How to edit PDF files using Acrobat XI

Learn how to edit PDF files, including how to edit PDF text and edit PDF images right in your PDF file.

By Steve Gottwals – September 6, 2012

In this tutorial, learn how to edit PDF files using the powerful editing features in Acrobat XI, including how to edit PDF text and edit PDF images right in your PDF file.

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How to edit PDF files using Acrobat XI

Steve Gottwals – September 6, 2012

When you want to make changes to a PDF file but you don't have the time or tools to edit the source file, you can use Acrobat XI to edit the PDF file and then you don't need to track down the source file. Here I have a PDF open in Acrobat XI. If I click on tools under the content and editing panel, I can click edit text and images. Acrobat shows me exactly what I can edit. So let's add some text to this bottom box: "on the fourth floor." And you will notice Acrobat re-flowed the text in that bottom paragraph forming. Find and replace is just as easy. I can go through the edit menu. Or just click "Control F" and find my turn. And what about images? Cropping or rotating, or in this case let's swap in another image of the new reception. With Acrobat XI you can make edits right in the file and make your job easier.

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Products covered:

Acrobat XI

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Edit PDFs

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Comments for this tutorial are now closed.

Lori Kassuba

5, 2015-08-25 25, 2015

Hi Delores Grimm,

Make sure you download and open the PDF in Acrobat and not within your browser before editing.


Delores Grimm

6, 2015-08-20 20, 2015

I have a printed document and want to delete some of it by using the cross out tool but I can’t get it to work.  Do I need to click on Adobe Acrobat Pro before I pull up the document from the internet.  I used to have no trouble before but can’t seem to get it to work now


2, 2015-08-20 20, 2015

Can somebody please tell me how to delete comment box from a pdf file?
I have to print out the copies send to me but i cant delete tge commnt box,which also shows when i print out the file.
please reply ASAP.
Thank you

Lori Kassuba

5, 2015-06-29 29, 2015

Hi Stacy Grisswell,

I would use the Replace page command to add the modified Excel page back into your form. You may need to adjust the location of some of the fields but at least you don’t need to recreate them. This tutorial explains how:


Stacy Grisswell

3, 2015-06-18 18, 2015

I have created a complex fillable form for tracking income and expenses (so lots of calculations) using Acrobat XI pro.  Source doc was an Excel 2010 spreadsheet that I converted to PDF and then used to create the form.

If I want to add a row/column, my understanding is that you can’t in Acrobat, but need to convert back to Excel or Word?  Does that lose all the form information I have created when I bring it back in?


Roland Rose

3, 2015-03-24 24, 2015

How do I add headers and footers to a pdf document?  I have upgraded from Acrobat 9 to 11.

Lori Kassuba

7, 2015-01-30 30, 2015

Hi Nancy,

I’m guessing that you upgrade from Acrobat 9 or earlier. The commands found under the Document menu are now located under the Tools pane on the right hand side.



9, 2015-01-29 29, 2015

I just updated and lost my document menu. It looks like I have to Pay to get this when I already have the paid version? Can I get my old version back?

Lori Kassuba

6, 2014-12-15 15, 2014

Hi Pravin Kumar,

PDF files are editable on Windows and Mac if you’re using Acrobat XI and not just the free Reader.


Pravin Kumar

12, 2014-12-13 13, 2014

its editable on all platforums with latest version….?

Lori Kassuba

2, 2014-10-17 17, 2014


If you’re marking up a PDF, I would recommend using the Annotation tools located under the Comment panel instead of directly editing the PDF. You’ll find a strikethrough comment located there.



11, 2014-10-15 15, 2014

Where do I find the strikethrough button. My corrections are sent to typesetters, so they MUST be able to see what is to be deleted.

Lori Kassuba

1, 2014-09-09 09, 2014

Hi Alejandra Mera ,

In the Output Preview tool, if you choose Preview Object Inspector and click on the image in Acrobat Pro., what does it say?


Alejandra Mera

5, 2014-09-05 05, 2014

Cuando realizo una edición de una imagen con la herramienta: editar imagen y la imagen la edito en Photoshop, cuando se edita y se salva ése cambio, automáticamente ésa imagen cambia de CMYK a RGB y de 300 dpis a 150 dpis ¿que puede estar pasando?

When I make an edit of an image with the tool : edit image and the image I edited in Photoshop when editing and that change is saved automatically that one picture changes from CMYK to RGB and 300 dpis 150 dpis what may be going ?

Lori Kassuba

1, 2014-05-23 23, 2014

Hi Margaret Holm,

There really isn’t a good way to do this in Acrobat because the tables are usually individual vector lines that you can’t fill. What you could do is export the individual page to Word and make your changes there and then just use the Replace page feature to update the page with the table.


Margaret Holm

9, 2014-05-16 16, 2014

Is there a way to take a table and have different color backgrounds for some rows.  For example, department budgets for different years.  There is a section for 2012 with each department listed,a section for 2013 with each department listed, and one for 2014 with each department listed.  I wanted to give each section a different color background.


