Edit­ing PDFs on a bud­get

Mac Format - - GENIUS TIPS - by I a i n C a l d e r

QI need to lightly edit and ex­tract data from some PDF files. Do I have to buy an ex­pen­sive app for that?

APre­view pro­vides a ba­sic set of tools to an­no­tate PDF doc­u­ments and copy their con­tents. If you want to change the con­tents of a doc­u­ment, you can ei­ther con­vert it to an ed­itable for­mat, such as a Word doc­u­ment, edit it, then save it back to PDF, or use a so­phis­ti­cated and costly ed­i­tor.

Many apps can ex­tract the con­tents of a doc­u­ment and con­vert them to other for­mats, but in do­ing so you’ll in­evitably lose much of the for­mat­ting, and the end re­sult will have dif­fer­ent lay­out and pag­i­na­tion. Such tools are of vari­able qual­ity, and many are quite cheap from the Mac App Store.

Good ed­i­tors are less com­mon. Ex­am­ples in­clude PDF Ex­pert, PDFpen (and its Pro ver­sion), and Ac­ro­bat Pro. They’ll save you a lot of time fid­dling around try­ing to get for­mat and lay­out to match, but cost more than £50.

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