Adding Text to PDF with Adobe Acrobat Reader DC – Guide

Why you should be adding text to PDF document files

Adding text to PDF files with the free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is easy. Mostly applicable when you receive digital papers that you need to just fill your information and sign without anything complicated. For other text manipulations you should get the PRO version or any other PDF editor.

Adding Text to PDF with Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

1. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.
2. On the left (at the bottom) specify your platform, language and version – then on the right [Download Acrobat Reader].
3. Install the Program.
4. Backup your PDF file. After using the “Text” tool or “Sign” tool on your PDF document and saving the PDF – the fields will be flattened and no longer editable when you will open the PDF again. You will be able to edit them only in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. It is a good practice to backup the PDF files before you want to edit them with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
5. Open your PDF with Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.
6. Use the “Fill and Sign” tool. There are two ways to do it:
a. From the right menu (expand it if you see only icons).
b. In the top file menu:

[Sign] => [Fill and Sign]

7. By default there will be opened a “Text” tool that you can add the text with. You cannot change the font – it is Acrobat Reader, which is a free version. There is only one default font that you can use, two font size options (bigger or smaller, though you can click several times to make it bigger or several times to make it smaller) and several font colors available. If you encountered an error, scroll down to the Troubleshooting section.
8. Add the text.
9. If you need to add your signature just click the “Sign” option in the “Fill and Sign” menu that was opened when you selected the tool.
10. I never save the document as the same file, so use the “Save As…” option from the file menu.

Troubleshooting “Fill and Sign” Tool of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

If for some reason while adding text with “Fill and sign” feature you see this message:

The operation failed because Adobe Acrobat encountered an unknown error.

It can be due to the security measures taken by Acrobat in order to protect you from malicious content. Similar to Microsoft Word and Excel, though Microsoft shows you [Enable] option when such features (malicious or not – like macros) exist in the document. I would not suggest you to disable the Security features, but you can do as follows:

Go to [Edit] => [Preferences] => [Security (Enhanced)]
    "Sandbox Protections"
        Protected View: (*) Off
    "Enhanced Security"
        [ ] Enable Enhanced Security
    [OK]

Try adding text now, if it is not working – try checking / unchecking other boxes in the “Security (Enhanced)” tab. Do not forget to return to defaults when you finished editing. Still this method is less than recommended since malicious code can be executed if exists.

A better solution would be printing this document as PDF (If you are on Windows 10 you have Microsoft Print to PDF, if not there are plenty of free PDF printers available on the internet):

. You can use shortcut [Ctrl] + [P] or
. Go to [File] => [Print]
    Printer: Microsoft Print to PDF
    [Print]
. Choose the location to save the PDF

This will ensure that there are no objects (which can be malicious) and the PDF will be as one “Picture” object instead of editable PDF. Try adding the text now.

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