Lori Kassuba

2, 2014-04-17 17, 2014

Hi Elizabeth,

It sounds like you have the free Reader and not Acrobat XI. Reader does not have a Pages panel and won’t allow you to remove pages. If you do have Acrobat XI, you can also access the Pages panel using the menu command under View > Tools > Pages command.


Lori Kassuba

1, 2014-04-17 17, 2014

Hi Angus,

You can edit individual elements of a table, like the text in a column heading or row but you’re not able to insert/delete rows and columns and reflow the information.



9, 2014-04-15 15, 2014

The tutorial is helpful: I would like to know if you can edit a Table in the pdf file.


8, 2014-04-15 15, 2014

I have a new computer and Adobe XI was installed…I don’t have a “PAGES” tool, and also have no way to save (or print to pdf) just certain pages of a multi-page document as I’ve always done.  There is also no way to print the entire document as a pdf and then remove the pages I don’t want.  What am I missing here…this used to be SO easy.

Lori Kassuba

1, 2014-04-08 08, 2014

Hi Jeff Ward,

You ask a great question and unfortunately, few people seem to be aware that this capability already exists in Acrobat. It’s necessary for the journal publishers to use a specific security setting. I’ve gone ahead and posted a blog entry for you on about this feature so you can let the publishers know how it’s done.


Jeff Ward

6, 2014-04-03 03, 2014

I am a scientist who uses (or would like to) PDFs of journal papers. The problem is that some journals lock their PDFs so folks can not copy or change them (fair enough). The problem with locked PDFs is that you can not highlight important sections or add notes. For those of us without a photographic memory of everything we have read - these are really great tool.
  My question then, is Abode considering developing a security level that would lock a PDF for copying/changing, but would allow for highlighting and note taking?

Lori Kassuba

2, 2014-01-13 13, 2014

Hi Sue,

Can you post your question here so we can help you interactively. Be sure to select the Edit PDF category and mention what version of Acrobat you’re using:



3, 2014-01-10 10, 2014

I cannot get the program to work on any editing. It is writing between lines in bold AND in a different text style and will not delete text at all. What am I doing wrong? I have used this program before. Why is this doing it now that I have paid for it? I did not bold the print. I did not do anything out of the ordinary—just tried to get the add or change text to function.
I feel discouraged because I just joined and paid and thought it would be a great way to store and edit PDF files. It is not working for me.

Lori Kassuba

1, 2013-10-17 17, 2013

Hi Judy,

When you select the Edit Text & Images command the areas on the page with text all have blue boxes around them. Try grabbing one of the handles on the blue boxes and resize the box slightly so that all the text fits on one line. If this doesn’t work, you may need to ever so slightly adjust the font size of the numbers 2013. If you select the numbers, you can enter any value in the font size dropdown - like 9.5.



3, 2013-10-16 16, 2013

When I start editing a text box, the number I type in is dropping below the under numbers as in: 2012 - I’m editing it to 2013 but when I type in the “3”, it drops below the rest of the date line.

Lori Kassuba

6, 2013-09-27 27, 2013

Hi Palmer,

The Add or Edit Text Box that was under the Content Editing panel in Acrobat X is now located under the Comment panel > Annotations pane. Try using the “T” tool in this pane instead.



1, 2013-09-25 25, 2013

I have created a masking tool (using drawing mark-ups).  The masking tool is used by editing the tool format to no box and the color white inside, thus creating a white box over the text I need to hide or change or “masking it”.  Before in Adobe Standard 10 I would create a text box, making my changes and put it over the “white box” I created (or masked) and voila I would have a beautiful clean copy with changes - now when I do this in Adobe Standard XI, it will not let my text show through.  I have tried move to front, changed the font, etc., it just shows the white box and no text - how do I fix this to work as Adobe Standard 10??  This is really important to me.  If I try to export as a word doc then the formating gets all screwy - help!

Lori Kassuba

6, 2013-09-06 06, 2013

Hi larry wethington,

The editing changes are not tracked and they’re permanent unlike comments. If necessary you could create a new custom toolset (different menus with the editing tools). Here is a link to a tutorial about custom toolsets:


larry wethington

3, 2013-09-06 06, 2013

The edit PDF files capability looks great, but does it track the changes? Are they, e.g, shown as insertions/deletions under the comments tab?

We share files at work and thus have to be able to see revisions made by coworkers. If these are not tracked, is there a way to disable this functionality?

Please advise.


Stacy Sison

4, 2013-08-20 20, 2013

Hi John,
Are you receiving a specific error message? Kind regards, Stacy

Dee Malstrom

9, 2013-08-18 18, 2013

My questions are
1)  what type of scanner should I use to get the best quality of a   scan?
2) I want to edit and add lines, numbers etc.
  do I go to the converter for word docs.?


