Have you ever tried to edit a PDF but failed? It happens when the PDF is flattened and all the editable sections are removed from it. Still, some quick ways to help you edit a PDF even if it is flattened by someone.
The only limitation is that you won’t get complete editing rights as you will create some editing points yourself. It means you can treat the PDF as a page where you can add or remove something externally. We will cover more about this issue later in the article.
For now, let’s understand how to edit a PDF online.
Online PDF Editors
More and more people are switching to online PDF editors these days. The main reason is the accessibility and the advanced features offered by online PDF editors. You do not need to keep an application on your device as you can access them on any web browser you want. Another thing is that an online PDF editor can convert a non-editable PDF to an editable file format.
It means you can start editing those flattened PDFs to make any changes you want. Here is our most preferred online PDF editor.
CocoDoc’s website is one of the most effective PDF editors that we have used till now. The platform offers hundreds of tools to help you read, edit, convert, merge, or compress your PDF within a few seconds. Beginners can use this platform as all its tools are easy to use and provide single-click solutions.
It means you can decide what you want to do with your PDF, and choose the tool accordingly. For example, if you want to rotate your PDF, you do not need to use the complete PDF editor. Instead, you can upload your file on its PDF Rotator and do it accordingly.
How to Edit a Flattened PDF?
As we mentioned earlier, you need an advanced PDF editor to edit flattened PDFs. Here we are going to use CocoDoc’s solution to do it. You can use another platform as well. It is because the process is almost similar for all the PDF editing platforms.
Follow these steps to do it:
Step1: Use CocoDoc
Visit CocoDoc’s web version to make a PDF editable. For this, you can search CocoDoc on Google or visit it directly from the above link. Once you are on the website, you will find different tools to edit your files. However, you need to avoid them and click on the ‘Edit PDF online’ button.
It will take you to a new page.
Step2: Upload File
The next step is to upload the flattened PDF on this tool. Remember that you do not need to do anything manually. Just upload the file from the offered methods and proceed to the next step.
Step3: Make Edits
At the moment, your file is unflattened. You can make all the changes you want. For this, there are dozens of tools that let you add some text, checklist, graphics, images, videos, charts, or anything you want. Similarly, you can remove anything from your PDF as well. The only thing you need to understand is all the changes will be overwriting the file.
It means the file does not have any customizable options but you add another layer to make the changes.
Once you make all the changes, you can download the file on your device. For this, you need to click continue and tap on the download button. The web browser will start downloading the file on your device. Similarly, you can save the file on your online account to access it by logging in to your CocoDoc account.
For this, click on the drop-down menu close to the download button and choose upload to account to save it there.
Is it Safe to Use CocoDoc?
CocoDoc offers online solutions for all your PDF-related problems. However, it is common to have some privacy concerns with online tools. This platform comes with SSL encryption technology to offer you a safe browsing experience. Also, the server is protected by the self-hosting facility to keep your stored data safe.
Another interesting thing is that the website deletes all the unsaved files within 24 hours. It means uploading a file and downloading an edited version won’t leave any trace on their servers. Thus, you can use this solution without facing any privacy issues.
Bonus Method- Unflattening a PDF Completely
The method that we shared earlier helps in temporarily unflattening a PDF to edit it. However, if you need to unflatten a PDF completely, you need to use a different solution. In such cases, BlueBeam is the most effective solution for PDF editors. This tool can change the file back to a normal PDF, as long as the recovery option was turned on while flattening it.
Thus, if you have flattened a PDF and want to change it back to the previous version, use the BlueBeam application.
You can learn more about the solution on its website along with the complete guide to doing it.
Dealing with Flattened PDFs can be a challenging task. They are hard to edit and require an advanced tool to add anything to the pages. We shared all the possible ways to edit an unflattened PDF here. Still, you can do some more research and find some reliable tools to help yourself out.
The platform (CocoDoc) that we shared in this article is helpful in many other scenarios as well. You can edit any PDF with this tool and enjoy free access to its website. Another interesting thing is that you can use its templates to create forms within a few minutes.