How to Write to a Pdf File

Do you need to edit a PDF file by adding custom texts in it but don't have the slightest intention of buying expensive professional programs to do it? Don't worry, the days are gone when to make simple changes to PDF files you have to buy very complicated - and very expensive - professional applications. Today there are many solutions that allow you to edit PDFs at no cost (or extremely low cost) in a very simple way.

If you don't believe what I'm telling you, take five minutes of free time and try to follow the instructions below: I'm about to explain how to write to a PDF file with different applications and different online services that can be used at no cost (plus some paid solutions that can be useful for more professional jobs). The solutions in question all ensure maximum ease of use and therefore can be used by everyone, you don't need to be an expert in word processing software or who knows what else.

At this point I would say not to waste any more time and to get straight to the point: choose the application or online service that seems to you best suited to your needs and use it by following the instructions to provide you. I bet you will be surprised at how easy it is to get your PDF editing work done. Happy reading and have fun!

LibreOffice (Windows / Mac / Linux)

LibreOffice is a free and open source business suite based on the famous OpenOffice. It includes applications for writing text, processing spreadsheets, making presentations and much more. Among its many functions there is also the one that allows you to edit PDFs as if they were Word documents. Using it, you can in fact add custom texts to your PDFs, modify the texts already present in the document (where possible) and add further customizations, such as arrows, highlights, images, etc.

LibreOffice is compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux and has the same great editing features on all platforms. To download it to your PC, connect to its official website and click on the button Download version xx located in the center of the page. The software installation package weighs over 200MB, so you need a fast enough connection to download it.

If you use a Mac, as well as download LibreOffice by clicking on the button Download version xx you have to get the package to translate the software into Italian (which on Windows is included in the basic installation package). Then click on the button Translated user interface available on the LibreOffice website and install both programs.

When the download is complete, if you are using a Windows PC, open the LibreOffice installation package (LibreOffice_xx_Win_x86.msi) and click on first forward twice in a row and then on Install, Yes e end but I will complete the setup.

If you have a Mac instead, open the package dmg which contains LibreOffice and drag the software icon into the folder Applications of macOS. Next, open LibreOffice by right clicking on its icon and selecting the item apri from the menu that appears, wait for the suite to start and close it again to proceed with the installation of the Italian language pack (this is to avoid that Gatekeeper, the protection system included in macOS, prevents LibreOffice from starting as it does not come from a certified developer).

To install the LibreOffice language pack, open the dmg containing it, right click on the file LibreOffice Language Pack, select the item apri from the menu that appears and presses the button Install twice in a row to complete the operation. If you are told that your account does not have high enough privileges to complete the installation, click on the button Yes, identify me, type the password of your user account on macOS and the problem should be solved.

Now you can start working in earnest! Then start LibreOfficeclick sulla voce Open file located on the left and select the PDF document to edit. LibreOffice editor will automatically start to edit PDF documents (Draw). To start LibreOffice on Mac, only the first time, you may need to right click on its icon and select the item apri give the menu to compare.

For write to a PDF file with LibreOffice, all you have to do is select the text tool from the toolbar located at the bottom of the screen (the icon with the T) and create, holding down the left mouse button, a selection at the point in the document where you want to add your custom text. Then start writing and, if you want, adjust the size and type of writing characters using the appropriate menus located at the top (just like those present in classic word processing programs).

You can also edit the text already present in the document. How? Simply by selecting it with the mouse and writing what you want, or by modifying / deleting the existing text. Also you can insert other elements like arrows, geometric shapes, lines ed images simply by clicking on the appropriate button located in the left sidebar.

When you have finished editing your document, you can save it keeping the PDF format by simply selecting the item Export to PDF format from the menu Fillet by LibreOffice Draw. In the window that opens, click on the button Export, select the folder in which to save the document and click Save to complete the operation. Easier than that?

Microsoft Word (Windows)

On your PC there is installed Microsoft Office? Then I'm happy to announce that you can edit PDFs directly with Word, the word processing software included in the suite, provided that this is in an edition equal to or greater than 2013. Starting from Office 2013, in fact, Word has acquired the ability to import documents in PDF format and edit them as if they were normal DOC or DOCX files. Unfortunately the formatting of the original documents is not always kept at 100%, but in general good results are obtained.

To edit a PDF file with Word, start the program and select the item apri from the menu Fillet (top left) or the items Open other files of type Documents> Browse from the left sidebar. So choose the document to edit, answer OK to the warning that appears on the screen and edit your PDF as if it were a normal Word file.

