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Walkthrough: Getting started with FlexiPDF

Dear SoftMaker customers:

SoftMaker has recently launched the new version of FlexiPDF. With FlexiPDF 2019, you can edit PDF files as easily as with a word processor.

In this blog post we want to show you how FlexiPDF can help you do your daily work. We will guide you step by step through this powerful PDF editor and demonstrate its important features.

Working with text – as comfortably as with a word processor

A PDF file consists of one or more pages. A page can contain text, images, tables and drawings. You can edit all of these elements with FlexiPDF. The first section of this blog article is about the text.

With FlexiPDF you can edit text as if you were using a word processor. After opening a PDF file, select the text editing tool from the toolbar, and you're ready to go!

You can now simply click on existing text and start writing. Enter text, highlight text portions you want to work with, and delete, copy or move them. You can also select an area with the mouse, giving you a new text frame that you can immediately fill with text.

Since plain text is rather boring, FlexiPDF lets you format it as you like. Adding text formatting such as bold and italic is just as easy as changing fonts. The color of each text element can be selected twice: once for the normal fill color, and secondly the color of the outline of the letters.

Change tracking included

If you later want to see what changes you have made to the text, turn on the built-in change-tracking function. This works similar to TextMaker by highlighting text that has been modified or deleted. Activate change tracking with the File > Preferences > Editing command. In the dialog box that appears, place a checkmark in front of "Show changed text in" and select the color in which the changes should appear:

As you will see in the following screenshot, all edited text is automatically marked – here with red:

Text editing across sections and pages

The weakness of some other PDF editors is to offer only individual text blocks or frames for editing, but not the entire body of text as a logical unit.

FlexiPDF, on the other hand, allows you to edit text across paragraphs, columns and pages. You link the paragraphs of existing PDF files together so that they represent a single block of text. This has the advantage that inserting and deleting text does not simply result in longer lines, but the text body is extended or shortened downwards, even over several pages, as you are accustomed to in TextMaker or any other word processor.

Just click the Text link tool:

Then you can select the textboxes to form a contiguous body of text:

This is the same as if you had several linked text frames in TextMaker. Text flows automatically between these frames.

However, you can go a step further: after these steps, select Text > Text Box > Merge Vertically to get a continuous text frame. FlexiPDF adjusts the paragraph spacing between the former text frames so that the layout of the page is not changed.

Integrated spell check

FlexiPDF helps you create PDF documents that are free of spelling and typing errors. To check text for spelling errors, first make sure that you have set the correct language. To do so, select File > Preferences, activate the "Spelling" tab and set the language of the PDF file here:

Then run Edit > Check spelling to perform a spell check.

Comment and highlight

You often work on PDFs in a team, and every colleague has comments to make. To ensure that no important information is lost along the way, you can use FlexiPDF to insert various types of comments and highlights into PDF documents.

Just click one of the following icons in the Comment and Edit toolbars:

In addition to text comments, various drawings are also available, as well as a text highlighter and stamps, both preset and customized.

Note: If you find that you do not see a certain toolbar, you can use the menu item View > Toolbars to activate it.

Arrange pages

With FlexiPDF, you can easily insert, move and delete pages. This is particularly convenient with the Thumbnails sidebar. To display it, select View > Thumbnails. Here you can now re-order pages with simple drag-and-drop. In the Page operations toolbar (View > Toolbars > Page operations), you'll also find buttons to insert, delete, and rotate pages:

Create new PDF documents

FlexiPDF lets you not only edit existing PDFs, but also make new ones. You can create PDF files from any Windows application that has a print function.

Whether it is a web browser, an e-mail program or a business application, just select the "Print" command in the program and pick the "FlexiPDF" printer driver:

This won't create a print-out in the usual sense, but saves the current content into a PDF file that is then opened in FlexiPDF for further viewing and editing.

