Can't Edit Some Text in PDF

New Here ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I have a PDF that was given to me to make some minor text edits.  I don't have the original doc.

I open the PDF in Acrobat DC, then choose Edit PDF.  The text in the document is inside various boxes, as you expect.  I have the Show Bounding Boxes option checked.  But there is this one bit of text that I cannot select.  It doesn't have a bounding box around it, so I can't do anything with this text. 

Is this a bug in Acrobat?  Is there any way to fix this?  I tried exporting to Word, but formatting gets so messed up, it isn't a good option.  I would be happy to put a box with some text over the text I can't edit, but you cannot set a background color in a bounding box, at least not that I can find.

TOPICS
Edit and convert PDFs

Views

22.6K

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines

correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Most Valuable Participant , Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017
It's part of a text field. Go to Form Edit mode and you'll see it.

Likes

Translate

Translate
Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Are you able to select that text with the mouse? If not, it's most likely

an image, not real text.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

No, it is not an image.  I can select images, which have the bounding box, and move them around, delete them etc.

This text is completely unreachable.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Can you share the file in question with us (using Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.)?

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Here is a stripped down page with the offending text "575 Anton..."

Dropbox - PDF Test

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

It's part of a text field. Go to Form Edit mode and you'll see it.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Jeez, a read-only text box - wth?  This is why I prefer starting with origin docs, not PDFs with litter in them.

Thanks, try67!

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Form fields are not "litter" but an important feature of PDF files.

Anyway, you can flatten the file to convert it to static contents, if you wish.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Yeah we do PDF forms all the time.  But a form field with read-only text in a doc where it 'should' have been just text, that's just junk that wasn't needed.  That's why I didn't look at the form editor; this doc wasn't supposed to have fields there.

Thanks again.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Employee ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

There is a real world application for read-only text forms fields. Very often, JavaScript is used to selectively make a text field read-only or fillable based on previous activities in the form. It is actually quite useful although it obviously is a problem if you don't know about it and you are trying to edit a PDF file.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

No such js in this doc.  And it isn't a user form type of doc.  This was just some previous person messing around and leaving me a problem to solve.  Not the only one, this PDF also had features that caused Acrobat to put up font error messages, the ever popular "unknown error" message, and even crash a couple of times.  It's a fun one!

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

It looks like this form might be used by many different law offices and each law office can easily change the address to their particular office. As noted this is a real world application of having one form that can be updated for a specific location. Note that the field's value is set by using the "Default Value" on the form field's "Option" tab. This approach is used to keep the field's value if the form is reset. If I were creating this form I would have included form fields for the dates, social security numbers, and client names filed in if the client wanted to.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I think you guys are missing the idea that this isn't that kind of document.  It isn't a "form" in the sense of PDF forms.  All the rest of the text is static, and when they want it changed, they threw it over to an Acrobat person to edit changes directly in the text.  Maybe someone else was trying to get to what you are talking about, but they didn't, and now that the doc is mine to maintain, I have to fix leftover issues.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

When you start "editing" text you might come to appreciate form fields. Editing text is not always as easy as it is in Word. If your system does not have the exact font for the text you are attempting to edit, you cannot edit the text. Also PDF text does not flow like it does in a Word document.

Maybe the "left over issues" are because you do not understand the PDF format.

If you need to edit PDF documents, it is far easier to go back to the document in the authoring/creating application and edit it there than to even use the PDF editing tools.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Did you see this little quote of mine from above?  "This is why I prefer starting with origin docs,"

Maybe you don't understand what I mean there, I am referring to "the document in the authoring/creating application"...what I would have liked to use if they were available.  But they are not.  So we edit the PDF.  And we deal with all the issues, which are problems with the doc, or Acrobat, not us.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

LATEST

This is what worked for me. 

File Save As .tiff.

Right click on this new .tiff file and choose Convert to Adobe PDF.

Open the file

Click Edit PDF. 

You should be able to edit text now.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines