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A Detailed DIY Tutorial: How to Write on a Read Only PDF?

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On March 4th, 2024
Reading Time 7 Minutes Reading
Category Adobe PDF

Have you received a read-only PDF file and now want to make some changes to it? Then, no need to worry as this article explains how to write on a read only PDF.

When it comes to handling a large number of files, firms generally use the PDF format to store their crucial data. The PDF can store a variety of data like Text, Images, Metadata, etc. and it can be easily accessible. To keep a PDF file secure, users apply some restrictions by enabling read-only PDFs. 

So, whoever receives this PDF file can only view the information present in it. The users viewing the PDF file are restricted to performing certain operations like Printing, Editing, Text copying, adding comments, etc. Under some circumstances, users are required to convert read-only PDFs to editable PDFs or want to fill out a read only PDF. 

Now they don’t have any option other than to look for a solution on the Internet. Therefore, through this post, we will explain some methods with their proper steps to edit read only PDF hassle-free.

Topics DiscussedHide

How to Write on a Read Only PDF Professionally?

If the PDF file does not allow the user to edit it. This means that the PDF is secured with a password. For editing a PDF document, it is necessary to unlock the PDF and then the editing operation can be done. So, now the question will arise how it is possible to edit read only PDF? 

To edit or make changes in the PDF file easily and smoothly, then we would like to recommend a most preferred solution which is the Windows & Mac PDF File Unlock tool. This can help to remove the unblock and help in removing the restriction. Moreover, this utility is capable of unblocking the PDF file for commenting, copying, printing, and adding signatures. Plus, it can also be used to extract pages from a PDF files.

This tool doesn’t require the restricted password, it automatically cracks it and unblocks it. So that the user can easily edit their PDFs. Opting for this solution can be a wise decision because of its advanced functionalities, it can make your task i.e. how to write on a read only PDF hassle-free. 

Step-Wise Instructions of the Specified Software

  • Download and launch the utility to convert read only PDF to editable PDF.

Launch the solution

  • Insert files using Add Files/Add Folder, enter the password if needed else press the Next button.

add PDF using the "Add File" or "Add Folder" option

  • Choose the option between Save or Print. Use the Change button to set the destination where the unsecured file will be saved.

choose whether to save the PDF or print

  • Finally, hit the Unlock button to begin the process of removing the PDF editing restriction.

Just click on the Unlock button

How to Write on a Read Only PDF Manually?

In this section, we have mentioned some methods that be used to convert read-only PDFs to editable PDFs. Here the users have some options, through which they can choose the suitable one.

#Technique 1. Using Google Docs to Edit Read Only PDF Files

This can be a simple and free technique to make changes in PDF files using Google Docs. Follow the steps mentioned below to edit a read-only PDF file.

  • Launch the Google Docs using your Google account.
  • Now press the File Tab>Open, then press the Upload button and choose the PDF to upload.
  • Now, if the PDF file is locked, then enter the password to view the document and then press the Open with Google Docs.
  • After opening the PDF file in Docs, now user can now change/edit the document easily.
  • After the completion of the Editing work, then save the files as PDFs.

#Technique 2. How to Write on a Read Only PDF Via Free Online Tools

User has another option to use the online tool which is available for free of cost. They need to open the PDF editing tool and upload the file. For editing purposes, the tools will convert the PDF file into a Word file, and then the users can edit as they want. Many tools provide the same type of services to edit, copy, and print PDF files. However, the user will need to find the right and trusted tool.

Note – The free online PDF editing tools do not allow editing a secured PDF file. So, the user will need to first unlock the PDF and then upload it to edit read only PDF file.  

#Technique 3. Editing a PDF Document Using the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

If the user doesn’t want to take the risk of editing a PDF file online. Then they can use the Adobe Acrobat PDF application which is genuine and trustworthy. Moreover, it offers several features that can help to proceed with how to write on a read only PDF procedure easily. 

However, the user will need to buy a subscription to use this application. On top of that, to make changes to the PDF follow the steps below.

  1. Initially, on your local system open the Adobe Acrobat Application
  2. Next, hit the File Tab-> Open button.
  3. Select the desired PDF file to edit.
  4. Now press the Tools tab and select the Edit tool.
  5. After the editing is done save the file and use it to share with anyone.

Another thing that a user can do to fill out a read-only PDF is by converting the PDF file to a Word doc to edit the data. Then, later save it as a PDF file.

Author’s Suggestion

Several users do have issues when they seek the solution i.e. how to write on a read only PDF file. What they don’t know is that the PDF is restricted. This means that they have to unlock it to edit read only PDF. So, to help them to edit files we have discussed some manual ways. However, if the users are not satisfied with them, then they can use the automated tool which helps to convert read-only PDFs to editable PDF files simultaneously. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1. How do I know if a PDF is Read Only?

Ans. First, check if the PDF allows you to edit or not. If you find editing is disabled or restricted, then it means your PDF is restricted to read-only. 

Q 2. Can I Edit a Read-Only PDF file?

Ans. Yes, using the online, manual, or automated solution, first you have to unlock those files. After that, open it, and start with editing. 

Q 3. Is it Possible to Add a Scanned Sign to a Read-Only PDF?

Ans. Yes, it is possible to add scanned signature to PDF, but first, you have to unlock the PDF using any of the mentioned approaches. Then, only you can embed a watermark in it. 

Q 4. What Software Can I Use to Write on a Read-Only PDF?

Ans. It is highly recommended by the experts to opt for the mentioned smart solution. Here are the quick steps of the same:

  1. Install the unlocking tool.
  2. Choose the PDF file using “Add Files” or “Add Folder”.
  3. Select a destination with the “Change” button.
  4. Click “Unlock” to remove the password.

Q 5. Is it Legal to Make Changes to a Read-Only PDF?

Ans. It completely depends on the situation, if you have the proper permission from the owner to unlock their PDFs. Then there is no problem, but if PDFs include some copyright material, it’s advisable not to try opening them.  

Q 6. How to Write on a Read Only PDF if it is Password-Protected?

Ans. When it comes to opening password-protected files, then only one solution can help which is the described advanced solution. However, there are other solutions for the same like Adobe Acrobat Pro, but they are not as reliable as this. 


By Nilesh Kumar

As a Chief Technical Writer, I know the technical issues faced by home and professional users. So, I decided to share all my knowledge via this blog. I love to help you with challenges while dealing with technical jargon.