Open a PDF file

Using Word, you can now open and edit a PDF file. You’ll do so as you would any other file. To open a PDF file using Word, do the following:

  1. Click the File menu and choose Open from the left pane. Or, click the Open icon on the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) if you’ve added it (click the QAT toolbar drop-down and check Open to add it).
  2. At this point, you can use Recent Documents or your system’s folder structure to find the PDF you want to open. Word will display PDF files in its lists, so you won’t have to specify the PDF format to see those files.

  3. Select the file and click Open.
  4. When Word displays the informational dialog, click OK.
  5. If Word displays the Protected View bar at the top of the document, click Enable Editing.
  6. Next figure shows the results of opening a previously blank PDF file and adding a bit of text. If you open this file using Adobe Reader (Adobe’s free viewer), you can’t edit the file. To edit the file, you’d need Adobe Acrobat, which is a pricey piece of software.

Using Word, you can open and edit the file as you would any other Word file (sort of). As I mentioned earlier, not every format and feature will transfer perfectly, so you’ll want to check the document carefully before saving your changes.

Save a PDF file

After editing the file, you can save the file as a Word document or as a PDF file. Your choice isn’t right or wrong; it will depend on how you intend to use the edited file. I recommend that you save the edited file as a Word document, even if you intend to distribute the file as a PDF.

When you save the file, Word will default to its format (.docx), so let’s walk through the steps necessary to save the edited file to the PDF format:

  1. Click the File tab and choose Save As.
  2. Choose a location for the new file.
  3. When Word displays the Save As dialog, you’ll notice that it has default to its format.
  4. From the Save As Type drop-down, choose PDF
  5. Word will retain the document’s author, so you might want to delete or change that option.
  6. Click Save.