Although they have their detractors, PDF documents are a practical way of converting thousands of pages of contracts, invoices, delivery notes and other technical, legal or bureaucratic documentation into files. Whether you like it or not, PDF abounds in administrations and in many professional fields.
One of its disadvantages (or advantages, as the case may be) is the difficulty in editing them. Mainly due to legal issues, since the company that owns the PDF format, Adobe, has been trying for years to make its editing tool, Adobe Acrobat, the only one.
But over time, alternatives have emerged, both paid and free. One of them is LibreOffice, the free alternative to Microsoft Office and the document editing tools from Google or Apple, among others. Available for Windows, MacOS and Linux, LibreOffice will help you edit PDF documents from your computer since it has a tool specialized in graphics and PDF documents, among other curious features.
It is called Draw and it is used to work with diagrams, schemes, maps or technical plans. It can even be useful for editing and organizing images and photographs.
Typically, applications that allow you to read or edit PDF documents include tools to write or highlight something on top of the PDF using lines or colored figures. But full editing is different.
The special feature of Draw is that when you open a PDF, it converts it to its native format. This means that you can change any element in the original PDF, whether it’s text, images or decorative elements.
Once you have opened the PDF in Draw and converted it, all you have to do is select what you want to edit. With the help of the left panel you will be able to move through the page previews, and with the right panel you will have everything you need to change images and text.
When you finish editing, after checking that everything is as you want it, you should save the document. Here you have two options: save the document in the Draw format to edit it whenever you want or directly export it in PDF format from File > Export As > Export as PDF…
From the menu that opens you can choose if you want all the pages or a selection, the quality of the PDF as you want to keep photographs in their original resolution, apply a watermark, etc.
In short, LibreOffice, and especially its Draw tool are a practical and simple way to remove or add elements to your PDF documents without having to create them from scratch. It doesn’t matter if you want to open a PDF of a few sheets or a document of tens of pages.
The only drawback you may find is that some images may be mismatched in documents with a lot of graphic elements. But with text and tables, conversion and editing are no problem and the final PDF will be virtually identical to the original.