Edit PDF files with Inkscape
Editing PDF files.
Adobe Acrobat is a PDF editor. Unfortunately Adobe Acrobat refuses to handle fonts that are missing among the computer system fonts. A solution would be to find out what fonts are used in that particular PDF and purchase them. It could cost $500..$700. Foxit Phantom PDF editor is able to reuse embedded fonts, however if a particular character is not used in the PDF before, you have to substitute this with some other font. That messes text editing up. You can still buy missing fonts. Also Foxit Phantom PDF editor handles images strangely. These two programs are suitable for only minor tweaks in PDF documents.
Inkscape is a handy tool for more complex PDF editing. Inkscape is freeware, an open source SVG graphics editor released under the GPL.
To edit PDF with Inkscape, 2 aspects
- Open the PDF with Inkscape. Inkscape opens only one page from a multi page PDF.
- Edit the page using Inkscape.
- Save the page as .svg for backup and further editing.
- Option A. Print the page from Inkscape as a .pdf using a PDF printer like CutePDF Writer (formerly CutePDF Printer).
- Option B. Save As .pdf with the following settings in the "Portable Document Format" dialogue window: Convert texts to paths - ticked, Resolution for rasterization (dpi) - 300, Export area is page - ticked, all other tickboxes - unticked.
- Merge single PDFs in to a multi page PDF. Merge PDF online - This service enables you to combine several PDF documents into a single multi page PDF, free of charge. All you need to do is select two (or more) PDF files to be joined together by pressing “Browse” and press the “Merge PDF” button to upload and combine the selected documents.
Inkscape problem with some PDF files
When opening a PDF with Inkscape some characters are missing.
- Either File menu > Import, or Open with Inkscape, there’s a “PDF Import Settings” dialog which has a checkbox for “Replace PDF fonts by closest-named installed fonts”.
- Inkscape has problems with some PDF files which were for example changed in Adobe Indesign. Open the PDF in Adobe Reader and print it with a virtual printer (CutePDF Writer). After that the PDF opens in Inkscape again.
Resulting PDF is way too large for web
Uncompressed PDF Output. At this time, it looks as if Inkscape only outputs uncompressed PDF output. Once you export or print a PDF, look at its file size. If it is too large for your application, reduce it.
- Inkscape, export the exact same file to EPS (encapsulated postscript) and then use epstopdf to convert the file to PDF. This will make a compressed PDF.
- Adobe Acrobat. Document > Reduce File Size. Make compatible with: Acrobat 8.0 and later. The optimised PDF is bit rubbish.
- Adobe Acrobat. Advanced > Pdf Optimizer… All default settings. The optimised PDF has reasonable for web quality. You can set default image resolution 150 ppi to 96 ppi.
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