Word 2013 brings a fair number of new features to the word-processing table, but one of the most welcome (and business-friendly) by far is the capability to edit PDFs.
Previously, that would require Adobe Acrobat X Pro or some other pricey utility. That’s because a PDF is technically an image file, and converting that image back to text (especially if has graphics mixed in) requires some fairly sophisticated OCR.
Thankfully, Word now lets you open a PDF the same as if you were opening a .docx file, make changes to it, then save it again back to PDF format (or, if you prefer, something else).
That’s incredibly handy, whether for making changes to a contract, filling in a form, or recreating a document. Here’s how to make it happen:
1. In Word 2013, click File, Open.
2. Navigate your hard drive until you find the PDF you want to edit.
3. Click it, and then click Open.
4. Make whatever changes or additions you need to make, keeping in mind that some formatting may be lost in the process of converting the PDF to an editable format. Also, depending on the document, you might not be able to fill in form fields.
5. When you’re done, click File, Save As, then save the document as a PDF. (By default, Word will want to save it in its native .docx format.)
That’s all there is to it. So, what do you think of Word’s PDF-editing capabilities? Is that feature alone worth the price of an upgrading from an earlier version? Have you found another tool you like better for the job?
For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.