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How to add text to a PDF file using Acrobat X

Learn how to edit PDF files by adding text additions to a PDF document.

By Lori Kassuba – December 13, 2011


In this tutorial, learn how to edit PDF by adding text additions to a PDF document in Acrobat X Std. or Pro. Text additions can also be made when you edit PDF files in Reader if the file has been Reader Enabled first.

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How to add text to a PDF file using Acrobat X

Lori Kassuba – December 13, 2011

Did you know it’s possible to add text to a PDF file in Acrobat X Std. or Pro? This will allow you to make text additions to a document. To insert text inyour document open up the Tools pane, Content panel, and click on the Add or Edit Text Box. Sometimes this tool is also referred to as the Typewriter tool. After selecting this command, simply move your cursor, which will appear as an I-beam with the letter A, into the document and click in the area you'd like to begin typing. You can also change the font size, up to 24 points, font type, font color, as well as line spacing with the Typewriter tool.

Now it’s also possible to use this same feature for documents in Adobe Reader X. To do this, select File, Save As, Reader Extended PDF, Enable Adding Text in Documents. Now after saving your file, notice the addition of the purple message bar in the document. Now to check, open the same file in Adobe Reader 10.1 or later and look for instructions in the Document Message Bar, where you'll see the typewriter icon.To activate, simply select the tool and move your cursor into the document and click in the area that you would like to begin typing.

Looking for more help on How to Edit PDF?

  • Consult the How to Edit interactive guide.
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Products covered:

Acrobat X

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Edit PDFs

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Comments for this tutorial are now closed.


2, 2016-03-09 09, 2016

a file was sent to me thru Adobe and I don’t know how to start open it.  Please help. Thank you.

Lori Kassuba

5, 2015-07-17 17, 2015


Make sure you are using the Edit Document Text command and not the Add or Edit Text box command. The Edit Document Text command actives Edit mode and allows you to reflow (somewhat) the text—if the text is not raster.


6, 2015-07-13 13, 2015

I’m using Adobe Acrobat Acrobat Pro and I’m trying to insert text. My last step is to insert text however the existing text won’t allow space for text insert… Help. Thanks much appreciated

Lori Kassuba

5, 2015-06-29 29, 2015

Hi Haydaf,

Try using the keyboard command Ctrl + e.



6, 2015-06-16 16, 2015

ho you can add color bar in adope acrobat

Patty Friesen

3, 2015-04-05 05, 2015

Hi Luxmi,

Can you please post your question in the Acrobat forum so our experts can help you interactively:




8, 2015-04-03 03, 2015

i am able to highlight but not able to save those changes ..whenevr i try it says file cannot be read

Lori Kassuba

3, 2014-08-12 12, 2014

Hi Paul Anderson,

I agree that the editing process can be somewhat confusing especially if you’re using an earlier version of Acrobat. Are you attempting to do this in version X? The Add or Edit Text box tool in Acrobat X is actually making a comment on the file and not directly integrating the text. If you flip over to the Comment pane, you’ll see it listed under the Comments List panel.
Generally I find it much simpler to hold down the Ctrl key and use the Edit Document Text command to add new text to a PDF file in Acrobat X.


Paul Anderson

9, 2014-08-08 08, 2014

Using Acrobat Pro, all I wanted to do is a little edit to existing text and delete a picture and a bit of text. It has take me an hour through a ridiculously convoluted process for what must surely be the most common of requirements. Utterly cryptic and unintuitive, this is quite simply the most un-user-unfriendly package I’ve ever seen. I cannot get the added text to sit in line with the existing text. So an hour of my worktime wasted.

Lori Kassuba

4, 2014-06-25 25, 2014

Hi John Marshall,

Are you using at least 10.1 or later? Alternatively you could download Adobe Reader XI, which includes the Add Text tool under the Comments panel.


John Marshall

12, 2014-06-25 25, 2014

am using Adobe Reader X and received a PDF file to fill out, which I started in Adobe Reader X. Almost completed the forms and needed to change an error/mistype and some how the typewriter function came up and I was able to make that change. Since closing the PDF with save, etc I have tried to open the typewriter function again and can not. When I click on tools and try to expand content I get nothing. Can someone help me?

Lori Kassuba

5, 2014-06-24 24, 2014

Hi k ramtial,

You’ll need Acrobat and not the free Reader to change the text in a PDF file. This interactive guide can help you get started:


k ramtial

10, 2014-06-20 20, 2014

how to change words in pdf file

Lori Kassuba

2, 2014-03-20 20, 2014

Hi c.vijayakumar,

To add text using either Acrobat or Reader XI (like on a form), you can use the Add Text Comment tool under the Comment pane.



4, 2014-03-18 18, 2014

Respected sir,
this is to inform you that in my pdf document how to type and insert words please help me


7, 2012-11-28 28, 2012

In Acrobat 8.0 I could underline, italicize, or make bold the text I had just typed as you did in the video.  How do I do so in Acrobat X Standard?

Hi Mike,

This tutorial explains how to add text to a PDF using the Typewriter tool and this particular tool allows you to change text attributes like italics and bold. If you’re editing existing text in a PDF using the Edit Document Text tool, you’ll need the associated fonts for italic and bold installed on your system. Here is a video tutorial for Acrobat X on editing text in a PDF:



9, 2012-11-25 25, 2012

Why does line spacing revert to no spacing when saving or printing document?

Hi JB,
Are you using the typewriter tool or by selecting the Edit Document Text and holding down the Ctrl key?


Comments for this tutorial are now closed.