Sometimes you run up in a situation when you need to edit a PDF file on Linux. For example, when you need to go through an old report which was in PDF format and you saw some typos. how to edit PDF files on Ubuntu?
I remembered that I used a program called pdfedit but it’s not available on Ubuntu or in any other Linux distributions anymore.
Things change now. In the past, we needed to use a dedicated application for this purpose. There are still plenty of tools to edit PDF files on Linux, but we don’t really need them, well not in most of the cases, because LibreOffice does the job for us.
Surprised? Yes, the popular Linux alternative to Microsoft Office can also edit PDF files. And perhaps this is the easiest way for editing PDF files.
How to Edit PDF files on Linux
Most of the Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora etc has LibreOffice as default office suite. If you do not have LibreOffice, you can install it.
Once you have installed LibreOffice, Use LibreOffice Draw to open the pdf file to edit. You will see that the file is in editable mode. You can use the select pointer to choose which bit of text to edit. Just click on the text which you want to edit. For those areas that are no text, you will need to use draw tool (e.g., pencil, circle etc.) to add things.
Once you are done with the edits, instead of saving the file (using Ctrl+S) option, click on Export to PDF button.
If you are not finising the edit yet, but need to save the editted file, save it and it will be saved as a .odg file. Next time you would like to continue the edit, just open the .odg file, you will be able to continue your edits.
It is pretty cool, right? We do not need to buy Adobe Pro version to edit pdf files any more.
Limitations of editing PDF files with Libreoffice.
This PDF editing does not work on scanned documents. The files which were originally created as text and saved as PDF can be edited very easily but it is not the case when you have scanned document because those pages are actually images. But you can use draw tools (e.g., pencil, circle) in the Libreoffice to add things like signature, tick sign etc, you just cannot edit the text part if it is a pdf file from scanning.