How to Enable the Typewriter on a PDF Without Adobe


The Typewriter tool in Adobe Acrobat Reader lets you enter text anywhere on a PDF document. It is useful for typing on a non-fillable form or outside the fillable areas of a form. But you can use the Typewriter only on files that have had the feature enabled by their authors through the commercial Acrobat software. If you want to enable typewriting on PDF files without using Adobe, you will need a different solution. There are several options, some of which are free.

Things You'll Need

  • PDF file
  • PDF typewriter application or web site
  • PDF-to-image converter or printer
  • Image-editor (e.g. GIMP, Photoshop)

With PDF Typewriters

  • Choose a PDF typewriting application or web site. If it is an online PDF editor, you may have to create an account and/or pay a fee. If it is an application, install the program to your computer.

  • Upload or open the PDF file you want to type on.

  • Pick the "Text" tool to enable typewriting.

  • Click anywhere on the PDF to begin typewriting.

  • Save, print or share the file when you are done. Clear the cache and log out if using an online PDF typewriter.

With PDF Converters

  • Install a PDF printer or application that can convert PDF files into images (e.g. bitmaps).

  • Convert your PDF file using the PDF printer or application you just installed. If it is a PDF printer, print the PDF file to it as you would with a normal printer. If it is an application, follow the instructions for that program.

  • Access the output file within an image-editing program.

  • Select the "Text" tool in the program. Click anywhere you want to type on the image.

  • Start typing using the "Text" tool. Save your work when done.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can find free and fee-based PDF services on the Web.
  • Many shareware and freeware PDF utilities are available online.
  • Save image files in high resolution to preserve document quality.
  • If you have trouble fitting text into an area, try changing the font size.
  • Be careful when uploading files to online PDF sites. Create a password for each file if there is such an option. Delete the file from the remote server and log out after each use. If your files are sensitive, consider installing an offline PDF application instead.
  • Make backup copies of your PDF files before adding text to them.

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  • Photo Credit the letter e image by feisty from
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