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How to Markup PDF Document

PDF is a popular format and allows us to share knowledge by transferring it in document form. In fact, most of the modern knowledge can be transferred in this particular format. However, if you are going to transfer or deliver knowledge you will want it to look good and be easy to read. Therefore, you need to markup your pdf document before delivering. Markup refers to organizing the concepts typically using a pencil or pen, but unlike handwriting markup can also be applied digitally. Let’s now go through simple steps on how to markup pdf free and improve the quality of information that is being transferred.

If you need to add text or mark up a PDF document, you can do it by using several different methods. You can print the file or copy and paste text from another source, but the easiest is to use the drawing markup tools built into most PDF viewers. By highlighting a tool and then clicking on your document, you’ll be able to draw lines and shapes on your PDF.

Many people think they can’t markup a PDF document because they don’t have Adobe Acrobat or other software that is needed to create PDF files. The truth is, though, that you don’t need any special software to draw on a PDF file. You can use other tools and still make changes to a PDF document if you want.

If you have a bunch of documents that you want to share with others, but finding it difficult to convert them on your own, then the solution is simple – just visit this website and learn how to markup pdf document. Here we will show you the best way to change the file extension of pdf files and convert them into word format for the ease of accessing and editing its contents.

How to annotate PDF files:

  1. Open a PDF in Acrobat and select the Comment tool.
  2. Add PDF annotations to your file. You can add text boxes and sticky notes, underline text, strikethrough content, highlight text, and more.
  3. Save your file. You can also use the Share With Others icon to send the file to others for commenting, but only select annotations are supported.

Add comments while viewing a PDF document

With the May 2019 release of Acrobat DC, you can use quick actions in a floating toolbar to add comments while viewing a PDF. You do not have to open the commenting tool to access these actions. The following quick actions are available for commenting based on your selection in a PDF:Note:

If you are unable to see these options, update Acrobat DC to the latest version.

  • Actions on text selection: You can Highlight Text, Underline Text, Strikethrough Text, Copy Text, and Edit Text & Images.
Actions on text selection
  • Actions on image selection: When you select an image you can perform actions like Add Sticky Note, Highlight Text, Edit Text & Images, and Copy Image.
Actions on image selection
  • Actions on highlight selection: When you select an existing highlight comment in a PDF you see quick actions to Add Note, Change Color, or Delete the comment.
Actions on highlight selection

Annotations and drawing markup tools overview

Note: In Acrobat Reader, complete commenting tools are available only in PDFs that have commenting enabled.

You use annotation and drawing markup tools to add comments. The commenting tools are made available in the secondary toolbar of the Comment feature. Comments are notes and drawings that communicate ideas or provide feedback for PDFs. You can type a text message using the Sticky Note tool. Alternatively, you can use a drawing tool to add a line, circle, or other shape and then type a message in the associated pop-up note. Text-editing tools let you add editing marks to indicate changes that you want in the source document. Most commenting and markup tools don’t appear in the toolbar until you enable the Commenting feature.Note:

In Acrobat Pro, you can add tags to your comments so that readers with motion or vision limitations can read them using assistive technologies.

Show annotations and drawing markup tools

Annotations and markup tools don’t appear by default, except when you open a PDF in a managed review workflow.

  1. Choose Tools > Comment to open the Comment toolbar. The comments that you add to the document are displayed in the right pane.Comment toolbar in AcrobatComment toolbarNote:To see the labels along with the tool icons, right-click on the Comment toolbar and select Show All Labels.
  2. The drawing markup tools are grouped under the Drawing Tools menu. Click the Drawing Tools icon  on the toolbar, and then select Expand Drawing Tools to add the drawing tools to the secondary toolbar.Drawing tools menu in AcrobatDrawing Tools menu

Select an annotation or drawing markup tool

  • Open the Comment toolbar and select the desired annotation tool.
  • To select the drawing markup tool, open the Comment toolbar and click the Drawing Tools icon . Select the desired tool from the Drawing Tools menu.


After you make an initial comment, the tool changes back to the Select tool so that you can move, resize, or edit your comment. (The Pencil and Highlight Text tools stay selected.)

Keep an annotation tool selected

You can add multiple comments without reselecting the tool.

