How to Edit Locked PDFs – A Comprehensive Guide!


PDFs are a widely-used file format, favored for their compatibility and accessibility across different platforms.

However, editing PDFs can be a challenge, particularly when the file is locked. A locked PDF is one that has been password-protected, restricting editing or other actions on the file.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to edit locked PDFs.

Follow this comprehensive guide to learn how to edit text in a locked PDF, including the tools you need and the steps to take.

How to Edit Locked PDFs?

Step 1: Unlocking the PDF

The first step in editing a locked PDF is to unlock the file.

There are several ways to do this, depending on the type of protection on the file.

Using online tools:

One common way to unlock a PDF is to use an online tool such as Smallpdf, PDF Candy, or Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

These tools can help you remove the password protection on the PDF and allow you to edit the file.

However, be cautious when using online tools, as they can pose a security risk, especially if the file contains sensitive information.

Using password recovery tool:

Another way to unlock a PDF is to use a password recovery tool such as PassFab for PDF, ElcomSoft PDF Password Recovery, or Wondershare PDF Password Remover.

These tools can help you recover the password and unlock the file, but they are not guaranteed to work, especially if the password is complex or uses encryption.

Step 2: Editing the PDF

Once the PDF is unlocked, you can proceed to edit the file.

There are several tools and software available for editing PDFs, including Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, Nitro PDF, Foxit PhantomPDF, and Smallpdf.

These tools allow you to add, remove, or modify text, images, and other elements in the PDF.

However, keep in mind that the extent to which you can edit the file depends on the original creator’s settings and permissions.

If the PDF is a scanned document, you may need to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to convert the image to editable text.

OCR software works by scanning the text in the image and converting it into machine-readable text that can be edited.

Some OCR tools you can use include Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, ABBYY FineReader, and Tesseract OCR.

Step 3: Saving the PDF

After editing the PDF, you need to save the changes.

When saving the file, make sure to choose the correct format and settings to ensure the edited file retains its integrity and formatting.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when saving a PDF:

  • Use the “Save As” function to create a new version of the edited file. This ensures that you don’t overwrite the original file.
  • Choose the appropriate file format, such as PDF or PDF/A, to ensure that the file is compatible with different platforms and software.
  • Check the settings, such as the resolution, compression, and font embedding, to ensure that the file is optimized for its intended use.
  • Add metadata, such as the title, author, and keywords, to help users find the file and identify its contents.

Step 4: Security Considerations

When editing locked PDFs, it’s important to consider the security implications of your actions.

Depending on the nature of the file, you may need to take extra precautions to protect the file and its contents.

Use encryption

One way to protect the file is to use encryption.

Encryption is a method of encoding the file so that it can only be accessed with a specific key or password.

You can use software such as Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, Nitro PDF, or Foxit PhantomPDF to encrypt the file and protect it from unauthorized access.

Using digital signatures

Another way to protect the file is to use digital signatures.

A digital signature is a way to authenticate the identity of the signer and ensure the integrity of the document.

You can use software such as Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, DocuSign, or SignNow to add digital signatures to the file and verify its authenticity.


Editing locked PDFs can be accomplished by unlocking the file using password recovery tools or online tools, editing the file using PDF editing software, saving the file in the appropriate format and with appropriate settings, and taking necessary security precautions such as encryption or digital signatures.

While it’s important to be cautious when using online tools and to take extra security measures when dealing with sensitive information, editing locked PDFs is a manageable task that can be completed with the right tools and techniques.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently edit locked PDFs and make the changes you need to these important files.