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 Myron on July 27, 2011 - 3:52 am

    Can you pretty please bring back the old, sane interface. This new one is popping and sliding all over.

    • #2 by john on August 3, 2011 - 7:42 am

      I agree, I’m used to acrobat 8 which is intuitive & easy to change text in a comment textbox. X is clunky The only way you can get line spaces to stick is to type in the small comments pane to the right. Also if you change the text size or colour by highlighting the text & using control e – you immediately lose all your line spaces when you click outside the box – you must then put the spaces back in the small comments pane to get them to stick -diabolical! Dont buy Acrobat X if you want ease of use – the other problem i have is cut & pasting – if you want this to match the text box rather than the origional size you must paste it into the little comment box rather than in the text box proper—-

  2. #3 by SteveB on August 16, 2011 - 4:48 am

    Had a secretary report the base issue (can’t change font on Typewriter text) on her Acro X Pro, and tested on mine (Acro X Pro). Same problem. Deleted the HKLM/HKCU keys for ../Adobe/Acrobat, ../Adobe/Reader, and ../PDF Settings, and could edit Typewriter text again. Obviously this is a bug. Seriously regretting moving my users up to Acro X Pro.

  3. #4 by Liam on August 22, 2011 - 4:28 pm

    Acrobat X – I can use the typewriter text. I can change font, size, colour. But I can’t make it opaque.
    I can use the Comment > Drawing Markups > Add Text Box. and make that opaque, but can’t change the text font, size or colour.
    What am I missing here? I need a text box that I can edit and make opaque – how do I do this?

    • #5 by Vikrant on August 22, 2011 - 4:35 pm

      If you need a text box, I’d recommend using the “Add/Edit Text box” route.
      To change font attributes, select the text and then press Ctrl+E to display the properties box.

  4. #6 by Liam on August 22, 2011 - 8:20 pm

    Thanks Vikrant – the problem is by using the Add/Edit Text Box route I cannot find how to make the text box opaque. This used to be known as the Text Annotation Tool in previous versions and I need to use this – am I missing someting obvious?

    • #7 by Liam on August 22, 2011 - 8:44 pm

      also – CTRL + E only brings up my name and date in the properties box, please can you advise?

    • #8 by Vikrant on August 29, 2011 - 11:30 am

      For Text Annotations, I think that you’re looking for the Comments > Drawing Markups > Add Text Box.
      This tool lets you specify the Fill Color etc.

    • #9 by Liam on August 29, 2011 - 12:23 pm

      Vikrant – I want to thank you for your efforts. But unfortunately what I’m looking for is the equivalent of the ‘text annotation tool’ that was available on previous versions. I can use the tool you mention to change the background colour or make it opaque; but can’t change the font etc.
      The only tool that will allow font change is the typewriter tool and that won’t allow background colour change.
      The text annotation tool on my previous version of Acrobat would allow all of these. SO – say, for instance, I have a scanned document but the address is wrong and I want to change it – I could open a text box that hid the previous text, then overwrite it and match the font of the rest of the document. I can’t do this with version X

    • #10 by Vikrant on August 29, 2011 - 12:34 pm

      Select the text an use Ctrl+E to bring up the text properties toolbar, and then change them.

      Add Text Box is what used to be formerly called the Text Annotation Tool.

  5. #11 by Anne-Marie Concepcion on September 4, 2011 - 9:49 am

    If you have the Text Box selected (you see handles on it), then the Properties tool bar (Command/Ctrl-E) lets you set properties of the box itself, like fill color, fill opacity, and line color. If you double-click inside the Text Box, it changes to “edit text” mode and the Properties tool bar changes to show text formatting controls, including font, style, size, color, paragraph alignment, and so on.

    • #12 by Cindy on February 10, 2012 - 9:11 pm

      I do Ctrl-E, I get Author: My name. The more button, gives me Author, Subject and Modified date, but I don’t have an options to set the properties like described above. This is frustrating, since Adobe 9 worked great and X won’t let me.

    • #13 by Cindy on February 10, 2012 - 9:26 pm

      I figured out what I was doing wrong. Thank you.

  6. #14 by Guillermo on September 8, 2011 - 5:40 am

    Thanks Anne-Marie you really help me. I think this is the solution to the original question of this blog.

  7. #15 by RLMCPA on September 9, 2011 - 3:10 am

    I’m trying the Acrobat Pro X, using the trial version and have downloaded all updates. We’re a CPA office that is relatively experienced with using commenting, etc. as we’ve used Acrobat 9 Pro for all our workpapers since it came out.

    Query: With the new version, commenting is working fine, but there’s new new feature where every time you highlight or use the rectangle tool, it’s automatically adding a text box. We don’t usually need the text boxes and we know how to add them independently, if we do. Do I need to adjust one the commenting preferences to make these go away so they don’t automatically pop-up? Thanks!

