than I anticipated. I can only "Select All" of the text on a single page, which means that I would have to repeat this process for each page thousands of times to convert the entire document. I understand that Acrobat is not a word processor, but I have to imagine that there is a better way to do this. As far as I can find, the native "Actions" macros in Acrobat don't have this functionality, and Mac Automator struggles with the task. Suggestions?

(To give some context, I'm ultimately trying to parse/serialize the data in these PDF tables into JSON for use in a Python program by converting from PDF->XLSX->CSV->JSON. The PDFs use a strange font, so when I use the Acrobat XI Pro "Export to Excel" feature, the text is read with awkward spacing ["Lo rem i ps um" rather than "Lorem impsum"], but when I change the font to simple Arial, it reads correctly. Other methods like simple copy/paste or the Python PDF Miner module also misread the spacing. I am working on OS X 10.9 and have access to Acrobat XI Pro and Adobe CS6, as well as basic programming familiarity, if you have any novel solutions that achieve this same goal.)

  • I'm able to open the PDF file in Microsoft Word (which converts the doc to a .docx) then change the fonts globally and re-export it as a PDF
    – Lars
    Nov 29, 2022 at 19:20

4 Answers 4


Editing fonts is a new Acrobat XI feature.

Prior to XI it was not possible to edit any fonts in any PDF.

It may be a simple matter of you wanting to do something and the feature is in it's infancy. Adobe often implements new features in phases.

I see no way to do what are asking. You'd probably have better luck saving to plain text, massaging that output, then converting to JSON.

This is really more of a tech support question than a design question.


After hours of trying different tools... The only tool I found able to even change specific texts with specific fonts to any other font and/or size and/or spacing... is:

PitStop Pro plugin for Acrobat.

Expensive solution, but it does the job. A bit difficult to understand too, not very user friendly, but it does the job.

It is truly a swiss army knife for PDFs


Select a little bit of text right at the top of the document, then scroll to the bottom and with the Shift key pressed, click the cursor right at the end of the text. Then select all (Ctrl-A) and you're ready to roll.

  • 1
    Hello John, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site! Apr 6, 2015 at 1:49

It's late, but about the selection in general, I thought I would try to help: Just change your Page Display to Enable Scrolling, and turn off Show Gaps Between Pages. In my Acrobat 10 on my Mac, a Command+A selects all.

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