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How to edit a PDF on Android (for free)

Can you edit PDFs on Android? Yes, but there's a catch.
By
October 26, 2022

Being able to edit PDF documents on the go is useful in so many situations. For example, if you’re at the doctor’s office and need to sign a document, you can quickly do so from your phone or tablet device. Now, it isn’t as simple as you might think. Many predatory apps allow you to save changes to your PDF as long as you sign up for a subscription or log into a paid account. That begs the question: is there a way to edit PDFs on Android for free?

READ MORE: How to make a PDF document on an iPhone or iPad

THE SHORT ANSWER

To edit a PDF on Android, download and launch the Adobe Acrobat Reader: Edit PDF app from Google Play. Sign into your Adobe account, then tap + > Open file. Find and open the PDF you want to edit. Tap the blue pencil button at the bottom. Comment and Fill & Sign are free. However, Edit PDF (which allows you to edit images and text on the PDF) and Organize pages are paid features.


KEY SECTIONS

Here’s the thing: if you want to edit the images and text of your preexisting PDF, you will need a premium Adobe account. There isn’t away around that paywall, as in-app purchases are how these kinds of programs survive. This, of course, includes Adobe.

What you can do without a subscription, though, is add to your existing PDF. As a free user, you can add new text to your old page, add a signature, and edit comments.

How to edit a PDF on Android (Adobe PDF editor website)

If you want to use the official Adobe app or website to edit your PDF, you will need an Adobe subscription. With a free account, you can add text, sticky notes, and drawings, store and share your files, and try 20+ PDF and e-signing tools.

This suite of features is pretty slim with a free account, but you’ll need to make do. Adobe is pretty good at paywalling more premium features, but if all you need to do is add text or sign your PDF — which should be easy enough on a mobile device — this will suffice.

  1. Open your mobile browser and go to the Adobe PDF editor website.
  2. View the page in desktop mode. To do this (at least if you're using the Chrome app), tap Menu (⋮) > Desktop site.
  3. Tap the blue Select a file button.
  4. Find (and open) your desired PDF file.
  5. Sign into your existing Adobe account or create a new one. If you have a paid account, more features will be available to you.
  6. The buttons in the toolbar at the top allow you to highlight, add text, draw, or manage comments.
  7. When finished, tap Download to save the edited PDF to your device. 

How to edit a PDF on Android (Adobe Acrobat Reader: Edit PDF app)

adobe acrobat reader app
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

The more user-friendly way to edit PDFs on Android devices is to download the official app. As mentioned before, if you want to edit the existing content in your PDF, you must be an Adobe subscriber. With a free account, you can add text, sticky notes, and drawings, store and share your files, and try 20+ PDF and e-signing tools.

  1. Download and launch the Adobe Acrobat Reader: Edit PDF app from Google Play.
  2. Sign into your existing Adobe account or create a new one.
  3. Tap the blue ➕ button.
  4. Select Open file.
  5. Find and open the PDF you want to edit.
  6. Tap the blue ✏️ button at the bottom.
  7. You can tap Comment or Fill & Sign to use those features. However, Edit PDF (which allows you to edit images and text on the PDF) and Organize pages both have blue stars next to them. This means that they are paid features.

Can I edit my PDF on Android without an Adobe subscription?

convert pdf to word
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Yes, but it will require you to get a little bit crafty. There’s also no surefire way to tell if your text or images will be compatible with this method, but it’s worth a shot.

  1. In your mobile browser, go to a PDF to Word conversion site.
  2. Upload your PDF file and convert it into a Word file.
  3. Download your PDF as a Word file.
  4. Open that Word file in Google Docs.
  5. Edit the text and images from the file.
  6. Download your newly edited file as a PDF.