Unable to access Acrobat's Tool properties toolbar (greyed out, or "no current selection")


Unable to access Acrobat's Tool properties toolbar.

The Properties toolbar can become inaccessible (grayed out, or listing 'no current selection") when working with tools (such as the commenting tools) on 2 or more PDF documents. The active property toolbar only remains active on the PDF document where you started using a tool.


Acrobat 9.x:

Only work on one document at a time when you require access to the properties of a tool.

  1. Close and save the open PDF files and close Acrobat.
  2. Re-open the target PDF on which you want to use a tool and require to access the properties of a tool.

Acrobat 8.x: 

Turn off the document preference "show each document in its own window"


  1. Go to edit>preferences drop-down menu
  2. Select the 'Documents' preferences
  3. Untick Show Each Document In Its Own Window



  1. Go to Acrobat>preferences drop-down menu
  2. Select the 'Documents' preferences
  3. Untick Show Each Document In Its Own Window


Due to the nature of this issue it is not possible to address this issue in the current release.

Additional information

The Properties toolbar provides easy access to the properties for many tools and objects such as links, comments, form fields, media clips, and bookmarks. For example, if you select the Note tool, the Properties toolbar displays the current default properties for that tool. If you select a note in the document, the Properties toolbar displays properties for that note.

You can use the Properties toolbar to change many of the settings that appear there. A few items only provide information and cannot be edited.

Like all toolbars, the Properties toolbar can float or be docked in the toolbar area. The Properties toolbar is different in that it doesn’t contain tools and can’t be customized to hide options.

  1. Choose View > Toolbars > Properties Bar.
  2. Select the object or tool that you want to review.
  3. Change properties for the selected item, as desired.
If you want to change object properties other than those listed in the Properties toolbar, right-click the object, and choose Properties.


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