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How to Edit a Read Only PDF File – Step by Step Guide

Published By Deepa Pandey
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On November 22nd, 2023
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading
Category How to

It may seem challenging to edit a read-only PDF since these files are typically locked. They are designed to preserve their original content and format. Yet, there are times when you need to edit a read-only PDF. This could be for filling out forms, updating information, or adding notes. In this introduction, we explore various methods to write on a read-only PDF. We look at tools like Adobe Acrobat, online PDF editors, and specialized applications.


Is PDF Read-Only? Know Why

When a PDF is read-only, it’s often a deliberate choice by the document’s creator to maintain its original state. This restriction is usually in place to preserve the integrity of the content. It prevents unauthorized editing, copying, or printing. A read-only PDF is common in situations where the information needs to stay unchanged. Examples include legal documents, official reports, or informational brochures.

A read-only PDF has a permission password. To edit it, one must remove the permissions encryption from PDF first.

How to Edit a Read-Only PDF on Adobe Acrobat

Editing a read-only PDF in Adobe Acrobat is a feasible task if you have the right access. Adobe Acrobat offers tools to modify such documents. First, open the read-only PDF in Acrobat. If the file is protected, you’ll need the password to unlock it. Once unlocked, use Acrobat’s editing features to make your changes. These include adding text, images, or annotations. After editing, save the document to retain the changes.
adobe no security properties

Here is the process to write on a read-only PDF using Adobe Acrobat DC:

  1. Start Adobe Acrobat on your computer. If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat, you will need to download and install it from Adobe’s official website.
  2. Click on the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Open.’ Browse to find the read-only PDF you want to edit and open it.
  3. If the PDF is password protected, a dialog box will prompt you to enter the password. You must have the password to proceed with editing a secured document.
  4. Once the PDF is open, go to the file properties and select No Security in the security tab. Enter the permission password.
  5. Now, click on the ‘Edit PDF’ tool in the right pane. Adobe Acrobat offers various editing tools that allow you to modify text, add images, annotate, and more.
  6. Now you can make the necessary changes to your document. Click on the text to edit it, or use the tools in the toolbar to add new text, images, or annotations.
  7. After making your edits, go to the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Save’.
  8. Once you have saved your document, you can close Adobe Acrobat.

How to Edit a Read-Only PDF on Mac Preview

Editing a read-only PDF on a Mac is straightforward using the Preview app. Preview, the default PDF viewer on macOS, allows for basic modifications to PDF documents. To edit a read-only PDF, users first open the file in Preview. They can then use the toolbar to add text, highlight areas, or insert annotations. While Preview might not offer extensive editing features like Adobe Acrobat, it’s a convenient option for quick, simple changes.

Editing a read-only PDF using Mac Preview involves a straightforward process.

Here’s how you can write on a read-only PDF using Preview:

  1. Locate the read-only PDF file you want to edit on your Mac. Double-click on the file. It should automatically open in Preview, the default PDF viewer on macOS.
  2. If the PDF is password-protected, Preview will prompt you to enter the password. Input the correct password to access the document.
  3. To add or edit text, click on the ‘Show Markup Toolbar’ button (it looks like a pencil tip) to reveal editing options. Use the text tool to add new text, or select existing text to make changes.
  4. Preview also allows you to annotate the PDF. You can highlight text, add notes, or use the shape tools to draw on the document.
  5. Once you’ve made the necessary edits, go to the ‘File’ menu. Click ‘Save As’ to rename the file and select a different location to save it.
  6. After saving your edited PDF, you can close the Preview app.

How to Edit a Read-Only PDF Google Docs Online

Users can edit a read-only PDF online through Google Docs. This versatile platform offers a convenient way to edit PDFs directly from your web browser.

To get started, users first upload the read-only PDF to Google Drive. Then, they open it with Google Docs. Google Docs converts the PDF into an editable text document. While this conversion process is useful, it’s important to note that complex formatting might not always transfer perfectly. Once the document is in Google Docs, users can freely edit the text, add comments, or make other changes. After editing, the document can be downloaded as a PDF or saved in various other formats.

This method is ideal for users seeking a quick and easy solution for editing PDF without installing any software.

All-in-One Solution to Edit Read-Only PDF

PDF Password Remover is a handy tool designed to convert read-only PDF to editable files. This software removes restrictions which helps to modify documents previously locked for editing. Once unlocked, users can freely edit, annotate, or even print the PDF as needed. This tool is ideal for those who often encounter restricted PDF but lack the password to unlock them. This product streamlines the process, making it user-friendly and efficient for both personal and professional use.

Here is the process to edit Read-Only PDF:

  1. Download and Install the program by following the on-screen instructions.
  2. Launch the Program.
  3. Click on the ‘Add Files’ or ‘Add Folder’ option. Browse your computer, locate the read-only PDF file you wish to edit, and select it.
  4. With the PDF uploaded, look for ‘Unlock’. Click on this to begin the unlocking process. The software will remove the read-only restrictions from your PDF.
  5. Once unlocked and saved, open the PDF with any standard PDF reader or editor. You can now make the necessary edits to your document, such as adding text, images, or annotations.
  6. After editing, save your changes within the PDF editor.

Final Words

It is definitely possible to read-only PDF with the right tools and approaches. There are various methods to suit different user needs and technical abilities. Each tool offers a unique way to edit the contents of a read-only PDF. It’s important to choose the method that best aligns with your requirements.

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