Microsoft 365, previously Office 365, is Microsoft’s suite of Office applications which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
What's In This Guide?
- How to Get Microsoft 365 for Free?
- Sign up for Microsoft 365 Online
- Get Microsoft 365 From Your School
- Sign up for a Free Trial
- Use Office at Your Local Library
- How to Edit PDF Documents in Microsoft 365?
- How to Edit a PDF Document in Word (Desktop)?
- How to Edit a PDF in Microsoft 365 Online?
- How to Edit a PDF You Originally Created in Word?
- How to Edit a PDF Online in Adobe Acrobat?
- Wrapping It Up
Using Microsoft 365, you can edit PDF files for free. In this article, I will explain exactly how you can use Microsoft 365 to edit PDF files at no cost.
The first section of this article will focus on how to get Microsoft 365 for free. The second part will discuss how to edit a PDF file in Word.
How to Get Microsoft 365 for Free?
Microsoft 365, as a general term, refers to both the desktop versions of Office apps and the web version. Microsoft 365 for the web (or Microsoft 365 Online), on the other hand, refers to the online versions specifically, which are based in the cloud and don’t have all features that the desktop versions do.
Here are the best ways to get Microsoft 365 for free.
Sign up for Microsoft 365 Online
The easiest way to get Microsoft 365 for free is to sign up for Microsoft 365 for the web, also known as Microsoft 365 Online.
Microsoft now offers a free version of its office apps to people who want to use them in the cloud exclusively. All you need is an email address to create a Microsoft account, and you will be able to access Word and other apps in the cloud.
The free online version gives you access to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Since it’s online-based, no installation or license is required, and you can access it from any device – it will sync across your devices.
Get Microsoft 365 From Your School
If you are a student, you may be able to get Microsoft 365 for free from your school. Schools and other educational institutions can sign up for an educational plan that allows their students to get free access to Office apps.
If your school applied as a qualified educational institution, you’ll be able to get started by entering your valid school email address. Otherwise, there are discounted plans available for students.
Note that with this option, you will be able to use Microsoft 365 on your desktop as well, not just in the cloud.
To get started, enter your email address on this page.
Sign up for a Free Trial
Microsoft 365 offers a free trial for full access. This trial period lasts for 30 days, but if you only need to edit a PDF document once, it should be enough.
The free trial will give you full access to all of the Office apps, including apps like Clipchamp and Microsoft Defender. You can install Office on up to five devices – you will also get access to the cloud-based version of Office.
For more information on what the free trial offers and how to get started, simply check out this page.
Use Office at Your Local Library
Many public libraries offer free access to computers with Office installed on them. Anyone can use them, although you may need to be a member of the library with a valid library card.
For simple tasks like editing PDF documents, this should be enough.
Now that you know how to get Microsoft 365 for free, let’s talk about how to edit PDF documents in Microsoft 365.
How to Edit PDF Documents in Microsoft 365?
To edit PDF documents, you’ll need to use Word, which is Office’s document editing app. You can use either the online version or the offline version.
How to Edit a PDF Document in Word (Desktop)?
Microsoft Word supports PDF, but if you want to make edits, you will need to convert the PDF into Microsoft’s file format – DOCX.
If you are using the desktop version, Word will automatically convert the document from a PDF format to a DOCX format, so you can edit it. Simply click on “File” in the top menu and then on “Open.”
Then, select the PDF from your computer’s storage. You need to have a recent version of Word, which you will have if you have a Microsoft 365 EDU account or a free trial of the Microsoft 365 subscription.
If you are using a computer at a library that has Word 2012 or earlier installed, this might not work. Hopefully, though, your library will have an updated version of Word.
After uploading the PDF, Word will inform you that it is making a copy of the PDF and converting it into a Word format. This does not change the original PDF on your computer – it will remain unchanged in your storage; Word is only making a copy.
Then, you will be able to edit the document. Once you are done, you can save it – like all documents you create in Word, you will have the option to save it as a PDF document again.
