Typewriter Tool Opacity Bug

Note: The Typewriter tool was completely re-written in Acrobat 9. I recommend all users upgrade if you depend heavily on the Typewriter tool. In Acrobat 9 and up, users can also set the font, size, and color of Typewriter text.

File this in the category of “we’re not perfect.”

Sometimes, the Acrobat 7 (and up) Typewriter tool will change opacity (transparency) from black to a light gray. I’ve seen this bug myself and have heard from a few folks via this blog that they’ve seen it too.

Read on for some a possible fix.

Resetting Opacity for the Typewriter Tool in Acrobat 7

One way to fix the Typewriter tool bug is to re-install Acrobat and choose not to save your user defaults. That is a lot of work and can take 30 to 60 minutes.

I’ve successfully fixed the issue by editing the Registry. Adobe does not officially support this workaround.

OBLIGATORY REGISTRY WARNING: Messing with registry can damage your system! Make a back-up.

  1. Start—>Run—>Regedit
  2. Navigate to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\7.0\Annots\cAnnots\cFreeText_003aFreeTextTypewriter
  3. Click the cFreeText_003aFreeTextTypewriter key on the left.
  4. Double-click the dopacity key on the right.
  5. Change the dopacity value to 1.0 to return to black text.
  6. Save

Edit Typewiter registry key

Can you reproduce this bug reliably?

Acrobat Engineering has filed this problem as a bug. I think it is related to changing the defaults for the Text Box tool or other annotations.

Adobe would love to fix this bug, but we are having trouble reproducing the problem. Unfortunately, we can’t fix it if we don’t know what causes the issue.

So, faithful readers, be the first one to tell me how to reliably reproduce the bug, and I will reward you with a free Acrobat 8 t-shirt (size XL, all cotton, and very stylish!).