Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding text with the Text Box tool, part of Acrobat X Tips and Tricks.
There are just a few ways of adding new text to a PDF. One of them was the Typewriter tool that I talked about in a previous video. You can see I still have it up here in my Quick Tools toolbar. I do keep it handy, because I often like to use it. But a more flexible and more configurable way to add text to a PDF is by using a different tool, and you'll find that one under the Comment task pane. Go to Drawing Markups, and the first tool, here with a T in it, is the Text Box tool.
You see it's got a little textured area here, indicating that I can drag-and-drop this right up here into Quick Tools. Now, what I like about the Text Box tool, as opposed to the Typewriter tool, is that not only can I change the font, and the color, and the size of the type, but I also have control over the box itself. I could put a border around the box surrounding the text, I can fill it with a different fill color, I can make it clear, you know, see through, like how the Typewriter tool is by default, or I could fill it with white if I want to obscure something on the page.
It's also much easier to just select the box itself. I do have a tip, also. When you're working with the Text Box tool, before you even start working with it, open up the Properties toolbar. You can access the Properties toolbar by going to the View menu. Go down to Show/Hide > Toolbar Items, and choose Properties Bar, or just press Control+E, or Command+E on a Mac. Now keep this highlighted. It might be a different size, it might say nothing selected. It usually remembers what it was you were last doing.
But the reason that I always open up the Properties Bar first, before I select the Text Box tool, is that once I select it, it will populate itself with Text Box tool properties. So I can go ahead and change the fill color, and the stroke, and the border. If I wanted, say, a dashed border; I want to add coupon maybe, I could say I want a dashed blue border going around my text. Let's say that I want one of these light blue fills. I'll just click here, get you out of the way, and type text.
That's probably not what I'm going to be use things for. I would usually use the Text Box tool to add some actual looking text to my page. For example, if I wanted to add like a little caption underneath this picture of a chocolate bar, I would probably use the Text Box tool. So I'm going to zoom in a bit, change the view scale percentage to say 150, and let me scroll down there. Select the Text Box tool.
Now in this instance I don't want any line going around the box at all. Now, you can't choose, like, invisible line; you actually have to come over here to the Line Style and choose No Border. Then for the Fill, I don't want any fill, so I'm going to choose No Color. Then I'll click right underneath here, and now, even before I start typing, I can choose the typeface, and the style, and the alignment, and the color that I want. You can do all this even if you didn't have this toolbar open, but you'd have to do it after the fact by right- clicking on the finished type, and choosing Properties, and using a dialog box.
I just happen to like this method better. So I'm going to choose the typeface that's been used here, which I know is Minion Pro, and we'll leave it at 12 point for now; see what that looks like. We'll leave it left-aligned. I don't want red text; I want black text. Now I'll start typing: Try our new organic Dark Chocolate. Now there is a default width that the Text Box tool always uses, but it's easy to change that.
When you hover over this box with your cursor, when it turns into an arrow, then you know that you're over the edge. So in that way, it's a lot easier to detect the edge of a Text Box tool than it is when you're using the Typewriter tool. But if you still want to use my Typewriter tool trick of selecting your text boxes with the Select Object tool from content, that also works as well. Now I'm just going to resize it so it's one line. There we go. Now if I double-click inside it, then it turns back into the Editing Text mode.
I can select this, and I want to make this italic; organic Dark Chocolate. That looks good. But one last thing. This is a comment, remember. We're using a Commenting tool. So if you go to the Comments taskbar, you can see the type that you've entered on this PDF using this tool. Now, if you're the only one using the PDF, it's not a big deal, because when you print it, it's going to print the comments by default, as well as the text. But if I were going to send this to somebody, or maybe put it on my Web site for people to download, I would definitely want to convert those comments into actual text.
That's known as flattening the text. Because if you don't, anybody can come over here and go to the comments list, and see what text that you've you added. And they can choose to even hide all the comments, or they can print it like that as well. So if you're positive that you want this text to be part of the PDF, you need to flatten it. Now, that's not built into Acrobat. In the typewriter video, I showed how you could use a special action that I call the Flattenizer to flatten it. And in a video later on in the chapter on Comments, I have one that just delves a little bit deeper into using that action.
- Discovering secret toolbars
- Hiding the superfluous form bar
- Mastering the Typewriter and Text Box tools
- Importing new artwork into an existing PDF
- Creating quick and useful signature stamps
- Making PDF portfolios backward compatible
- Searching text in a scanned PDF
- Decreasing PDF file size for faster downloading
- Creating a batch action with hot folders