PDFs are popular file options because they protect the information contained within them. It doesn’t matter if you are sending a business proposal, letter, or essay, if you don’t want the recipient to make edits to the original text, then send them a PDF.

If you’ve been sent a PDF file and have been asked for feedback, you may be wondering how to markup a PDF in Adobe Reader. Although PDFs make it harder for the content to be changed, it’s still possible to add comments, questions, and/or suggestions to the file using the PDF drawing markup tools.

Within this article, you will find step-by-step instructions on how to add comments, mark up the document, and perform some other tasks in a PDF file using Adobe Reader.

How to Markup a PDF in Adobe Reader Using Comments

Adding comments to a PDF document is a great way to draw attention to changes you would like to see made within the document. When it comes to adding comments to a PDF, these are the steps you’ll follow:

Step 1: Download the Document

When wondering how to use the PDF drawing markup tools, the first thing you’ll need to do is download the PDF file to your computer. There are options to markup PDF online, but your changes may not be saved.

Save the PDF in your Download folder or another folder on your computer where it can be easily found and accessed.

Step 2: Open the Document

When learning how to markup a PDF in Adobe Reader, after downloading it to your computer, you’ll then want to navigate to the folder where it was saved and double-click on it to open it.

Step 3: Choose “Add Text” from the PDF Drawing Markup Tools

When learning how to markup a PDF in Adobe Reader, the “Add text” option allows you to add text boxes to various places throughout the document. After clicking on this option in the toolbar at the top of the page, your cursor will change to look like a large “I” in a dotted box.

Depending on where you want your textbox to appear, you will move the cursor throughout the document and then click your mouse when you’ve found the right spot. A box will appear with the words “Start typing here…” This is where you will insert your text.

When you are done, click on the document outside of the textbox. Your note will be added to the PDF in a different color to ensure it stands out.

How to Change the Color of Your Text

Speaking of text color, it’s possible to change the color when using the textbox to mark up the PDF. To do this, you’ll want to make sure your text is highlighted. You’ll know it is because the box will appear around the words.

Different options will appear at the top. The text color option has an “A” with a color bar beneath it. Click on the down arrow to select one of four colors for the text.

Other formatting options include the size of the text and text spacing. If you decide you don’t want this comment included in the PDF, you can click the trash can to delete it.

How to Markup a PDF in Adobe Reader Using “Draw”

In addition to text, another option you have when it comes to adding comments, questions and/or suggestions to a PDF is to use the “Draw” option. You can use your finger or a pen to draw attention to certain aspects of the documents or write comments in your own hand.

To achieve these goals, these are the steps you’ll need to follow:

Step 1: Download and Open the Document

If you haven’t already done so, make sure to download the document to a folder on your computer so that you can access it when it’s convenient for you.

If it’s not already opened on your computer, that’s the next step you’ll need to take.

Step 2: Choose “Draw” from the Toolbar

This is found at the top of the page in the toolbar. After clicking on it, your cursor will change to look like a pen. You can then make marks on the PDF document.

How to Change the Color of Markups

If you are wondering how to change the color of the marks you make with the “Draw” option, this is something that needs to be done before you begin marking up the document.

Next to the word “Draw,” you will see a down arrow. When you click on this, it will open a menu with different color options. Click on the one you want to use.

At the bottom of the menu is a sliding scale that says, “Thickness.” This changes how fat or skinny the marks on the document are. Move the dot back and forth along the line until you find the desired thickness to ensure that your marks stand out from the rest of the content.

How to Markup a PDF in Adobe Reader Using Highlight

Yet another option you have when learning how to markup a PDF in Adobe Reader is to use the “Highlight” option. This works like a highlighter you would use in real life or in other word processing documents.

To use the highlighter, you’ll follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the PDF

Make sure the document has been downloaded to your computer, and then open it from the folder you saved it in.

Step 2: Choose “Highlight” from the Toolbar

Click on “Highlight” in the toolbar at the top of the page. Your cursor will change into a box with a dotted outline.

Go to the section within the PDF that you want to draw attention to. Hold down the left mouse button and drag the cursor over the text. When you’re done, release the mouse button. The text will now be highlighted in a different color.

