Acrobat X: how to enable the Typewriter tool

Acrobat X:

If you have been using the Typewriter tool in previous versions of Acrobat/Reader you will notice it is no longer available under the Tools menu in Acrobat/Reader X.

The Typewriter tool has been renamed to “Add or Edit Text Box” and relocated in Acrobat X following extensive research by our product teams.  A lot of people were having issues trying to find these tools in previous versions.  Particularly with the younger generation, some did not even know what a typewriter was.

      To locate/use the Typewriter tool in Acrobat X:

      1. open a PDF

      2. click on the “Tools” menu on the right-hand side

      3. expand “Content”

      4. click “Add or Edit Text Box”






A new feature in Acrobat/Reader X allows you to add commonly used tools to the Quick Tools bar.  If you right-click on the “Add or Edit Text Box” button, and select “Add to Quick Tools”, then you will see the icon appear on the toolbar as follows:

Note: If you are using Adobe Reader, the “Add or Edit Text Box” tool is not available until you enable the PDF with extended rights.  You should check this post to ensure the PDF file has the correct rights enabled for editing.  Once the PDF is setup correctly, the tool will show up directly on the toolbar, or under the Extended menu.

Acrobat XI:

If you are using Acrobat XI then you can watch the following video to see how to enable the typewriter tool:

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29 Responses to Acrobat X: how to enable the Typewriter tool

  1. Greg says:

    I bought a new Dell laptop. I have Adobe Acrobat X and want to use the typrewriter function as I used to on my old machine. None of the edit tools above seem to be available. The only edit tools I can find are “Sticky Note” and “Highlight Text.” Where is the Typewriter function??

    • dmcmahon says:

      If you click on the cog wheel (6 icons to the left of the typewriter icon) from the last image in my post, you will be able to customize the quick tools bar.
      On the left frame select “Tools > Content > Add or Edit Text Box” and then click the arrow to move this into the right frame, then click OK and it will show up on the quick tools bar like above.

      The other thing to check is that there is no security options on the PDF which may have disabled any editing (File > Properties > Security).

      If you do not have this option at all, then it is possible that you are using an OEM version of Adobe Acrobat provided by Dell which has some functionality removed. You should check with Dell to see if there are any limitations in the Acrobat version they have provided.

  2. Anthony says:

    I went from Acrobat 8 Pro to Acrobat X Pro. I have included the typewriter icon in the Quick Tools area, but would also like to know is there a way to incorporate the typewriter toolbar into the quick tools area so that I have the full function of this feature available without having to first click on the typewriter icon to bring up the toolbar.


    • dmcmahon says:

      The typewriter tool remains active as long as you are working in the same PDF session (i.e. the same file). Once you close Acrobat and open another PDF file, you will have to select the typewriter tool again.
      There is no way to keep the typewriter tool active after re-opening Acrobat.

      • Rogers says:

        Please bring back the ability to include the typewriter buttons on your perpetual toolbar! Typewriter is the most useful thing about Acrobat Pro, and I use it all the time. I don’t want to have to go through several steps each time to bring up the typewriter functions, and then have the toolbar floating there on my screen. I want to incorporate it into the perpetual toolbar, the way I did with my older version of Pro.

  3. Anthony says:

    When using the typewriter tool, is there a way to allow returning several lines creating empty lines. When I do this and the click out of the text box, it removes all these empty lines which places the text in a different location than where I need it. I suppose I could create separate text boxes but it is more convenient to have only one if possible.


    • dmcmahon says:

      It is the default behaviour for the typewriter tool to remove blank lines in the typewritten text. You can use the increase/decrease line spacing buttons on the toolbar to control the line spacing between lines of typewritten text, but leading blank lines will still be removed.

      To place the text in the correct place on the PDF page it would be a better practice to type the text in an arbitrary position on the page, and then drag and drop it onto the desired location.

      • Rogers says:

        Why in the world did Adobe get rid of the ability to include blank lines by pressing return? It used to work on older versions.

  4. lbm says:

    In Acrobat X Professional, I have found the renamed typewriter tool, but how does one enable the tool in a form so users with only Acrobat Reader can type in the form?

  5. PJF says:

    I cannot find a way to put an actual visible box around the text that is to go in the text box. Please help!