  1. In the Comment toolbar, select the tool you want to use (but don’t use it yet).
  2. Click the Keep Tool Selected icon 

Add a sticky note


In Acrobat Reader, complete commenting tools are available only in PDFs that have commenting enabled. PDFs in a review workflow typically include commenting rights.

The most common type of comment is the sticky note. A sticky note has a note icon that appears on the page and a pop-up note for your text message. You can add a sticky note anywhere on the page or in the document area.

Sticky note comment in Acrobat
Use the Sticky Note tool to add a text message in a pop-up note.

Add a sticky note comment

  1. Select the Sticky Note tool  in the Comment toolbar, and click where you want to place the note.
  2. Type text in the pop-up note. You can also use the Select tool  to copy and paste text from a PDF into the note. Note:If you close the pop-up note, your text remains.

Edit a sticky note comment

  1. Click or double-click the note icon.
  2. Make changes, as needed: 
    • To resize the pop-up note, drag the lower-left or lower-right corner.
    • To change the text formatting, click the Text Properties icon in the Comment toolbar, and select the text, and then select the property you want in the toolbar.
     Note:Use the Commenting panel in the Preferences dialog box to change the font size, default pop-up behavior, and other settings for creating and viewing comments After making the desired changes, click the close (X) button in the upper-right corner of the pop-up note, or click outside the pop-up note.

Copy partial text in a sticky note comment

  1. Click or double-click the note icon.
  2. Select the text, and then right-click and copy text.

Delete a sticky note

  1. Select the Sticky Note tool , the Hand tool , or the Select tool .
  2. Select the note icon, and press Delete. Alternatively, double-click the note icon and choose Delete from the Options menu of the pop-up note.

Add a text comment

Use the Add Text Comment tool  to type text anywhere on the PDF page. The Add Text Comment tool is similar to the Add Text Box tool.

  1. Choose the Add Text Comment tool from the Comment toolbar.
  2. Click on the page to place the cursor
  3. To change the text formatting, click the Text Properties icon in the Comment toolbar, and select the text, and then select the property you want in the toolbar.

Change author name for comments

When you add a comment in a PDF file, by default your login name is used as author name for the comment. To change the author name, see change author name for comments.

Add a line, arrow, or shape


In Acrobat Reader , drawing tools are available only in PDFs that have commenting enabled. PDFs in a review workflow typically include commenting rights.

When selecting a drawing tool, consider the effect you want.

  1. Choose Tools > Comment. In the Comment toolbar, click Drawing Tools  and select the drawing markup tool: 
    • The Rectangle tool , the Oval tool , the Arrow tool , and the Line tool  let you create simple shapes.
    • The Cloud tool  and Polygon tool  create closed shapes with multiple segments. The Polygon Line tool  creates open shapes with multiple segments.
    • The Pencil tool  creates free-form drawings, and the Pencil Eraser tool  removes the pencil markups.
     Note:To specify the line width, color, and other properties before you draw, select the desired tool, and press Ctrl+E to open the properties toolbar. Set the desired options in the Properties toolbar.
  2. Draw in the PDF: 
    • To create a cloud or polygon shape, click to create the start point, move the pointer, and click to create each segment. To finish drawing the shape, click the start point, or right-click and choose Complete from the menu. Double-click to end a polygon line.
    • To draw a line, arrow, or rectangle, either drag across the area where you want the markup to appear, or click twice: once to create the start point and once to create the end point.
    • To draw a square or circle, or to draw a line that’s horizontal, vertical, or at a 45° angle, press Shift while you draw.
    • To draw free-form lines using the Pencil tool , drag where you want to begin drawing. You can release the mouse button, move the pointer to a new location, and continue drawing. To erase parts of the drawing, select the Pencil Eraser tool  and drag across the areas of the drawing that you want to remove.
  3. To edit or resize the markup, select it and drag one of the handles to make your adjustments.
  4. To add a pop-up note to the markup, select the Hand tool, and double-click the markup.
  5. (Optional) Click the close button in the pop-up note. A note icon appears to the right of the markup to indicate the presence of text in the pop-up note. Note:To delete a drawing markup, select it and press Delete.

Group and ungroup markups

You can group two or more markups so that your comments function as a single comment. You might group markups temporarily to move them to a new location or to modify their properties rather than editing each one individually. Grouping also helps to distinguish your markups from other reviewers’ markups in a document review.Note:

You cannot group text edit markups.

