How To Write on a PDF Using 3 Different Methods

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 18, 2021

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.

Creating and editing PDF documents on your computer can be helpful in many situations for many professionals, especially in cases where documents have typos or need additional information added. If you use Adobe PDFs, it may be beneficial to learn ways to edit these documents for added flexibility and easier readability. Adding text to a PDF document can be a simple and easy process, and you can do so by following a few steps.

In this article, we explore reasons to write on a PDF and provide a step-by-step guide to writing on one on Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, on Mac Preview and on Google Docs.

Related: Top 15 Free PDF Viewers To Try

Reasons to write on a PDF

There are a number of reasons you may choose to write on a PDF document, such as:

  • Adding personal notes: You can add your own personal notes to a PDF document if desired. Doing so can help you make notes of any thoughts you may have or anything you may want to highlight.

  • Reducing paper waste: Writing on a PDF instead of a piece of paper can help reduce the amount of paper that likely would get wasted. When you write directly on a PDF, there are no papers or other documents involved, which reduces waste altogether.

  • Giving feedback: If you receive a PDF document to give your feedback on, you can write on the document directly, which can be easier for you. Because you are working only with one document rather than using another to write on, this can help keep your communication more organized.

  • Editing: You may edit your PDF document by writing on it. Writing on it may be the easiest and most convenient way to revise the document or add to it.

Related: How To Create a Resume PDF and When To Use It

How to write on a PDF on Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

People often use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to write on their PDF documents. You can do this by following these steps:

1. Launch Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

First, you can launch the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC application by navigating to the Creative Cloud desktop application on your computer. If you don't already have the application downloaded onto your computer, you can do so by visiting Adobe's official website. The website may ask you to provide your login credentials before you can download the application, so you can either do so or create an account if you don't have one already.

2. Upload the PDF

Once you've launched the application, you can upload the PDF that you'd like to write on into the application. In the top-left area of the application on the screen, hover over the words “File." You can then select the “Open” option on the drop-down menu that appears You can then locate the PDF within your saved documents and click on it to upload it to the application.

3. Add text

In the upper area of the application on the screen, you can navigate to "Tools" and hover over it. You can select the "Edit PDF" option from the drop-down menu that appears. You can then click on the "Add Text" icon that appears, and you can add the text in the gray box that appears on the PDF. To edit the font color, size or format of the entire text, you can navigate to the editing menu bar that's located to the left of the application on the screen.

4. Save your edited document

Now, you can save your newly edited PDF onto your computer. Once again, you can navigate to the words "File" to view the drop-down menu. Select the "Save" option from the menu and rename your PDF, ensuring to click "Save" or the "Enter" key on your keyboard to save the document. You may consider giving the new PDF a recognizable file name and uploading it to a memorable folder or place on your computer for easier access later.

Related: The 16 Best PDF Readers

How to write on a PDF on Mac

You may use your Mac's PDF viewer, Preview, to write on a PDF document by following these steps:

1. Launch Preview

First, you can typically launch Preview by simply clicking on the PDF document. Alternatively, you can open the Preview application by locating the blue and white postcard icon on your Mac and clicking on it. Alternatively, you can find the application by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the top-right corner of your computer screen and typing in the words "Preview."

2. Upload the PDF

You can now upload your specific PDF to Preview. Once you select the application, a menu showing all the documents saved on your computer typically appears. Navigate to the PDF of your choice and click on it. After doing this, the PDF is ready for adding text.

3. Insert your text

Once you upload the PDF in Preview, you can navigate to the markup toolbar, which is located at the top of the application screen and displays the top of a pencil on its icon. You can click on this icon, and a new menu typically appears. Within this menu, navigate to the icon displaying a "T" inside of a white box and click on it.

After a gray box appears on the PDF surface, you can click on it and insert the text you want to add. You may follow this process to insert text anywhere in the PDF and format or edit this text by clicking on the text editing icon, represented by the letter "A" from the markup toolbar.

4. Save the edited PDF

When you're finished writing on your PDF, you can save the edited document to your computer. To do this, navigate to the words "File" that's located in the top-left area of the application screen and hover over it. In this drop-down menu, click on the words "Save" to save the updated PDF.

Related: 21 Types of Files (With Definitions and Common Uses)

How to write on a PDF on Google Docs

You can use Google Docs to write on a PDF by following these four steps:

1. Launch Google Docs

First, you can launch the Google Docs website on your computer. If you're not logged in to your account, you can do so now. If you're already logged in to your account, all of your previous documents typically appear on the screen.

2. Upload your PDF

You can now upload your PDF to the program by clicking on the "Blank" template option under the words "Start a new document," which is located near the top at the left of the program screen. Once the blank template launches, click on the words "File" at the top-left area of the program screen and select the words "Open" from the drop-down menu.

If your PDF is already uploaded on your account, you can locate it in the file gallery that appears, but if it isn't, you can choose the "Upload" option that appears in the middle of the program screen and navigate to your PDF on your computer to upload it.

3. Add text

Usually, this converts your PDF into a Google Docs file. Now you can write directly on the document and add the text you want to add. If you desire to change the font size, text style or color, you can do so by navigating to the editing menu in the middle of the screen and selecting the editing options of your choice.

4. Export document as PDF

Finally, you can export the document as a PDF to convert it back into its original format. Click on the words "File" at the top of the program screen and hover over the words "Download." Select the "PDF document (.pdf)" file format menu option, and this typically saves the document to your computer as a PDF.

Please note that none of the organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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