How do I edit a PDF?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by bungiefan89, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. bungiefan89 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I've got to edit this newsletter. Usually, I'd just plug this in to InDesign, but unfortunately all I have access to is the PDF of the newsletter.

    Most of it is complete, but certain parts need to be edited and tweaked. What's the best way I can do this? I have access to the entire Adobe CS5 lineup (InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat, Photoshop, etc.) in case that helps.


    ANY help on this is appreciated! :)
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

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    located
    #2
    Acrobat?
    Though it might be problematic, depending on what kind of document it is.

    Can't you get the original design file for the application it was created in?
     
  3. bungiefan89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I WISH I had access to the original file it was made from! xD Unfortunately, all I have is a PDF, a few pictures, and some editing instructions from my client.

    But I'll try Acrobat more. And thanks for the other link.

    Anybody else have ideas?
     
  4. Hansr macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    If it's anything more than just changing text Acrobat Pro is pretty much your only decent option.
     
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #5
    What do those say?
     
  6. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Pitstop Pro is an Acrobat plugin that makes editing a PDF pretty easy.

    http://www.enfocus.com/product.php?id=855

    Getting a PDF and then a client wanting a ton of edits is pretty commonplace now, unfortunately. It's like the new "native" file. Ugh!
     
  7. bungiefan89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I've got to move some text around, change a logo, insert a new picture, replace some text with a picture, remove some 'filler' text... not a whole lot to do over all, but the work is varied.

    So far, the best I can come up with is re-creating the newsletter from scratch, and THEN editing it. I thought of a way to speed that process up though...

    You know how when you were a kid, you would sometimes draw things in magazines by laying a sheet of paper down on a picture and 'trace drawing' over it? I'm trying to do that with this project now... put the pictures of the old PDF into their own layer and work on top of that so I can get everything into alignment for a perfect replica and THEN I can move stuff around.

    Thus far, I've tried saving each spread in the PDF as its own JPEG... but the pictures come out all blocky and even then, they're kind of out of alignment. (the font doesn't line up, even though I KNOW it's the same type and size in both documents)

    Any idea how I could accomplish this?

    ----------

    *facepalm* And this is just my FIRST job as a freelance designer! I better get used to this... dang noobs. :(
     
  8. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #8
    Have you tried saving as a PNG instead? Seems to handle vector images better than JPG.
     
  9. Hansr macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Pointless JPEG and PNG will both be unusable. Get the correct tools or forget about it. A trial of Acrobat Pro is on the adobe site.

    The alternative is basically recreating everything.
     
  10. JCox macrumors newbie

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    Nov 2, 2011
    #10
    Illustrator?

    You could open it in Illustrator. It's the hard way 'cause you'd need the fonts, type may need to be rejoined, etc. But it would work.
     
  11. bungiefan89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I just tried that. Still having the same problems... How much does the pixels/inch scale matter? I'm saving these images at 150 so far.

    ----------

    I actually have access to the full version of Acrobat Pro here.

    And it's funny you should mention recreating everything as that's kind of what I've been trying to do... though I'll happily embrace an alternative if one pops up! :)
     
  12. Hansr macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    And acrobat didn't work? Then I'm guessing it's been "distilled" to non-editable pdf with a low pdf compatibility threshold and then you're better off just redoing it.
     
  13. bungiefan89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I'm not too familiar with Acrobat... but if Acrobat is the key here, I'll give that a try.

    ----------

    I've had some luck manipulating the PDF in Illustrator, but a lot of fonts get changed because they don't line up with the same fonts Illustrator uses. I just haven't used Acrobat very much thus far... how should I use it?

    And if none of this does work, then what's the best way to redo it?
     
  14. PrePressAcrobat macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2010
    #14
    I have the RecoSoft PDF to InDesign application.
    If you have the time and can post a link to your PDF
    I can convert it to an InDesign document for you.
    It is not perfect but it does a nice job
    and all the parts will be there
    so it is just InDesign work after that.

    MSD
     
  15. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

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    #15
    There are free online .pdf-to-.doc conversion services. I used "PDFtoWORD.com" last year because I had to edit a .pdf form and it did a really nice job with it (much better than I expected!). So give that a shot, or Google for others. :apple:
     
  16. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #16
    At least 600, and 1200 isn't out of the question.
     
  17. dmz macrumors regular

    dmz

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    #17
    Whoa Pony!

    Don't know where the above poster works, but it's not in Graphic Design. Images, photos that is, never need to be more than 300 dpi, and generally, for magazine and bookwork, never below 150 dpi.

    As someone mentioned, PitStop Pro is an excellent PDF editor. You may also use Illustrator for more finickety jobs, but not so good, as you noticed, if you don't have the SAME fonts resident on your system. Illustrator is the best method I know of for extracting photos and vector artwork though. Watch out for multiple masking layers!

