Possibly the most gratefully received new feature of Word 2013 is its ability to edit PDFs. Before Word 2013 you had to take your chances with (often unreliable) PDF to Word converters, edit the converted Word document and then resave as PDF. For Word 2007 we had to download an additional plugin to enable Save As PDF, but Word 2010 introduced this feature within the program itself.
Either that or edit the PDF directly with expensive Adobe products.
We now enter a new era of PDF editability! We can now edit PDFs in Word. This, on its own, might be enough to justify the purchase of Office 2013 for many people.
And it’s dead easy. Here’s our dummies guide to editing a PDF in Word:
- If you’ve just opened Word 2013, you should see the welcome screen. Click Open Other Documents on the left. Alternatively, if you’re already working in a document, click the File tab > Open.
- Let’s restrict this example to opening PDFs that exist on our computer, and not elsewhere like in the cloud. So, click Computer.
- A navigational tree that looks like Windows Explorer will appear on the right: choose either a recent folder or browse and the familiar Open dialogue will appear to help you navigate to the PDF. Make sure that the file type is set to All Files or PDF Files, so you can see the PDF:
- Double click on the PDF to open it
- Oh oh – what’s this, a warning? Word tells us that the PDF will be converted to an editable Word document, and that some formatting may be lost. This might be more troublesome for you if there are a lot of images in the PDF. If you never want to see that message again, click the checkbox and then click OK.
- Now, that warning suggested that the conversion might take some time, but when we opened a 361 page PDF, it took less than a minute.
- Oh dear, the formatting did not look good in our test document. Look:That’s supposed to be a table of contents, but look at how each entry wraps onto the next line.
- Make your amendments.
- Click the File tab > Save As (or ctrl + s), and it’s up to you what format you save to. You will probably want to Save As PDF to keep the document as a PDF, but you can also save as a Word document too (.docx). Oh dear. The broken formatting we saw after we converted the PDF to Word was saved in the new PDF document. What a disappointing test!
So, the conclusion is that you can edit a PDF document in Word 2013, but expect some formatting issues. If you want it from the horse’s mouth, there it is.