Wish you could type on printables? Find the perfect tools to edit PDF pages, like planner inserts and organizers, to customize them before you print.
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Have you ever downloaded a printable and wished you could type on it before printing? There are a lot of printables on my blog and every now and then I have a reader ask if they can be edited.
The answer is yes – sort of. For copyright reasons, all of my PDFs are flattened. So you can’t change any of the text that I’ve already added.
But you can add your own text and fill out the pages before printing. This works for not just my printables – any printable is editable with the right tools.
Printables that are listed as editable
A quick note on printables that you purchase on Etsy or Gumroad that are listed as editable:
The free version of Adobe Reader can be used to edit printables if they were created in Adobe Acrobat Pro with editable text boxes. Those types of PDFs will have blue boxes where you can type when you open them. Odds are that if the seller lists their printables as editable, that’s what they mean.
A lot of bloggers (myself included) don’t use Adobe because it is pricey. If you need to edit a PDF that wasn’t created with those blue edit boxes, there are several ways to do it.
I’ve rounded up several free options below. I tested each one using one of my most popular printables, a monthly budget planning worksheet.
6 editors for PDF printables
1. Adobe Acrobat Pro
I haven’t personally used this one to create or type on printables because there are plenty of free options, but it is more or less the industry standard.
Where: (most Mac and PC devices) with a paid subscription at https://acrobat.adobe.com/us/en/acrobat/acrobat-pro.html
How: This is the program I mentioned above. Adobe offers a free 7-day trial, but after that, it’s a monthly subscription. It is professional software that you download onto your computer. It allows you to completely create, edit, type, and sign PDFs.
I used this one a few times from my Asus desktop and the screenshot below is me testing it from my current desktop – an iMac.
Where: (online) free online at https://www.pdfescape.com/
How: Drag and drop your file to the website and use the online tools to add text boxes and type anywhere on the page. You can also add images. The whole thing is easy to use and has tons of instruction.
You have just a few typeface choices but can change the size and color.
I use this one on my iMac all the time. Like, daily.
Where: (Mac) comes preinstalled on Mac computers
How: Open a PDF in Preview and in the top menu, select “Tools” and “Text selection.” You can then click anywhere to create a text box and type.
Edit the text by clicking on it again. The annotate menu will let you change the typeface, size, color, and formatting. You can also draw shapes.
My favorite thing about Preview is that you can add or remove pages. Click the page menu and select “Thumbnails.” Then simply delete a thumbnail to remove a page or drag a pdf from anywhere on your computer to the thumbnail sidebar to add it.
4. Apple Books
Did you know you can use Books to type on printables? I use this on my iPad sometimes.
Where: (iOS) Comes preinstalled on most iPads and iPhones
How: Open the PDF in the app and click the pencil at the top to enable editing. You can either write with a stylus or type. To type, click the plus sign in the bottom right corner, then the text box. It will pop up in the middle of the page and you can click to edit and drag it anywhere on the page.
Change the typeface and size by clicking the letter As next to the plus sign. Change the text color by selecting the text, then choose a color from the bottom menu.
5. Notes Writer
I use this on my iPad more often than Books because it’s so easy to type on printables.
Where: (iOS) Available from the App Store
How: Open the PDF in the app. Click on the boxed T to add text. From that menu, you can also change the typeface, size, and color. You can also write with a stylus, add images, and do lots of other things.
Notes Writer lets you add pages to your document – either a blank page or a duplicate of the page you are currently on.
6. Adobe Fill & Sign
I haven’t really used this one because my phone feels too small to edit PDFs and I have other options. I did test it out on my Galaxy J7 for this post.
Where: (Android) Available from the Google Play Store
How: Open the app and then open your PDF. Tap the screen to start a text box and type in your text. You can move it and resize it, but can’t change the typeface or color.
There’s automatically a magnifying glass if you hold down your finger on a text box to move it. All changes are automatically saved.
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