Group markups

  1. Using the Select tool or the Hand tool, select a markup.
  2. Ctrl-click/Command-click to select the markups you want to group.
  3. Right-click within the selection, and choose Group.

Ungroup markups

  1. Right-click the grouped selection, and choose Ungroup.

Add comments in a text box or callout


In Acrobat Reader, commenting tools are available only in PDFs that have commenting enabled. PDFs in a review workflow typically include commenting rights.

You can use the Text Box tool  to create a box that contains text. You can position it anywhere on the page and adjust it to any size. A text box remains visible on the document page; it doesn’t close like a pop-up note.

Text font and size are based on the system default settings.

Add comment in a text box or callout


You can add comments to Japanese, Chinese, and Korean text with the Text Box tool, but you must have the Asian-language resource files installed. Text boxes allow for horizontal text only.

You can use the Callout tool  to create a callout text box. Callout text boxes are especially useful when you want to single out—but not obscure—a particular area of a document. Callout text boxes have three parts: a text box, a knee line, and an end-point line. You can resize each part by dragging a handle. The knee line can be resized in one direction only; horizontal knee lines can be resized horizontally only; vertical knee lines can be resized vertically only. The text box expands vertically as you type so that all text remains visible.

You can move the text box itself or together with the end-point line. The text box moves around a stationary anchor point—the arrow on the end-point line—which is created when you first click in the PDF. You can modify the color and appearance of the text box and add arrows or leaders to the end-point line.

Add a text box

  1. Choose the Add Text Box  tool from the Comment toolbar.
  2. Click in the PDF.
  3. Choose the Text Properties icon in the Comment toolbar, and then select the color, alignment, and font attributes for the text.
  4. Type the text. Text wraps automatically when it reaches the right edge of the box.
  5. (Optional) To make further changes to the text box: 
    • Using the Select tool or the Text Box tool, click an edge of the text box to select it, and then drag a corner to resize it. Use the Properties toolbar to change the border and fill options.
    • Double-click the text box to edit the text or change the text attributes. Drag across text to select it, and then select options from the Properties toolbar.
  6. To delete the text box, select it, and then press Delete. Note:You can also paste a block of text by selecting and copying the text in any application, selecting the Hand tool in Acrobat, and choosing Edit > Paste.

How to Markup PDF on Mac

Marking up a PDF on Mac is relativity simple with the correct tools. Here, we would like to introduce you to an easy-to-use and professional PDFelement Pro tool, which can easily help you markup a PDF on your Mac operating system. Below is the detailed information about how to markup a PDF document by using PDFelement Pro markup program.TRY IT FREE

Step 1. Import PDF File to the Program

After download and launch this Mac PDF markup tool, click on the ‘Open‘ button to import your PDF file to the program.

open pdf

Step 2. Markup PDF

There are a number of PDF markup tools that you can choose from the ‘Markup‘ tab. It contains highlights, underlines, strikethrough and radio buttons to add notes to the text that you have highlighted.

highlight pdf 01

Step 3. Highlight PDF

You can click on the ‘Highlight‘ button and select any texts in PDF to highlight the texts. To Markup PDF files, you can use these PDF annotator tools to highlight the text you wish to mark up.

highlight pdf 01

Step 4. Add Sticky Notes or Text Boxes

You can also add a note for yourself or the reader to understand what you have done and why. Click on the ‘Stick Note‘ button; you can put notes anywhere you desire to click pages. You can even change their colors on the light menu window.

comment tools

Step 5. Add Freehand Drawing to PDF

When you want to use these drawing tools, you can click on the ‘Shapes.’ Drawing markup is a great way to direct the reader to the area that you have marked up without cluttering your paper. The drawing tools allow you to draw Arrow, Rectangle, Polygon, Line, Connected Lines, Oval, Squiggly Line, and more direct to text, along with different shapes that you can add to the markup. It also allows you to add freehand drawing.

comment shapes


Markup tools will be refined and become more feature rich as time goes on. These software do have differences in the way you can markup and add comments to a pdf file. But all the tools listed above offer a PC based version with the ability to markup pdf documents and a downloadable version for use with a tablet or smartphone. Some of these tools even allow you to mark up pdfs online, so no software download is required.

PDF documents are considered to be one of the most secure ways of distributing and sharing documents. While they were meant to provide peace of mind to users and provide efficiency to businesses, they haven’t really accomplished the task effectively.

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