How to Edit PDF Documents

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To edit PDF documents using only free tools, your best choices are Libre Office Portable and GIMP Portable. Using these portable tools is easy and efficient.

There’s no need to install anything — simply download the portable versions, extract them to their target folders, and launch them.

Then, if you want to get rid of them, simply delete their folders — again, no uninstall process is involved.

Editing Text-Only PDFs

The component of the free LibreOffice suite that is capable of opening PDF files is called Draw.

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LibreOffice — Open File

Launch LibreOffice Draw and drag and drop the PDF document, which you wish to edit, on its window.

Alternatively, you can launch LibreOffice, then click Open File in the app manager’s window.

Once the PDF document is open, you can edit it in LibreOffice Draw.

Of course, you can only edit PDF documents this easily if their contents is mostly text.

For example, if the document was originally created in LibreOffice Writer, OpenOffice Writer, Microsoft Word, or a similar text editor and then was exported directly to PDF format.

Editing Scanned PDFs

Editing PDF documents that are scanned images of hard copies or PDF documents that contain lots of images is a bit more complicated.

The first step is the same as above — open the PDF document in LibreOffice Draw.

But, instead of editing it directly in LibreOffice Draw, export the PDF document as a bitmap image.

To do so, click File > Export in LibreOffice Draw’s menu, select BMP – Windows Bitmap (.bmp) in the Save as type box, and click Save.

LibreOffice — Export as BMP

LibreOffice — Export as BMP

Now that you have a BMP bitmap image file, you can use the free GIMP Portable image editor to open this file and edit the image as you wish.

When you are done editing, go to File > Export As… in GIMP’s menu.

GIMP — Export as PDF

GIMP — Export as PDF

In the Export Image window, select Portable Document Format (*.pdf) as the desired file format.

Then click Export and your edited PDF is ready.

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