Edit PDF files with PitStop Pro

Prepress 3 min read , February 16, 2021

by John Dean, Marketing Content Specialist, Enfocus

Easy PDF file editing

“If there is a problem with the PDF, we’ll have to ask for native files,” stated the prepress manager, splashing drops of coffee from a twitching mug.
“You know how long it will take, don’t you?” replied a skilled and diligent tech.
“I don’t care!” came blasting out from behind the mug-covered mouth. “It’s the only way to fix a file properly!”
“This always plays out the same way,” started the prepress technician. “We ask for native files. We get the layout file. We ask for images and fonts. We get most of the images and one font. We ask for the rest of the images and fonts. We get four versions of three different images and thirty-eight fonts. Only six of the fonts are needed and one is still missing.”
“Stop, stop, stop,” demands the exasperated manager with coffee-laden shoes. “We’ve always done it that way, so … off you go.”
Upon returning to the prepress department, the skilled and diligent tech exclaims, “We’re gonna PitStop it!”

When a file gets deep into production and there needs to be some correction, whether it’s customer requested or customer induced, it’s not really necessary to go back to native files. It’s arguable that doing so may introduce more opportunity for error as well as add days to a job. Afterall, a car doesn’t leave a race when it’s low on fuel. It makes a pitstop.

Move text and elements in a PDF file

Requested change: “Move the logo to the bottom and center the title.”

1 - Select the logo pieces using the Select Object Tool or the Object Browser. Tip: use wireframe view to make selections easier.

2 - Switch to the Move Tool or hold down the control key and drag the logo down. Tip: hold the shift key to keep the horizontal position.

3 - Select the title text in the same manner as above

4 - Center align the text

5 - Move the text to the center of the trim box. Tip: use the position settings to make sure it’s centered

Edit text in a PDF file

Requested change: “Correct the subhead and change the color to Pantone 359 U”

1 - Select the subhead using the Select Object Tool and verify that the font is embedded. Tip: the font will likely be an embedded subset and will need to be embedded for editing.

2 - Embed the font using the document fonts or from the system. Tip: in some cases, of course, the font will need to be acquired.

4 - Select the subheads using the Select Object Tool

5 - Go to the Color Picker from the Actions menu and search for “359 U.” Tip: Always put quotes around the search terms.

6 - Choose PANTONE 359 U and Store Swatch for convenience

Edit images in a PDF file

Requested change: “Change the image to grayscale and reduce the mid-tones”

1 - Select the image using the Select Object Tool

2 - Using the Actions menu, Convert to Gray (Using Preferences)

3 - Adjust the curve in the Image – Curve Editing user interface

Edit vectors in a PDF file

Requested change: “Move the curve up in the graphic”

1 - Select nodes using the Edit Path Tool

2 - Move the nodes. Tip: hold down the shift key to maintain horizontal position.

3 - Note: more complex vector editing is possible using the other path and point tools

Seasoned PitStop users will have seen many instances throughout this how-to where using Action Lists could have been employed. This article has purposely not touched on the use of Action Lists in PitStop Pro in order to illustrate the basics of manual PDF editing. All PitStop users are invited to learn more at the Enfocus eLearning site. The Beginners Trail is free to everyone. Request a PitStop Pro 30-day trial.

Tips and Tricks