Same PDF file, two different Macs - one new iMac M1 running Big Sur, the other an old Mac Pro still on Mojave.
Prefs on both Preview apps are identical. Permissions are fine. Both Macs were sent individual copies of this form via email so I've tested both forms on both Macs, with the same results.

On Mojave, simply clicking in any text area adds the appropriate text box which can then be typed into.
On Big Sur, the text insert simply does not appear.
All other tools work as expected, including the manual-drag text box.


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Big Sur [including other example notation types]
No amount of clicking will set up an in-place text box at the cursor position.

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1 Answer 1


In your screen shot of Big Sur's Preview app you have "Text Selection" selected, clicking the "A" surrounded with a dotted box to insert text.

Big Sure Preview app highlighting Text feature

  • That makes a text box right in the middle of the document, with "Text" written in it. - which does work, but I don't want a text box plonked in the middle of the document, I just want the text you get with a single click in the desired location, as in my first image.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 27, 2021 at 15:29
  • @Tetsujin I'm not sure that Preview has that functionality any more. The only way I have found to place text is to plonk it down and then move it. Oct 27, 2021 at 19:57
  • 1
    Seems to be a more & more common theme these days. Remove existing functionality whilst adding more bells & whistles no-one really needs.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 6, 2021 at 11:05

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