    • dmcmahon says:

      This is a typewriter tool for adding basic text to a PDF, and does not provide functionality to put a box around the text. There are more advanced editing features available (incl. boxes around the text) with the Text Field tool, under the Forms menu.

  6. Marissa says:

    change default color on the typewriter tool – I used to have the default set to blue, but I can’t figure out how to set the default.

    • dmcmahon says:

      When you select Tools > Content > Add/Edit Text Box, you should see the Typewriter toolbar. There is a font color button on this toolbar to select the default text color.

  7. Woody says:

    I closed the typewriter toolbar by clicking the X in the upper right. Now when I click the typewriter button, the toolbar doesn’t appear and I can’t edit the text size/font/color at all. How do I resurrect the toolbar?

    • dmcmahon says:

      The Typewriter toolbar can be displayed by clicking the “Add or Edit Text Box” button from the Tools pane on the right-hand side. If you have added it to your Quick Tools bar, and this is not working, then you could try to remove it and add it again to the Quick Tools bar.

      • Dawn says:

        I use a Mac & I have also lost my typewriter tool bar. I have removed & re-added the shortcut several times, even going so far as to shut down the program and restart it between removing & re-adding. I really rely on the ability to adjust fonts, sizes, & colors of the text, & am at a complete loss without this toolbar. Are there any other suggestions for correcting this issue?

        • Hillary says:

          This has also happened to me! Is it possible that the most recent update to Acrobat X caused this problem? I am desperate to get the toolbar back.

  8. Judy says:

    I am on Adobe X Pro and whenever I add text using the text edit tool the text disappears when I add text to another place in the document. It is also creating comments for every place I add text. How do I get the text to remain visible in the document and not create a comment?

  9. I am on Adobe X Pro and notice that the typewriter tool has a default font of Courier. I can change the font during a given session, but the font always reverts back to Courier when I start a new session.

    Is there any way to change the default font for the typewriter tool ?

    • dmcmahon says:

      If you change the font in the typewriter tool in Acrobat X Pro it should save your preferred font for the next time you launch the tool (even after closing Acrobat). If this is not working, then you should open a new support ticket to investigate if your issue is environmental, or perhaps a platform-specific bug.

  10. Renae Roldan says:


  11. K Arnaud says:

    Please tell me how to reset the default font.
    I use courier. I have document templates saved with the default font of courier.
    I received documents from someone who uses Helvetica. Now, when I type in my templates, it reverts to Helvetica. It is frustrating to change the font for each field. How can I cange it back and stop getting the Helvetica?

    • dmcmahon says:

      The default font for the Typewriter tool should be set each time you finish using the tool and close Acrobat/Reader.
      It is possible to change the default font in the registry, but we do not recommend this method, and we cannot provide support for any issues that may occur (making manual changes in the registry is only advisable for experienced users):
      1. Close Acrobat/Reader
      2. Start—>Run—>Regedit
      3. Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\10.0\Annots\cAnnots\cFreeText_003aFreeTextTypewriter\crichDefaults\cfontFamily
      4. Click the cfontFamily key on the left.
      5. Double-click the a0 key on the right.
      6. Change the a0 value to the font name you require.
      7. Save

  12. Richard Hutchins says:

    I changed the Registry as noted above..
    It works great!
    Nothing else would set the default font.
    I, also, changed the default font size in the Registry (next item in the path noted above)!

  13. Stephen Gregory says:

    A little more clarity here on the font size change:

    3. Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\10.0\Annots\cAnnots\cFreeText_003aFreeTextTypewriter\crichDefaults
    4. Double-click the dtextSize key on the right.
    5. Change the Value Data to the font size value you require.
    8. Save

  14. Drew Harris says:

    The TOOLS box at top right stopped showing me the Add or Edit text box, so I can no longer edit text in existing PDF documents that I have previously saved. TOOLS now only gives me: Export PDF Files, Create PDF files, Send PDF files.

    HELP !

    • dmcmahon says:

      Note: If you are using Adobe Reader, the “Add or Edit Text Box” tool is not available until you enable the PDF with extended rights. You should check this post to ensure the PDF file has the correct rights enabled for editing. Once the PDF is setup correctly, the tool will show up directly on the toolbar, or under the Extended menu.