Images and drawings

With FlexiPDF you can insert, position and edit images and drawings just as easily as in a word processor. Insert new images with the command Object > Image > Insert and create new drawings with the tools in the Drawing toolbar (View > Toolbars > Drawing):

Tip: If you insert images straight from your mobile phone or digital camera, this often results in unnecessarily large PDF files. In case you want to create small PDFs for posting on the internet, reduce the quality of embedded images to save space. Select Object > Image > Resample to find numerous options to reduce file size.

Search and replace

Any free PDF reader finds text in a PDF file. FlexiPDF can do more, like search for text in a particular font or formatting... or make global replacements in several documents simultaneously... or replace a font with another font instantly.

Under Edit > Find & Replace > Find select "Character formatting" to search only for text locations created with a specific formatting:

If you want to search multiple documents for a particular term, you can find the appropriate options under Edit > Find & Replace > In Files.

It is just as easy to replace fonts. Click Edit > Find & Replace > Fonts to open a dialog box that allows you to do just that.

Automatic text recognition (OCR)

Would you like to search your scanned documents for content? FlexiPDF Professional makes this possible. The built-in optical character recognition creates one-click searchable and editable PDF files from your documents.

You have two options: either you scan your documents directly into FlexiPDF, or you can open scanned documents and then perform OCR.

Scanning and OCR directly in FlexiPDF

To create documents in FlexiPDF from paper originals so you can search and edit the contents, run the command File > New > Import from Scanner:

Please make sure to check "Recognize Text (OCR)" and set the desired PDF style.

Text recognition in existing PDF files

If you already have a scanned PDF document that you would like to make searchable and editable, simply open it via File > Open and then run the OCR function, which is located under Document > Recognize Text (OCR).


With FlexiPDF you can fill both interactive and static forms.

If you have an interactive form, you can edit it using the Hand tool found on the Edit toolbar:

One click, and you can fill out text boxes, select entries from dropdown menus, and activate checkboxes.

FlexiPDF also provides a powerful way to fill in static forms, the Text Plus tool:

This tool automatically recognizes areas that represent input fields and lets you fill them as if you had an interactive form:

This unique feature is especially useful for the many PDF files used by organizations (such as public offices and government agencies) that are actually forms but are not created as PDF forms. Other PDF readers have to pass on this!

Your documents are secure

Protect your PDF files from unauthorized opening, editing, printing and copying of text. With AES encryption, your documents are secure. Under the menu item Document > Security, you will find numerous ways to secure your documents.

If you want to make parts of your document illegible ("blacked out"), FlexiPDF Professional is the right choice for you. To redact text, simply select the desired text areas using the text editing tool and click on "Redact Selected Text" in the Redact toolbar:

You can also redact images with the button to the right.

Please note: Once you have saved the final version of your document, these redacted areas can no longer be restored. You can pass on such a file without hesitation to third parties. Nobody will be able to reveal the redacted content.

Thank you!

We hope you have enjoyed our walkthrough of FlexiPDF. You can test FlexiPDF before you buy – download a free trial today here.

Enjoy using FlexiPDF!


Notice: This blog post appeared originally on December 1, 2016 and was updated on March 13, 2019 to cover FlexiPDF 2019.


K C CHAN 2021-05-06 14:14
I cannot find the Traditional Chinese language setting in the OCR pull down manual... HOw to work out
the Traditional Chinese OCR in FlexiPDF ??? Thanks for the solution.
SoftMaker 2021-05-06 19:33
Please send your technical questions on the link below. Our technical support team will be happy to assist you.

Technical support:
Skye Flynn 2021-04-30 16:52
What are the pros and cons to associating FlexiPDFf with the pdf extension. When setting up Flexi2019, this box is not checked.
SoftMaker 2021-05-08 06:06
Once you associate FlexiPDF with PDF file extension, PDF files will be open with FlexiPDF just by double-clicking on the PDF file.
ich 2021-03-07 19:41
FlexiPdf for ubuntu users ? (When?)
SoftMaker 2021-03-08 11:05
Thanks for your interest in FlexiPDF for Ubuntu, but currently we don't have any specific date or year regarding that.

