Where is the Typewriter tool in Acrobat X?

You’re used to using the Typewriter tool in earlier versions of Acrobat; and can’t find it now. Don’t worry, its still there in Adobe Acrobat X.

Choose Tools > Content > Add or Edit Text Box.

Accessing the Add or Edit Text Box tool in Acrobat X

Accessing the Add or Edit Text Box tool in Acrobat X

The Typewriter toolbar that you are familiar with displays. See Acrobat online help topic here to learn how to use the Typewriter toolbar.

{Tools | Comment | Share} are no longer menu items. They are called task buttons and are located on the top-right of the application window. When you click on these buttons, the task pane opens and display the buttons inside. The buttons are highlighted in the screenshot.


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  1. #1 by Steve on December 8, 2010 - 3:31 am

    I just downloaded adobe X and I need to use the “typewriter” function. I came here to find out all I need to do is click on the “tools” part of the tool bar. Only problem I have is that there is not “TOOL’ icon or anything for me to click on? What did I do wrong?

    • #2 by Sami on May 8, 2011 - 10:17 am

      What I suggest that every one stick at version 9.
      This “X” is silly and I see nothing except that yellow note to stick. GOD – THERE IS NO ” TOOL” icon at all !!??

    • #3 by Vikrant on May 9, 2011 - 12:26 pm

      Are you using Acrobat or Reader? From your comment it looks like Reader.

    • #4 by Mike on November 22, 2011 - 9:39 pm

      I can’t find TOOL anywhere in Adobe X 10. Any suggestion?

    • #5 by Vu on January 7, 2012 - 12:45 pm

      Adobe X is kinder pain the neck !

  2. #6 by Vikrant on December 8, 2010 - 9:31 am

    Steve, if you only see the Comment | Share buttons, then you’re using Adobe Reader X. Reader does not have this functionality. The Tools button is only available in Acrobat X.

    • #7 by markinboone on January 30, 2012 - 1:14 am

      The author of a PDF (using Acrobat Pro) can set a property to allow use of the Typewriter tool in Adobe Reader: Save As > Reader Extended PDF > Enable Adding Text in Documents that are not Fillable Forms

      Acrobat Pro X did come with a learning curve, but I think the benefit of a streamlined interface and (what appears to be) streamlined code has made it a better product. I’d be interested to hear how the haters over a year ago feel about it now…

    • #8 by john kornblee on March 18, 2013 - 8:16 pm

      Hello Mark, (?)
      You know I don’t have a lot of time to screw around tutorials about revamped formats and nomenclature. I not only don’t appreciate Acrobat X, but in my struggle to find the typewriter function, I wandered into Acrobat XI. What a mess! How complicated, unintuitive and clumsy can a group make a simple thing after three takes? This kind of technical writing/design is a disgrace. (Please do not add insult to injury by suggesting I only have Reader) obviously frustrated-johnk

    • #9 by Vikrant on March 18, 2013 - 8:21 pm

      If you’re in Acrobat XI, and looking for the Typewriter, you could use Tools > Content Editing > Add Text. The formatting options are in the task pane itself.

    • #10 by Christian on July 10, 2013 - 9:41 pm

      This worked for me! Thank you markinboone!

      I can deal with features moving around on the interface and in the menu with new releases but when functionality also disappears it can be maddening. Apple and Adobe love to do this. Whenever I have to resort to a Google search to determine how to perform basic tasks in a software there is a major fail. Nothing worse than options that disappear. It makes for a jarring disruption in productivity. Important note for all you UXers.

  3. #11 by Charles Anderson on December 9, 2010 - 12:44 am

    Anyone know why typewriter was dropped in Reader 10? It was available in Reader 9.

