How to remove something from a PDF file

Updated July 20, 2017

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format for electronic documents such as digital books, brochures and academic papers. PDF documents can be read and printed using a free application such as Adobe Reader. However, if you want to modify the contents of a PDF file, to delete text or graphic objects for example, you will need a PDF editing tool, such as Adobe Acrobat. These tools enable you to select and delete the objects. Although Adobe Reader is free, most PDF editing applications are not, but some may offer limited trial periods.

Download and install a PDF editing application such as Adobe Acrobat, if you have not already done so.

Double-click the PDF file that you want to edit. The PDF file should open in Adobe Acrobat Professional, or whichever PDF editing application you have installed.

To edit images and other objects, click the "Tools" menu in Adobe Acrobat, select "Advanced Editing," then click the "TouchUp Object" tool. In the document window, click the image or object you want to delete, then press the "Delete" button on your keyboard. (If you are using a different PDF editing application, look for menus and tools with the same or similar names to these.)

To edit text, click the "Tools" menu, click "Advanced Editing," then select the "TouchUp Text" tool. In the document window, click on the first character you want to delete, hold the mouse button down and drag the cursor to the last character of the text that is to be deleted, so that it is all highlighted. Press the "Delete" button on your keyboard.

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About the Author

Lee Prangnell is an experienced writer in information technology and computer science. He graduated with a Master of Science (MSc) degree in information technology from the University of Liverpool, UK, where he achieved a first class/distinction grade. He is presently undertaking a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in computer science at the University of Warwick, UK.