Edit text

You can insert or replace text only if the font used for that text is installed on your system. If the font isn’t installed on your system but is embedded or subsetted in the PDF, you can make changes only to color, word spacing, character spacing, baseline offset, or font size.

You can edit text on rotated lines in the same way as on horizontal lines, and you can edit text using vertical fonts in the same way as text using horizontal fonts. The baseline offset or shift for vertical fonts is left and right, instead of up and down for horizontal fonts.
Note: Editing and saving a digitally signed PDF invalidates the signature.

Adobe recommends

Video tutorial: The Basics of Editing a PDF Document

Jon Bessant
Edit text and graphics in a PDF using the new Content panel in Acrobat X.

Have a tutorial you would like to share?

Adobe also recommends

Have a tutorial you would like to share?

Edit text in PDF files: Sample chapter from "The Acrobat X PDF Bible"

Ted Padova
Methods for editing text, copying text in PDF files, and pasting text in other editing programs.

Edit text using the Edit Document Text tool (formerly TouchUp Text)

The Edit Document Text tool works best when editing only a few characters. For more extensive editing, make changes in the original document (if available), and then recreate the PDF.

If the original document is unavailable, try exporting the PDF to Word. Choose File > Save As > Microsoft Word > [version]. For details, see Convert PDFs to Word, RTF, spreadsheets or other formats.
  1. Choose Tools > Content > Edit Document Text.
  2. Click in the text you want to edit. A bounding box outlines the selectable text. If a bounding box doesn’t appear, choose Tools > Recognize Text > In This File. For details, see Recognize text in scanned documents.
  3. Select the text you want to edit:
    • Choose Edit > Select All to select all the text in the bounding box.

    • Drag to select characters, spaces, words, or a line.

  4. Edit the text by doing one of the following:
    • Type new text to replace the selected text.

    • Press Delete, or choose Edit > Delete to remove the text.

    • Choose Edit > Copy to copy the selected text.

    • Right-click/Command-click the text and choose the appropriate option.

    Note: If you can’t edit the text, see Replace custom fonts with local fonts.
  5. Click outside the selection to deselect it and start over.

Replace custom fonts with local fonts

Documents scanned to PDF using the ClearScan option in Acrobat can’t be edited until you replace the fonts. During the conversion to PDF, ClearScan converts the fonts in the document to custom fonts. To edit the scanned text, replace the custom fonts with fonts that you have on your computer. These fonts are called system or local fonts.

  1. Use the TouchUp Text tool to select the text you want to edit.
  2. Right-click/Command-click the selected text, and choose Properties. Make sure the Text tab opens.
  3. Open the Font menu, and select a font below the line that closely matches the custom font.

    View full size graphic
    Replace custom fonts (A) with local fonts (B).

  4. In the Font Size menu, select a size that closely matches the custom font.
  5. Leave the other properties in the Text tab as they are.

Edit text attributes

  1. Select Tools > Content > Edit Document Text.
  2. Click in the text you want to edit.
  3. Right-click the text, and choose Properties.
  4. In the TouchUp Properties dialog box, click the Text tab. You can change any of the following text attributes:
    Changes the font used by the selected text to the font you specify. You can select any font installed on your system or fully embedded in the PDF document. Document fonts are listed at the top; system fonts are listed below.

    Font Size
    Changes the font size to the size (in points) that you specify.

    Character Spacing
    Inserts uniform spacing between two or more characters in selected text.

    Word Spacing
    Inserts uniform spacing between two or more words in selected text.

    Horizontal Scaling
    Specifies the proportion between the height and the width of the type.

    Baseline Offset
    Offsets the text from the baseline. The baseline is the line on which the type rests.

    Specifies the fill color.

    Specifies the stroke color.

    Stroke Width
    Specifies the width of the stroke.
    Note: For legal reasons, you must have purchased a font and have it installed on your system to revise text using that font.