Is there an application (in Windows, Unix, or Mac) that allows you to edit the LaTeX generated PDF. I know there is pdfsync, but it only gives you the line, and then you have to search where in the line you want to make the change. This is OK sometimes, for a couple of changes, but when there are lots of changes it becomes really tedious.

I would really like to accelerate this process of correcting mistakes (mostly grammar, missing commas etc.). in my document, without going through all the markup.

  • 4
    I think you are asking for something different. You don't want to “edit” a pdf file, but rather you want inverse search from your generated pdf file to your LaTeX source. Is this correct? Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 16:09
  • 1
    Yes, that could work too, a way to easilly get to what I want to edit. without navigating the tex file. Sort of like a better PDF Sync...
    – Flethuseo
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 16:52

5 Answers 5


For a free PDF editor, you could try something like PDFedit. But editing the PDF directly would screw up LaTeX's typography, paragraph layout and full justification, and never works as well as you'd like.

Based on the comments, I think what you really want is inverse search. This is already possible with things like PDF Sync, or the newer replacement, SyncTeX. You just need to use a combination of editor and PDF viewer that supports this.

This is probably easiest if you use a LaTeX editor that has its own built in viewer. This includes TeXworks, Texmaker and TexMakerX. Here's TeXworks in action: enter image description here

For standalone PDF viewers that support SyncTeX inverse searches, there is Skim for mac, SumatraPDF for Windows, Okular for Linux/Unix (evince is supposed to now, too, but no one seems to know how!) These require that editor knows how to interact with them. If you tell us what editor you like, maybe we can give instructions for setting that up.

  • 1
    Very nice 'picture': really excellent approach.
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 20:02
  • 1
    It's taken from an old blog post I wrote comparing LaTeX editors
    – frabjous
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 20:05
  • I was hoping for a more accurate jump to the word I am clicking on, but it seems like the best is that it takes you to the line where the word is.
    – Flethuseo
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 22:08
  • I think something closer to that may become possible as they improve SyncTeX. Right now, it's a fairly new feature and needs work.
    – frabjous
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 22:20
  • Inverse search will work better if your source document has more line breaks. I put every sentence in a new line, for example, and sometimes I even go to a new line after a comma or semicolon.
    – matth
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 9:31

There is nothing different between pdf files generated by TeX and other program. Conversion is irreversible. We'd better edit the TeX source file and regenerate a pdf file.

Adobe Acrobat can edit the pdf file, using "touch up" tools. However, it is expensive, and has its constrains.


You can download the Foxit PDF Editor for free. I tested it yesterday and lets you touch up many pieces of the file.

  • Can you please tell me how can I export Edited pdf from foxit reader in Latex? Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 20:19

OpenOffice can read the pdf and you can edit the objects. But it is no real fun for large documents.


If you want to inverse search as Juan Navarro proposed, TeXShop on the mac also has this capability.

It allows you to easily find the code source that generated a specific piece of pdf and vica versa: it allows you to jump directly to the piece generated pdf that is generated by your source code.

You can do this by "command"+double clicking a word or piece or code that's in the vicinty of the piece of pdf/code you're interested in.

TeXShop is great and has a lot of other features too. Give it a try!

  • Some habits are hard to get rid of :-) It's really better not to sign with your name since it automatically appears in the lower right corner of your post. Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 9:54
  • I'd also leave away the "greets" (this is not a forum), but there's no need to edit again. Thanks! Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 10:18
  • @Hendrik: Ok, thanks for the tip. Every community has it's own preferred way of dealing with each other. I'm glad I'm learning this one.
    – romeovs
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 11:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .