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Annotate like a boss with PDF mark-up tools

Note: if you’re running Adobe Acrobat 2023 or later, check out our updated post.

During the design process you’ll probably want communicate a few changes to the designer. There are a number of ways to do this, but the simplest and most accurate method is to use the PDF mark-up tools.

The PDF mark-up tools allow you to add comments to PDF files with sticky notes, highlight specific text, and strike through text you’d like deleted.

There are other benefits to using PDF mark-up tools.

  • They’re quick and easy to mark up, meaning changes can be turned around faster.
  • They increase accuracy, meaning there are less errors and frustration.
  • There’s no printing, and this means there are great cost and environmental benefits.

How to mark up a PDF

1. Show mark-up tools

an image showing PDF mark-up tools

Choose Tools > Comment to open the Comment toolbar. The comments that you add to the document are displayed in the right pane.

2. Sticky notes

an image showing the sticky note tool

The Rolls-Royce of PDF mark-ups is the sticky note. It 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 by:

  • selecting the sticky note tool in the Comment toolbar, and clicking where you want to place the note
  • typing text into the pop-up note.

3. Highlight text

an image showing the highlight text tool

The highlight tool is useful for allocating changes to a specific part of the text and it allows you to highlight any piece of text on the page, then apply a comment to it.

  • Select the highlight text tool in the Comment toolbar, then select the text you want to highlight.
  • Add a comment in the right pane, if required.

4. Strikethrough text

an image showing the strike-through text tool

The strike-through tool is a quick and easy way to show where text needs to be removed.

  • Select the strikethrough text tool in the Comment toolbar, then select the text you want to delete.
  • Add a comment in the right pane, if required.

Further options

There are a number of other tools to help you mark up your PDF, such as the drawing tool, insert text at curser, and the add attachment feature. You can read more on them here, or have a play around within Adobe Acrobat – most features are intuitive and user-friendly.

If you have any questions about marking up a PDF, our team of designers is always happy to provide advice.

Image showing a PDF file