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 Jeff on March 16, 2011 - 2:15 am

    I’m using Adobe Acrobat Professional, v 8.2.5. I’ve noticed that after adding the “Attach File as Comment” button to my toolbar, it sometimes disappears the next time I open the application. Any suggestions on how I can make the button stay on the toolbar?

  2. #2 by Greg on March 16, 2011 - 6:30 am

    How do I edit text inside a text box?

    Previously obvious and easy.

    Made the decision to upgrade to Adobe Acrobat X and regret it big time.

    Mickey’s advice seems to be what I’m looking for.
    Thanks Mickey

    No thanks Adobe

    I imagine you are keeping busy Vikrant.

  3. #3 by Greg on March 16, 2011 - 6:40 am

    No, didn’t work

    I can edit text directly on page but not text in a text box

    WTF ????

  4. #4 by Greg on March 16, 2011 - 8:46 am

    Have gone back to Acrobat 8 until I get the manual..


  5. #5 by Jeremy on March 17, 2011 - 1:16 am

    I’m having trouble with the text box fading after I exit the typing mode. The second I click outside of the textbox I created with the TypeWriter tool, the text becomes washed-out. The same thing happens no matter what color, or font I use, they turn into like a “watermark”. The text looks normal while tying. How do I fix this? I’m using Acrobat X Pro Suite, thank you.

    • #6 by Frank on August 10, 2011 - 2:44 am

      Fade font fix

      Backup then delete

      It will default to original settings. I had the same issue and it worked for me.

  6. #7 by Richard on March 28, 2011 - 11:28 pm

    I found the typewriter tool. Adobe has outsourced that tool to Tracker Software’s PDF-XChange Viewer.

    Adobe is just too full of themselves.

    I’m installing PDF-XChange Viewer on my Terminal Servers.

  7. #8 by LeAnn on April 5, 2011 - 4:28 am

    I agree with everyone…this is the worst version yet. And worst customer service. But, Thanks to TJ! Ctrl E did the trick…I can now edit text in a text box. ow in the world was I supposed to know that I had to use a keyboard shortcut to bring up a different text formatting toolbar than the one that was already up on my screen with the typewriter??

    • #9 by Kim on July 4, 2011 - 9:12 am

      The only thing this program is good for is combining multiple PDFs into one file. It should not be this difficult to navigate around a program. I have spent countless hours trying to figure out how to change fonts, colors, and sizes. I will not recommend adobe X pro to anyone. Surely, Adobe pays someone enough $$$ to realize the problems in this program.

  8. #10 by Stuart on April 9, 2011 - 11:56 pm

    Another question about the typewriter tool: In 8, I was able to create an opaque text box which “covered” and concealed that portion of the pdf page—and then to type in comments. Is there anyway to create an OPAQUE text box in X? I see how to make the drawing markup rectangle opaque—but I can’t type inside that markup (can I?) and I don’t see any way to make the text box opaque.

    • #11 by Joel on March 22, 2012 - 1:20 am

      Under Comment>Drawing Markups – there is a text box option that can be opaque. The text can be edited (bolded, etc), the fill of the box can be changed, etc. Of course, being Adobe, if you are on the text, you can only see properties for the Text Box Text Properties, so if you need to change the box outline or fill, you have to select the edge of the box, then you get Text box Properties. Of course, this type of text box is different than the Add or Edit text box/Typewriter style text box found under Tools. Goodness Adobe, you sure can confound the issue! There isn’t a lot of software that I would call “counter-intuitive”, but this is one.

  9. #12 by Anne-Marie Concepcion on April 10, 2011 - 9:48 am

    I’m not sure why you guys are having a problem with this, the Typewriter tool is working fine in my copy of Acrobat Pro X. In fact I added it to my QuickTools bar at the top because I use it so often.

    After you choose the Typewriter tool (which is now called the “Add or Edit Text Box tool), you have to wait a few seconds for the system to read the fonts you have available, and then the floating Typewriter tool bar appears … the same thing you’d see if you pressed Ctrl-E.

    I always wait till that comes up before I click and start typing. Once I’ve typed some text, I can drag over it with the same tool and change its font and size and color etc. from the panel menu.

    If you move your Typewriter cursor over the invisible “edges” of the text box surrounding the typed text (I wish Acro would show these by default), it’ll turn into an arrow cursor and you can click to select the text box. Now you can drag it around the page.

    Now … if I want to set a background color for what I type, or apply a color to the box edge, then I use the Text Box tool, which is a diff. tool completely. That’s a tool in the Comment section, in “Drawing Markups”. For *that* tool you do need to open the Properties floating panel (Ctrl-E) to change font size/color etc. but that’s how it worked in earlier versions too.

