Tips & Tricks

Editing Text from PDF Files

April 03, 2004


When individual characters in a line of text needs to be edited, you can easily change characters with the TouchUp text tool. However, when paragraphs of text need to be edited, an external editor is required.

When you attempt to edit text in an editor such as Adobe Illustrator, the text will be broken throughout the paragraph preventing you from global editing due to a loss of the paragraph attributes such as word wrap.

To reform the paragraph and regain the data integrity follow these steps.

To begin editing text from within Adobe Acrobat, select the TouchUp Object tool from the top level toolbar.

Click on the text block that needs to be edited with the TouchUp Object tool.

After selecting the text block, open a context menu by right clicking the mouse button (Windows) or Control + Click (Macintosh).

Select Edit Object from the bottom of the context menu.

By default, Adobe Illustrator 9.0 will be launched and the text will appear in an Illustrator Window.

Strike Control + A (Windows) or Command + A (Macintosh) to select all the text.

With the text selected, select Edit -> Cut to place the text on the Clipboard and remove it from the document window.

In Illustrator, select the Text tool and drag open a text box by clicking and dragging with the text tool. A cursor will appear blinking in the top left corner when you release the mouse button.

Select Edit -> Paste to paste the text from the Clipboard into the text box. When the text is pasted back into the text box it will eliminate the broken elements and be formed as a contiguous paragraph.

From here, you can edit and modify the text, spell check it in Illustrator and the word wrap will work properly.

When finished editing, select File -> Save (not Save As).

When the file is saved and you return to Acrobat, the edited text will be dynamically updated in the PDF.

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