4 ways to cut, copy and paste text in PDF files

While it is easy to cut, copy, and paste text on Word document, with PDF files you need to apply some tweaks to be able to freely rearrange the text. Here are the best ways to use cut, copy and paste functions to move text around in PDF as if it were a rich document editor.

Note: These methods would not work if the PDF was scanned or if the copy and paste functions were disabled by the creator of the PDF.

1. By “inserting text” in the PDF reader

All free PDF readers have the option to insert text online if this option has not been disabled before. For those who use Adobe Acrobat Reader, it allows you to select and copy any block of text. To paste it into the document, right-click and select “Insert text at cursor”.

Cut Copypaste Pdf Adobe Reader Insert Text

Besides blocks of text, Adobe Acrobat Reader also allows you to add your signature on any page or on specific lines.

Cut Copypaste Pdf Adobe Reader SignCut Copypaste Pdf Adobe Reader Sign

Among the free PDF viewers, Foxit Reader gives much better results when it comes to inserting text compared to Adobe Acrobat Reader. New text can be freely inserted under existing text without those annoying wavy boxes. This tool for adding text is called “Typewriter”, accessible from the “Comment” menu. Copy and paste is a snap with this valuable feature.

Cut Copypaste Pdf Foxit Reader TypedCut Copypaste Pdf Foxit Reader Typewritten

2. Using PDF editing software

The only downside to the free PDF readers above is that you can’t use the cutter (Ctrl + X) ordered. Also, they cannot match the new text with the existing PDF font style. If you want a more professional document editing environment, you need the full feature set of a PDF editor. With Adobe Acrobat, a “Edit text and images” function is accessible from the “Edit” menu.

Cut Copypaste Pdf Edit Text ImagesCut Copypaste Pdf Edit Text Images

Soda PDF is an awesome tool for professional editing of PDF documents. Downloading and installing the software takes a few minutes.

Cut Copypaste Pdf Sodapdf InstallationCut Copypaste Pdf Sodapdf Installation

Once you have opened the PDF files in Soda PDF, you can easily select any block of text.

Cut Copypaste Pdf Sodapdf Select textCut Copypaste Pdf Sodapdf Select text

As soon as you click on “Modify”, the “Cut, Copy and Paste” options are clearly visible. The font style is accurately reproduced, and once you take a new PDF print, it’s hard to notice any new text additions.

Cut Copypaste Pdf Sodapdf PastedCut Copypaste Pdf Sodapdf Pasted

3. Edit PDF in a browser

There are many tools to edit PDF documents in a browser, such as Sejda. All you need to do is download the PDF document in the edit window and jump directly to any text selection. This would activate a highlighted area where you can freely use the Cut, Copy and Paste options. Click “Apply Changes” when you are done.

Online Cut Copypaste Pdf EditorOnline Cut Copypaste Pdf Editor

4. Using a PDF to Doc converter

You can convert a PDF to a Word document and later convert it back to a PDF file after making changes. There are many tools you can use such as PDF Wiz. It is free and offers very impressive performance for converting PDF files to several formats including .doc, .docx, and .txt.

Another way is to use Google Docs. Upload your PDF to Google Drive and open the document with Google Docs.

Cut Copypaste Pdf Open Google DocsCut Copypaste Pdf Open Google Docs

All PDF text is now ready for editing. You can save the changes to the original PDF file. And, of course, you can use Cut, Copy and Paste options without any problem.

Cut Copypaste Pdf Edit Google DocsCut Copypaste Pdf Edit Google Docs

Now that you know how to cut, copy and paste text in PDF files, you can also learn how to save file as PDF in Windows 10 or combine multiple PDF files with pdftk command line tool.


Sayak Boral
Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with more than ten years of experience in various industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise computing, OSS / BSS telecommunications and network security. He has written for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, the Internet, hardware guides, browsers, software tools, and product reviews.

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