This document provides instructions for Acrobat XI. If you're using Acrobat DC, see Acrobat DC Help.

Easily correct, update, and enhance PDF files. Resize, move, or replace images— without returning to your original source document.

Video tutorial: How to edit images in PDF files.

Video tutorial: How to edit images in PDF files.
Learn how to move, resize, rotate, flip, or replace an image using the new Content Editing panel.
Donna Baker

Place an image or object into a PDF

  1. Choose Tools > Content Editing > Add Image

  2. In the Open dialog box, locate the file you want to place.

  3. Select the image file, and click Open.

  4. Click where you want to place the image, or click-drag to size the image as you place it.

    A copy of the image file appears on the page, with the same resolution as the original file.

  5. Use the bounding box handles to resize the image, or the tools in the Content Editing panel to Flip, Rotate, or Crop the image.

Move or resize an image or object

  1. Select the appropriate tool depending on what you want to move:


    Choose Tools > Content Editing > Edit Text & Images . When you hover over an image you can edit, the image icon appears in the top left corner.

    Interactive object

    To edit form fields, buttons, or other interactive objects, choose Tools > Interactive Objects > Select Object tool .

  2. Do any of the following:
    • To move the image or object, drag it to the desired location. You cannot drag images or objects to a different page (you can cut and paste them to a new page instead). Shift-drag the object to constrain movement up or down, or right or left.
    • To resize the image or object, select it, then drag a handle. Shift-drag the handle to retain the original aspect ratio.


    If you select multiple objects, you can move or resize them together.

Rotate, flip, crop (clip), or replace an image

  1. Choose Tools > Content Editing > Edit Text & Images .

  2. Select the image (or images).
  3. Under Format in the Content Editing panel, click one of the following tools:

    Flip Vertical

    Flips the image vertically, on the horizontal axis.

    Flip Horizontal

    Flips the image horizontally, on the vertical axis.

    Rotate Counterclockwise

    Rotates the selected image ninety degrees in the counterclockwise direction.

    Rotate Clockwise

    Rotates the selected image ninety degrees in the clockwise direction.

    Crop Image

    Crops or clips the selected image. Drag a selection handle to crop the image.

    Replace Image

    Replaces the selected image with the image you choose. Locate the replacement image in the Open dialog, and click Open.


To rotate the selected image manually, place the pointer just outside a selection handle. When the cursor changes to the rotation pointer , drag in the direction you want it to rotate.

Move an image or object in front or behind other elements

The Arrange options let you move an image or object in front of or behind other elements. You can push an item forward or back just one level, or send it to the front or back of the stacking order of elements on the page.

  1. Choose Tools > Content Editing > Edit Text & Images .

  2. Select the object (or objects).
  3. Right-click the object (or objects), then choose Arrange and the appropriate option.


    For complex pages where it is hard to select an object, you may find it easier to change the order using the Content tab. (Choose View > Show/Hide > Navigation Panes > Content.)

Edit an image outside of Acrobat

You can edit an image or graphic using another application, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or  Microsoft Paint. When you save the image or graphic, Acrobat automatically updates the PDF with the changes. The applications that appear in the Edit Using menu depend upon what you have installed and the type of image or graphic you have selected. Optionally, you can specify the application you want to use.

  1. Choose Tools > Content Editing > Edit Text & Images .

  2. Select the image or object.


    Select multiple items if you want to edit them together in the same file. To edit all the images and objects on the page, right-click the page, and choose Select All.

  3. Choose the editor you want to use from the Edit Using menu (under Format in the Content Editing panel). To choose a different editor than offered on the menu, select Open With, locate the application, and click Open.


    If a message asks whether to convert to ICC profiles, choose Don’t Convert. If the image window displays a checkerboard pattern when it opens, the image data could not be read.

  4. Make the desired changes in the external editing application. Keep in mind the following restrictions:
    • If you change the dimensions of the image, the image may not align correctly in the PDF.
    • Transparency information is preserved only for masks that are specified as index values in an indexed color space.
    • If you are working in Photoshop, flatten the image.
    • Image masks are not supported.
    • If you change image modes while editing the image, you may lose valuable information that can be applied only in the original mode.
  5. In the editing application, choose File > Save. The object is automatically updated and displayed in the PDF when you bring Acrobat to the foreground.


    For Photoshop, if the image is in a format supported by Photoshop 6.0 or later, your edited image is saved back into the PDF. However, if the image is in an unsupported format, Photoshop handles the image as a generic PDF image, and the edited image is saved to disk instead of back into the PDF.

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