I cannot add additional toolbar buttons in Acrobat reader, it says "only available when document rights are enabled" (see the screen-shot bellow). I cannot highlight texts in pdf documents.

I have already set the permission for the document as "read and write".

I use Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Acrobat reader 9 (installed from Ubuntu software centre)

enter image description here

  • I think it means that if the pdf document have NOT any kind of restriction than you can add those toolbar otherwise not. By the way why you have installed Adobe reader?! The inbuilt reader is much better than adobe that comes with ubuntu 12.04. – Ravi Jun 17 '12 at 14:38

I finally found a perfect solution.

Okular, a good pdf viewer that hilights pdf texts.

Check the following links:



  • So, you start another story finally. – Nick Dong Mar 17 '20 at 11:01

This means that these options are only available if the PDF allows you to.

A PDF has built-in permissions that are in no way connected to the "read and write" permissions of the file system. For example, a author may disallow copying of text, printing, commenting etc. regardless of said file system permissions.

You might want to use another PDF viewer as suggested.

  • 2
    OK, then what is the solution if I just want to highlight pdf texts in Ubuntu? It seems possible with Adode reader v10, but only v9 available to Ubuntu (there are alternative ways to view the pdf document, that is a different story) – DUKE Jun 18 '12 at 0:51
  • 2
    Same document allows highlighting when opened with Adobe reader V10 (on Mac OSX), but not allow the same when opened with Adobe reader V9 (on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS). But unfortunately, Adobe reader V10 not available for Ubuntu. – DUKE Jun 18 '12 at 4:08
  • Could this help you, or at least describes your problem accurately? (forums.adobe.com/message/4048304). Can you actually check the checkboxes and press OK? Or are you not even allowed to check the box? – moewe Jun 18 '12 at 6:40
  • 1
    I can check the checkboxes and be able to press OK, but after doing so nothing happens (except the dialog vanishes) – DUKE Jun 18 '12 at 11:46
  • Well, according to the link above this exact behaviour is an issue concerning the GTK+ libraries. There seems to be no solution on the internet as far as I could see. Maybe you want o try another pdf reader. Evince should be sufficient. – moewe Jun 18 '12 at 14:11

What Adobe Reader wants you to do is get access to Adobe Reader Pro (note there is a time-limited free fully-functional trial), open the PDF, go to

File > Save As Other... > Reader Extended PDF > Enable More Tools (includes form fill-in & save)...

(That's a triply-nested menu!)

And then you get a PDF file that looks just the same, but will have all those other options no longer greyed-out when opened in the free Adobe Reader. This includes the entire Comment & Markup Toolbar * showing up, as well as all the tools that can be enabled on it.

<rant> The most striking aspect of this story is that Adobe wants us to jump through hoops after we paid for the Adobe Reader Professional. And it doesn't even tell us that it wants us to buy the Pro version to enable these tools. What, "enable document rights" is supposed to be self-explanatory? It's a complete usability mess. What are those 12000 employees doing? It's not even evil. There is no conceivable way this arrangement can play out in Adobe's favour. It seems like a committee had a hand in this... </rant>

  • 1
    Adobe reader 9.5.5 i486 linux only have File -> Save as Text or File -> Save a Copy. There is no Save As Other.... Not work. – Nick Dong Mar 17 '20 at 11:07

Evince is the Gnome counterpart of Okular (KDE). On Ubuntu 20.04 and 20.10 it is the default PDF viewer. It supports:

  1. Highlighting text - you can switch to any color
  2. Notes - separate popup with an icon that remains in place after you enter text and close the popup
  3. Inline notes (double-click highlighted text and enter notes in the popup)

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