Many users use FlexiPDF on WINE on Ubuntu (which is officially not supported)but if you want you can try.
Baz Hawkeye 2020-05-24 18:42
When oh when are you going to produce FlexiPDF for Mac?

I keep receiving your emails urging me to purchase it but it’s only available to lesser mortals using that Gates software !

Is there any chance we will get a Mac version, please?
SoftMaker 2020-05-24 18:50
Unfortunately not in the foreseeable future. FlexiPDF was developed differently than SoftMaker Office and is not easily portable to macOS.
James Anabo 2019-03-06 16:10
Sometimes, I have large pdf files that I need to send to an email recipient that has limited file size attachment capacity. Similar to Adobe Acrobat Pro DC's Optimize PDF function, how can I reduce a document's file size?
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:11
With FlexiPDF, you can resample the images in your PDF documents to reduce their file size. Please find a detailed description of this feature on page 53 of the FlexiPDF manual:
John Elliot 2019-03-06 16:10
I am trying to enter text using Times Roman. FlexiPDF persists in changing the font to type3font1 and I then get a message telling me that the alphabetic characters I have tried to type are not available. There seems to be no way of forcing FlexiPDF to use Times Roman. Does anybody have a solution? Thanks, John
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:10
Such issues are best discussed with our technical-support team. Please contact them using our online support form at

If possible, please attach an affected document to your support request so we can reproduce the issue internally.
Sam 2019-03-06 16:10

1. Any plan to have ribbon interface?
2. How come Office license is for 5 users while PDF is only for 3 users?

Thank you and happy holiday.
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:10
Thanks for your comment. Please understand that we can't publish detailed information on the development or license policy of future FlexiPDF versions yet. The scope of license is defined for each product individually.
Antony M 2019-03-06 16:09
Dear Sir/Madame,
I would like to ask if FlexiPDF Standard/Professional includes an automatic extraction of all highlighted comments/annotation from a PDF (e.g. xchange editor does that), to a .txt/doc ?
Or is it required that I change the format to e.g. .doc for such actions ?
Thank you.
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:09
Extracting just the comments to a text file is currently not possible. I will forward your suggestion to product management.
Michael 2019-03-06 16:09
If I have PDF file with headers &/or footers will I be able to edit in Flexipdf maintaining the existing layout?
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:09
With FlexiPDF, you can edit all kinds of PDF documents maintaining the existing layout, also PDFs with headers and footers.

You might want to try it yourself. You can download the free trial at

The trial version of FlexiPDF offers the full feature set of FlexiPDF Professional 2017, but it adds watermarks to all edited pages.
Matthias 2019-03-06 16:08
Can I install FlexiPDF as a "save as pdf" printer so the Flexi PDF printer will save all print jobs to a PDF file in a specific folder?
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:09
The integrated PDF printer driver lets you create PDF files from inside any Windows application which enables you to print.

However, the PDF files created that way are always opened in FlexiPDF after creation. You can then use the GUI of FlexiPDF to save them in the desired location.

Using the integrated PDF printer to save PDF files to a specific folder without any GUI is not possible with the current version of FlexiPDF.
EG Gordon 2019-03-06 16:08
Does the trial version include the OCR engine?
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:08
Yes, the OCR engine is available in the trial version of FlexiPDF, too. However, watermarks will be added to all pages created or edited with the trial version. This watermarks can then be removed by purchasing the full version of the software.
Manuel Schiller 2019-03-06 16:07
This looks like something I might want to try. Will there be a Linux version at some point in the future?

Thanks, Manuel
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:08
We're currently discussing this topic with our developers.

If you are interested in our future product development, you might want to subscribe to our free newsletter - it always keeps you up-to-date:
Jorge 2019-03-06 16:07
Just read about FlexiPDF, and it sounds interesting. I have a question: Adobe Acrobat X has a feature to "convert" Web pages to PDF. This is different from the "print to PDF" function, which Acrobat also has. "Convert to PDF" often results in a better output than "print to PDF," and it also preserves clickable hyperlinks in the converted page.

