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A Quick Guide on How to Add Text Boxes to PDF Documents

December 7, 2021
Author
Inkit Team

Portable Document Format files, or PDF files, can be intimidating. Especially when adding extra forms to enhance the data they hold. If you are new to creating or sharing PDF files, you have probably noticed that they are not as easy to manipulate as other document formats.

The PDF has many features that can help you electronically display data to your readers in an outstanding and fun manner. This format also goes the extra mile to secure the data contained therein so that only the author of the file can change the file.

Though not everyone can edit a PDF file, the PDF format does allow both the author and the participating audience or readers of the file to contribute to the data in the file. Among the many options, a PDF document allows you to share your suggestions with other readers by using a text box.

In today's article, we will guide you and answer the following often asked questions about adding a text box to a PDF file:

  • What is a text box?
  • Why should I use a text box in a PDF file?
  • How can I add a text box to PDF files on Windows?
  • How can I add a text box to PDF files on Mac?
  • How can I add a text box to PDF online?
  • Can I add a text box to PDF using Google Docs?

What is a text box?

A text box or text field is an object or section with borders in a document in which you can input text for other readers to view. You can create a text box in any size to hold all the ideas you want to communicate to the other readers.

PDF files allow you access to tools to create a text box to communicate your ideas on a file. These tools include the text box icon, the callout text box icon, or shapes and lines that you can create a text box with provided in drawing tools in a PDF editor.

Why should I use a text box in a PDF file?

  • A text box allows you to add a comment, an idea, a note, or any extra information you might have on a PDF document. It also allows you the freedom to place your textual ideas in any position in the file.
  • Unlike other text input options on PFD, when you add a text box to a PDF file, it does not close up but remains open for the reader to view the information. This feature allows your readers to immediately catch a glimpse of your text box when they open the document.
  • A text box highlights the text in it to draw the attention of the reader to it. You can format the borders of the text box to make it stand out from other text in the document. It allows you the freedom of coloring the borders or the text inside to any color you wish to capture your reader's attention.
  • A text box not only allows you to input text but images as well. If you wish to share an image suggestion with other readers of the PDF document, you can input these on a text box as well.
  • A text box wraps your text when you reach the right edge of the box to allow you to input as much text as you wish.
  • You can add any number of text boxes as you wish on a PDF document.

Disadvantages of adding a text box to PDF

  • A text box can limit the amount of text you can input.
  • Adding multiple text boxes to your PDF can make it look cluttered and untidy.

How can I add a text box to PDF on Windows?

As earlier mentioned, you can add a text box on PDF using the text box icon, the callout text box option, or by drawing a text box using the Drawing and MarkUp tools option.

The text box icon,  

is the most direct option for adding a text box to your PDF document. It allows you to draw out a text box of any size on any part of the document. It also lets you input new data into your text box.


You can also add a text box using the Callout icon,

on the Comment toolbar. A callout text box helps you single out or point out the suggestion you want to communicate to a particular point in the PDF file. It also has a text box to input your text suggestion and a knee-line to connect the text box with the end-point, which points to the exact text or paragraph in a PDF document.


add boxes


The callout text box allows you to resize any of its three components as you wish. You can also color within and around it to better direct the attention of your audience where you need it most.

If you want to capture an existing piece of text in the document, you can draw a text box around the line or paragraph using the Drawing and MarkUp Tools provided in the comment toolbar. You can use the provided shape outlines or draw a free-form text box using the Line Tool.

To add a text box using the text box icon:

  • Open the PDF file you wish to place a text box on
  • On the top bar of your screen, to open the Comment Toolbar.


  • On the Comment Toolbar, select the Text Box
  • icon.
  • Select a position on your document where you wish to place a text box, then click for it to appear.
  • Drag your mouse on the text box to adjust the text box to your desired size.
  • Click inside the text box to input your data.


To add a text box using the Callout Tool:

  • On the Comment Toolbar, select the Drawing Tools icon.
  • Click on the Add Text Callout
  • icon.
  • On your PDF file, click once to set where you'd like the end-point of the text point to appear, then click again to set where you'd like the text box to appear.
  • Click inside the callout box to input your text.


To add a text box using the Drawing and MarkUp Tools:

  • On the Comment toolbar, select the Drawing Tools  
  •  icon.
  • Select the Rectangle
  •  shape or the Line tool
  •  , as you wish.
  • Point your mouse to the point in the document where you want the text box to appear.
  • Click on the document once and drag your mouse to create a starting point for your text box.
  • Click again to create the end-point of the text box.
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How can I add a text box to PDF on Mac?

If you are using a Macintosh computer, this is how you can add a text box to a PDF document:

  • Open the PDF document you wish to add a text box to with the Preview app on Mac.
  • Click the toolbox icon on the main toolbar and select Markup Toolbar.


PDF edit


  • On the MarkUp Toolbar, select the T icon.
PDF editor


  • Click on the text box that appears in the center of your PDF document to select it and move it to your desired position.
  • Now click on the text box to input your text.

How can I add a text box to PDF online?

You can add a text box to PDF online using a PDF editor of your choice. All you'll need to do is have a good internet connection and a working web browser. Even though some free online PDF editors have limitations on how much you can add to your PDF document, a good online PDF editor should allow you to add a text box or draw shapes where you can input text.

  • Open your preferred online PDF editor
  • Upload the PDF file you wish to add a text box to on the PDF editor.
  • Select the Text box icon on the toolbar.
  • Alternatively, select the Rectangle Shape or the Line Tool to draw a text box.

Can I add a text box to PDF on Google Docs?

Yes, you can. Google Docs is an easy-to-use document processing program that allows you to add a text box or any other features you want to a PDF file. Depending on your file, Google Docs allows you to add a text box to new PDF files as the author and existing PDF files as suggestions or comments for the reader's attention.

To add a text box to PDF on Google Docs:

  • Open Google Docs and log in using your Google account.
  • In Google Docs, select the small file icon to upload the PDF file you wish to add a text box to.
  • Once your document is uploaded, it will open on your browser. Click on the little triangle to select Google Docs to open your PDF file.
  • Click on the Insert menu on the Google Docs Toolbar.
  • Select Drawing command.


Google Docs


  • In the Drawing window that opens, select the Text Box icon.
Google drive edit


  • Now click and drag your mouse in the position where you wish to add a text box on your PDF document.

A text box is a fun and formal way of giving visual guidance to the readers of a PDF file. It allows you the freedom to manipulate your text and your readers' attention in a polite way that is acceptable for all types of audiences.

Do you need help with adding a text box to PDF files? Call us now!

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