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Getting Started: How to edit a PDF file in Acrobat X

Learn how to edit PDF files, including how to edit PDF images and text, using the Content Panel in Acrobat X.

By Jon Bessant – October 16, 2010


In this tutorial, learn how to edit PDF files, including how to edit PDF images and text, using the Content Panel in Acrobat X.

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Getting Started: How to edit a PDF file in Acrobat X

Jon BessantOctober 16, 2010

Hello there, my name is Jon Bessant and today, I'm going to be using Adobe Acrobat X Professional to demonstrate to you how we can edit a PDF document.

I'm using Acrobat Professional today although you can use Acrobat Standard to perform most of these edits as well.

I will be showing you about 15 different ways to use Acrobat successfully to edit content in a PDF, because a lot of the time, all you've got as a PDF file.

So the ability to edit PDF files these days is really crucial.

So, if I just open up the exhibitors guide here - this is a sample PDF file - as soon as it opens you'll see straight away how the interface has changed.

Going back to previous versions of Acrobat they had a lot more of a busier appearance - in version X now it's a lot cleaner, simplistic, minimalistic.

Open, save, print - navigation here; I also have in the top right hand corner got an option to what we call Read Mode.

In there I can see straight away that it gives over to the document.

So, much cleaner much easier to navigate as well.

Close that down, I've got my tools back.

In the past if I wanted to edit a PDF file, I had to go to say the tools menu or the advanced menu and basically circumnavigate between the two.

Now in version X I've got the tools pane across here - I can see as soon as I open that up I've got categories of tools like page-based tools.

So for example now, page 1, if I wanted to crop out some content, I could decide I wanted to re-crop the page so get rid of the strip at the top.

So I just drag that out, OK I'm happy with that - double-click, hit OK and boom my page is cropped.

I could also take this 4 page document, so page 1, 2, 3, 4, I can take this document now and I can split it using my Split Document command - click on that once, decide to split it into say 4 documents of 1 page each.

Hit OK to that, boom - simple as that.

Close pages - content.

I can now add a bookmark, attach a file, embed a file inside the PDF document, edit document text.

OK, previously I had to go through about, 1, 2, 3 options to be able to select this, now edit document text, move my cursor into the page, select the word opportunities - change that to the word to information.

OK no technical gremlins there, it just works.

Navigate now to page 3, I've got some text in the bottom right hand corner.

Change that now so I can put in the words green and lush, parks in our ...

skateboard and bike friendly.

Two lines become 3, text wrap - OK I've got that happening as well, it's really easy to perform this heading at the top, say I wanted to reformat that now, so it's bigger, different colour.

Highlight it, right click, properties.

In properties I've got various options, fonts - I can change the fonts.

Size, I go bigger 48 point, word spacing, make it tall and thin, make it short and fat.

So a really clever way I can do that just by drop-downs.

Fill change the colour to orange.

Fill change the colour to navy blue.

Hit close to that - it just works.

I can also add new text to the document.

Hold down the alt key, click - new text.

Hit OK, overtype, this is new text.

Highlight it, once again, right click, properties.

Change things like the font, I'll make it 45 point - problem is now its gone off the page.

Now I can use the edit object tool, bring that back into play.

I can see my text here now - I can move that around.

I can do the same with the heading, just maybe nudge that a bit with the left arrow key on my keyboard.

Select this text here, draw a marquee around it, drag that to the right.

So I can take this image, I can scale it down.

I can take the image, I can copy it.

I can paste it.

Re-highlight them and copy and then I can paste, so you can see here it's really easy to take content and duplicate, copy/paste it, cut it.

I can take this image I could copy that, I could go to page 2, I could paste it so I now I've got the image I had on page 3 on page 2.

Subtle other things I can do as well.

Maybe I wanted to take this particular image here, and maybe I wanted just to slightly crop it.

So maybe I wanted to get rid of some of the image here.

As opposed to before I cropped the page, now I crop the image.

So I just right click, I say set clip, I go to a corner handle, I'll just drag that down, I'll let go.

You can see here that I've physically cropped it down from where it was previously.

So really clever intuitive way that I can move objects around, scale them, rotate and clip them as well.

Maybe on page 1 I actually want to bring in a new logo.

So I'll just do a right click, place image, go find my image type, maybe I want to go and bring in a JPEG, a GIF, a PNG file, a TIFF - I'll select PNG, logo, hit open to that, that comes in and boom.

And once again, that one might need to be cropped so I just go in here and say set clip, come down just crop that and just come down and crop that upwards.

So now I've actually cropped out the white space top and bottom.

So a really clever way I can do that just using some permutations of the edit object tool.

Change the colour from colour to black and white, once again right click, this time properties just move across to the colour tab, choose say grey in the drop down, hit convert colour, hit close, andI converted the colour.

I can also do things on a page-based basis.

Click on the pages panel - I can move pages around here, change their order, click on a page, hit delete, delete it out.

I take another document, drag it into the pages panel here, let go - 3 pages become 15.

So that's a short example of some of the edits I can perform now in Adobe Acrobat X Professional - much easier than previous versions, easy to access tools inside the tools pane, so I think you'll agree that it's a much improved version, it's much cleaner, it's smarter and it is generally much easier to use.

Thank you very much for your time.

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Products covered:

Acrobat X

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Comments for this tutorial are now closed.

William Semmes

2, 2013-05-28 28, 2013

I’ve found Acrobat to be a frustrating experience and I’m getting rid of it now.

Lori Kassuba

4, 2013-03-26 26, 2013

Hi TK,

You’ll need the Pro. version of Acrobat to edit graphics in a PDF but you can use the Std. version to edit text. Here is a different tutorial that’s just about editing text:



3, 2013-03-20 20, 2013

Why does my Adobe not have any of these tools?  I don’t have Acrobat Pro, I’m using Acrobat X, but according to many of these videos, I should have the same access with Acrobat X.

Paula Bollinger

6, 2013-02-08 08, 2013

This is not helpful because I do not have the professional version.


In Acrobat XI, you can edit using either Acrobat Std. or Pro:



7, 2012-12-19 19, 2012

I Googled “how to crop document in adobe acrobat professional” and ended up on this website. It provided a video on the subject. The problem for me is that I am retired, on a fixed income, can only afford a dial-up connection and cannot view videos. They will not even load. Is it possible that someone could please just tell me the steps to crop a .pdf document on Adobe Acrobat Professional? I would really appreciate it. I also have a suggestion. When you provide a video, please consider adding the appropriate verbiage on the same page. Thanks for your time.

Hi Laura,

Here is a link to the Help section for Acrobat X Pro. that explains how to crop a PDF:


Sirlereaux Claude

7, 2012-10-02 02, 2012

J’utilise un programme de base Windows 7 et dispose de l’adobe Reader 9.
Lire un courrier pdf reçu via par exemple un fournisseur est très-très difficile, il est illisible par des bandes colorées couvrant le texte. Que devrai-je faire pour supprimer cette anomalie

I use a basic program that has Windows 7 adobe reader 9. Reading a pdf mail received via (eg a supplier) is very difficult; it is unreadable by colored bands covering the text. What should I do to remove this anomaly?


This sounds like a display problem - try changing the following preference: Edit > Preferences > Page Display and make sure ” Show large images” is checked.


Nirmala S Doddagoudar

3, 2012-06-11 11, 2012

I need to edit the pdf file, how can I do editing ?

Hi Nirmala,

For a quick tip on how to edit a PDF file, you may want to watch this short video:

Hope this helps,


Comments for this tutorial are now closed.