Recently, one of my colleagues asked, "Can you guys recommend a good PDF editor that will track changes the way Microsoft Word does? I've got a new project that will require this." Others on the forum replied with suggestions for PDF editing software of various sorts, with varying degrees of sophistication, and there is an impressive array of options out there. But if you are trying to edit anything longer than 500 words inside a PDF document, here is what I had to say:
I strongly encourage you to find a way to convert the PDFs to Word and edit them there, if you're doing detailed copyediting and proofreading. PDF sticker-annotation is great for developmental editing, allowing you to add comments in the margins and point out a handful of obvious errors, but working with PDFs on any more detailed level becomes a soul-killing chore.
Imagine being your client and having to transfer all those detailed corrections into the source document (Word? Pages? An RTF app?) by hand, one by one! The only sustainable happy solution is to pull the PDF content into a word processing document at the very beginning of the editing process, even if it's inconvenient to do so. Even if it means losing all the formatting and editing it as plain text.
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