    • #12 by Vikrant on December 9, 2010 - 12:53 am

      Could it have been a reader-extended PDF that had the type writer available?
      Even in Reader X, a reader-extended PDF will probably have it enabled. Will need to try that out to verify it. (Acrobat will be required to save a PDF as Reader-extended PDF)

    • #13 by Lex on August 29, 2011 - 3:12 am


      What’s wrong with Adobe? I’ve been using Acrobat Reader for years to have my students make comments on each other’s work in writing workshops, and now Adobe’s dropped this function? I’m completely baffled and confused. Most software builds upon what it already has; now it’s become far more complex just to do what I could to before. Adobe sometimes just does the most counterintuitive things ever. I’ve been trying to come up with a reason not to buy Adobe Acrobat Pro anymore–like all Adobe products, it’s ridiculously expensive, difficult to use, slow and impossible to keep up with in each new release–but with Acrobat Reader X and all the confusion here, I think I may have found a good excuse.

      I’ve been working on a book about the electronic writer’s workshop, depending heavily on Adobe Reader as part of the workshop and now I don’t know what to do. I started using Acrobat because it retained formatting–something important for screenwriting–but with all this extra complexity, I’m just about fed up. Is there anyone who can contact me about these issues? I’d really like to find out a simple way to show my students how to use the free reader for workshops. I’m just concerned if I write a book, Adobe will just change things again. I’d appreciate some significant help on this issue.

      Lex Williford
      Associate Prof. Creative Writing
      University of Texas at El Paso

    • #14 by Vikrant on September 15, 2011 - 4:49 pm

      I just wanted to understand in detail, how you use Adobe Reader and Acrobat. From what I could make out from your comment, the features that you need are still there. Some have different names and different locations after the UI overhaul.

      • Acrobat: All commenting tools are available to users
      • Adobe Reader X: Highlight and sticky notes are available to all users
      • Adobe Reader X: All commenting and drawing markup tools are available for Reader Extended PDFs (In Acrobat, choose File > Save As > Reader Extended PDF)
      • Shared Reviews: All commenting and drawing markup tools are available for all PDFs under reviews (Comments > Reviews and setup a review)

      I can’t figure out from your comment, what function did we drop? “TypeWriter” tool got renamed to “Add/Edit text box”. The functionality, and everything else is still the same. And the blog post was about this change.

      If your students need to review each other’s work, the free Adobe Reader should suffice. I’d also encourage you to explore Shared Reviews. I’m quite sure that your students will benefit from the added real-time collaboration and feedback that today’s generation is accustomed to.
      If you could write to me in detail, about the problems that you’re facing, I can try and forward your concerns to the relevant people.

      PS: I can’t be too sure, but my guess would be that the Typewriter was renamed because our younger users have never seen one!

    • #15 by Simon on September 7, 2012 - 12:19 am

      The tool that I can’t find in Acrobat X Pro is the “Text field Tool” that was available in 7 Pro. This tool allowed me to create a text box with formatting options (allignment, color, font). If you could point me toward a solution I’d be very grateful.


  4. #16 by LAURIE BROWN on December 30, 2010 - 8:48 pm

    Adobe updated on its own and now I have no typewriter. I used that option everyday. ? I’m not sure what to do. I also have no tool menu. I am so lost right now. Please, please bring back my typewriter. I need it for work.

    • #17 by Vikrant on January 3, 2011 - 12:25 pm

      Hi Laurie,
      Could you give me some details? Are you using the free Adobe Reader, or Adobe Acrobat?

    • #18 by PAIGE on February 25, 2011 - 3:00 am


  5. #19 by Sheryl on January 5, 2011 - 11:36 pm

    I cannot change font size; where is the typewriter toolbar? I can click on the box and make the box bigger but the font will not increase. This is in Adobe X Pro; in 9 I would have a font sizer to use on the typewriter toolbar. Help!

    • #20 by Sheryl on January 19, 2011 - 10:03 pm

      I am really getting frustrated. I can create the text box, click on the text box, but cannot change the font size and/or color. Adobe Acrobat X Pro (NOT reader). Tools > Add or Edit Text Box does not do it for me. Changing the font size should not be this difficult.