Does FlexiPDF include this "convert to PDF" feature?
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:07
This feature is not available in FlexiPDF 2017. However, you can use the web browser Google Chrome to convert web pages into PDF files with preserved hyperlinks. Just use the built-in feature "Save as PDF" to do so.
ralph haines 2019-03-06 16:07
i have taken a screen shot of a page witch includes
text,lines ,objects, boxes.
all i wish to do on this screen shot is add text.
can you help
please advise
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:07
With FlexiPDF, you can insert screenshots and text into PDF files. However, for editing the screenshot itself, an image editing program might be more suitable.
Mikhail Ivanov 2019-03-06 16:06
FlexiPDF is working with other languages: Russian and others?
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:07
Yes, FlexiPDF is available with a Russian UI, too. Just select Russian as setup language, afterwards the user interface is also set to Russian.

FlexiPDF is currently available in the following languages:
Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional)
Igor 2019-03-06 16:06
thank you, it's a very informative article.
Shankar 2019-03-06 16:06
Will it work on encrypted, bookmarked PDF files also?

Will trial version works for certain period or certain pages or files only.
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:06
Yes, FlexiPDF can handle bookmarked, encrypted documents. FlexiPDF supports both 40-bit and 128-bit encryption, also supporting AES.

The trial version of FlexiPDF offers the full feature set of FlexiPDF Professional 2017, but it adds watermarks to all edited pages.
Fred Shepherd 2019-03-06 16:05
Can FlexiPDF scan a series of documents (invoices), OCR each one, and output the individual documents to separate PDF files using the invoice numbers as file names?
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:06
You can scan a stack of documents, apply the OCR function to all pages and then save each page as a single PDF file via "Document > Pages > Extract". However, afterwards you'll have to rename the PDF files according to your invoice numbers.

Feel free to try it yourself. You can download the free trial at

Please note: This feature is only available in FlexiPDF Professional.
Brian 2019-03-06 16:04
I need to add a page to an existing Pdf and retain and update the page numbers, i.e. add a page after page 25, and have the new page as number 26, and all the following pages readjusted to take account of this page. Can Flexi-PDF do this?
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:05
Yes, FlexiPDF enables you to re-number the pages of an existing PDF document.

You can find a detailed tutorial on page 98 of the manual which you can download at

Please note: This feature is only available in FlexiPDF Professional.
Eric 2019-03-06 16:04
Can you do a comparison between FlexiPDF and Qoppa PDF Studio? I use PDF Studio a lot but sometimes I get frustrated. #1 frustration, it cannot change the nominal dimensions of a page, so if someone has generated a PDF with messed up page sizes, and I want to make them all letter size, there's no direct way to do that. Can FlexiPDF change a page size?
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:05
Thank you for your suggestion to make a comparison between FlexiPDF and Qoppa PDF Studio. I'll forward it to the product management.

With FlexiPDF, you can resize and crop pages with ease.

Feel free to try it yourself. You can download the free trial at
Gordon Wellman 2019-03-06 16:04
I have a need to fill forms that are preformatted The ones that have a box or series of boxes of variable length where words have one box per character.

DS-82 passport application is an example.

Entering data and controlling the format in those forms is beyond most of the editors that I know.

Is flexiPDF able to handle those forms?
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:05
The passport application form you mentioned seems to be a static form as it's described in the article above.

Thus, you can fill it in with FlexiPDF by using the "Text Plus" tool. FlexiPDF is one of the few PDF editors which offers a pretty convenient way to fill in such (static) forms.

With FlexiPDF, you can also change the formatting of the text you inserted in the fields.

Feel free to try it yourself. You can download the free trial at
Charles Haynes 2019-03-06 16:04
How can I compare the two versions of FlexiPDF?
SoftMaker 2019-03-06 16:04
You can find a comparison table at

I'm curious since other customers asked for such a comparison, too (and couldn't find it on our website themselves).

Do you think this table is too hard to find on our web? We'd appreciate to get a brief feedback as this helps us improving our website.

Thanks in advance.

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