How to Type on a PDF (List of Methods and Definition)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 23 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A PDF is a good option if you want users to view documents, such as user manuals, e-books and application forms, on their computer or mobile device. When you type on a PDF, the text is an annotation that includes options such as the ability to highlight text, strike through text, underline text and add a note.

Knowing how to type on a PDF can help you fill out forms or add comments to documents electronically without having to print them out. In this article, we explain what a PDF is, guide you through a list of how to add text via several methods and finally discuss when you can use this knowledge.

What is a PDF?

PDF, or Portable Document Format, is a file format that allows you to view and print a document exactly as it appears online, regardless of the software, hardware or operating system you're using. Official documents frequently use PDFs because they maintain their formatting across devices.

This means that you can open and view a PDF on your computer, phone or tablet without losing any of the original document's integrity. It's important to know how to type on a PDF because this skill can be helpful in both your professional and personal life. You might use it to fill out an online form or to add your signature to an electronic document.

Related: How to Write on a PDF Document in 4 Different Applications

How to type on a PDF on your computer

Learning how to type on a PDF on your computer is easy if you use a PDF editor. Here are some methods you can use:

Using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

There are several ways you can type on a PDF on your computer, one of them being through the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. To do so, you can follow these simple steps:

1. Open the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

The first step is to open the software on your computer by double-clicking the icon or selecting it from your applications folder. If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, you can download it for free online. Make sure you get the desktop version and not the mobile app.

2. Open the PDF file you want to type on

After opening the software, select 'Open File' from the welcome screen or go to 'File' and click 'Open' in the top menu. Find the PDF you want to type on and select it. The file then opens in the system and you're ready to start typing.

3. Select the 'Edit PDF' tool

Once the PDF opens, select the 'Edit PDF' tool from the right-hand column. This allows you to make changes to the document, including adding text. You can also use this tool to delete, move or resize text boxes. To start typing, click on the area of the PDF where you want to add text. A text box then appears and you can start typing right away. You can also format the text according to your needs. For example, you can change the font, size or colour.

Related: 5 Methods You Can Use to Make a PDF Smaller (With Tips)

4. Save your changes

Once you finish, remember to save your changes by going to 'File' and 'Save As'. You can also save your changes by pressing 'Ctrl+S' on your keyboard. This ensures that you permanently add your text to the PDF.

Using Microsoft Word

This is how you can type on a PDF with the help of Microsoft Word:

1. Convert the PDF

The first step is to change the PDF file to Microsoft Word. You can do this by right-clicking the PDF, selecting 'Open With' and then selecting 'Microsoft Word'. The file then opens in the programme. To start adding text, click on the area of the PDF where you want to type. A text box then appears and you can start typing.

Related: A Complete Guide to Converting a PDF to Google Docs

2. Save your changes

Once you finish, remember to save your changes by selecting 'File' in the top-left corner. Next, click on 'Save as' and save the document as a PDF. This maintains the formatting of the original document and ensures that your changes are permanent. It also converts the document back from a Word document to a PDF.

How to type on a PDF on a smartphone

It's also possible to type on a PDF using your smartphone which can be helpful if you're not close to your computer and want to make a quick change to a document. This is a list of ways you can do this:

Using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

If you want to type on a PDF on your smartphone, you can use the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC application. The process is similar to typing on a PDF on your computer. Follow these steps:

1. Open the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC app

The first step is to download the app from your app store if you don't already have it. You can do this by searching for 'Adobe Acrobat Reader DC' in the app store. Next, open the app by tapping on the icon. When in the app, you can select 'Files' in the bottom toolbar. This allows you to access the PDFs that are on your device.

2. Select the PDF and tap on the area you want to type in

From here, simply select the PDF you want to type on by tapping on it. The file then opens in the app and you can add text. To start typing, tap on the area of the PDF where you want to add text. A text box then appears and you can start typing in it. You can also format the text according to your needs.

3. Finish the process

Once you finish typing, you can select the check mark that's in the top-left corner of your screen. This saves your changes and exits the editing mode. You can also save your changes by selecting 'File' in the bottom toolbar and then 'Save a Copy' to ensure you save your work.

Related: How to Merge PDF Files on Windows and Mac Computers

Using Markup

This is an alternative version of how you can type on a PDF using your smartphone. The process is similar to the one described above, but with a few slight differences. Here's how to do it:

1. Open the Markup app

First, download the app from your app store if you don't already have it. You can do this by searching for 'Markup' in the app store. It's free to download and use. Next, open the app by tapping on the icon. When in the app, you can select 'Files' in the top-left corner. By doing so, you see what PDFs you can access.

2. Select 'Markup' and 'Text'

From here, select the PDF you want to type on by tapping on it. The file then opens in the app and you're ready to start adding text. Scroll to the page you want to edit. Look in the top-right corner of your screen for a circle with a marker in it. This is where the 'Markup' button is. Click on it to enter editing mode. A drop-down menu appears and you can tap on 'Text' to add a text box to your PDF.

Now that you're in editing mode, drag the text box to the area of the PDF where you want to add text.

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3. Add text

When you click on the text box, an 'Edit' button appears. Tapping on this allows you to type in the text box. Type in your text and then click on 'Done' when you finish. You can find this button in the top-left corner of your screen. This permanently saves the edited PDF.

When to type on pdf

With this knowledge, you can save time and become more efficient, especially when you want to make a quick change or edit to your PDF. This can be helpful if you collaborate on a document with others and want to add your input. Knowing how to add text to a PDF can also help if you want to fill out a form electronically. For example, you can use this method to add your signature to a document or to fill out an online application.

In the context of your professional career, being able to add text to a PDF can be a valuable skill to have. When working in industries such as law or medicine, you may frequently fill out forms or add your signature to documents. The important thing is to check that the form allows you to fill it out electronically before you start adding text. Some forms may not be compatible with the methods described above.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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