12, 2013-08-17 17, 2013

Hi David

Thanks for replying.  I followed your instructions but when I got to
regedit it did not show the UAC prompt, just went straight to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE prompt when I clicked on this it just put up a default REG_SZ (value not set).  I tried clicking on default which brought up a data box with the default on the top box and a blank box which I typed in 534A1E02-D58F-44f0-B58B-36CBED287C7C without the AppID. I then restarted the computer but nothing seem to happen.  The PDF files are still showing pdf not picture thumbnails.  Should I have included AppID with 534A1E02-D58F-44f0-B58B-36CBED287C7C and should I have included the brackets{} as well. 

Just had the computer reformated after it crashed so really am a bit weary of playing around with something I am not sure of. So need to confirm what I did was correct or if it should have been typed in with the AppID and in brackets for it to work.

Thanks for your time.

Regards Pixie

David Kastendick

6, 2013-08-16 16, 2013

Hi Pixie,

I’m guessing you’re running a 64-bit version of Windows 7.  You can try the following steps:

1. Click the Orb (Start Button).

2. Go to the Search programs and files textbox and input regedit.

3. Select regedit.exe from the results.

4. When the UAC prompt appears, click the Yes button.

5. In the left pane of the Registry Editor, go to (and select):


6. In the right pane, locate AppID.

7. Change AppID value to {534A1E02-D58F-44f0-B58B-36CBED287C7C}.

8. Restart your computer for the change to take affect.

Your PDF files should now start showing a thumbnail of the document when viewed in Windows Explorer.

Please let me know if you have any questions.



11, 2013-08-15 15, 2013

Video is of no help to me. I want to actually convert the file into a picture image so you can see what is in the file without opening it.


2, 2013-08-11 11, 2013

How can I get my PDF file to show pictures when opening them.  Have some magazines coming through as pdf downloads and would like to see the covers on opening them.  Find it frustrating if I have to open every file/folder just to view what is inside.  When the downloads first started coming through they were saved as “Save Target As” and the front covers appeared instead of the pdf file but when my pc crashed and a file recovery was done the pdf files were restored as pdf files without any pictures.  How can I revert them back.

Would appreciate all the advice and help I can get as it is so frustrating to have to open up every file to view it’s contents.



Lori Kassuba

4, 2013-08-02 02, 2013

Hi Gora,

You can open the PDF in Photoshop or in Acrobat, you can perform a Save As Other > Image > JPEG.


Gora Bhattacharya

6, 2013-07-30 30, 2013

I accidentally saved a retouching image I was working in CS4 and saved in PDF format. How I can retrive it and convert into jpeg?

Lori Kassuba

3, 2013-06-20 20, 2013


How you edit and add text to a PDF depends on the version you’re using. In Acrobat XI, you can do both these things in the Content Editing panel using either the Edit Text & Images command or the Add Text command.



1, 2013-06-17 17, 2013

how can i edit pdf file and write any thing in pdf file.

Lori Kassuba

6, 2013-06-10 10, 2013

Hi Judy,

The Header & Footer command is located in the Pages panel.



5, 2013-06-05 05, 2013

How do you add header & footersto your .pdfs files. With the older versions I new how to do this, when I went to upgrade to Acrobat XI I am not able to locate this feature as well as a couple of others. Please help!

Lori Kassuba

5, 2013-04-25 25, 2013

Hi Beth,

What I believe you want to do is use the Typewriter tool, which is now located under the Comment pane in Acrobat XI. Here is an infographic with more details:



8, 2013-04-23 23, 2013

Before, I was able to create a comment box in my PDF file in order to type up my comments and text of documents rather than write them by hand. But now either I’ve forgotten how to do it or something has happened. Re-remind me how to add comments or text please?

Lori Kassuba

5, 2013-04-01 01, 2013

Hi sudarshan walke,

For table editing I would suggest converting your file to an application like Word and do the editing there.


sudarshan walke

6, 2013-03-28 28, 2013


Requeseting you to suggest how to add row & column in table.

Subramanian Ramanathan

1, 2012-12-25 25, 2012


  Unable to open my PDF files   kindly
enlighten me ways and means       Regards Subramanian R. 

Hi Subramanian,

Please post your question in our community Q&A forum at:

Someone will help you there.

Thanks, Patty


11, 2012-12-14 14, 2012

please tell me how to edit my pdf file. it is very important for me

Hi Amit,

Here is a link to a tutorial with more detail on how to edit a PDF file in Acrobat XI:


Anoop Tripathi

12, 2012-11-29 29, 2012

Please tell me on my Id how to edit PDF file.

Thank You

Hi Anoop,

Can you please explain what you mean by “Id”?


DInah Almeida

5, 2012-11-27 27, 2012

Editing PDF is great for me because all of our files are kept in PDF format.

Shahram Khorsand

2, 2012-11-09 09, 2012

The closeness and ease of use has come a long way. The difference between the versions is much more between the last two then earlier versions.

Lori Kassuba

7, 2012-11-07 07, 2012

Hi John,

Can you post your problem at the link below and include more detail about how you are deleting the file and what OS and version of Acrobat you’re using?


John F Smith

2, 2012-11-06 06, 2012

Every time I try to Delete a PDF file I get another copy of the file after I hit delete. HELP

Comments for this tutorial are now closed.