Note that this option works best for simple PDFs. If you have intricate PDFs with charts, graphs, and other advanced media, the formatting might be slightly off when you convert it.
How to Edit a PDF in Microsoft 365 Online?
I tried editing a PDF in Microsoft Word Online, but it did not work for me – while I could view the document, I did not see any editing option. Therefore, your best bet would be to use a third-party website to first convert the PDF to a DOCX format; once you do that, editing it online in Word will be pretty easy.
There are many online PDF to Word converter tools. I recommend Zamzar, which is free and easy to use.
However, another good tool is iLovePDF. You can also simply Google “PDF to Word converter” and see which sites appear.
To start converting on Zamzar, click on the green “Choose Files” and pick the PDF from your computer, followed by the “Convert To” drop-down menu, select “DOCX,” which is the Word file format.
Click on the green “Convert Now” button and wait as the tool converts your PDF into a Word document. Depending on the size of the document, it can take a few minutes, so do have patience.
Once it is done, the page will reload. You can then click on the blue “Download” button to download the converted file.
Once that is done, you can now head to Microsoft 365 Online to start working on your document.
However, with Microsoft 365 for the web, you may first need to upload the PDF to OneDrive before you can edit it in Word. Here is how to do that.
- Make sure you are signed in to your Microsoft account and go to OneDrive or find OneDrive in your list of apps from Microsoft 365 Online.
- Click on the Upload button at the top of the screen, as shown in the screenshot below.
- Select the PDF from your computer.
Once you have done that, find the document in “My Files” on the left-hand menu in OneDrive; simply click on the document to open it in Word.
Remember, you can also open the document directly in Word at a later time. You can head to Word from your list of apps – find it in the left-hand side of your screen in Microsoft 365 Online.
Then, click on “New Blank Document” to open a new document in the Word editor.
Click on “File” in the top menu and then click on “Open.” You will see a list of documents you have uploaded to OneDrive.
Finally, select the document, and you will be able to edit it in Word.
Once you are done editing the document, you can save it as a PDF document. Here are the steps you will need to take:
- Click on File in the top menu.
- Then, click on “Save As.”
- Finally, click on “Download as PDF” – Word Online will convert your document into a PDF and download it to your computer.
How to Edit a PDF You Originally Created in Word?
Of course, if you originally created the PDF document in Word, things will be a lot easier. You can simply go to your Word app (either online or in the desktop app) and find the original document.
Then, make all the edits you need and download it again as a PDF, this time with the new edits.
How to Edit a PDF Online in Adobe Acrobat?
Finally, another option is editing your PDF in Adobe Acrobat, which is also free. Start by going to the Adobe Acrobat PDF Editor.
Click on the blue “Select a File” button and select the PDF from your computer. Once it is uploaded, you will be asked to sign in or create an account if you are not signed in.
Fortunately, you can easily sign in with Google, Apple, or Facebook.
Then, you will be able to start editing. However, if you are using Adobe Acrobat for free, you will only be able to add text overlays by clicking on the “Type Text” option in the left-side menu (shown in the screenshot below).
Here are some other ways you can edit the PDF with the free version of Adobe Acrobat Online:
- Highlight text using different colors
- Draw and annotate using freestyle
- Add comments and notes
- Type or draw a signature or initials
- Underline text or add strike-throughs
If you want to edit the original text itself, though, you can sign up for the free trial of Adobe Acrobat.
Wrapping It Up
The simplest way to get Microsoft 365 for free is to use Microsoft 365 Online, although you should first use a third-party tool, such as Zamzar, to convert your PDF into DOCX format.
If you have the desktop version of Word, available through your school, library, or as a free trial, Word will convert the PDF for you automatically.
Remember to download the finished document as a PDF once finished – you can do this in both the online and desktop versions.
Benjamin Levin is a digital marketing professional with 4+ years of experience with inbound and outbound marketing. He helps small businesses reach their content creation, social media marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising goals. His hobbies include reading and traveling.