    • #16 by Vikrant on September 9, 2011 - 1:53 pm

      When you say “adds a text box” do you mean automatically opens a popup note?
      You could try and switch-off the following preference in the Preferences dialog (Edit >Preferences)
      1) Choose Edit > Preferences
      2) Select Commenting in the left pane.
      3) Uncheck “Automatically open comment popups for comments other than notes”

  8. #17 by Kim on September 13, 2011 - 8:22 pm

    We upgraded to Acrobat Pro X a month or so ago and I must say, I really don’t like it at all. It is about as user UNfriendly as a software program can be.

  9. #18 by Lily on September 20, 2011 - 6:29 pm

    I recently downloaded Adobe Reader X because the default program on my new computer didn’t have the typewriter option. I am very confused by X’s layout and the menu described above is not even in my Adobe X. On the right hand side my menus are as follows:

    -Create Files
    -Send Files

    -Sticky Note
    -Highlight Text

    And that’s it. Even when I highlight text and press Ctrl+E the properties box doesn’t even work. None of my documents allow me to type on them, and there are no text boxes to select.

    I am using Adobe Reader X for my home computer, and I type on the documents because I have sloppy handwriting and I can send the completed documents via email. I would very much like to have the Typewriter ability (I know it’s called something else now but I forgot what it was) so I can continue to do this.

    Can anyone help?

  10. #20 by Jessica on September 23, 2011 - 3:28 am

    I am using Adobe Reader X and I want to extract pages. But I do not have a Tools task button at the top. How can I get that to show up?

  11. #21 by Alvin on October 14, 2011 - 9:24 pm

    Thank you – this was exactly what I was looking for in my Adobe X Pro!

  12. #22 by James on October 26, 2011 - 8:15 pm

    The typewriter function is worthless now. I am going back to Acrobat 8. When you use hard return, to place type on the page and then click out of the box, Acrobat decides to remove all your hard returns and move all your text. It makes the typewriter function worthless. What could you Adobe possibly be thinking? Hey, we know what formatting they really want so lets delete their formatting and put in our own. Brilliant. Fire the person or committee responsible for that decision.

  13. #23 by maddeb on November 2, 2011 - 1:27 am

    how ridiculous – I hate, hate, hate, all these kindergarten graphics versus just showing the dang words. arghhhh

  14. #24 by Kevin F on November 15, 2011 - 11:50 pm

    OK, it seems like the Adobe numbskulls can’t answer a question. When I want to EDIT A TEXT BOX that I already have made (change font, change color, etc) what the frick do I do? I don’t want to hit Ctrl+E…I want to hit a fricking button that I have in my menu area. Typewriter DOES NOT work. What button or shortcut can I use to have the same function as Ctrl+E? The TOOLS banner doesn’t allow you to do this.

    I HATE this new format, but am being forced to use it because we spend $$$$$ to upgrade.


    If I hit PROPERTIES when I have the text box selected, it DOES NOT ALLOW ME TO CHANGE FONTS, COLORS, Etc….

  15. #25 by Kevin F on November 15, 2011 - 11:52 pm

    Vikrant :
    Select the text an use Ctrl+E to bring up the text properties toolbar, and then change them.
    Add Text Box is what used to be formerly called the Text Annotation Tool.

    Vikrant, BESIDES Ctrl+E, how do I bring up the text properties box? I want to embed it into my header area (where I have all of my other icons).

    This is VERY USER UNFRIENDLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. #26 by Joey on November 21, 2011 - 7:56 pm

    I have a document that i need to type on. everyone here says to hit tool but all i get is a stupid convert file and that’s it.

  17. #27 by Joey on November 21, 2011 - 7:57 pm

    When i hit control e, i get a box that says properties with nothing in it and i can’t do anything with it.

  18. #28 by Cathy West on November 22, 2011 - 12:29 pm

    I found it! Sorry, It just made me frustrated. Adobe, you are doing fine. Just don’t be so indirect! How the heck is a form any good if there is difficulty obtaining the alphanumeric communication tool? That needs to be on the bar…like the WP word processor..not buried in a bunch of multiple choice, drop-down menus!

  19. #29 by dietrich on November 24, 2011 - 8:55 pm

    Someone tell me how I can remove this program and install reader 9 back:)

  20. #30 by Ryan Hawkins on December 2, 2011 - 8:40 pm

    How do you permanently attach the text editing toolbar to the program toolbar? I use that function every single time I open the program but I always have to hit Ctrl+E to make it appear on my screen. I want it TO ALWAYS BE THERE. Even worse, I use two monitors and if I move the Acrobat program window over to my other monitor, the text editing toolbar stays on my original screen (it doesn’t move with the program).

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