How to Edit PDFs Online for Free

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Adobe Acrobat is a pretty heavy-duty PDF viewer complete with robust editing features. But if you don’t have access to the paid version of the program, there’s an easy online workaround for editing PDFs.

All you need to do is upload your PDF to Google Drive

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. To edit a PDF, do the following:

  1. Upload your PDF to your Google Drive. Click New > File Upload and navigate to the location where your file is saved on your computer.
  2. Once the upload is complete, go to the file in your Google Drive, right click it and select Open With > Google Docs. 
  3. Your PDF will now open up as an editable document in Google Docs.
  4. Once you’re done editing it, you can save it to your computer as a PDF or Word Document, among other file formats. Click File > Download as and select your file type to save your edited document.

How to Edit PDFs Online for Free Edit PDFs in Google Drive

There are a few caveats to bear in mind when using this method.

It works best with PDFs that consist just of text. If you have a form that you’ve filled out, any structure or fields will be lost when you convert it to a Google Doc. Images in PDFs will also disappear, while any fancy text formatting (even in text-only PDFs) won’t be visible in Google Docs.

While there are a few apps you can connect to Google Drive that claim to be PDF editors (like Lumin PDF and DocHub), you can’t actually edit existing text using these apps. You can add annotations, highlight text, and more, but you can’t actually make any changes to the text in the document.

What’s your preferred method to open and edit PDFs without Adobe Acrobat? Let us know in the comments.