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PDFs are a pain to edit, but these four free apps make it easy

Sending PDFs is quite easy, but editing them can be easy, especially on the relatively small screen of your phone. Fortunately, I found easy and quick ways to edit a PDF file on the iPhone ($ 1000 on Amazon) and on an Android phone as well as on a Mac and PC. I'll walk you through the basics of adding text, signing documents, and completing forms. And best of all, all the apps and software I recommend here are free.

If you want to follow or see a preview, watch the video at the top of the story.

Edit PDF on Mac

Each Mac comes with a program called Apple Preview. You can use it to view and edit photos and PDFs.

To get started, simply double-click your PDF file and it should open in Preview automatically. If for some reason this does not happen, open your application folder and then open Preview. This is a postcard icon on the ocean and a small magnifying glass on the corner. From there, you will be greeted with a window asking you to select the file you want and when you are done, click the blue Open button and you're back in the game.

To access the toolbar, click the Marker toolbar in the upper right hand corner next to the search box. The icon is the tip of a pencil inside a circle. Click the Text tool ̵

1; this is the letter T icon inside the square – and a text box will appear in the middle of your document. You can move the box anywhere on the page.

To change the appearance of the text, touch the Text Style tool – this is the italicized icon A. If you need to resize the text box, click on one of the blue dots. This will allow you to make the text box wider or narrower by dragging them left or right.

There are also tools for drawing and sketching. The Draw tool allows you to draw just about anything you want with your cursor, while the Sketch tool converts the objects you draw into personalized fill and frame shapes. If you just draw a line or a curvature, you can change the color and thickness with the Shape Style tool – arranged parallel lines – or the Border tool – the small square inside a large square. If you don't feel particularly artistic, you can also add pre-made shapes.


The review gives you several ways to add and save a copy of your signature.


Perhaps my favorite tool is the ability to add a signature. Click the arrow next to the tool Sign – the handwritten letter J – and click the Create signature button . You need to select the option to use your trackpad to sign your signature with your finger or scan it with the built-in camera on your Mac.

To use the trackpad, click the Trackpad tab and then press the Click here to start the button, and after you finish signing, press any key. If you like your signature, press Done . Another way to create a signature is to sign your name on a white sheet of paper and scan it. Instead of the Trackpad tab select the Camera tab . Put a piece of paper in front of the camera and arrange your signature on the black line. In a little while, your signature will appear on the screen in the camera preview. If you like, press Done .

To add one of your saved signatures, simply click on the desired Sign menu. Then drag, resize and reposition it wherever your signatures need to go.

Finally, to save the edits, just press Save . You can also export your changes by creating a new PDF file.

iPhone Markup Mode

Just like the Mac, you don't need a special application for basic iPhone revisions. There is Mark Up mode instead of Preview. Whether you want to edit a PDF in an email message or a file saved in the Books app, touch the Markup Icon – a circle with the tip of a pencil in it – to get started. They are actually the same tools that appear on your screen after you take a screenshot.

There are various tools at the bottom of the screen: marker, pen, pencil and eraser. You can also touch the plus sign to the right to add text boxes, shapes, a magnifier and even signatures.

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The tagging mode is built-in fast and allows iOS and allows easy edits of photos and PDFs on iOS.


If you have a signature saved in Preview on your Mac, your iCloud account will automatically synchronize it in the markup mode of your iPhone. To add a new one directly to your phone, touch Add or Remove Signature then touch the plus sign at the top left of the screen. Use your finger to sign the line and press Done to save.

While adding edits to your PDF, you can use the left and right undo arrows at the top to move forward or backward in sequence. through your supplements. But there is also a deletion tool that can be used to remove any unwanted drawings, sketches, or highlights you have made, regardless of the order you made.

When you're done editing, you can reply via email with your updated PDF, or if you're inside Books, you can AirDrop, email, or print it using the iOS share menu.

Adobe Fill & Sign on Android

Sorry, no system-wide PDF editing tool was created. on the Android operating system, but fortunately there is what seems to be an endless list of PDF editing applications on the Google Play Store. For the basics, especially the forms, I like Adobe Fill and Sign, which is free on the Play Store.

To get started, open Adobe Fill and Sign and select your PDF file. The first time you open the application, you will be able to set the application to open by default any time you open a PDF. Once your file is open, tap anywhere on the screen, add a text box. After you enter text, you can move the field by tapping and dragging it. You can resize it in uppercase and lowercase letters As in the upper text box.

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Adding signatures and initials is easy. Adobe Fill & Sign limits you to one signature and one set of initials. The first time you touch the tool, a sign line will appear on the screen. Use your finger to sign your signature or initials. If you ever want to change your saved signatures or initials, just touch X on the right side of the tool.

Your signature or initials will appear on your document in a resize box, which can also be dragged and repositioned. There is a small blue circle with white left and right arrows on the right side of the box. Touch and drag circles to the left or right to make it larger or smaller.

Adobe Fill & Sign also has an account where you can store information such as your address and email to fill out forms. When you need to add any of this information to a PDF form, simply touch the box you want to fill out and touch the information saved in the same box in your profile.

While editing, your Adobe Fill & Sign saves as you go. When done, you can send an email to your PDF file, save it to Google Drive or other apps through the Android sharing menu.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC on PC

If you are on PC, I recommend downloading Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. This is a free reduced version of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC that costs $ 15 a month or $ 180 a year. Reader DC has many powerful tools for basic editing, and if you're in an environment with a combination of computers and Macs, there is a Mac version.

Open Reader and select the file you want to edit. There is a Tools section that allows you to select different tool sets depending on the edits you want to make. For example, one of the toolkits is Adobe Fill & Sign.

From the toolbar, you can add text boxes, signatures, initials, forms, and checkboxes. It works a lot like the way Preview does.

One of my favorite tools in Acrobat Reader is the tire stamping tool. Click the Tools tab and open the toolbox Print . The toolbar will now have a tool Stamp and a toolbox Stamp that includes a number of different types of stamps to choose from, such as "Approved", http: // www. cnet.com/"Sign Here "and" Confidential ", among others.

When finished with your PDF edits, you can save or export them to a new PDF file or other file format such as Word Doc.

Now when you have several ways to edit a PDF file, see our video on how to make your own GIF below.

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Try the iOS 11 Notes application as a document scanner


Originally published on August 12th.

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