We explore the implementation of specific optical properties of armchair graphene nanoribbons (AGNRs) through edge-defect manipulation. This technique employs the tight-binding model in conjunction with the calculated absorption spectral function. Modification of the edge states gives rise to the diverse electronic structures with striking changes in the band gap and special flat bands at low energy. The optical-absorption spectra exhibit unique excitation peaks, and they strongly depend on the type and period of the edge extension. Remarkably, there exist the unusual transition channels associated with the flat bands for selected edge-modified systems. We discovered the special rule governing how the edge-defect influences the electronic and optical properties in AGNRs. Our theoretical prediction demonstrates an efficient way to manipulate the optical properties of AGNRs. This might be of importance in the search for suitable materials designed to have possible technology applications in nano-optical, plasmonic and optoelectronic devices.