How to Edit a PDF in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is the gold standard for designing vector graphics as it can manage both graphics and type. If you made a document or an image but it is saved in PDF format, you can import the file or image to Adobe Illustrator so that you can edit the PDF file. how-to-edit-a-pdf-in-adobe-illustrator-featured-header

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How to Edit a PDF in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Acrobat program is the most common program used to edit a PDF file, but you can also use Adobe Illustrator if your PDF file is created in an AI program. Below are simple steps that you can follow if you need to edit a PDF in your Adobe Illustrator.

  • Step 1: Import PDF in Illustrator

    Open the folder where the PDF file is located. Then, import the PDF file to your Illustrator, select the specific page you want to import and the range, as well as check the box that indicates Import PDF pages as links for optimal performance, and click OK.

  • Step 2: Go to Object > Flatten Transparency

    Head to the Object menu and select Flatten Transparency. In the Flatten Transparency pop-up window, check the box for Convert All Text to Outlines, adjust the Line Art and Text Resolution to higher PPI if you want, and click OK.

  • Step 3: Use Fill & Stroke

    Use the Selection Tool to select your file. Then, go to Select > Same > Fill & Stroke, and repeat this process with other components of your PDF.

  • Step 4: Delete Unnecessary Parts and Save to AI format

    After that, use the Selection Tool again to edit the document. Delete unnecessary parts of your PDF file, and save your PDF to Adobe Illustrator or AI file format.


Can you open a PDF file in Adobe Illustrator?

Yes, you can open the PDF file in Illustrator using the Open command, the Place command, the Paste command, and the drag-and-drop feature.

Why can’t I edit a PDF file in Illustrator?

Illustrator can only edit vector PDFs that were made in Illustrator as well and saved with Illustrator Editing Capabilities.

How to convert a PDF to an editable document in Illustrator?

Choose File from the Illustrator menu, search and open the PDF, select Save As and choose the AI file type, and then click Save to convert and you can now start editing the PDF file.

Is a PDF file in vector format?

Most PDF files are in vector format, but it depends on the software used to create the document because PDFs can also be saved as raster files.

How to identify if the PDF file is a vector?

Try highlighting the text in the PDF with your mouse and if you can highlight the text, the content of the PDF is a vector, and zoom in on the file to check if the image and text are clear and sharp.