Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How to edit a PDF

Looking to make some changes to a PDF file? Here’s how to edit a PDF for free in just a handful of steps.

You can make basic edits to your PDFs using apps like Microsoft Edge and Adobe Acrobat DC, making these apps super convenient to keep on your computer. However, you won’t be able to make more advanced adjustments, like adding text with different fonts or uploading images, without moving beyond Edge or paying for an Acrobat subscription.

This is where free PDF editors come in. Read on to learn how to edit a PDF with Smallpdf.

What you’ll need: 

The Short Version 

  1. Open Smallpdf 
  2. Upload your PDF 
  3. Use the text, image and highlight tools to edit your PDF 
  4. Click Download PDF to save the file

How to edit a PDF

  1. Step

    Open Smallpdf

    You can also use another free PDF editor or Adobe Acrobat if you have a subscription to the app. How to edit a PDF

  2. Step

    Click Choose Files and select your PDF

    You can also upload a word file, edit it and convert it to a PDF. How to edit a PDF

  3. Step

    Select the T icon to add text

    This can be found in the toolbar at the top of the screen. How to edit a PDF

  4. Step

    Type your text

    You can adjust the font, size, colour and formatting of the text, as well as drag it to adjust its positioning on your PDF. How to edit a PDF

  5. Step

    Click the Image icon to add an image to your PDF

    You can upload any image file from your computer. How to edit a PDF

  6. Step

    Drag the image to position it where you want it

    You can also adjust the size of the image. How to edit a PDF

  7. Step

    Use the highlighter icon to highlight text

    Or select the pen tool to draw on the document. How to edit a PDF

  8. Step

    Click and drag to highlight words

    You can also choose the size and colour of the highlighter. How to edit a PDF

  9. Step

    When you’re done, hit Download PDF

    This will save your PDF to your computer. How to edit a PDF


Can you edit a PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC?

You can edit your PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC, but you’ll first need to pay to unlock the editing features. 

Websites like SmallPDF allow you to access many of these PDF editing tools for free. However, there are often limitations to how many files you can edit per day, as well as more advanced features you may still need to pay to unlock.

How do I sign a document?

You can fill and sign documents for free using apps like Adobe Acrobat DC and Microsoft Edge. For more on this, check out our guide to creating a PDF signature.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.