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There are some limitations to what you can repair in a PDF, so let's look at some of the repair tools. Now the two handiest ones don't appear by default in your toolbar, but it's easy to put them up there. If you right-click, and on a Mac of course you can Ctrl+Click and you choose Quick Tools. Here on the left, under Content, Edit Object and Edit Document Text, so I'm going to choose Edit Document Text, hit the little triangle to add it to my Quick Tools and, of course, Edit Object, and when I click OK, I now have two new tools up here.
So first, let's look at editing text. I'm going to choose my Edit Text tool. I'm going to come down here and my goal here is to change this ampersand to the word "and," so I highlight it and when I type "and" Acrobat sort of hollers at me and I get this alert. It says, well, that uses a font that's not available on my system. So the truth is that since I don't have the font I'm not going to be able to edit this text the way I'd really like to. Now I can change the font, but that's really going to change the design.
So this is something that you're frequently going to see when you try to fix somebody else's PDF. Now if you want to change the font, here's what you do. Then I'm going to have to change this whole line, so I'm going to select the whole line. I'm going to right- click and choose Properties, and I'm going to change the used font to something that I know that I do have on my system, MyriadPro-Regular. Now it's going to change the look of it, but if I want to change that ampersand to "and," that's what I'm going to have to do. And this is something important to check: Can I embed that font? Because here's an interesting thing, when you use any program to make a PDF, all the fonts that are embedded in that PDF carry with them little flags that say I can be embedded or I cannot be embedded or I can be embedded for creation of the PDF but I can't be used for editing, and it's going to vary from font to font because it's based on what the font vendors put in the font.
And that's why if you've tried this it may seem to you that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Well, it depends on the particular font. So when I click Close I've now changed the font. So let's see if I can now convert that ampersand to the word "and." Yes, I can, but of course it's using a different font from the font used in the rest of that address, but it might just bail me out if this job is on deadline. Let's see what happens if I have a font that does allow itself to be embedded and edited. So up here on the left I'd like to change this to Roux Academy, so I just click with my Edit Text tool, type Academy.
Notice what happens. Acrobat thinks of this line by line. It does not think of this text as a paragraph. We see it that way, but under the hood in Acrobat it's really just seen as a succession of characters. So you can imagine the fun this would be to go through and convert each line, to force my own little line breaks there; I'm going to lose my justification. Truthfully, the message here is that any time you try to edit text in an Acrobat file, it's really going to be a challenge. Sometimes you get lucky, but I want you to expect these strange results, because frankly that's most of the time what's going to happen.
But oddly, you're going to have better luck trying to edit graphics in a PDF. So let me choose the TouchUp Object tool, and let's say that this logo up here, I don't have the original file, I need to change the color of the logo. If I drag a little marquee around it, you can see all the little teeny selection blocks. If I right-click, I'm going to see this option, Edit Objects, because it's vector art. Acrobat says, well these are objects and so those ought to be opened in Illustrator and it gives you a little warning.
It says, well, there is some transparency in there. Basically the short story is, well, you're playing with fire here; things could fall apart. I thought I should warn you. Well, there it is in Illustrator, so I'm just going to select this and I'm going to change the color, just as a way to show you what goes on. I'm going to go to Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork, switch it to the Edit mode, lock all my little colors together, and then we're just going to swing these nodes around the spectrum and you can see that it's changed. Now before I save this, I want to point out something.
Look up in the title bar. It has this bizarre name, sort of a random construction of numbers, dot pdf. So here's what I've just done, I've gone into the PDF and I've selected these little components that are vector art and I've sort of duplicated them, come out to Illustrator and changed them. When I choose File > Save; what happens is that Illustrator communicates that back to Acrobat. You think nothing has happened, but then when you switch back to Acrobat, you can see that it's changed the color. Here's a little thing to consider too. While I'm in Illustrator, I have extracted that vector component. What if I need this logo and it's been lost by somebody and the only vestige of it is what's in that PDF? As long as I have it here in Illustrator I can do a File > Save As, and I have vector art.
So this is a way to extract vector art from a PDF if you can't get it any other way. What if I have an image that I need to fix? Well, I'm going to come down here, and again, I'm using my TouchUp Object tool and I want to change the color of this guy's shirt and again, you only do desperate things like this if you have no access to the original. It's always better to go back to your original file, make the changes you need to make and then generate a new PDF. But let me show you what you can do with an image. I'm going to right-click and this time notice that it says Edit Image, because Acrobat recognizes it's made out of pixels and it says well to do that I'm going to have to send this off to Photoshop.
It gives me another little warning, it says, it's using transparency and it might look different, do you want to edit anyway? Well, yeah I have to change the guy's shirt to green. So when I click Yes, I also get this, now this is an important consideration. I have sort of snuck into the PDF, grabbed that image content, and I'm taking it out, going to sneak it over to Photoshop and change it. In order to slip it back into the PDF it has to be flattened. So you can add layers to correct it, but you have to flatten it before you send it back. When I say flatten notice that this is a floating layer, so it's not really a flat image, but to send it back to Acrobat, I have to send it back in exactly the same shape.
So I'm going to come over here to my Adjustments panel and I'm going to get a fix on my little hue/saturation, but I want to apply it only to his shirt. So I'm going to get my Quick Selection tool and I'm going to drag around on his shirt and select it. Now if I were doing this for real, of course I would be very careful making my selection. What I really want to show you here is just sort of that relationship between Acrobat and Photoshop, so I'll be good enough to take out this little tripod there, there we go. Now, coming over to my Adjustments panel, I'm going to choose Hue/Saturation and I'm just going to change the color of his shirt.
Well, let's make it green, there we go, maybe back off on the saturation a little bit, and that's good enough. But remember I can't send it back to Acrobat this way. I have to sort of squish it down, so I'm going to say that I want to merge these layers. So I'm going to hold down Shift, select both my hue/saturation and my layer 0, and in the Layers panel I'm going to choose Merge Layers. So it keeps the transparency, but now it's just the way it was when I took it out of Acrobat.
Again I want you to look at the title, it's this random name, and this is what's called a Touchup image or a Touchup file, and member that if I needed this image I could save this, although any background that was gone because of a layer mask that's gone forever, but at least I have the image and it's full resolution. But what I want to do here of course is communicate back to Acrobat that I've changed this. All I have to do is choose File > Save and Photoshop talks back to Acrobat and says here comes your new image content, and there we go.
So here's the irony. It's really easier to fix graphics in a PDF than it is to fix text. And keep in mind that using the TouchUp tools not only can change content and it's safe to do this, it writes it back into your PDF. But remember it's also a great way to extract content if you need something like an image or a piece of vector art that you can't find anywhere else.
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