    • #21 by Katie on January 20, 2011 - 3:11 am

      Hi Sheryl,

      I’m having the exact same issue. I’m used to using Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Professional. And there you could change font color, border color, etc. Any chance you’ve figured this out yet?

    • #22 by Sheryl on January 21, 2011 - 10:32 pm

      No and I am getting ready to uninstall this program because of this. It is ridiculous the amount of time I have spent trying to figure it out.

    • #23 by Chris on March 19, 2011 - 1:59 am

      Hi I work for an online school and we used the FREE Typewriter function of the Adobe Acrobat Reader 5,6,7,8 and 9 to allow our students to add text to our PDF’s that we created with the PAID version of this software, YOUR tech support people are Unaware of this issue/change and your wait times are RIDICULOUS!! really!!???? 45 min to ask one question then be transferred to the “Acrobat Reader” department because i asked for the “Adobe Reader Support”. This Issue needs to be needs amended or im sure we can take our business to a program that does let us edit PDF files for free with a text box or typewriter function. They are out there. I have wasted over 2 hr of my time to find out what i now know about this change, im not very pleased that i have had so much trouble with this stupid IDENTICAL program limited to look at shit?? WHATS THE IE PLUG-IN FOR DUDE? In my eyes “Adobe inc./ent/org/ whatever” you now owe me $30 for my time and $250 for the frustration this Uptate of your new Acrobad X has caused! Thanks!

    • #24 by MichaelX on June 14, 2011 - 1:29 am

      You are all correct. THIS IS RIDICULOUS! It’s almost as if Adobe intentionall made text editing harder to do. AAARRGGGHHHH!

    • #25 by tj on March 30, 2011 - 9:04 pm

      If you double-click on the text box and select all the text, then hit Ctrl+E, the text properties bar will pop up. This is the only way I have found to edit text in a text box. My typewriter does nothing, but it may just be because I don’t know how to use it. Then if you want to set your text box properties to default, right-click on the text box and choose Make Current Properties Default. By the way, I hate Adobe Acrobat X.

    • #26 by Wendy Hunter on April 21, 2011 - 12:23 pm

      TJ you’re a gem! Thank you! Like so many others, I have been pulling my hair out trying to work out how to achieve what I’ve previously been able to do…such a waste of time! I haven’t worked out where the Text Box Properties menu is normally found, but at least I can use your workaround until I have time to go exploring. Thanks again! W.

    • #27 by ekl on June 13, 2011 - 3:10 am

      tj, I agree, you are a gem! I have spent way too much time looking for a way to bold and to change the font in Acrobat Pro X – and I guess I’d still be looking if I hadn’t “resorted” to the forum! Just laughed out loud when Ctrl+E worked, and still haven’t found the text properties bar drop-down which is really strange. So thanks very much for the work-around!

    • #28 by Leandra on June 21, 2011 - 12:09 am

      Thanks – you’re BRILLIANT :-)

    • #29 by Valerie on July 25, 2011 - 8:09 pm

      Thank you, TJ!!! Oh my gosh I have spent hours trying to figure this out!! This is the stupidist thing I have ever seen in a program! It should not be that difficult to change text!! I upgraded from 8 to X Pro and am hating that decision now!!! This new version stinks!

    • #30 by Rodger on August 9, 2011 - 8:55 pm

      But, how do you change the font color?

    • #31 by KC on August 12, 2011 - 4:27 am

      wohoo~~Thx a lot tj!

      But now anyone knows how to make the text box text properties always shown on top instead of hitting ctrl e every time after closing the program?

    • #32 by Jeanine on July 19, 2012 - 8:48 pm

      You’ve saved my life! Thank you so much.