You can change the color of the highlighting and the thickness of the line from the drop-down menu under the “Highlight” option at the top of the screen.

Tips When Annotating a PDF on a Tablet

If you have a touchscreen tablet and you want to use your finger or a pen to markup a PDF, you can, but this process only applies to the “Draw” and “Highlight” options of the annotation tools.

To use your finger or a pen, after clicking on the “Draw” or “Highlight” tab at the top of the page, you will see the “Draw with Touch” option highlighted on the far side of the toolbar. It looks like a hand with the index finger extended and a circle under the finger.

Click on this.

You’ll know it has been selected because there will be a blue bar beneath the icon on the menu and you’ll be able to use your finger or pen to markup the PDF.

If you are wondering how to annotate a PDF on an iPad, it’s also possible to use a pen by clicking on the Markup icon and then using the tool to draw on the document.

How to Erase Your Marks

When asking how to markup a PDF in Adobe Reader, if you find that you’ve made a mistake when drawing or highlighting the document, you can erase those changes by following these steps:

Step 1: Access the PDF

If the PDF isn’t already open, find it in your folders and double-click on it.

Step 2: Erase Your marks

Click on the “Erase” option in the toolbar at the top of the page.

The cursor will change so that it looks like an eraser. You will then go to the drawing or highlighted text and click on it. The mark should disappear.

Make Sure to Save the Document

For all of the steps listed above, the final step you want to undertake is saving your PDF document. This ensures that your changes are in place if you need to send it to another reviewer or back to the person who sent it to you.

At the top of the page in the toolbar, you’ll find a disk icon. Click on this to save the PDF with the current file name to whatever folder you originally placed it in.

If you want to change the name of the file and/or place it in another folder, you’ll click the “Save as” option. This looks like a disk with a pencil in front of it.

When you click “Save as,” a new menu will appear. You can add the name of the file to the dialogue box, then choose the destination folder from the list of options that exist on your computer.

How to Annotate a PDF on Mac

If you happen to have an Apple computer and you’re wondering how to annotate a PDF on Mac, these are the steps you’ll need to follow:

Step 1: Open the PDF

The first thing you’ll want to do before you can start annotating on your Mac is to open the PDF you want to mark up.

This can be done by clicking on the PDF directly from whatever file it’s been saved in, or by going to the Preview app, which is already included on your computer.

Step 2: Choose the Right Tools

Once the PDF has been opened in the Preview app, go to the top of the page and look for the Tools tab.

Click on it.

Step 3: Annotate the Document

Clicking on Tools will open a drop-down menu, and you’ll want to click on “Annotate.”

From there, you have a list of markup options to choose from, including “Highlight Text” and “Add Note.”

If you are highlighting, click that option, then use your cursor and mouse to select the text that should have color added to it.

When adding notes, click on that option then place your cursor in the document where you want your text to appear and click your mouse. Then, type your note.

If you are wondering how to annotate a PDF on iPad, you’ll follow the same steps listed above.

Step 4: Save the Document

After you’ve made your annotations, to ensure that the recipient is able to see what you’ve added, make sure to save the PDF. You can then attach it to an email and send it where it needs to go.

Markup PDF Online

In addition to using Adobe Reader to add comments, questions and/or suggestions to a PDF, there are also online tools you can access. Some of the free options you might consider using include the following:

Most of these options come with both free and paid features, with the free features limiting exactly what you can do to your PDF document. However, if you don’t markup PDFs often, any of these are good online options for you to try.

Creating the Best Document Possible

A lot of people prefer converting their documents into PDFs to ensure that others don’t make major changes to the content. The benefits of using Adobe Reader are the following:

  • It’s been around for a long time
  • Adobe has the PDF market cornered
  • Adobe is well-known and trusted by people around the world

Letting the creator of the PDF know that they need to make some edits is simple and easy when following the instructions we’ve given you. If you’re wondering how to markup a PDF in Adobe Reader, these are the steps you’ll take to add comments, questions and/or suggestions to the file:

  • Download the Document
  • Open the Document
  • Choose What PDF Drawing Markup Tools You Want to Use
    – Add Text
    – Draw
    – Highlight
    – Erase
  • Save the Document

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