I am trying to edit a huge PDF document (annual report) of more than 200 pages. The original file was a Word document which was deleted after being saved as a PDF. Given that the changes are on about 30 pages, what could be the easiest way to modify these. PS. I have tried opening under Illustrator, but some parts of the text show as crypted text.

Please help. Thanks

  • It would be helpful to know what you mean by "edit a PDF". Are you talking about making small text changes, changes that would require text reflow, changes to color, changes to images / logos... The answer to that question would likely cause different possible strategies... Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 9:39
  • If you have the fonts used in the PDF, install them and you'll be able to do some very basic text touch up with the touch up tool in Acrobat Pro. You can see which fonts are used in the "properties." Yes you can extract the text to Word but that also means you'll need to re-do the layout, and on top of this all your sentences will be in broken lines and often the hyphens will be fake hyphens with a "-" added... If you only need to touch up some minor grammar, then it's easier and safer to do it in Acrobat when possible.
    – go-junta
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 23:14

2 Answers 2


A possible solution is to save for Word from Adobe Acrobat, then edit in Word again.

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Whether or not this is a viable solution depends upon the document itself.

In general, detailed edits to PDFs are never an easy thing and it often requires reformatting in some other application and then subsequently re-exporting to PDF. Touch-up is one thing, actually edits across pages can be problematic without fully reformatting.

  • I think this is what you're going to have to do. If you had to make less than five changes, I'd say bite the bullet and work in Acrobat, but 30? And who knows how many down the line? Recreate the Word document. Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 10:35

There are free online pdf to word converters available, which actually does a very good job. Example: http://www.smallpdf.com. So one option is you can convert your pdf file to word file using online converters and then start working on the word file. Second option is you can split the pdf file in to separate one for each page or the ones that you like to edit. You can use online converters for this. Then finally once you are done you can combine all the pages in to one.

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