How to Edit a Scanned PDF Document

By Cooper Temple

Portable Document Format, or PDF, is a common format to which scanned documents are saved. A scanner converts a document to a PDF file in much the same manner as a photocopier makes copies, only the document is "copied" to an electronic format. PDF documents are meant to be accurate versions of source material, viewable across different operating systems and programs. However, if there are errors in the PDF copy and you do not have access to the original material, the scanned copy might need to be edited.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Acrobat Professional

Step 1

Launch Adobe Acrobat Professional.

Step 2

Open the scanned PDF copy of the document you want to edit.

Step 3

Click on the "Document" drop-down menu, select "OCR Text Recognition" and choose "Recognize Text Using OCR." This step enables the software to recognize the text in the scanned document in order to allow for its editing.

Step 4

Select the page or pages you want the program to scan for recognizable text using the "Current page" or "From page" options on the Recognize Text window.

Step 5

Click "OK" when you're ready to begin the text recognition process. Depending on the size of the document or the number of pages you selected, the process could take a minute or more.

Step 6

Click the "Tools" drop-down menu, select "Advanced Editing" and choose "TouchUp Text Tool."

Step 7

Using the cursor, highlight the portion of the text you want to edit.

Step 8

Type the new text, or delete the existing text. The "TouchUp Text" tool will replace text but will not wrap and adjust any of the existing text and text that you add. It will add text moving to the right and off of the page.

Step 9

Save the changes to your document, or save it as a new document if you need to maintain the original scanned document.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you need to edit a large portion of the text, select and copy all of the text in the document after using the OCR Text Recognition function. Paste it in to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word, and edit the text. You can then print a new copy of the updated document to PDF.