  6. #33 by Mike Keeling on January 11, 2011 - 5:10 am

    Using Adobe Acrobat X Pro is not fun — when one attempts to use “typewritter.”
    You say Choose Tools > Content > Add or Edit Text Box.
    But my version only shows File >Edit > View > Window > Help.
    NO Tools button.
    Deep down in the View > Show/Hided > Menu Bar [F9] one can toggle on/off “add text field” but that results in a mess.

    • #34 by Vikrant on January 11, 2011 - 11:45 am

      It seems like you’re using the free Adobe Reader. By default, this functionality is available in Acrobat, and not in Reader. Reader Extended PDF files however can give you this functionality, but the PDF creator needs to explicitly provide it. See my reply to Charles’ comment in the thread.

  7. #35 by Christy on January 20, 2011 - 3:22 am

    I am having a problem too with Adobe Acrobat X. I have no Tools menu, and my version is DEFINITELY not just the reader, I just installed it from a disk, which I have in front of me and it says Adobe Acrobat X Pro. I’d be glad to send you a print screen if you’ll provide me an email address.

  8. #36 by Christy on January 20, 2011 - 3:25 am

    Nevermind, Mike is right, so Thank You Mike. You have to go to view, show/hide, then menu bar and you’ll get a navigation bar at the right of the screen, and when I hit add/edit text box and clicked in my document, the typewriter function popped up.

  9. #37 by Vikrant on January 20, 2011 - 1:11 pm

    I updated the blog post and added a complete screenshot. Hope that it makes it easier.

    • #38 by Sheryl on January 21, 2011 - 10:35 pm

      I have everything that you show in the screenshot. I click on the Add or Edit Text Box (typewriter) and I do not get the typewriter toolbar with the font size, etc. – all I can do is type. How do I get this to show? I have tried everything, looked at all the preferences, etc.

    • #39 by Leandra on June 21, 2011 - 12:21 am

      Thank you very much! Spent LITERALLY hours today to fix this problem & you solved it in minutes! Guess I’ll have to get used to “X”!

  10. #40 by David Armstrong on January 31, 2011 - 2:20 am

    Similar to Cheryl my conversion to X Pro is forced by Adobe’s withdrawal of support for version 6 Pro. The amount of time wasted on X Pro is unbelievably excessive.

    Anyway, before I uninstall this beast of a program, Has anyone figured out how to change the font size and color in a text box?


  11. #41 by Vikrant on January 31, 2011 - 10:51 am

    To change font properties, select the text and press Ctrl +E. The text properties tool bar will open. The functionality is the same as that of the earlier versions of Acrobat. The only change is in the first-level UI where it has been made easier to locate the tools that you need based on the types of task that you are doing.

    • #42 by john on August 3, 2011 - 8:04 am

      This is not the only change because when I change the colour & font using Ctl+E as before I then lose line spaces I have made in the note & i am forced to reinsert these in the small editing box in the right hand corner- Is it possible to make this editing box wider – Our iMac dosen’t seem to allow it.

  12. #43 by Pamela on January 31, 2011 - 9:04 pm

    Nonsence Vikrant, That doesn’t work at all. When I click Control E- yes I see a properties box. It allows me to see that I am the author of the text box, and check what data and time I made the change. There is no functionality here to change the font style, colour or size. We are breathlessly waiting to find out how to do this. Please help.

    • #44 by Rod on February 21, 2012 - 1:47 am

      Hi Pamela

      So if the text already exist in the PDF page and you wanted to change the text type or color>tools>content>edit document text> highlight the text in question>right click and properties.

      hope it helps…

  13. #45 by Denny on February 1, 2011 - 1:28 am

    Found a solution to the font issue. Under “Share” on the right hand corner there is a little tab below it. Make sure you check mark “Allow Multiple Panels Open” Once that is checked, click on your Add or Edit Text Box. The Typewriter tool bar will pop up. Hope that fixes all your issues with changing the font with the Typewriter.

