Editing a PDF File

Question: Is it possible to edit a PDF file without spending a ton of money? I have one file that needs four words inserted into it using Word Art, but I don’t know how to do it.

The IT Guy says:
Adobe would really like us to purchase the full version of Adobe Acrobat in order to edit PDF files. As an educator, of course, you are eligible to purchase, or have your school purchase, software like Adobe Acrobat at a discount compared to the commercial price. It sounds, however, like you want to avoid making that software purchase at all.

As far as I know, there is not a freeware or shareware software program that will let you directly edit PDF files created by someone else, as you can with Adobe Acrobat. The full version of Acrobat now comes in several different flavors and prices, depending on how much functionality you want. PDF documents are usually designed to be for the redistribution of finished files. Even if you have a full version of Acrobat, if the author of the PDF file created it with security settings enabled, you may not be able to edit/modify it at all within Acrobat.

If you just want to add Word Art to an existing PDF file, I can think of two different techniques that do not involve purchasing the full version of Acrobat. First, you could copy and paste the text of the document from Adobe Reader into your word processor, and then add the Word Art. You will need to reformat the text in your word processor, but if you are able to copy all the text (you may not if it is in graphical form or if the PDF file creator specified it should not be) then this may be the best technique.

Alternatively, you can make a screenshot of the document on your screen, and insert these screenshots into a new word processing document along with the Word Art you want to create. This may not be elegant, but it can work.

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