When you are satisfied with the result, go to the menu File> Export in Word, select the item for exporting to PDF and save the output document in a folder of your preference.

Unfortunately, the procedure only works on Windows as PDF support has not yet been included in the version of Word for macOS. If you use a Mac you can turn to LibreOffice.

Preview (Mac)

Do you have a Mac? Do you need to add text to a PDF document without altering the text already present in the document? Then you can also rely on Preview, the application for viewing images and PDF documents included “standard” in macOS.

For write to a PDF file with Preview, open the file in question by double clicking on its icon. Then click on the icon carrying case located in the Preview toolbar (top right), select it text tool (the icon with the letter "T"), click on the point on the page where you want to insert your personalized text and start typing.

To change the size, formatting, alignment and font to use for your custom lettering, click on the icon letter to" found in the Preview toolbar. If, on the other hand, you want to move the text to a different point in the document, select it with the mouse and drag it to the position you prefer.

Changes are automatically saved in the source PDF. If you want to create a new file, go to the menu Fillet Preview and select the item Export from the latter. Unfortunately it is not possible to modify the texts already included in the document (while it is possible to copy or highlight them using the specific functions included in Preview).

Google Drive (Online)

Don't feel like installing other software on your computer? No problem, you can also edit your PDFs with online services that work directly from the browser (without installing special programs or plugins). One of these is Google Drive, the famous Google cloud storage service that includes tools to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and online forms.

Google Drive is completely free (or rather, it is if you stay within the 15GB of space that the service offers for file storage) and works on all popular browsers. To use it, connected to its home page, log in to your Google account and drag the PDF file you want to edit into the browser window.

When the upload is complete, right click on thePDF icon just appeared in Google Drive and select the item Apri with> Documenti Google from the menu that opens in order to import the document into the Google Drive editor.

Done! Now you are free to modify the content of your PDF, add writings and modify the texts already present in the document, as if it were any Word file. Using the commands in the menu Inserisci of Google Drive you can also enrich the document by inserting images, tables, graphics and other elements: it's very easy!

When you have finished making your changes to the document, to export it again in PDF format and save it on your PC, go to the menu Fillet of Google Drive and select the items Download As> PDF Document from the latter. The file download will start automatically after a few seconds of processing.

DocHub (Online)

Another free web service that allows you to write on PDF files directly from the browser is DocHub, which however does not support editing the text already included in the original documents. To find out how it works, connect to its home page and create a free account by logging in through Google o dropbox (platforms also supported for uploading and archiving documents) or with your own email address. Then click on the confirmation link you received via email and log in to DocHub using the button  Login which is located at the top right.

Now, press the button (+) located at the top right, select the item Import new document and click on the button computer to select the PDF to edit from your PC. Once upload is complete, start customizing the document thanks to the tools offered by the service. Then click on the icon of letter to" to insert customized text in the PDF, on theHighlighter to highlight parts of the original text of the document, and so on.

When you have finished making all the desired changes to your document, download the PDF to your PC by clicking on the icon with the three horizontal lines located at the top right and selecting the items Download > Download PDF (lossless) give the menu check if you press.

App Per smartphone E tablet

You wish you could write to a PDF directly from your tablet or smartphone? Then open the store of your device and look for one of the applications listed below, there are really something for everyone!

  • Foxit PDF - It is a PDF file viewer created by the same manufacturer that also develops the homonymous program for PC, it is completely free and allows you to edit documents by adding arrows, highlights and other customizations to them. It supports cloud storage services, but to unlock each of them (eg Dropbox or Google Drive) you need to make an in-app purchase of 99 cents. The application is available for both Android and iPhone / iPad.

  • Notability - it is an excellent app for iPhone and iPad that allows you to import PDF files and add annotations to them. The annotations can be made "by hand" (using an iPad pen for example) or by writing normally on the virtual keyboard of the device. It costs 7,99 euros.
  • PDF Office di Readdle - probably the best PDF editor available in the mobile environment, one of the few able to offer features typical of desktop applications. It allows you to create new PDFs from scratch, fill in forms, sign documents and modify the text already present in PDFs. Unfortunately, its use is restricted to the iPad and requires the subscription of a pay subscription of 4,99 euros / month or 39,99 euros / year (after the first 15 days of free trial).
  • PDF Expert on Readdle - another Readdle application for editing PDFs, it offers less functions than PDF Office but also costs less (9,99 euros) and is compatible with both iPhone and iPad. It allows you to add writings, highlights, arrows, drawings and notes to PDFs but not to modify the text already present in them.