    • #13 by Rodger on August 9, 2011 - 8:41 pm

      How do you make the text box opaque in acrobat x (i do not have x pro)?

    • #14 by LQW on August 30, 2011 - 12:18 am

      Roger –

      1) Go to Comment.
      2) Go to Drawing Markups.
      3) Click on the “add text box” tool (top row, left corner, red box with a “T” in it).
      4) Click in the document roughly where you want the text box. (You can move it around as needed later.) By default, this creates an opaque text box. On my computer, the border is 1 point and the text is Courier red. God knows why – but both can be changed.
      5) Type your desired text.
      6) Highlight the text with your cursor.
      7) Hit Control-E. This brings up a floating Text Box Text Properties menu offering tools for changing font color, alignment within the text box, font, font size, and basic font format (bold, italics, etc.)
      8) When you have the text the way you want it, click on the ‘x’ in the upper right corner of the floating menu to close it.
      9) Go to Tools
      10) Go to Content.
      11) Click on the Select Object tool.
      12) Using that tool, doubleclick on the text box. This brings up a Text Box Properties dialogue box. The Appearance tab in that box allows you to change the style, color, and thickness of the border, the opacity of the box itself, and the fill color of the box. In my limited experience with Acrobat X thus far, changing the thickness of the border can require resizing the text box to show all the text therein.
      I3) If you need to move your completed text box around, click on it with the Select Object and drag it where you like.

      Hope that’s helpful.

    • #15 by Lisa on September 4, 2011 - 3:35 am

      I assume everyone is talking about using control-E on a PC. On a Mac this doesn’t seem to work.

    • #16 by Lorraine Williams on November 28, 2011 - 10:50 pm

      Thank you LQW for answering the question without making the user feel stupid.

  10. #17 by Annie on April 15, 2011 - 4:39 am

    Thank You Ann-Marie!

  11. #18 by Emil Teofanov on April 25, 2011 - 8:36 pm

    It is hard to believe a $200 application (Acrobat X Pro) is so clumsy. It takes 1 hour only to discover how to change the font color!

    But I also want to justify and re-flow the existing text. And this functionality obviously will be added in “Acrobat LXIX Pro Shit edition”.

  12. #19 by Chris Carlson on April 26, 2011 - 2:16 am

    Acrobat X is a huge step backward in comparison to Acrobat 8. Why should I have to spend copious amounts of time trying to find where tools are?

    Face it; software developers don’t care if you cannot do your work; they just want to sell you bloated, overpriced products that take up more driver space and memory.

  13. #20 by tina on May 6, 2011 - 3:54 am

    Hi i am having trouble with changing the size on my adobe document because it doesn’t fit in to the box when i type something how do I make it smaller?

  14. #21 by tina on May 6, 2011 - 3:55 am

    also my tools are frozen I cannot use them

  15. #22 by Dottie Wood on May 14, 2011 - 1:39 am

    How can I revert back to Reader 9 from Reader X? I use the commenting and typewriter toolbars routinely in my work and thought they worked great in Reader 9. They’re not so great in the Reader X. I regret upgrading.

  16. #23 by Nathan on June 9, 2011 - 1:43 am

    Who the hell has time to relearn this crap when 100% of all Windows users are accustomed to the main menu system Edit/View/Tools? I had zero complaints w/ the previous UI. Acrobat X is pretentious and stupid. Rolling back to 9…

  17. #24 by Lori Hoisington on June 13, 2011 - 11:17 pm

    Where is the text field tool? I make interactive pdfs and use this tool alot and I cannot find it. can you help?

    • #25 by Vikrant on June 14, 2011 - 12:10 pm

      Hi Lori,
      I think that you might be looking for Comment > Drawing Markups > Add Text Box.

  18. #26 by Helen on July 9, 2011 - 8:28 am

    I am trying to figure out how to add the typewriter function to my toolbar. I fould it but when I try to enable it it says something about “only available when document rights are enabled? Can you please send me simple instructions on how to do this on my home computer. I want to use this typewriter on my docs at home, I use it all the time at work and love it. Thank you for your help. Helen L

  19. #27 by Clay on July 12, 2011 - 2:03 am

    ahhh f’ing a that took forever. control+e to get rid of red font. geez. i was ready to punch my computer. thanks TJ

  20. #28 by Joe on July 25, 2011 - 7:37 am

    I been using acrobat x pro for a few months and I love it.
    One issue that i have is: I can’t find a way to use BOLD text when I am using the typewritter…
    I can change colors and text size but I can’t find BOLD text!
    Thanks for your help in advance..

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