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How to type out into PDF forms

Some PDF files are created to accept and save the text you type in on your computer. These interactive PDF files are typically referred to as "fillable," and they can be made with several programs, including Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word. Static or "flat" forms that do not accept text input are often scans of paper documents or files intended for printing.

But even if a form is flat, you may be able to add your own text using different programs. Although you can add comments and notes to files, the free Adobe Reader software cannot enter and save text on its own unless the form was created to be fillable.

People with the full Adobe Acrobat program, though, can use the Typewriter option. In recent versions of Acrobat, under the Tools menu on the right side of the screen, go to the Content menu and select "Add or Edit Text Box" to get to the Typewriter tool, then click into the form fields and start typing.

The full version of Adobe Acrobat XI Pro costs $450 and even though a free 30-day trial is available to download, there are other ways to fill in flat PDF forms.

In many cases, Mac users can use the free Preview app that comes with OS X; the app can often recognize text fields in forms and includes text annotation tools, although some users report having to resave the file as a PDF so other programs can see the text.

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