  14. #46 by Danielle on February 3, 2011 - 12:22 am

    I found the insert text box but when I insert the text and add the needed returns for spacing, Acrobat X deletes all the extra returns. Has anyone figured out this issue of making the format stay the way you type it?

    • #47 by john on August 3, 2011 - 8:13 am

      See my comments above to Vikrant #29, Danielle. If you’re still wondering how to do this – line return spaces will only stick if you make them in the little task bar comments box not in the main comment text box. Apparently this change was introduced in v9.

  15. #48 by Ken Wolfgang on February 4, 2011 - 4:41 am

    I really don’t care for the menu bar either but if you open the Tools > Comment then right click on the typewriter, you can add it to your tool bar. Works fine. Also, when I select the typewriter, a tool bar opens and I can select the font/size. Don’t like it, highlight the text and select another font and size.

    Alternatively, right click on the tool bar, select Quick Tools and add whatever you like.

  16. #49 by Jamie on February 16, 2011 - 10:27 pm

    I have Adobe Reader X. How do I get the Adobe to where I can have Tools as an option with the Typewriter, etc.?

  17. #51 by Dustin Long on March 1, 2011 - 10:55 pm

    Thanks for posting this, and thanks to google for allowing me to find it quickly. I think it’s less obvious now, but in my copy of Adobe Acrobat X I was able to follow the instructions and screen shot to get some text into a PDF.

    Now if I could just figure out why dragging a PDF from my main display to my second monitor distorts the image so badly, I’d be all set! :)

  18. #52 by Mickey Steward on March 10, 2011 - 8:29 am

    Just to clear up the Vikrant instruction on changing font COLOR for the text box: select the text box tool, type some text in the default color, highlight that text, hit Ctl E, and then you can change the color. The instructions given by Vikrant were a bit too abbreviated for me so I had to trial and error my way to understanding what he was suggesting. Maybe my explanation will help someone else.

    • #53 by Victor Roberts on May 25, 2011 - 10:51 pm

      Thanks Mickey. I was almost read to uninstall this silly version until I found your answer. It does beg the question of why Adobe would choose such a hard to use interface.

  19. #54 by Mike Wilson on March 12, 2011 - 12:07 am

    I have a pre-printed will form (yep, I’m at that end of the age spectrum) which I would like to write out on my computer as my handwriting is atrocious. Can I, in any way, scan in the form and then type my will out on it, insert the blank pre-printed form (3 pages on one piece of heavy paper} in the printer tray (one side at a time obviously) and then print the will out?

    • #55 by Vikrant on March 12, 2011 - 1:02 am

      You can do all these tasks using Acrobat.
      Scan, Add Text, and then print.

  20. #56 by Felix on March 12, 2011 - 11:06 pm

    I have another problem since adobe reader x, everytime I open a pdf in the browser, the toolbar is set back to default. Then when when I right click and select the tools that I need, the next time I open a pdf they have disappeared again…

    • #57 by Vikrant on March 14, 2011 - 12:06 pm

      What you are seeing is the “Read Mode”. Read Mode hides the user interface, so that you see the PDF in the entire screen. If you move the mouse to the bottom of the window, you’ll see a toolbar that gives you the basic controls that you need to view the PDF. If however, you’d like to disable the Read Mode, choose Edit > Preferences > Internet, and un-check Display in Read Mode by default.
      See View PDF in Read Mode for more information.

    • #58 by Kevin on March 31, 2011 - 1:35 am

      Vikrant – read the question before you respond. I am having the same problem of setting tools in the bar and not having them there the next time I open the reader program. This has been going on with Adobe reader for years with each new release. It sucks. Don’t these code writers use the software when they are done. Getting tools to stay should be the first thing done.

    • #59 by Tom on July 7, 2012 - 10:13 pm


      Since this seems to be such a popular program. Why not change the typewriter back to its original specs with an update or add on? My Acrobate professional worked fine until the new reader was updated

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