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How to Write on Any PDF Document ✍️

Nov 7 2023

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Read time

6 min

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If you’re looking to write and type on your PDFs, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through different ways of writing on a PDF, whether you’re online, on your mobile device, dealing with scanned PDF documents or just need to quickly update existing PDF text. 

Dive in and follow along as we show you how to write on a PDF in more ways than one. 

How to type and write on PDF online

While you can write and type on PDF pages on any device, the quickest method is doing it online:

1. Open the free online PDF Editor by Xodo.

2a. Use the Free Text under Annotate tools to insert new text to your PDF. Likewise, you can add other markup options such as highlights, notes, comments, underlines, etc.

Insert text to PDF using Xodo PDF editor

2b. To update existing or add new paragraphs, switch to Edit Text and click on the Add Paragraph icon in the toolbar. Double click on a paragraph to insert your cursor where you want to update and add text. Or use the tool, simply click anywhere on the page and start typing on your PDF.

Write on PDF with Xodo PDF editor

3. Customize and adjust the formatting or add links using the context menu and options in the right-side panel.

4. Once you’re done, click on Download or Save to retain your textual changes.

Pro Tip: To keep your PDF work online, you can securely save your files to Xodo Drive for easy access.

Writing on scanned PDFs and images

As you may know, scanned PDF scan pose a challenge. This is because scanned PDFs are only an image of your PDF text. No digital text exists. This makes it impossible to add new text onto the PDF.

In such cases, you’ll need to make your PDF searchable with OCR first. Here's how:

  1. Go to our free online OCR Converter
  2. Upload a scanned PDF from your device, Google Drive, Dropbox, or Xodo Drive.
  3. Select PDF as your output option.
  4. Download your new searchable PDF to your device or save it to your cloud drives. 
Turning scanned into editable PDF

You’ll now have an editable PDF you can type and write on. To do this simply open our PDF Editor and follow the steps to write on PDF we already covered in the section above. 

How to edit existing text in your PDF file

In some cases, you may need to make last-minute adjustments to official business documents, such as contracts. You may need to write on the PDF to add in new text or make edits to the existing text. Xodo is equally effective for either task.

Simply go to the PDF Editor tool, upload and open your PDF, and then select Edit Text from the menu in the toolbar. You can then start editing the existing PDF text directly on the page and then download or save your changes.

Edit existing PDF text with Xodo’s online PDF Editor Tool

For a more detailed guide with additional useful editing tips, check out our guide on how to edit PDF text.

How to write on a PDF on Mac

There are two ways you can write on a PDF on Mac: using Xodo and the built-in Preview App. To use Xodo to write on a PDF on you Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Xodo PDF Editor.
  2. Upload your PDF file.
  3. Use the Annotate tools to insert new text, highlights, and other markups or the Edit Text tool to edit existing paragraphs and write on your PDF.
  4. Once you’re done, click on Download to save it to your device or click on Save to save a copy.

The other way to write on PDF on Mac is by using the Preview app:

  1. Open your PDF in the Preview app.
  2. Click the Show Markup Toolbar button.
  3. Add your text. Use the text markup tool in the toolbar to write on your PDF.
  4. When you’re done, go to File > Export to PDF and save your PDF.
Writing on PDF on Mac using Xodo

How to write on a PDF on mobile

You can also use both the Xodo iOS and Android app to write on PDF pages from anywhere. You can write, add text, annotations, comments, and more. 

Write on PDF on mobile with Smart Pen

Xodo’s mobile apps come with the Smart Pen Tool. With the Smart Pen feature on, Xodo can automatically detect if you want to highlight the content or use freehand to add in text.

Point at some white space on the page and Smart Pen tool will act like a pen (freehand drawer). When you point at text on the PDF page, the Smart Pen will act like a highlighter.

A time-saving feature that eliminates having to switch between the highlighter and freehand writing tools.

Write on PDF on Android

To write on PDF on Android, follow the steps below:

  1. Download and install Xodo Android app.
  2. Open your PDF.
  3. From the drop-down menu in the top left-hand corner, select Annotate.
  4. Scroll through the Annotation toolbar by dragging it to the left and selecting the Free Text Tool or the Smart Pen Tool.
  5. Write on PDF and add your text.
  6. Tap on Save when you’re done. Xodo will automatically update your PDF file.
Typing on PDF on Android using Xodo app

Write on PDF on iOS devices

To write on PDF on your iPhone or ipad:

  1. Install Xodo app from the App store.
  2. Open your PDF.
  3. Select Annotate from the options in the drop-down menu at the top.
  4. Select either the Free Text Tool or the Smart Pen Tool.
  5. Tap on the page. You can then add in your text in the window that appears. You can also customize your text. Tap on the palette icon that appears by the text field box or on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Select your formatting and customizations options.
  6. Tap on Save when you’re done. Xodo will update your PDF file.

Unlock the full potential of your PDFs with Xodo

Adding text to a PDF may sound daunting, but you’re now armed to do it in different ways from wherever you are and whatever device you’re on.

Using any of the above tips will allow you to instantly write notes, annotate content, or add that last minute addition to your PDF document. If you want to write on a PDF and, more importantly, do it with ease, Xodo is your go-to platform. It can perform any other PDF task you may need, as well. 

Explore the full suite of Xodo PDF tools with a 7-day free trial access to Xodo Pro!

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Reena Cruz

PDF Productivity Expert

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