How to Type in a PDF for Free

By Amy Dombrower

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is most often used to preserve the formatting and content of a document. However, there are some cases when you want to add text to a PDF without having to buy special software. One way to type text in a PDF document for free is using the Typewriter tool in Adobe Reader, the free PDF reader available for download. However, to be able to do so, the PDF author must have enabled Typewriter tool capabilities in Adobe Reader.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader

Step 1

Download and install Adobe Reader (see Resources).

Step 2

Open a PDF file in Adobe Reader.

Step 3

Click the "View" menu. Select "Toolbars," then "More Tools." Scroll down to the bottom of the "More Tools" dialog box and select "Typewriter Toolbar." Click "OK." If the "Typewriter Toolbar" displays, then the PDF author enabled the Typewriter in Adobe Reader, making it possible to type in the PDF.

Step 4

Click the "Typewriter" button.

Step 5

Click on the document where you want to add text and begin typing. To add a new line, press "Enter."

Step 6

Edit the text by selecting it, then click one of the buttons on the Typewriter toolbar. In Reader 9, you can make changes to text size, line spacing, text color and font. If you want to move the text to a new location, click the "Select" tool from the "Tools" menu under "Select & Zoom." Click the text block and drag it to a new position.

Adobe Acrobat

Step 1

Download and install a free trial of the full PDF creation software, Adobe Acrobat. This is your best bet if the Typewriter was not enabled in Adobe Reader.

Step 2

Select the Typewriter tool in Acrobat by clicking the "Tools" menu, then "Typewriter," then "Show Typewriter Toolbar." Repeat steps 4 through 6 from above to add text.

Step 3

Add text in Acrobat using the TouchUp Text Tool instead, which works a bit differently. Click the "Tools" menu, then "Advanced Editing," then "TouchUp Text Tool."

Step 4

Press "Ctrl" while clicking where you want to add text. Select a font you want to use in the "New Font" dialog box, then click "OK."

Step 5

Type the text you want. If you want to make changes to the text, select the text, right-click and click "Properties." Move the text by selecting the "TouchUp Object Tool" under "Advanced Editing" on the "Tools" menu. Click the text, then drag it to a new location.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to save your changes to the PDF, you must do that in Adobe Acrobat unless the PDF author enabled saving abilities in Reader.