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I downloaded a trial version of ArcGIS Publisher and the second question on this page suggests that editing is possible in addition to creating PMFs:

Can I edit a PMF with ArcReader?

No, ArcReader cannot create or modify the published maps. You need ArcGIS Publisher to create or edit a PMF.

Ultimately I would like to add a layer to an existing PMF and republish the whole thing.

  • Read only on the mxd can be edit, publisher locks down editing (like Acrobat Reader) You would be better off using Layered PDF's than ArcPublisher simply on cost. – Mapperz Jan 30 '14 at 17:25
  • Well, a municipal client gets the GIS from their county government in the PMF file format. We would like to take that file, add some GIS information to it, and then send it back to them so that they have the added information but the file format is the same as what they started with. – Ryan Feb 6 '14 at 15:35
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I am not certain that what I say here is correct but since this question has remained unanswered for over eight months I will give it a shot.

From reading the reference you cite and also HowTo: Create a PMF that can be opened in ArcMap, it sounds to me like when a *.pmf file is written by the Publisher extension to ArcGIS for Desktop a choice is made as to whether it can be re-opened later.

If you want to open a PMF in ArcMap, presumably in an editable form, it needs to have been created using this procedure:

  1. Open the ArcPublisher settings menu and view the Application tab. Publisher toolbar > Publisher > Settings > Application tab.
  2. Under ArcReader, uncheck 'Open in ArcReader Only'.
  3. Under ArcGIS Applications, check 'Unrestricted access to contents of Published Map.'
  4. Press OK to close the Publisher Settings dialog and publish the map.

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