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I have an Adobe Acrobat PDF file on Macintosh OS X Lion that I need to overlay some plain text on top of at a particular position relative to the original PDF. Previously I have created a Microsoft Word document that contains the positioned text and printed the page twice, once for the original PDF and a second time for the Microsoft Word document to get the overlay. This is rather cumbersome and there is some slop sending the paper through the printer two times such that the text is not exactly aligned between the two print outs.

Instead I would like to create a new PDF (or perhaps some other format file) that combines the original PDF together with the positioned text I want to overlay such as in a Microsoft Word document. The overlay should be transparent and not obscure anything from the original PDF, just like the effect of my manual double printing on the same sheet of paper.

I have access to Adobe Acrobat Pro X as well as other Adobe tools such as illustrator and wonder if one of these tools or another Adobe tool provides the needed ability or must I go outside the Adobe family of tools to accomplish this?

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Is the original pdf text only or does it contains images also ? – Ankit Mishra Sep 7 '12 at 13:51
It contains vector graphics, it is a tax form coming out of Turbo Tax. – WilliamKF Sep 7 '12 at 13:57
Do you need a Watermark sort of thing or the text is added to blank spaces ? – Ankit Mishra Sep 7 '12 at 14:00
Needs to show through. In some cases there are ...... (dots) where the text is going to be placed that should not be erased. The text itself is opaque but the white-space around it should be clear. – WilliamKF Sep 7 '12 at 14:13
Have a look… – Ankit Mishra Sep 7 '12 at 15:20
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Since you have Adobe Acrobat, you can use the "typewriter" tool to insert or edit a textbox. Look at Add text using Add Or Edit Text Box (Typewriter tool)

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I am reasonably sure that one the Adobe products you mentioned can do this.

I can offer another option, which is the LibreOffice PDF import. You can import any PDF document into the current LibreOffice version (3.6). Then you'll have an editable document in which you can place additional items wherever you like.

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Do you know approximately how to do this in Adobe or do you have any hints as to how it might be done? I posted the question because I was unable to figure it out myself thus far. – WilliamKF Sep 7 '12 at 14:37
Sorry, no because I don't own any Adobe product. – Stefan Seidel Sep 7 '12 at 14:43
Is LibreOffice known to exactly and faithfully reproduce the original PDF, not adjusting the position or size of anything? – WilliamKF Sep 7 '12 at 14:48
I just tested it with a 500 page PDF and while it did recreate the layout quite correct, images were missing. So in the end you might just have to try. There is also the option to convert a PDF into an image (which would render it exactly as if it was printed), but I only know how to do that for the Linux command line. – Stefan Seidel Sep 7 '12 at 15:10
Well, since Ghostscript is available for Mac, you can try this command: gs -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -dNOPROMPT -dFirstPage=1 -dLastPage=1 -sDEVICE=pngalpha -r300 -sOutputFile=PDFIMAGE.png SOURCEPDF.pdf which will output the first page of your PDF as a PNG image file, which you can then edit to you liking. -r300 means 300dpi which you may want to adjust to your needs. – Stefan Seidel Sep 9 '12 at 22:49

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