How Do I Add Text to a PDF without Acrobat?

The PDF format has become an essential in the world of today. It is impossible to imagine a life without them even if we tried. There is just something about the PDF format that makes us want to continue using the format for all our needs.

Whether you have a full-time job or are a student, you can turn to the PDF format for your requirements. Creating a PDF file might seem easy. However, it can be difficult to add text to a PDF file. But, there is no need to worry as we have prepared the ultimate post that aims to provide you all the information you need for adding text and editing PDF files without Acrobat.

Since Acrobat requires a subscription fee, chances are that you might not want to spend any money on editing PDF files. The good news is that there are many other ways through which you can add text. You are not the only one wanting another option besides Acrobat.

Can You Edit PDF Files Without Acrobat?

One of the questions that you are likely to think about is if it is even possible to edit PDF files without Acrobat. Since PDFs look the same on every device and operating system, you should have no trouble editing PDF files without Acrobat.

Whether you use Android, Chrome OS, a Mac, Windows 10, or any other system, the PDF file would stay consistent. This makes it the most transferred document out there. Even if Adobe might be considered the best tool out there for editing PDF files, it does not mean that it is the only option. To avoid paying $179 a year or $14.99 a month, the following options are available cost significantly less or are entirely free.

1. Online PDF Editing Tool

One of the easiest ways to add text to PDF files without Acrobat is by using an online PDF editing tool.

Online PDF Editing Services

You might have some online PDF files that need quick modification. This is possible, regardless of the deadline. First, make sure that the files are safe and do not contain sensitive or confidential data or information. Once that is done, you can use the online PDF editor to edit your file. After you have uploaded your PDF file to the server, you can begin modifying it right away. Since many online sites offer these services, you need to take time and select the one that has the best features for impressive results.

Depending on the nature of the work you are looking to get done, you can get the best PDF editing service online. Note that free software is usually loaded with features that are not so much developed, but if you just need basic editing and conversions done, they are worth trying.

Here are 5 Free Online PDF editors you can use right now:

1. Free Conver PDF

2. PDF Pro

3. Sejda PDF editor

4. SodaPDF

5. PDF Buddy

2. Basic PDF Editing Using Preview App (Mac Only)

Preview is a built-in app that could help to convert PDF files and photos. It allows you to view and edit your PDF files to match the standards that you are looking for. After you have opened the file, go to the Tools Panel, and you will be able to annotate, underline texts, and highlight the necessary sections. You can also sign the PDF file if that is necessary. It has similar aggressive tools like Acrobat, but it lets you do the editing without having to download apps from other sources.

To edit PDF files on Mac, follow the steps below:

On the top toolbar, select the text item

Choose the section of text you are looking to edit

Make the necessary changes, then click on the blank space

If you want to edit an image, follow these steps:

Start by clicking the edit

Select the Image item

Click on the page then select an image from Finder

Resize or move the image

Edit PDF Files in Google Docs

Google Drive is one of the most reliable tools that can handle multiple tasks perfectly. A Google doc lets you create many sheets and documents and share them with workmates and other parties in different locations. However, most individuals are not aware that with Google docs, they can convert any file into an editable doc. With Google docs, you can edit the text faster and perfectly before sharing or downloading it.

All you have to do is upload your PDF file to Google Drive and then use Google Docs to open it. You can easily edit the text after opening it. However, if your file contained an image, it will be removed when it is converted to a document. When you are done editing, you can opt to download it in the form of a PDF file.

3. Use Microsoft Word to Edit a PDF

If you are using Windows PC, it is possible to use Microsoft Office Word to open and edit PDF files. Once you have opened the PDF using Microsoft Word, you will see that it automatically becomes an editable document. You can easily edit the images and free text just like you could edit a normal word document. You will then be free to save it back as a PDF document when you are done modifying it.

To edit PDF using Microsoft Office Word, follow these steps:

In Word, go to file

Then open then move to the PDF file that you want to edit. Word will then convert the PDF automatically to an editable doc.

After it has opened, make the necessary changes. In case it contained some graphics, it might not look exactly like the parent PDF files.

Now move to file, and then save as When you are in the Save as Type dropdown menu, select PDF.

4. Use Standalone PDF Editing Software

If you are not ready to invest in Adobe maybe because it is too expensive, there are other affordable, yet reliable resources that could opt for. Mostly, they cost between $50 and $150 with a one-time purchase. Most of them have been tested, and they happen to provide an amazing user experience.

Though there are free alternatives as mentioned above, you can still choose to go by the paid ones as they often have additional features for an improved editing experience. However, some of them are expensively sold, even when they have similar features like the cheap ones. Therefore, before you go for the paid options, make sure that you go through their reviews or visit the visual tutorials PDF to learn more.

Method 3: Edit PDF in Google Docs

Google Drive is a great productivity tool in our daily work. We create a lot of docs and sheets with Google Docs.

Many of you may not know that you can actually use Google Docs to turn a PDF file into an editable doc. Then you can edit the text of PDF in an easy way.

After you upload a PDF to Google Drive, open it with Google Docs (see the screenshot above). Then you can edit the text.

Meanwhile, the images in your PDF will be removed when they are turned into a Google doc. Once you finish editing, you can choose to download it as a PDF.

How to Choose the Right Standalone PDF Editing Software

If after going through this list, you feel spoilt for choice, there are a few things you can consider to make the best choice:


Though you will get the best quality files with almost all of the software mentioned in this piece, there are still some variations. This is why you are encouraged to check out the reviews and compare the key features of the software to find out the one that can get the job done.


This has something to do with the production speed and smoothness of the software. For instance, they work at different speeds, and some of their features might be complicated to understand. For instance, with Mac, there are certain things you have to understand before you can use it successfully. Those are the things that should help you determine whether or not you want to use them.

The Cost

You must think about the money you will spend to get the right software. However, there is no need to spend more if you are only looking for a one-time application. Actually, if this is the case, you need to consider using the free versions even if they might lack some features that you might so need.

The Final Thought

You are free to choose free or paid online file converter to pdf software. However, it is wise to go for a paid one if you are looking to use it long-term. Microsoft Office Word can be a great solution, but it might not be great for PDF files that contain many graphics

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Simple to use and free online conversion – perfect! Previously I had used desktop PDF software. Especially it was a real pain with my small laptop - where I needed to wait for 2-3 minutes the software even to load. This tool is awesome! Fast and reliable. All worked like a charm! Thank you very much!
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