    Acrobat is better at handling the type issues as it can use the embedded font for editing - though if the font was sub-setted, editing may be severely limited, i.e. if you need an ampersand and they didn't use one in the original document, you're SOL. Also, Acrobat tends to break text up into illogical (to OUR way of thinking - not the computer's) chunks.

    For extracting text in logical order - try Preview - it does a good job of re-connecting the words and ferreting out columns of text. Be aware that the PDFs produced by Apple's own engine are NOT compatible with most prepress software, including Adobe's products, so just use Preview for it's text extraction skills.

    I think your "onion-skinning" idea may be the best, though most labour-intensive. Good Luck and welcome to the modern world of Graphic Design...

    Cheers!

    :apple:dmz
     
  18. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #18
    No, it's in engineering design. And when we save PDF's to graphics that are less than 600 dpi and import them into design drawings, they end up grainy. Your tone comes across to me as very pompous, but I do have experience in what I'm talking about.
     
  19. anotonin macrumors member

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    #19
    All of those Adobe software can open and edit a PDF file. But in my experience, I always use Illustrator to do edits on PDF files.
     
  20. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

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    #20
    Yeah, but you're speaking from a pretty specialist corner of the design discipline.

    For almost all other print purposes, optimum print resolution (dpi) can be usefully estimated to 2x screen frequency (lpi) of the printed product. Printed material with an lpi higher than 175 is pretty uncommon, making 350dpi plenty suitable for most purposes.

    Cheers

    Jim
     
  21. dblessin macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2007
    #21
    he's right...

    I concur with DMZ. I have to do this kind of stuff all the time. It's best to just re-create the entire thing though as the next time you're asked to edit the file you will be a whole lot happier that you did. I build magazine ads for a living and have to process between 80 and 140 ads a month. Whether thats just putting a customers press ready ad into our magazine template, making edits to an ad from a previous months ad or building something from scratch I'm asked to edit a PDF at least a few to 6 times each month as most of the people/companies really don't know that a PDF is meant to be a final file compiled from a bunch of other files.

    So called designers are guilty too of some "professional laziness" in this regard. Many like to use photoshop or illustrator to layout an entire page or an ad. To me this is the wrong way to go about it. Edit and manipulate your photos in photoshop, edit and manipulate your vector graphics in illustrator and use Indesign to put all your parts and pieces together, set your type properly and create your PDF. Using only one of these "tools" for an entire project is like building a house with just a hammer and a saw. Sure it could be done and for some with unbelievably good results but it's better to use all the power tools available. It will make you a better designer in the end.

    I hope that made sense?

    Here's your 3 best options for this file, keeping in mind you want the best result.
    1. recreate
    2. "onion skin" it in Indesign
    3. try and edit it in Illustrator
     
  22. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #22
    Then again, I'm addressing OP's issues, not what a graphic designer thinks SHOULD work.

    He never mentioned printing the document; he mentioned recreating it.

    He said saving at 150 dpi wasn't giving him the results he wanted.

    I offered him tips based on my experience (which works for me) versus what he had tried up to that point (which wasn't working to his satisfaction).
     
  23. dmz macrumors regular

    dmz

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    #23
    I am a Pompous Ass

    My apologies to you Tomorrow if you found my post "pompous" (?). I merely pointed out the obvious - you don't work in Graphic Design - so how is that pompous? The OP came here for some much-needed advice. Your replies are off-topic and wholly inaccurate. Since the OP is a "noob", it's important she/he doesn't start off with bad information. A 300 dpi file becomes four times larger at 600 dpi, sixteen times larger at 1200 dpi, making Photoshop, or whatever, work that much harder and longer to process the image - not to mention most prepress operations will reject your file if the resolution is too high OR low.

    JPEG is NEVER a good format for graphic design - PNG is better, but TIFF is the standard.

    You are at least partially correct - line-art images, those that are 1-bit images, i.e black/white only, should be produced at at least 600 dpi, where the human eyes ability to resolve detail (read "jaggies") starts to fall off, and yes, 1200 dpi is even better, while 2400 is probably overkill.

    I may be pedantic - I teach graphic arts - but pompous?

    Cheers!

    :apple:dmz
     
  24. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    #24
    If you're working on a file and it occurred to you that it might be best to just recreate the file, that's definitely the way to go.

    I've used Acrobat Pro a fair bit to do this sort of thing, and Acrobat Pro for editing is really a last resort—it's OK for fixing the odd typo, but that's really about it.
     
  25. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #25
    Your post suggested that my advice was irrelevant, or at least less useful, because it doesn't have its roots in graphic design.

    Let's address the "off-topic" part - where in the OP does he even mention graphic design? He asked why his graphics looked blocky; I gave him an answer that works for me. That's entirely ON-topic.

    And again, nowhere in the OP is filesize mentioned as a concern, nor is printing. 600 dpi is an entirely workable format.

    Again, we're not talking about graphic design, we're talking about making saved images less blocky. Go back to my reply to the OP (where I suggested using PNG instead of JPG).
     

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