How to copy and edit text from PDF documents

PDF documents can not normally receive edits after they are saved. This feature causes difficulties when the text in this format is used as a reference for another work. The action of copying excerpts from a PDF, however, is possible in both open and blocked documents.

Online sites and services allow you to open these files for editing. The issue can be addressed through tricks in Google Drive, Adobe Reader software and other web platforms that can open the original document in edit mode. Check out some tips we have prepared to copy texts from a PDF file.

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How to convert files to PDF without downloading programs

Unlocking a PDF

Step 1. Access the Small PDF service website and select the "Unprotect PDF" tool;

Action to use the tool to unprotect a PDF file

Step 2. Drag to the screen the PDF file that is on your computer;

Small PDF service screen to load a locked PDF file

Step 3. Accept the terms of service and check the option "Unlock PDF";

Action to unlock a PDF document in the Small PDF service

Step 4. Download the unlocked file by clicking on "Download Now".

Action to download a PDF document unlocked by the Small PDF online service

Editing a PDF file from Google Drive

Step 1. Open Google Drive and tap the "New" icon;

Action to start a new file upload in Google Drive

Step 2. Select the "File upload" option to open the tool to upload files in Google Drive;

Action to start the Google Drive file upload tool

Step 3. Use the file explorer to select the PDF in your PC and confirm in "Open";

Action to choose a PDF document from your computer to open in Google Drive

Step 4. Wait until the upload finalization alert is posted to the screen;

Alert that informs you that a file upload has been finalized in Google Drive

Step 5. Right-click on the file you just uploaded to Google Drive. Under "Open with, " choose "Google Docs";

Action to open a PDF document in Google Docs

Step 6. The document started in Google Docs is open for editing, as shown in the image below. This way, it can be edited, copied and have more text added.

Open PDF document for editing in Google Docs

Using the Sejda online service

Step 1. Access the Sejda website ( and press the "Upload PDF file" button;

Action to open PDF file upload tool in Sejda online service

Step 2. Choose the file using the explorer and select "Open";

Action to upload to service Sejda PDF file

Step 3. The file will open open so you can make edits, copy text and add more paragraphs.

Open PDF file for editing on Sejda online service

Using Adobe Reader

The text can also be copied when you open the document using the Adobe Reader program. In that case, use another computer's text editor to paste what you copied and make other edits.

Action to copy text from a PDF document in Adobe Reader

Use the tips to edit and copy portions of PDF files on your computer.

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