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How to use PDFElement for Editing Images, Text, Watermarks, and OCR

A lot of people ask if PDF can be edited. The answer is yes, it can.

Editing PDF is not restricted to text. It also includes images, links, watermarks, footers and headers, page numbers, and even scanned text. Everything is in your control when you have a proper PDF editor. This article shows you how to edit PDF files using PDFElement.

First of all, we should be aware that there are two types of PDF files: one is a native format, which means the document has been created in PDF or converted into PDF format; the second is a scanned PDF, which is the output of a scanner or a camera.

Can We Edit PDF Directly?

Open your document using a PDF editor like PDFelement,. You will see these three options:

  【Select】—— Select text

  【Hand shape】—— Drag the page

  【Edit】—— Edit content

Using the tool select a portion of the text or simply click on a text bit to start editing. If it enters Edit mode, then this is a native PDF and you should be able to see something like this:

Once you’re in Edit mode, you can choose between paragraph or line mode editing and modify the text accordingly.

On the other hand, if you are unable to select any text in the PDF, it is a scanned file.

Add images, text, watermarks, and hyperlinks

In the toolbar of the Edit section of PDFelement, click the respective icons for adding images, text, and other elements. Whenever you select or add an element, you will see a Properties tool panel on the right side where you can change attributes like font size, colour, and so on.

You can also access the same tools by right-clicking an element. If you do it on an image, you’ll see options like rotate, replace, flip, etc. For links, you will see linking sources and so on.

Cropping Pages

If you have unwanted content such as ads on the edges of a PDF page, you can easily crop it out. Using the mouse, adjust the borders of the crop box to select the content you want to keep, and then hit the OK button to confirm your changes.

Alter the background of the page

If you want a document to stand out, such as your resume or a marketing brochure, you can add stunning backgrounds to the pages of your PDF document.

Even if you’re just bored of black text on a white background, you can use this feature to add some colour to your document. Just click on New Background and choose a colour; you can even use the File → Browse option to import an image file as your background.

Add a watermark for copyright protection

If you want to assert your rights over a piece of documentation or the information it contains, you can consider using a watermark for this purpose.

Essentially, the process for adding a watermark to your PDF is identical to how you executed the previous process of adding a new background.

In this case, you can choose the position, size, colour, and other attributes if you’re using a text watermark, if you’re importing an image, such as a company logo, you can choose the orientation, placement, and other relevant attributes to give your watermark a customized and highly professional look.

Page number, footer, and header

You can easily add page numbers and other information in headers and footers. As with other elements, you have full control over attributes like font, position, size, etc. You can also set starting points for page numbers or simply follow natural pagination for your document.

There is also an option to add the date in various date formats, as shown in the screenshot below:

Bates Numbering

In certain field, such as the legal, medical, or commercial firms, documents are tagged with identification numbers called Bates Numbering.

Although it sounds complicated, it is actually an easy way to retrieve documents when you need them. The operation to Add Bates Numbering to your documents is nearly the same as adding headers and footers. But it can make a huge difference in organizing large document archives and workloads so anything can be found immediately when required.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR or text recognition)

If your file is a scanned PDF, you won’t be able to edit it unless you first perform text recognition or OCR on it.

OCR refers to the process of converting image-based text into machine-readable text that can be edited, indexed, searched, and so on. The text is first recognized by analyzing it against the background (dark vs. light), and then identifying the individual letters to convert it into an editable form.

The effect is truly amazing. Just look at how different the text looks once OCR has been done on it.

Before OCR:

After OCR:

We hope the information in this article has been useful in showing you how to edit PDFs with an editor like PDFelement. Bookmark this article in case you need to refer to it in the future.

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