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4 free ways to edit PDFs without Adobe Acrobat Pro DC


We've summarized our preferred ways to edit a PDF file on an iPhone and Android phone, as well as on a Mac and a PC.

Charlie Wagner / CNET

Sending PDF files is pretty straightforward, but editing can be problematic, especially on your phone's relatively small screen. Luckily, I found easy and quick ways to edit a PDF file on an iPhone ($ 1,000 on Amazon) and on an Android phone, as well as on a Mac and a PC.

I will guide you through the basics of adding text, signing documents, and filling out forms. And best of all, all the apps and software I use are free. If you want to join in or see an overview, watch the video below: Free and easy ways to edit PDFs on any device.

Editing PDFs on a Mac

Every Mac comes with a program called Apple Preview. It lets you view and edit photos and PDF files.

To start, just double-click on your PDF file and it should automatically open in the preview. If for some reason this is not the case, open your application folder and then the preview. It is the icon with a postcard of the ocean and a small magnifying glass on the corner. From there you will be prompted in a window to select the desired file. When you're done, click on the blue button Open and you're back in the game.

To access the toolbar, click the Markup tool in the upper-right corner of the search box. The symbol is a pencil tip within a circle. Click the Text tool – it is the symbol of a letter T inside a square – and a text box will appear in the center of your document. You can move the field anywhere on the page.

To change the appearance of the text, tap the Text Style tool – it is the icon with the italic letter A. To change the size of the text box, click one of the blue dots , In this way, you can make the text box wider or narrower by dragging it to the left or right.

There are also tools for drawing and sketching. Using the tool Draw you can use the cursor to draw just about anything you want, while the Sketch tool transforms your drawn objects into shapes with a customizable fill and border , If you draw only a line or a squiggle, you can change the color and thickness with the tool Shape Style – the stacked parallel lines – or the tool Edge – the small square inside a large square , If you do not feel very artistic, you can also add pre-made shapes.

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Preview allows you to add and save a signature

Maybe my favorite tool is the ability to add a signature. Click on the arrow next to the tool Sign – the italic letter J – and click on the button Create signature . You can use your trackpad to fingerprint your signature or scan it with your Mac's built-in camera.

To use the trackpad, click on the trackpad tab and then press the button] Click here to begin . When you have finished signing, press any key. If you like your signature, press Done . The other way to create a signature is to sign and scan your name on a piece of white paper. Instead of the Trackpad tab, select the Camera tab. Place the sheet of paper in front of the camera and align your signature on the black line. After a moment, your signature will be displayed on the screen in the camera preview. If you like, click Done .

To add one of your saved signatures, simply click on the desired one in the menu Login . Then drag and resize it and reposition it wherever your signature is needed.

To save changes, just click Save . You can also export your changes and create a new PDF file.

Markup Mode on iPhone

Just like the Mac, you do not need a special app for basic editing on an iPhone. Instead of the preview, there is the markup mode. To edit a PDF file in an e-mail message or in a file saved in the Book app, tap the mode icon Mark – circle with a pencil tip – to add the Process to start. These are the same tools that appear on your screen after you take a screenshot.

At the bottom of the screen are various tools: highlighter, pen, pencil, and eraser. You can also tap the plus sign on the right to add text boxes, shapes, a loupe, and even signatures.

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The mark-up mode was developed for iOS easy editing of photos and PDF files.


If you have a signature previewed on your Mac, it will be automatically synced from your iCloud account to the Markup Mode on your iPhone. Tap Add or Remove Signature and then the top left corner of the screen to add the plus sign to add a new one to your phone. Sign in the line with your finger and press Done to save.

If you add changes to your PDF file, you can use the Undo arrows on the top left and right sides to move forward or backward through your additions. However, there is also an eraser tool that lets you remove unwanted drawings, sketches, or markers, regardless of the order in which you made them.

When you have finished editing, you can email to respond to your update PDF or if you are in Books, you can AirDrop, e-mail or print via the iOS sharing menu Fortunately, there is an endless list of apps for editing PDF files in the Google Play Store. For basic information, especially forms, see Adobe Fill and Sign, which is available for free at the Play Store.

First, open Adobe Fill and Sign and select your PDF file. When you open the app for the first time, you can set the app to open by default whenever you open a PDF file. When your file is open, tap anywhere on the screen and add a text box. Once you enter text, you can move the field by tapping and dragging it. You can change the size with uppercase and lowercase letters as in the top bar of the text box. 2019/08/02 / 4498f7cc-a27b-44bd-8d42-e553b0ceead4 / adobe-fill-sign.jpg “/>


Adding signatures and initials is easy. Adobe Fill & Sign limits itself to a signature and a set of initials. When you tap the tool for the first time, a signature line appears on the screen. Use your finger to sign your signature or initials. If you want to change your saved signatures or initials, just tap the X on the right side of the tool.

Your signature or initials will be displayed in a box that can be resized and repositioned. On the right side of the box is a small blue circle with white arrows left and right. Touch and drag the circle to the left or right to zoom in or out.

Adobe Fill & Sign also has a profile where you can store information such as your address and email address to fill out forms. To add this information to a PDF form, simply tap the field you'd like to fill in and tap the information stored in the same field in your profile.

Adobe Fill & Sign saves as needed while editing. When you're done, you can email your PDF file and save it to Google Drive or other apps via the Android sharing menu.

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Adobe Acrobat Reader DC on PC

If you are working on a PC, I recommend downloading Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. It is a free scaled-down version of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, which costs $ 15 per month or $ 180 per year. Reader DC has many powerful tools for basic editing. If you're in a mix of PCs and Macs, there's also a Mac version.

Open Reader and select the file to edit. On the Extras tab you can select different toolsets, depending on the changes you want to make. For example, one of the toolsets is Adobe Fill & Sign.

The toolbar allows you to add text boxes, signatures, initials, shapes, and check boxes. It works very much like Preview.

One of my favorite tools in Acrobat Reader is the stamp tool. Click the Tools tab and open the Toolset Stamp . The toolbar now has a tool stamp and a tool palette stamp that contains a number of different stamp types that you can choose from, such as: B. "Approved" http: // www. cnet.com/"Sign Here "and" Confidential ".

When you're done with the PDF changes, you can save them or export them to a new PDF or other file format, such as a Word Doc.

Now that you have several options for editing a PDF file, watch our video on how to create your own GIF.

$ 999

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