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How to Save Changes on a PDF Easily

July 14, 2022
Last Updated
December 6, 2022
3 min read
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Do you want to save changes to PDF before closing?” 

“The document could not be saved.”

 “The file may be read-only or another user may have been using it.” 

“An error was encountered when saving the document”.

“Can’t save PDF files after editing.” 

Do any of these sound familiar? 

Getting one of these messages can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’ve already spent time and effort editing and changing the PDF. All to find out that you can’t even save the changes that you’ve made. 

Fortunately, we’ve gathered the best methods to save changes to PDFs and fillable PDF forms. We’ve gathered general and popular methods so they’ll be applicable to most modern computers. 

Find the way that works best for you! 

What to Know 

  • You can’t save changes to read-only or locked PDFs. 
  • Save overwrites the original file, while Save As creates a new file and preserves the original. 
  • Common keyboard shortcuts:
    Windows Users: Save [Ctrl] + [s]; Save As [ctrl] + [shift] + [s].
    Mac: Save [command] + [s]; Save As [shift] + [command] + [s]

Why Can’t I Save Changes to My PDF? 

There are countless reasons as to why you may not be able to save changes made to a PDF. Common reasons may include: 

  • Your PDF editor or software is outdated. 
  • The settings are misconfigured in your PDF software, or they’ve been changed.
  • The PDF is in read-only mode or restrictions have been placed on the PDF.
  • A problem with your Adobe account.
  • Other reasons. 

Save vs Save As

While similar, Save and Save As actually do different things. 


Save means that the original file is updated and overwritten with all the changes that have been made to it. 

Save As

Save As means that a new file is created, that includes all the changes made to the original. But the original file is left as is, so you’re left with the original file and a new file with the changes. 

If you need to keep the original or “master” copy of the file, use Save As. If having an original copy doesn’t matter, you can use Save to overwrite the original file. 

How to Save Changes on a PDF 

  1. Open the PDF in PDF Pro. 
  2. Make your changes and edit.
  3. Press the Save or Save As button (alternatively: File menu > Save / Save As) 

How to Save Changes on a Fillable PDF Form

Fillable PDF forms are PDFs that are interactive. You can often fill them out and save the changes without the need for special software.

  1. Open the fillable PDF form. 
  2. Fill in the form. 
  3. Press Save (or press [ctrl] + [s] on your keyboard). 

How to Save Changes on a PDF in Adobe Reader

You’ll need a premium subscription to Adobe to be able to make edits. However if you’re a subscriber, or you have a fillable PDF, then you can save changes made to the PDF with Adobe.

  1. Open the PDF in Adobe. 
  2. Make the changes or fill in the PDF. 
  3. Press the Save or Save As button. 

How to Save Changes on a PDF for Mac Users

  1. Open the PDF in Preview.
  2. Make the changes to the PDF. 
  3. Press Save or Save As (alternatively, Save: [command] + [s]; Save As: [shift] + [command] + [s]).

Tips for Saving Changes to PDF

Here are a few helpful tips to help you save changes to PDF. 

  1. Ensure the PDF is not-read only. 
  2. Unlock and remove restrictions on PDF (if any). 
  3. Use Save As to keep a “master” copy of the original PDF. 

Use the Best PDF Editor for Windows — PDF Pro

There are countless ways to edit your PDFs. Below you’ll find other helpful guides about common things you can do to PDF documents: 

Download PDF Pro for free for 15 days or Buy Now!

Digital Marketing SpecialistArron Staradub
Arron was a Digital Marketer at PDF Pro, where he wrote helpful and engaging articles for those that that used PDFs in their daily life.

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