How to Edit Graphics with Adobe Acrobat CS6’s Edit Object Tool

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

You can use the Edit Object in Adobe Acrobat CS6 tool to access editing software for modifying graphics. For example, you can use the Edit Object tool to select a graphic, bring the graphic into Photoshop, and then save the modified version back into the PDF file. In other words, you can edit the graphics used in PDF documents, even if you don’t have access to the original graphic files.

To edit a photographic file from Acrobat in Photoshop, follow these steps:

  1. Select the image with the Edit Object tool, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac) on a photographic image with the Edit Object tool, and then choose Edit Image from the contextual menu.

    The image file opens in Adobe Photoshop.

  2. With the many tools of Photoshop, make the necessary changes to the graphic and then choose File→Save.

    When you return to the PDF file in Acrobat, the graphic is updated automatically in the PDF document.

If you have the original graphic file, it remains untouched — only the version used within the PDF file is modified. It isn’t necessary to have the original graphic file to perform these steps.

You can also use Acrobat to edit vector objects from within PDF files, such as those created with Adobe Illustrator. Just follow these steps:

  1. Select a piece of vector artwork with the Edit Object tool, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac) the vector artwork, and then choose Edit Object from the contextual menu.

    Acrobat displays Edit Object in the contextual menu if it detects a vector object, and it displays Edit Image if it detects a bitmap image. Acrobat also displays Edit Objects (note the plural) if you have more than one object selected.

    If you’re editing a complex illustration, be sure to select all its components by holding down the Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac) key while clicking them with the Edit Object tool.

    After choosing Edit Object, the object opens for editing in Adobe Illustrator.

  2. After you make the necessary changes in Illustrator, choose File→Save.

    The graphic is updated in the PDF document.

If Acrobat doesn’t start Photoshop or Illustrator after choosing the Edit Image or Edit Object command, you may need to access preferences by choosing Edit→Preferences→Touch Up (Windows) or Acrobat→Preferences→Touch Up (Mac OS) and then specifying which programs should be used for editing images or objects.

You can also use the Edit Object tool to edit the position of text or graphic objects on a page, which includes the ability to relocate individual lines of text or to change the position of a graphic on a page. After you select an object with the Edit Object tool, you can simply drag it to a new location on the page.

Similarly, you can delete objects from a PDF document by selecting them and then pressing the Delete key.