How to Type in a PDF for Free

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.

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Type text in a PDF document using Adobe Reader or Acrobat.

Adobe Reader

Step

Download and install Adobe Reader (see Resources).

Step

Open a PDF file in Adobe Reader.

Step

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

Click the “Typewriter” button.

Step

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

Step

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

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

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

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

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

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.