PDF, also known as Portable Document Format, may be one of this century's most prevalent file formats. Its consistency and stability have gained users' trust in these two decades. The non-editability of this format makes PDF a headache. Here in this complete guide, we'll cover how to edit and directly write on a PDF by providing trustworthy PDF editors.

How to Write on a PDF on Windows

As the creator of PDF, Adobe Acrobat is always the pioneer in this industry. The fact is, aside from Adobe Acrobat, many developers have sensed the needs and launched different PDF editors to enable writing on PDFs, for instance, SwifDoo PDF and PDFelement. Here we are going to see how to write on a PDF document without Adobe Acrobat:

SwifDoo PDF

Though SwifDoo PDF is a rising star in this industry, it has earned millions of users globally. By integrating 30+ features, SwifDoo PDF wants to build an all-in-one PDF program on Windows 10, 8, and 7. As to write on a PDF, SwifDoo PDF is an excellent PDF editor. Let’s look at how to write on a PDF with the help of SwifDoo PDF:


Step 1: Download and install SwifDoo PDF on your PC, then open a PDF in the PDF editor;

Step 2: Click Edit on the Edit tab;

Step 3: Navigate to the place you need to edit;

Step 4: Click Save to keep all the changes.


SwifDoo PDF enables users to change the font, font size, color, add superscript and subscript, underline and italicize the added text, and bold the content.

                                                                      Free Download

This approach is the most direct way to write on a PDF. Actually, there is another method to achieve the same result: converting this PDF into an editable Word document. Click on the following post to efficiently and quickly edit a PDF with SwifDoo PDF. 

Two Methods to Efficiently and Easily Edit a PDF with SwifDoo PDF Editor

Two Methods to Efficiently and Easily Edit a PDF with SwifDoo PDF Editor

To help users quickly and easily edit PDF documents is what SwifDoo PDF Editor goes for. Let's dive into how to edit a PDF file within a few clicks.



If you need to write on a PDF file directly, PDFelement is another PDF product that deserves a try. Besides editing a PDF, PDFelement can help with how to write on a PDF form. This comprehensive PDF tool has multiple features to facilitate everything users do with PDF. As for writing on a PDF, PDFelement makes it more accessible. Here we go:


Step 1: Open a PDF document in PDFelement;

Step 2: Click Add Text on the Edit tab;

Step 3: Select the newly added content to change the appearance if needed.

If you need to edit or write on a PDF fillable form, choose "Add text" on the "Form" tab.


How to Write on a PDF on Apple Devices

The ability to edit a PDF is a must for an eligible PDF program. In this part, we’ll cover how to write on a PDF on Mac and iPhone for Apple users.  

How to Write on a PDF on Mac


Preview is a built-in PDF viewer on Mac. Mac users should have felt lucky for having this natural PDF editor, which saves you the trouble to download and install any external PDF software.

However, you can’t directly edit the text of a PDF in Preview on Mac. Instead, you can make use of tools in “Annotate” to write on a PDF in some sense, such as Text Selection, Rectangular Selection, Redact Selection, Shapes, and Sketch.

Step 1: Open a PDF document in Preview, and click Tools to choose Annotate;

Step 2: Click Rectangle to create a white box and place the box over the text you need to rewrite;

Step 3: If you need to create a new text box, click Text to type on anywhere or in form fields within this PDF.

I guess this is not the best user experience, but it is the most feasible solution to write on a PDF with Preview.

How to Write on a PDF on iPhone

Akin to Mac, iPhone is still incapable of editing a PDF. Only with some professional PDF tools can iPhone users write on a PDF. PDF Expert is one of these apps.

As this name suggests, PDF Expert is an all-around expert on PDF-related tasks on Mac, iPad, and iPhone. It’s born for Apple devices to edit text, organize PDF pages, protect confidential information, and fill out PDF forms.

Step 1: Download PDF Expert from App Store;

Step 2: Open a PDF document with PDF Expert;

Step 3: Click Edit Text on the menu bar and choose Text;

Step 4: Place the cursor at the text box you need to rewrite.

Note:As a high-quality PDF editor on iPhone, PDF Expert enables users to further change how the text is displayed, such as showing texts as paragraphs or lines. You just need to change the Text tool and change the settings if possible.

