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3 ways to edit a PDF on Windows in 2023

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Avatar of author Fred Melanson

Fred Melanson

Published: Wed Sep 13 2023

Hoping for a smooth PDF editing tool experience but are greeted by a complex interface that has more buttons than your TV remote?

Or, discovering the limitations – basic editing features that barely scratch the surface of what you need for your PDF?

In this article, we talk you through three different ways to edit on your Windows PC.

1. How to edit a PDF on Windows for free? Edit with Macro

The first step is introducing a new tool to speed up your editing process.

For Windows users, there are three ways to edit PDFs without third-party software: Microsoft Edge, Acrobat Pro, and a new way: Macro.

The current best choice is the Macro PDF Editor, which has every PDF feature you need, for free, and comes with AI-powered capabilities (details below) that make it more efficient.

Macro gives you advanced editing features that aren’t available with Acrobat Pro and Microsoft Edge.

Here's what you get when you use Macro::

  • Read through PDFs at 3x the speed with the automatic interlinking of key terms and definitions
  • Add, remove, or tweak text effortlessly.
  • Annotate PDFs with ease: Highlight key points, underline key insights or add insightful comments.
  • Create digital signatures with ease.
  • Merge, rearrange, and insert new pages easily.
  • Add page numbers to PDFs
  • Add images
  • Watermark your PDF so no one can copy your content
  • Add headers & footers
  • Write comments and share them with your team
  • Bookmark pages and refer to them whenever you want
  • Leverage AI to review errors

Here's a step-by-step guide to editing PDFs on Windows with Macro.

Note💡: Macro automatically downloads the most compatible app version on your PC.

Step #1: Opening a PDF on Macro in Windows

Once logged in to Macro, click Open a PDF or DOCX file .

Select the PDF you want to edit and click open. It can be in DOCX format.

Step #2. Editing PDF text in Macro

Firstly, you will see a series of icons in the top left corner of your Macro editing workspace.

If you click on the editing icon, you'll see a breakdown of its elements:

These elements comprise the general editing features like adding signatures, headers, footers, and bookmarking key insights on your PDF.

To be specific, start editing by selecting the text you want to edit – a word, sentence, or paragraph. As you select any paragraph or sentence, an editing toolbox appears.

Here’s a breakdown of each icon:

  • Highlight text to emphasize crucial points. Click on the drop-down button to change color.
  • Underline phrases or sentences you want.
  • Strikethrough unnecessary sentences and phrases.
  • Redact any sensitive or confidential information from your PDF.
  • You can bookmark any text on your PDF
  • At any point, you can delete edits by clicking the bin icon.

Step #3. Adding text to a PDF

Click the paper-pencil icon on the top-left toolbar, and a list of tools will appear on the left-hand sidebar. Click on the Text Box button to add some text to your PDF.

The good thing about this editing feature is that you can place this text box anywhere on your PDF. Furthermore, you can customize the text in all forms – change font style, size, color, and more.

Step#4. Saving a PDF

When you’ve finished editing the text and adding other necessary details, click on the Save icon in the top right corner 💾

👀 Macro PDF editor enables you to save an encrypted copy of the PDF to avoid any information leaks.

2. How to edit a PDF with Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is a Windows built-in PDF editor. Use it to skip the hassle of downloading a plug-in or signing up for a new app.

Step #1. Open PDF on Microsoft Edge

To start editing on Microsoft Edge, right-click the PDF file, then click Open with Microsoft Edge.

Next, your PDF will open in a Microsoft Edge window with a menu bar of editing tools.

Let's see what it looks like in the next step 👇

Step #2. Editing PDF text on Microsoft Edge

First, you will see a series of icons in the top-left corner of your Microsoft Edge editing workspace.

Here's an overview of each editing element and how to use them:

  • Highlighter . Select the text you want to highlight, right-click it, and then click Highlight. Alternatively, you can click the Highlight tool from the menu bar, choose the color and brush thickness, and then highlight the desired text.
  • Draw . Click the Draw tool from the menu bar, and then select the color and stroke size. From here, you can draw anywhere within the PDF’s borders.
  • Add text . To add text directly to yourPDF, click the Text tool and then the space where you want to add text. You can customize your text color, size, and letter spacing.
  • Erase tool . With the Erase tool, you can drag your cursor over the area you want to clear, and it will automatically erase it. For instance, you can see the “question mark” added on the page; that shows that the original sketch we made earlier is now missing because the eraser removed it.

👀 : Unlike Macro, the Windows default PDF editor does not have a built-in feature to underline text in PDF documents directly. You can add underlining to PDF in Microsoft Edge by uploading it from your device or linking it from your online storage platform – this can be stressful .

Consider Macro for an easy ride.

Step #3. Saving PDFs on Microsoft Edge

Once you've finished editing your document, click Save or Save As from the browser menu.

3. How to edit a PDF with Adobe Acrobat Pro

Using Adobe Acrobat Pro is another way to edit a PDF file on your Windows device. In this section, you'll learn how to use Adobe Acrobat Pro to edit PDFs. Note that Adobe Acrobat’s free version has major limitations, and you most likely will have to subscribe to the paid plan if you need more advanced editing capabilities on Adobe Acrobat Pro, such as the ability to add images, crop files, and use password protection.

For a free and complete PDF editor experience, give Macro a try .

👀: You can choose to use the web version or app version.

Step #1. Editing a PDF on Adobe Acrobat Pro

To begin, follow the steps below:

  • Click on Edit in the menu bar. You'll then see a list of editing options divided into three categories: Edit a PDF , Organize a PDF , and Secure a PDF .
  • Suppose you choose Number pages from the Edit a PDF section. In response, Adobe will promptly present you with the necessary tools for numbering your pages, such as Position on page and Page range , streamlining your editing process.

Here's an overview of the Edit a PDF tool on Adobe Acrobat Pro.

  • Select text . With the selected text element, you can click the area on the PDF where you want to draw, then click the Draw freehand tool.
  • Add comments . With this element, you can add and track comments on your doc file, and you can modify your comment icon’s color to make it stand out. To view comments, click on the icon and see relevant comments highlighted in the comments’ pane.
  • Highlight selected text . Modify the color and thickness of your highlighted text. Need to underline or cross out text? Click the tool and change it to underline or strikethrough.
  • Draw freehand . If you want to add a sketch to the document, use this tool. Similar to the highlighter, you can customize the color and thickness.
  • Add your signature or initials . You can use Adobe Acrobat Pro to type, draw, or upload an image of your signature or initials on your PDF file. If needed, you can also change signature colors.

Once you have finished editing, click the download button.

👀: There are limits to the free version of Adobe Acrobat Pro and, if you are tight on budget or need advanced PDF functionalities like enhanced reading, you should consider using a free tool like Macro .

Read and edit documents faster with Macro

Let’s face it; Windows default built-in Microsoft Edge can help you edit PDFs.

But to make key edits faster, like underlining or making advanced annotations on your PDF file, you will need a third-party tool that enables comprehensive editing.

Macro is one such tool that, in tandem with Windows built-in editing workspaces, can make your PDFs go from good to great.

So, download the Macro app for Mac and try it out for free!

Avatar of author Fred Melanson

Fred Melanson

Fred leads Growth at Macro. He is a passionate generalist in the Product-Led GTM space, with experience in content creation, marketing strategy & sales. His LinkedIn has over 1M views yearly, and his Vlogs generate hundreds of thousands of views. His favorite thing in the world is walking with his dog, Lola 🐶
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