How to Open, Edit and Create a PDF File

[UPDATED]For the average computer user, .docx is the default format when saving a document because it is easier to deal with and it can be edited anytime. In contrast, a PDF file cannot be easily edited unless you are using Adobe DC or other similar software.

However, .docx files are not easily readable from any device or operating system. On the other hand, PDF files are universal – which means that they are readable regardless of the platform you are using (Windows, iOS, MacOS, Android).

Therefore, PDF files are excellent when you want to move a document from one device to another while preserving its original formatting. And without having to take the risk of being unable to open your file when needed.

If you do not know how to read and create PDF files, you’re in the right article. Let’s talk about it.

How to Open a PDF File?

1. Open a PDF file using a web browser

Most browsers can now open PDF files, so you do not need to download a standalone PDF reader. Among these browsers are:

  1. Google Chrome
  2. Microsoft Edge
  3. Mozilla Firefox

By default, Windows uses Edge to open PDF files, while macOS uses the Preview app. You may change the default PDF app in the settings of your operating system.

2. Open a PDF file using MS Word

Microsoft Word can read PDF files. However, it automatically converts them into editable documents. If you only want to view PDF files without editing, you should use a web browser or a third-party app instead.

Steps in editing a PDF using Word:

  1. Open the file.
  2. Word will inform you that it is going to convert the file into editable form. Click Ok.
  3. After editing the document, press Ctrl + S to save. By default, the format is .docx, but you may choose to save it in PDF (read next section).

Word may not be able to convert to convert the following:

  1. Page colors and borders
  2. Tables with custom cell spacing
  3. Footnotes and endnotes
  4. Font effects
  5. PDF tags, bookmarks, and comments

3. Open a PDF file using Adobe Reader and other similar apps.

You may use third-party apps to read and create PDF files. Among these apps are:

  1. Foxit Reader (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android).
  2. Adobe DC (Windows and Mac).
  3. Google Drive – Drive can read PDFs, while Google Docs may be used to convert PDFs to editable files (only via computer web browser).

4. Open a PDF file in iOS and Android

On iOS and Android, you should download a PDF reader to open PDF files. An application that can be used to read PDF files on both iOS and Android is Adobe Acrobat Reader.

How to Create and Edit a PDF File?

When it comes to PDF file creation, the only thing that you should worry about is converting another file format into PDF. You should first complete your work in another program like Word, Excel, or Photoshop, and then convert your file to PDF.

1. Create a PDF using Microsoft Word

If you want to convert a word document to PDF using Microsoft Word, do this:

  1. With your document open, navigate to File > Export.
  2. Under Create PDF/XPS Document, click Create PDF/XPS.
  3. Enter the file name.
  4. Choose the save folder.
  5. Click Publish.

Alternatively, you can do this:

  1. While your document is open, navigate to File > Save As.
  2. At the top of the window, you will see the filename and save format. Click on the save format and choose PDF.
  3. Click Save to the right of the file format box. This will save the PDF file to the last location where your Word document has been saved.

2. Create a PDF online using SmallPDF

A popular website for file conversion is SmallPDF – it is fast and simple to use. It can also open PDF files directly from Google Drive and Dropbox, so it is a great tool for working on-the-move.

Here’s how to use Smallpdf:

  1. On the website’s homepage, select which filetype you want to convert to PDF. SmallPDF can convert PPT, JPG, Excel, and Word files to PDF.
  2. If your file is in your local device, you may drag-and-drop it into the colored box.
  3. For Dropbox or Google Drive files, click the down arrow next to Choose Files, select the desired service, log in to your account, grant access permissions to Smallpdf, and navigate to the desired file.
  4. After the file is converted (which may take some time, depending on the file size), click the Download button to download the file to your device. To upload the file to Dropbox or Google Drive, click the down arrow to the right of the Download button and select the desired service.

3. Create a PDF using Adobe Acrobat

Adobe, the developer of the PDF format, arguably has the richest toolset for working with PDF files. This includes PDF creation and conversion tools.

Among Adobe apps that can turn files into PDF are:

  1. The Adobe Acrobat browser extension (Chrome) that allows you to convert entire webpages into PDF.
  2. Adobe Acrobat DC, an app that lets you edit and convert files to PDF.

Final Words

A .pdf format is not only dedicated for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. If you use a dedicated software such as Adobe Acrobat X Pro, you can even insert rich media such as videos and sounds into your PDF.

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