How to do last minute modifications to a PDF file

These are some helpful tricks to help anyone with Adobe Acrobat to modify their files before printing or sending out. Please note that this post discusses the latest versions of Adobe Acrobat available after 2015.


If you notice a typo in a document (you wrote) you can change the error in Acrobat. Please note that you would need the same font in the document so that no errors occur when changing the typo. First, you select the Edit PDF Tool in your side panel or Edit>Edit Text & Images. Select the font for editing by clicking on the error. Then change the error.

Numbering a PDF File

In the later versions of Adobe Acrobat there is a way to add in numbers into a document. It’s called Bates Numbering and it’s easier than it sounds. It’s a numbering command that places variable data on all the sheets in a PDF file. This could be a number or the title of the document for last minute folio entries.

Before you alter the file, make another copy of the file with a different name because it will rewrite and save over the file. This is a just in case measure if the numbering inserted is wrong or looks terrible. In the Organize Pages Tool Menu, go to More and click on the drop down menu. The first line should be Bates Numbering. Click on add which will bring you to the menu where your file is listed. Click on your file name which will bring you to another menu to add in the numbering of the pages with Bates Number, add in the date or miscellaneous information needed on the document like title or job number. Select a block where you would like the page numbers to go and press the Bates Number. This will add in the page numbers to that location.

To remove the page numbering, go back into Bates Numbers in Organize Pages but select Remove to delete the page inserts in the document.

Rearrange pages

If you notice a page is out of order, you can flip the pages around with this function. Select the Organize Pages in the side panel. Select the page and move it to where it’s supposed to go.

Insert Page

If you need to insert a page, select Insert Page in Organize Pages. You can insert pages from another file, clipboard or a blank page to around out a print design. Select the file and press Open. It will ask you if you want to insert it Before or After the location and if it’s the first page or the last page. Select what makes sense for your project. If you are inserting it after a page selected then select to insert it after the page. If you are inserting a title page then select the page as the first page.

Split Page

If you have a large document, you can split the document into halves or quarters. In Organize Pages, select Split File then enter where you want to split the file. If it’s a 16-page document and you need 4 pages, it will split the document 4 times if you choose to split it by page number. If you need to split the document by file size, enter the amount if megabytes wanted for the split documents. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you know what megabytes are needed or unnecessary files will be created. Or if it’s a document bookmarked then select split by top-level bookmarks and document chapter files will be created.

Crop Pages

Sometimes some pages are very large and need to be cropped to fit. Go to Edit PDF and select Crop Pages. You have the choice to either draw a cropped square around the object of an immediate change by pressing enter to activate the square or double-clicking on the page to activate the menu selection.

There are a vary of ways to crop a page for printing if a even trim around is needed or if one side needs to be trimmed off. For an even trim all around check off Constrain Proportions.

There are specified areas that could be trimmed on a document. If a document is too tall, you can trim it either from the top or bottom of the page to shorten the page. And the same can apply with trimming an object on the left or the right of a document.

There’s also a way to customize the side that gets trims by file page number. Under the page preview, there’s a section to select what page range should be trimmed. In the blocks, you can enter the number range of pages that should be trimmed. For example, between pages 3 to 5 gets trimmed from the right 0.05 inches. If the Odd Number pages need to be trimmed then select the Apply to Odd Pages Only under the Page Range. This will only affect the file pages numbers like 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 to be altered. Same can be applied for the Even Number pages.

Measure an Image

Let’s say that you need to measure an image on a page in a PDF document. You can use the Measure tool that is located in either the Tool Selection Panel on the right or in Edit>Measure. First, click on the Measure Tool on the top. This will give you a red box beside the cursor which indicates that the measuring ruler is active. Click on one side of the object to ground the red box cursor. The cursor will turn into a red arrow. Then drag the red arrow to the other side and click on the spot to measure the distance. For you to get the final number of the measurement, drag down and click to close the red measurement arrows. If not, the arrows will continue to move around until you click out of the Tool Selection. The measurement is on the bottom right corner in the units previously selected. They might be in the default units of inches.

If you need to click on a point of measurement, you can snap to either an intersection, midpoint, endpoint or path. This might work on objects in an unflattened file or computer-generated like a vector object. On images, it can be harder to get that precise point.

Please note that this measurement tool only tells you what the size of the image is in the document presented to you and not what a scaled drawing should be like. When you are printing the file with these types of markups, you can delete them if you don’t want them to show up. Just close the Measurement Tool Menu and select the measurements you would like to delete and delete them. They will be active to indicate which one is moveable.

Remove Metadata or Hidden Data

If you want to send a file to someone through email, you can do a quick compression of the file that will delete metadata or and hidden data. This can make the file size smaller and make sure no personal details like Author Name or the history of the file is taken out of the file. Go to the tool called Redact. If this is not in your Tool Selection already, it can be found in the Protect & Standardize in the Main Tool Menu. Click on Sanitize and follow the instructions which will tell you that it will be removing hidden metadata from the file. Name the new file with a hyphenated letter or work, for instance, the original filename was File1.pdf the redacted file could be File1-r.pdf or File1-Redacted.pdf.

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