Throughout all the years of publishing these weekly tips, one of the most common questions I’ve seen is “How can I edit a PDF?” Normally, you’d need the original source document that was created in Word, or any of a zillion other possibilities. Which is usually difficult, if not impossible.
While that is the only fool proof method, there is another pretty good option if you can’t get a hold of that original source file. And you don’t even need any extra software like the expensive Adobe Acrobat application.
If you need to make changes in an existing PDF file, you need to get hold of the original document that was used to create the PDF, make the edits in the source document and export it as a PDF again. This is the best option since the document’s layout and formatting will be preserved in the new PDF file and you don’t even need an external PDF editor like Adobe Acrobat.
Microsoft’s free Word app will convert PDF documents into an editable editable version you can actually work with. The more complex the design of the document, the more you might need to clean it up a bit. But for most basic documents this works great — far better than the copy & pasting a lot of people do.
How to Convert & Edit PDF Files using Microsoft Word Online
Here’s how it works:
- Go to onedrive.com and sign-in with your free Microsoft account.
- Upload and open your PDF document.
(You can drag & drop it onto the OneDrive website)
- Open the PDF file in the Word online app by double-clicking it.
- Click the Edit in Word button and choose Convert, when prompted for file conversion. (it makes a copy so you’ll still have the original PDF).
- Click the Edit button and start editing away.
Now you can edit your file, save it as a Word document or even re-save it back into the PDF format. ( File » Save As… » Download as PDF)
There you go! Nice, quick and easy – just the way we like it around here.
Tip of the Week #427