6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 5, 2009 1:56 PM by (Lauri_Lehtinen)

    Is Reader the same or included in Acrobat or what?

      I want to edit .pdf documents. It seems to be a real hassle. I can't even get a straight answer as to whether it is possible or not.

      Generally I get the impression it all depends upon what the document was created from. So I'd like to know what ideally they would be created from? Some Adobe product I suppose. Seems to make sense. That way you'd get something you could always modify in the future.

      As to the editing even Yahoo answers couldn't get a definitive answer. They seem to be saying Acrobat and they seem to be saying Reader and they seem to be saying 'you can't do it'.

      What is the story?

      I would like to know, if someone will be kind enough to tell me, these things, to clear up my confusion:

      1. What do I need to edit .pdf documents (assuming they can be edited) ?

      2. What should ideally create .pdf documents with?

      3. What do I create .pdf documents with in the non-ideal situation (i.e. just making an uneditable .pdf from anything at all) ?

      regards,

      ab
        • 1. Re: Is Reader the same or included in Acrobat or what?
          George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional
          Some PDFs can be edited. Whether you can or not depends on a number of things, such as security, the content (e.g., is the text real text, or an image of text?), and a number of other things.

          Acrobat (not Reader) is capable of editing a PDF, but it is not desinged to make significant edits to the content. For example, the TouchUp text tool in Acrobat is intended to be used to make small corrections, not as a general purpose text editor. For significant edits, it is best to go back to the source document, make the changes, and create a new PDF.

          There are many different ways to create PDFs. Acrobat is probably one of the most common, but others are quite capable, and many are free.

          You can create your source document in anything you choose. A word processor, page layout application, image editor, anything. You'd then use software to convert the source document to PDF. You do this in Acrobat by printing the source document to the PDF printer that gets installed by Acrobat. Other applications have built-in conversion to PDF capabilities, such as OpenOffice applications.

          Which method you choose depends a lot on your needs.

          George
          • 2. Re: Is Reader the same or included in Acrobat or what?
            Level 1
            Hi, thanks for that.

            It begins to look like it won't suit me at all.

            Can I make a form in .pdf that allows the user to enter details into it right there on the computer?

            I'm under the impression I've done that in the past but I can't find any way to do it right now. I've got Adobe Reader 8 (and 7) and it has an EDIT on the menu bar. Can't do anything with it on the sample form I opened in it but that might just be because that form is pretty well locked up security-wise.

            Point is it looks like Reader 8, at least, does allow editing, some at least. I took a look on the web and read some wikipedia article that made it seem like Adobe has buggered around with Acrobat and Reader in various incarnations in their pursuit of maximising profits and perhaps once it didn't edit and once it did and then again didn't... maybe like that?

            Or is the 'editing' I see there not really editing at all?

            Also a memory just came back to me of editing a pdf in Coreldraw, I think it was. A pdf is simply a graphic, isn't it?

            I think I'll look for that old form making prog I used to have, decades ago... 'Formpro'? or something like that...

            Thanks for your input. You've cleared it all up for me.

            regards,

            ab
            • 3. Re: Is Reader the same or included in Acrobat or what?
              ~graffiti Adobe Community Professional & MVP
              Lot's of questions, I'll try and clear a few up for you.

              > Can I make a form in .pdf that allows the user to enter details into it right there on the computer?

              Yes. Acrobat comes with form field tools. You need to add the fields first before Reader users can fill them in.

              >Point is it looks like Reader 8, at least, does allow editing, some at least.

              Well some. It allows filling in forms as long as the creator of the PDF has added those form fields I mentioned. Also, the creators can enable a typewriter tool that Reader users can use to add text (but not change existing text).

              >I took a look on the web and read some wikipedia article that made it seem like Adobe has buggered around with Acrobat and Reader in various incarnations in their pursuit of maximising profits and perhaps once it didn't edit and once it did and then again didn't... maybe like that?

              Sounds like someone has been doing some "creative writing" on Wikipedia. Reader has always been a reader and Acrobat has always been the tool used to create the PDF's that you can view in Reader.

              >A pdf is simply a graphic, isn't it?

              It can be yes. But it can also contain live text and independent images. It all depends on how it was created to begin with.

              Just keep in mind that Reader has always been intended mostly just for viewing and printing existing PDF's. The have added a few bells and whistles over the years but it's "mostly" the same as it has always been.
              • 4. Re: Is Reader the same or included in Acrobat or what?
                George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional
                Another thing to consider is that a PDF document can have usage rights applied (either by Acrobat or LiveCycle Reader Extensions) that allow Reader to do things it is not normally capable of. This is also known as Reader-enabling. Things like add comments, apply digital signatures, and saving documents that have been modified by filling-in form fields, commenting, and signing. This may have been the type of editing you had in mind.

                To expand a bit on graffiti's response, a PDF can contain a wide range of content, including text, vector graphics, images, optional content, and various types of annotations including form fields, links, bookmarks, comments, multimedia (sounds, movies, SWFs, etc.), file attachments, etc, etc.

                George
                • 5. Re: Is Reader the same or included in Acrobat or what?
                  Level 1
                  sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't....

                  Looks like the basic answer to my initial three questions is Acrobat.

                  FYI (and amusement) here's a couple of extracts from the wikipedia article I read about Acrobat:

                  --------------------------------
                  Adobe Acrobat is a family of computer programs developed by Adobe Systems, designed to view, create, manipulate and manage files in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF).[1]
                  -------------------------------

                  A 'family' of programs!

                  ----------------------------------------
                  Adobe has changed the names of the products in the Acrobat family regularly, also splitting-up, joining, or discontinuing products. Between version 3 and 5, Standard and Professional versions were one product simply called Adobe Acrobat.
                  --------------------------------------

                  That's the bit I was referring to.

                  Here's the URL if anyone cares to browse it:
                  -----------------------
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Acrobat
                  --------------------------

                  I'll turn to Acrobat and have a look at Inkscape and I've remembered the old form making prog - Perform Pro. That'll do what I want as regards my own stuff.

                  As regards other stuff I'm mainly PO'd about govt forms demanding I print it out, fill it in and then scan it back in to send to them. I guess I might be able to get round that with one piece of software or other but it hardly seems worth it. Probably more trouble than doing the print out/scan in.

                  I guess you've just got to live with a certain amount of BS in this world.

                  thanks for all your input.

                  regards,

                  ab
                  • 6. Re: Is Reader the same or included in Acrobat or what?
                    I know this is slightly off the topic, but I saw a couple of older (and now locked) posts asking the specific question - how to merge PDF files.

                    I too found out that it cannot be done with Adobe Reader, but there are tools available for it, and I put together a web page that makes it very easy:

                    http://www.pdfjoin.com

                    Hopefully this helps someone!