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 Philip Tesler on December 10, 2011 - 12:10 am

    I like the new typewriter mode for only one reason, it makes it easy to change fonts and some of their properties (ie size, color spacing, etc.) (I still don’t know how to change the font in version 8.) But all I wanted to do was underline some numbers I typed in Acrobat x, and I can’t find a way to do this. In Acrobat 8 all you had to do was highlight the text you typed, right click on it and then click on “Text Style.” You were then presented with the the choiices “Underline,” “Bold,” “Superscript”, etc. Adobe programmers’ heads are in the clouds with not only Acrobat x, but all versions for one reason or another. They just don’t know how to make this application truly intuitive. Don’t they test the program on real users? And this Ctrl+E thing that has been mentioned over and over here, especially by Vikrant, I only see what many here see; a properties window with two tabs, “General” and “Review History.” The general tab only contains two fields, “Author” and “Subject.” Where are the selections for underlining, superscript, bold, etc?

  2. #2 by Andrew Kubista on December 10, 2011 - 12:37 am

    to install the Typewriter function (now called “Add or Edit Text Box”) in your header menu,
    1. Right click on the header menu
    2. Select “Quick Tools”
    3. Under the Tools header select the “Content” button
    4. Double click the “Add or Edit Text Box”
    5. Click the “OK” button

    The “Typewriter” function should now be in your menu header. When you first click on the “Typewriter” button you will get a Typewriter bar that allows you to change the font as needed. you can close this menu and the “Typewriter” function will still be active until you select something else just like the older versions on Adobe Pro.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3 by Ryan Hawkins on December 10, 2011 - 4:24 am

    Thanks Andrew. I have added that function but I guess I’m really looking to figure out how to permanently affix the “properties” toolbar. Ctrl + E is the only way I can figure out how to get it to appear but it always goes away each time I open Acrobat.

  4. #4 by usgroupie on December 24, 2011 - 10:39 pm

    Ctrl + E???!!! Technology in reverse … DOS Commands?
    Why not create an icon for editing a Text Box?

  5. #5 by Arnie on January 21, 2012 - 1:44 am

    User has new computer with Windows 7 64-bit & Acrobat X installed. Whenever user opens AX, four boxes (Properties, File, Command & Markup, Select & Zoom) appear and user has to close each one. This is very annoying every-time you open AX. Is there a setting somewhere that will prevent boxes from popping up? I have repaired AX, reinstalled and still have the same issue. User did notice that when he added the typewriter to the menu bar that he seems to have more problems.

  6. #6 by Ginny on January 25, 2012 - 7:38 am

    Acrobat Pro X is extremely disappointing. Version 9 was much better. I am really sorry I upgraded, because it amounted to a downgrade. I have literally tens of thousands of .pdf documents I have to work with, edit, combine, etc, and just extracting files takes two to three times as long now that the keystrokes don’t work and you have to point at an icon with the cursor. Numerous other issues also. The only thing at all that is good about Acrobat Pro X is that if you go to name a file and there is already one with the same name, it gives you the option to add a (2) without retyping the name. Hiding/ changing the typewriter function was just silly. Change the name, if you must, but don’t hide it. In general, the tools are much more cumbersome to use than previously. If I had known what v. X was like I would NOT have bought it.

  7. #7 by Hime on February 7, 2012 - 10:04 pm

    I like the old format, this is a hassle to work with

  8. #8 by Phil on March 20, 2012 - 6:56 pm

    I accidentally dragged my typewriter font edit tool off of the screen, and now I can’t get it back? Can you please help me out?

  9. #9 by Phil on March 20, 2012 - 7:05 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.

  10. #10 by Karen on March 21, 2012 - 2:52 am

    Hello, I am having trouble when I edit a text document with the typewriter and then try to upload the document to a company file database. For instance a lender website like Blitzdocs. After I upload the document and go to view the document the document appears to be blank and I cant see any of the text I added to the document. the person on the other end cant view it either .Any help you can give would be great.
    thank you

    • #11 by Vikrant on March 21, 2012 - 7:51 pm

      The document you refer to, is it a PDF form or just a plain PDF?

  11. #12 by caio on April 3, 2012 - 10:03 pm

    I have Acrobat 9 Standard (distiller, writer etc). I have created a text box and wrote on it. I recall having problems figuring out how to change the font size and colour the first time I worked on it, but eventually managed. Having not written down how it was done (it’s not straight forward), I then just copied the text box with the similar format in future PDFs. Now I need to change the font colour and am witnessing the same problem again.

    I understand that I’m supposed to have a typewriter tool and so on (also not straight forward, the window options “text box tools” and “text edits” are all deceiving, and can’t get the typewriter to work).

    What I don’t understand is why can’t Acrobat put a simple option whereby if I want to change the properties of my text, I just go inside the toolbox, highlight the text whose properties I want to change, right click the mouse and just get an “edit text” option and which allows me to change font size, colour etc. Just look at how Microsoft office does it. It’s just so much easier. Why complicate it?

  12. #13 by Chase on April 4, 2012 - 9:17 pm

    I work for a large professional services firm in Chicago. All of us are pretty tech savy. It is pretty much unanimous around the office that Adobe X sucks. None of these new features added make things “easier” at all. Adobe X is a disaster and I wouldn’t be surprised if people were let go after its release.

    I honestly don’t know anybody who hasn’t had to have somebody guide them through simple features they were able to do without hesitation before. That is the definition of failure right there. Such a frustrating experience.

  13. #14 by Elliot on April 8, 2012 - 12:31 am

    This is the worst feature of Adobe X. There is no task button for it, and it is only accessible with short cut keys. I hope this doesn’t happen again with any other release.

  14. #15 by jb on June 18, 2012 - 9:49 pm

    Can you just go back to using adobe 9? I do not have the time for this so called “learning curve” that comes along with 10. I HATE it! Do I just have to uninstall 10 and reinstall 9 somewhere?

  15. #16 by Slightly Frustrated on June 23, 2012 - 12:48 am

    Is there a keyboard shortcut for “Adding Text” to a document?

  16. #17 by MA on June 30, 2012 - 3:03 pm

    Good illustration Anne-Marie :)

  17. #18 by Marla on July 27, 2012 - 5:35 am

    I have Acrobat Pro (not reader) version10.1.3. I can add text box. I can get to the typewriter tool. I can highlight text box and Cntrl E and get Text Box Properties. But I still can not find bold or underline —-Help please.

  18. #19 by Salvatore Mastroluisi on July 31, 2012 - 4:44 pm

    I want add at my acrobat reader x ( 10.1.3 ) italiano the tool typewriter

  19. #20 by Keith on October 20, 2012 - 9:45 am

    Adobe has always been a law unto themselves, most of the products are difficult to use and honestly if I had something better to make changes to PDF’s I would be using it. (I will be looking)

    I have the same simple issue, I just want to bold some text “easy A” not. This is something that every basic word processor since word perfect has been able to do on the market from a simple menu interface Bold, Unerline, Strikethrough font size and on and on. Not through some obscure properties digalog box that doesn’t work properly.

    Get is right Abode send out a patch or fix or you will lose your client base quicker than you can say Micros???

(will not be published)