How to Edit PDFs in Microsoft Word?

If you are planning seriously to acquire the complete editing faculties in Adobe Acrobat to change or modify a PDF file, then let me remind you that it will cost you heavily.

At least you have to rip off $449 for the desktop Pro version 2017 or at the most $100 for a Pro DC with an annual subscription.

However, there are several other options, which include free online PDF editors or PDF editing tools, which come both paid and free to change a PDF. Why not use something which is already in your possession and easily accessible?

Yes, I am talking about that daily, regular content maker or modifier, the MICROSOFT WORD.

Although the previous older version of MS word was not capable enough to do the PDF editing job, other than to save a document as a PDF. But the latest Microsoft Word 2016 is fully capable of opening an Adobe Acrobat files, commonly termed as PDF without actually using the Adobe Acrobat.

This newly available feature is known as PDF Reflow. At least that’s what Microsoft calls it.

In today’s article, we will show you the ways to use Microsoft Word 2016 to edit PDF and to do many more things with PDFs.

Table of Contents:

  • Import PDF files in Microsoft Word
  • Modify PDFs in Word
  • Save or Export the modified Word Document to PDF
  • Export the modified Word Document to PDF
  • Repair PDF Errors in Word
  • Export PDFs from Acrobat to MS Word 2016

#1: Import PDF files in Microsoft Word

Let us consider you first open the Word 2016 and head to the File option in the menu bar.

Click on Open option from the context menu and browse the PDF file from the target folder in a specific directory.

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Select the file and then click on the Open button.

NOTE: To learn the lesson for the editing, prefer a PDF file with both texts and graphics.

The moment you click the Open button you will get a notification shown below.

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The message simply informs you that larger files take longer time to load. Also, the layout of the PDF file will not appear as exactly as that of the original PDF file.

In a nutshell, all the margins, tags, special format options, footnotes, graphics, frames, tables, columns, endnotes, page breaks, charts, and graphics will not highly vary between the Word and the utility originally used to create the file. Microsoft believes that contents in the form of text documents reflow in a better way when they are not heavily burdened with these aspects mentioned just now.

So beware of these limitations, which are not completely impediments if you know they are meant to make the contents look simpler.

However, many layouts are compatible with the Word environment. So they come as exactly as they appear in Adobe Acrobat. The image given below is a PDF file opened in Word 2016 and the layout is quite of the same.

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#2: Modify PDFs in Word

Once the PDF file is opened in the Word platform, you can add paragraphs; delete certain data; edit lines; remove or add images and the file alter itself instantly and automatically as you continue to type.

You can also alter the margins, font attributes, page size, font style, tags, etc.

Here we have attached below one edited version of a PDF file to show you the contrasting difference of how paragraphs, title, subtitle are all changed. The paragraph highlighted in yellow has been incorporated. Even the image you see in the picture has been shifted from the top right corner to the bottom left position without any difficulty.

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The MS Word 2016 is so fantastic and compatible that you can infer it by the editable graphics options offered by right click on any image. For instance, it offers the editable options like cropping, resizing, attaching hyperlinks, tilting, positioning, insert captions, bring to front or send to back, etc. which are remarkable.

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#3: Save the modified Word Document to PDF

Once you are done with your merry job of editing and you have the file modified to your satisfaction, now you have to save it back to the PDF format.

To do that, click the File button off the menu bar and select Save as an option from the drop-down list.

Browse the folder where you wish to save it. Select the PDF option from the Save as type list to get the PDF extension for the file.

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Instantly you will find that the layout of the screen is changed. Select the “Optimize for Standard (publishing online and printing)” option in blue and check the checkbox labeled as “Open File After Publishing” in blue. After all your selection hit “Enter” and click “Save”.

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#4: Export the modified Word Document to PDF

Instead of just saving the word document or publishing it as a PDF, another alternative is to export the modified document.

To do this, go to File option and select Export from the sub-menu. Next, choose “Create PDF/XPS Document” on the left side column and then click on the option with the same name on the right-side column.

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You will again get a PDF file type screen as mentioned in the previous section. Select the “Optimize for Standard (publishing online and printing)” blue link and then tick the checkbox “Open File After Publishing”.

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Finally click the “Publish” button and your renewed PDF file is ready.

#5: Repair PDF Errors in Word

If there are some errors in the newly generated or published PDF file, then you have to reformat it once again. Reformatting it won’t be a matter of concern as the texts will re-flow with no difficulties.

Only the graphics with text-wrap might disorient the text pattern. In case it happens, break apart the paragraphs in such a way that one text terminates just before the image, and another one begins after the image.

After you are done with this, you can adjust the position of the image as per your wish.

To accomplish this, read the following steps:

Step 1. Right-click on the image with text-wrap that you want to adjust, and choose Wrap Text.

Step 2.Next; choose More Layout Options.

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Step 3. Now you should choose the “Relative horizontal or vertical” positioning in case your text is rearranged or shifted within the PDF file. Consequently, by doing this, the image will also move with the text.

Step 4.  Now you should choose the “Absolute horizontal or vertical” positioning if you choose to place the image at the bottom line, the left corner of page one.

You need not worry about the arrangements, just drag the image to the new position, and the operating Window box for the coordinate set up will appear automatically.

Just choose the “Absolute or Relative” according to the situation explained just now, and click “Ok” to apply the changes.

Once you are done with these rectifications, save the image and export it back to the PDF format.

#6: Export PDFs from Acrobat to MS Word 2016

Like importing a PDF to Word, you can also export the PDF to the Word using the Adobe Acrobat.

Just read the step guideline and you will know it:

Step 1. First of all, open up the Adobe Acrobat DC (Document Cloud) version.

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Step 2. Log-in with your credentials.

Step 3. Open any PDF file that you want to export.

Step 4. Go to File, choose Export to option and then Microsoft Word followed with Word Document from the sub-menu.

Step 5. As soon as the Save as PDF screen turns up, name the file and click on Save button.

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Immediately the PDF file will be opened up in the Word document. For the very first time, it can take a few minutes as well to get the conversion engine started. But from the next time, the conversion will be done fairly at a faster rate.


Hopefully, the guideline articulated above will help you edit PDFs now with MS word 2016. But don’t forget to use the Microsoft Word 2016 version. The earlier versions of Word will not be able to perform any editing tasks.

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