4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 13, 2016 5:17 PM by DrJoanie

    Does "paragraph reflow" apply to an entire PDF?


      I am trying to determine whether Adobe Acrobat DC is capable of doing what I need it to do. I have a very long document (700 pp.) that was originally multiple separate documents created in Word. I subsequently converted all the chapters into a PDF using an older, Vista-compatible version of Adobe Acrobat. Unfortunately, the new Acrobat is no longer compatible with Vista .

      So now I'm thinking that I'll have to purchase Acrobat DC for my laptop, despite that computer's much smaller screen. Before I do, I need to know whether it is indeed possible to edit text with Acrobat DC essentially the same way one edits text in Word.

      On the Adobe features-comparison page, FAQ | Adobe Acrobat DC, I read that DC has "full-page paragraph reflow." That sounds like an enormous improvement over other PDF editing software I've tried. I understand that to mean that if I deleted part of a sentence from a paragraph, the gap thus created would fill up, just as it does when one deletes a sentence fragment from a Word doc. Is that correct?

      And, more important, will a deletion, no matter what its length, on page 35 of my PDF cause the entire rest of my document to reposition itself as a consequence? I.e., does Acrobat DC have not only full-page reflow but full-document reflow?

      Many, many thanks in advance for help with this question, which is *very* important for me!


        • 1. Re: Does "paragraph reflow" apply to an entire PDF?
          try67 MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          I don't know what they mean by that sentence, but I would take it with a large grain of salt. There might have been some improvements in the Edit Text tool of the DC version but I don't think it will allow for whole-page reflow (maybe in some very rare cases) and definitely not for whole-document reflow.

          I suggest you try out the trial version first and see for yourself if it works for you or not...

          • 2. Re: Does "paragraph reflow" apply to an entire PDF?
            DrJoanie Level 1

            Oh dear, that does not sound promising... That's a good idea, though. Thanks, try67!

            • 3. Re: Does "paragraph reflow" apply to an entire PDF?
              Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

              PDF is really a “final form file format,” not a source or layout format. Although Acrobat does have some fairly sophisticated edit capabilities, they are really for what can best be described as “touch-up” functionality. Since PDF itself doesn't have the concept of words, paragraphs, stories, etc., any edit capabilities have to use heuristics to reverse engineer text fragments into any form of logical sequence. This works best for very simple layouts, poorly for complex layouts.


              You may be able to get some reflow within a paragraph and maybe some on a page, but definitely no inter-page reflow and repagination. You really need to go back to the source document for that or lacking that, possibly export to Word (or whatever), do a ton fixup just to get the base formatting correct, do the text edits you originally wanted, and then recreate the PDF file.


              PDF is not the equivalent of a Word document format! In summary you absolutely cannot “edit text with Acrobat DC essentially the same way one edits text in Word.”


                        - Dov

              • 4. Re: Does "paragraph reflow" apply to an entire PDF?
                DrJoanie Level 1

                Many thanks, Dov Isaacs. Although I'm sorry to hear this, I am glad that I won't have to waste any more time trying to do something the software isn't made to do.


                Thank you for taking the time to fully understand what I meant.


                All good wishes,