Have you ever received PDF files that are too faint to read? It’s just hard to tell the texts or images from the light PDF pages.

To obtain the information correctly from a faint PDF file, you can darken it with the help of a PDF editor.

In the following parts, I will introduce 2 best PDF editors to you, PDFelement and Adobe Acrobat. You can choose one and start to darken your PDF files.

How to Darken PDF Files

How to darken a PDF with PDFelement

PDFelement is one of the most popular PDF editors in the market for its excellent customers’ experience. It offers easy operation for PDF editing.

Take PDF darkening as an example, you only need 3 steps to do that with the help of this program.

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Step 1: Open the PDF file with PDFelement

Right-click the file you’re about to darken and go to “open with“, choose PDFelement, the file will be open on PDFelement.

Or, you can open PDFelement first and click the Open file” button on its interface to select the PDF file.

Open File with PDFElement

Step 2: Locate the PDF darken function

You can modify the background color of your light PDF pages to improve the contrast so that you can read it clearly with a more clarified background.

On the toolbar, go to Edit > Edit Background, here, on Edit Background, you can choose one from two options

  • New Background: You can add a darker background to your PDF file.
  • Update Background: You can replace the original light background with a dark one.
Note: Not sure if there’s a background on this PDF file? Click New Background to proceed.

PDFelement Edit Background

Step 3: Darken your PDF file

After you choose one option, a popup window appears.

On the window, locate Color on the Source option.

Then, you can choose a darker color and add it to your PDF file. Click OK to confirm the effort. Do remember to save the file before you close it.

PDF Add Background

After the 3 easy steps, your PDF file will be darkened and can be identified easily.

How to darken a PDF file with Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is a very famous and powerful PDF editor. Due to its excellent capability of PDF editing, many designers will use it to create perfect PDF files for idea-sharing.

However, the program is quite difficult to use. It takes practice to master all the properties and special items.

Adode Acrobat Icon

Step 1: Open a PDF file with Acrobat

Step 2: Press “Ctrl-K” to open the Preferences dialog box

Before we start to darken a PDF file, we need to set up an image editor on Acrobat since Acrobat has no darkening tool itself. It can only darken a PDF file with the help of plugins.

Step 3: On Categorie, select TouchUp > Choose Image Editor

Step 4: Select your system’s image editor, then close all open dialog boxes

Step 5: On the toolbar,  go to the Tools > Pages > Background

Step 6: On the Background option, select Add Background

There, select a dark color from Color. Click “OK“, your file will be darkened after that. Remember to save your file before your exit Acrobat.

Workaround: Convert your PDF files into image format

If adding a darker background does not help you read the PDF file, you can try to convert your PDF file into pictures and then modify the contrast of this picture to make it easier to read.

Here’s how:

  • Open PDFElement and choose Convert PDF.
  • Select the PDF file and choose an image format like jpg.

Convert PDF File to JPG Darken PDF

  • Click Save to initiate the conversion.

Darken PDF Locate Converted Files

  • Locate the output images and export them to PowerPoint or Word.
  • Right-click on a picture and select Size and Position.
  • Locate Contrast and set the value to 50% or higher.

Modify Contrast PDF Files

With the 5 steps, you can easily identify the content of the previous PDF file in a jpg format.

To know more about PDFelement

PDFelement won’t charge a cent for PDF darkening service, you can darken your PDF pages and save the edited file without any cost.

Also, as a powerful PDF editor, PDFelement provides so many considerate PDF features:

  • Converting: You can convert your PDF file into an editable Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file.
  • OCR: You’re able to extract the text from a PDF file and output all the texts into a Doc/Docx file.
  • Combining: You can combine multiple PDF files into a single PDF file.
  • Edit PDF: This function enables you to add, delete, and copy PDF pages as well as edit text, images notes, and other markups on your PDF pages.
  • Etc…

Besides, PDFElement is very easy to use. You can easily locate every function with ease. Even if you’re a beginner and have no skills in PDF editors, you can still use PDFelement to modify your PDF file for the first time you use it.


Now, you know how to darken your PDF files, try it yourself. By the way, if you have any other demands on PDF files, PDFelement will never let you down.