How to Delete Pages in an Acrobat PDF

By Lynne Pettus

The free Acrobat Reader does not enable page deletion, so to delete pages from your PDF, you need to either purchase Adobe’s Acrobat Standard or Pro version, or use another utility. Several free and low-cost PDF editing tools are available on the Web either for download or for use online. PDF utilities vary broadly in their feature set, since many are designed for specific use cases. For deleting, extracting or reordering pages, CutePDF and PDFill are excellent alternatives to Acrobat. CutePDF is an online tool in which you upload your PDF, edit it directly in your Web browser and then save it back to your computer. PDFill is a standalone application that you download to your computer and therefore doesn’t require an Internet connection for use.

Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro

Adobe Acrobat XI in either the Standard or Pro version is the granddaddy of PDF creation and editing, with myriad tools, both basic and advanced, to customize a PDF. In both versions, you can delete pages using either the Page Thumbnails panel or from the Tools menu. When deleting, choose to either delete the pages or to extract them. Extraction creates a new PDF based on the extracted pages, while the original PDF remains untouched. To delete pages using the Tools menu, choose “Tools,” “Pages” and then “Delete.” Enter a page range and then click “OK.” To use the Page Thumbnails, choose the page in the Thumbnails panel and then click the “Delete” tool at the top of the panel. Alternatively, use Acrobat’s keyboard shortcut to launch the Delete Pages dialogue box: “Ctrl-Shift-D.”

Cute PDF Editor

Cute PDF Editor is an online tool with an easy, intuitive interface that supports basic PDF editing, including deleting and re-ordering pages. Upload a PDF to the site and then select “Delete Pages” from the left sidebar. The Delete Pages dialog prompts you to choose to delete either the current page or a page range. If you choose a range, you have a further option to delete all pages in the range or only odd or even pages. After you delete the pages, select “Save” to save the modified PDF to your computer. If you want to retain the original, give the modified PDF a different name to avoid writing over the original document. You can also merge multiple PDFs, insert blank pages, rotate pages and extract pages, among other customizations.

PDFill Free PDF Tools

PDFill PDF Free Tools is a part of a suite of PDFill tools and can be downloaded separately or as part of the entire PDFill package. If your primary task is to delete PDF pages, all you need is the Free Tools standalone download. The tool requires the free Ghostscript utility, which is an open source interpreter for PostScript and PDF. When you install PDFill or any of its standalone utilities, the installer checks to see if you already have GhostScript installed and if not, downloads it for you so you don’t have to find it and install it yourself. To delete pages from a PDF, launch the program and select “Split, Reorder, or Delete PDF Pages.” Choose “Delete Pages” and enter the page numbers to delete or a range of pages. You can also choose to extract the pages as a separate file or to re-order pages. Click “Save As” to save it as a new PDF file.

Other Free PDF Tools

Multiple free and low-cost tools for editing PDFs are available, both as standalone applications and as online tools. PDF Shaper is a standalone program, meaning that you download it to your computer rather than using it online. It is easy to use and can split and merge PDFs, encrypt or decrypt them, convert them to an image and rotate pages, among other capabilities. PDFsam, another standalone program, supports PDF page organization and re-ordering on both a Windows and Mac machine. PDFTK Builder, another standalone program, merges and re-orders pages, in addition to rotating, encrypting, adding a background stamp and other features.