Fill out a form with the typewriter tool

PDF supports two kinds of forms: interactive and non-interactive.

Interactive PDF forms have fillable fields. You click in the field, enter your data, and then you can print it or more likely, save it and email it to someone (when they open it, they will see the form with the data you entered in the fields).

Non-interactive forms are plain PDF files with lines and text. You can print them and fill them out by hand (and then mail or scan them). But for a professional look, fill out the form with the Typewriter Tool in Foxit PhantomPDF.

While it’s preferable—and easy—to create an interactive form using PDF software such as Foxit PhantomPDF, not everyone does it. So you may be faced with filling out a non-interactive PDF form.

Which kind of form do you have? 

In interactive forms, you’ll see a document message bar appear between the toolbars and the form itself. With non-interactive forms, the document message bar doesn’t appear.

Using the typewriter tool 

Using the typewriter tool in PhantomPDF is easy. Simply open the form, click the COMMENT tab and in the Typewriter group, select the Typewriter Tool.

Place the cursor on the line where you’re adding text, click, and begin typing. If you need to add more lines, press Enter. When you’re done, click anywhere outside of the text you’ve just entered. That’s it!

Since this form isn’t interactive, you can’t just tab to the next section as you would with an interactive form. Instead, you’ll need to move the cursor to the next area where you’re adding text.

Editing typewriter text 

To edit text, open the typewriter tool and double-click between the letters you need to edit to activate that field, then add or delete text as needed. To adjust placement of text, use the hand tool to grab the text box and move it.

PhantomPDF includes a spell-checker with the typewriter tool. If the software identifies a word as a possible misspelling, just right-click it to bring up a list of suggestions and choose a replacement. And of course, when you’re done, be sure to save your PDF form. For more details, see the PhantomPDF User Manual.

By the way, you can also use the Run Form Field Recognition tool to find the fields and then fill in forms with the Hand Tool, but that’s, quite literally, another story.

5 thoughts on “Fill out a form with the typewriter tool

  1. JakobJakob

    Hi! Thank you for a great PDF reader. I’m missing a function that was present in a previous version. When using the typewriter tool, one used to be able to use ctrl+left arrow and ctrl+right arrow to move quicker within the text box. This function is gone now for some reason. Could you please add this again? This function is present in almost every application so I don’t understand why it has been removed.

    1. KarolinKarolin

      Hi Jakob, thanks for the feedback. With the arrow keys it’s possible to move within the text box when using the typewriter tool. If you still face this issue please submit a support ticket.

  2. Joseph MaioJoseph Maio

    Is there a way to make the typewriter tool persistent, so I don’t have to click it every time I start typing in a new location?


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