How to Write on a PDF Online

If you get tired of trying new desktop PDF products on Windows, Mac, or iPhone, maybe the only option is to fall back on any online PDF tools. Web-based PDF programs can help you write on a PDF directly while saving you the trouble to try unknown programs.

Google Drive

Though being a cloud service provider, Google Drive can store your PDF documents while enabling users to edit a PDF simultaneously. Without further ado, let’s go to see how to write on a PDF directly on Google Drive:


Step 1: Log in to Google Drive with your account;

Step 2: Import a PDF to the cloud space and right-click the PDF file to choose Google Docs in the drop-down menu Open with;

Step 3: When your PDF file is loaded in Google Docs, it is presented in Word format, and you can edit this PDF freely.

Editing a PDF file on Google Docs is as easy as a Microsoft Word file. Users don’t need to save the changes because your files will be automatically synchronized to your Drive account. The only disadvantage of this method is that the layout and the formatting will be altered when your PDF contains multimedia content (such as videos, images, or audio).

Tip:Optionally, you can rely on “DocHub” or “Lumin PDF” in “Suggested apps” to directly write on a PDF with online tools. Google Drive is a cloud storage and synchronization platform, and it cannot edit PDFs or perform other tasks on PDFs. That’s why it needs third-party PDF programs to meet users’ needs for PDF.

PDF Escape

Alright, the following recommendation is a professional Internet-based PDF tool. If you get bored of learning how to use a new tool, try PDF Escape. This online PDF application lets you write on a PDF and in fillable PDF forms. Take a closer look at how to write on a PDF with PDF Escape:

Step 1: Enter the URL on the search bar; 

Step 2: Click Choose File to import a PDF file to the workstation;

Step 3: Click Text to start freewriting on your PDF. Users can type anywhere on this PDF document;

Step 4: Select Save Document or Save & Download PDF to output this PDF on the left navigation bar.


As I said before, users can freely add text boxes and write on the PDF anyplace with PDF Escape. You just need to put your cursor in the blank space to start writing. The only drawback is that this tool cannot edit the existing content.

How to Write on a PDF on Android

If Android users need to write on a PDF, Google Drive is an excellent working partner, but it is just a good option. Actually, there are other alternatives to Drive when it comes to writing on a PDF document on Android, for instance, Xodo PDF Reader.

Xodo PDF Reader

This PDF editor is compatible with Android, iPhone & iPad, and Windows Phone & Tablet. Xodo PDF Reader enables users to edit, comment, and e-sign PDFs online and on mobile devices. With Xodo, users can write on a PDF and in a form field. See how to write on a PDF with Xodo PDF Reader:

Step 1: Download Xodo PDF Reader on your application store;

Step 2: Open a PDF document with Xodo;


Step 3: Click on the pencil icon to enter the editing mode;


Step 4: Choose Text to start editing and writing on the current PDF.

Recommended by Quora users, Adobe Acrobat and PDF Annotator are safe to use for those who need to edit PDFs on Android. If you feel like Xodo PDF Reader is not satisfying, try another two PDF products. 

Wrapping Up

To sum it all up, editing or writing on a PDF is essential for a helpful PDF program. Those who want to edit the existing sentence or paragraph should resort to desktop PDF programs. For users who may need to write on a PDF directly, some online PDF tools are much more to your liking.

Common FAQ about Complete Guide to Directly Write on a PDF [Online & Offline]

Q:How do I write on a PDF with Adobe?

If users need to modify the existing content, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open a PDF document in Adobe Acrobat;

Step 2: Choose Edit PDF to start changing information;

Step 3: Place your mouse at the place you need to rewrite.

And in some cases, users may need to add extra information. See what's below:

Step 1: Upload a PDF to Adobe's workplace;

Step 2: Click on the Fill & Sign ribbon, then select Add Text;

Step 3: Write at any place on the PDF document.

Q:How do we write on a PDF with the Stylus?

Stylus enables the user to annotate a PDF, so take a look at how to write on a PDF:

Step 1: Open a PDF file with Stylus;

Step 2: Hit the Annotate button at the top right of the window;

Step 3: Choose the Pen icon to write on the PDF. You can change the color and size if needed.



Roche has been an active PDF user for 6 years and tried different types of professional PDF tools (both online and desktop version) since at his bachelor degree. Now, Roche works as a columnist for SwifDoo PDF over the course of the last one year, and provides useful and practical solutions pertaining to various PDF topics for users from different features.