Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
A lot of people, when you ask them to please mark up a PDF in Acrobat or a Reader, they will say, "Well, I can go ahead and put a couple of sticky notes around here and maybe say something should be deleted, but it's a lot easier for me if I can just print it out and then draw on it, with a pen or pencil. And then can I fax it to you?" Well, I guess you could always do that if they're the client and they're paying, but you can say, "Hey! Did you know that there are actually drawing tools that you can use for commenting? And all you do is go to the Comment panel and look at Drawing Markups right underneath Annotations." So you can get close, especially if you have a say a pen tablet, to using these kind of things and free-form markup a PDF right onscreen without actually having to select individual letters, for example.
So let's go through some of these. First of all, let's try just a real simple one, like the arrow. So if I select the arrow and then I come out to my page and I just drag, like I'm pointing at this guy, that's all it is. It's just a little bit of markup that can be shown and hidden and printed and not printed. And then if you want to add some sort of note next to it, just double-click it, and you'll get a little pop-up that appears, letting you typed something in, like, "can we try a color picture?" Now the reason that this is colored green and is this thick is because, at some point, the last time when I used this tool, I changed the defaults, because otherwise it would be red in one point like these other ones.
So if you right-click on a selected drawing markup and choose Properties, you can change their properties and then turn on Make Properties Default so that from then on, every time that you use that tool, that's what the tool looks like. So, for example, if I wanted, from now on all, of these arrows to look orange, then I can turn on Make Properties Default and click OK. Before I click OK, let's jump over here to the General tab, because also if I want to change the Author name--like let's say I don't want to be Anne-Marie for this round of proofing, I'm somebody else, so I'll be Marcia-- then you can just change your name right there.
So click OK, and now that's orange, and it's done by Marcia. Then also it changes here. It's kind of hard to tell that it's orange, and the other one is red, but take my word for it. So that's Arrow tool and did you also notice that if you happened to drag wrong, like let's say I grab the arrow tool again, and I want to point at this empty white space, all right, like oops! What did I do? So you don't have to delete this and drag again. You can just right-click, and choose Flip Line. So that's a wonderful little feature of all the Arrow tools here.
The Text Box Drawing Markup tool is very useful because you can just drag out any kind of frame anywhere you like on the page and then type a note. So I'm just typing some gibberish here. But you can swipe over all this text here, right-click, and choose a different text style. You can also click right just outside the edge of the frame itself to select the frame, and you can resize the frame. You can also right-click on that selected frame, choose Properties, and choose different settings for the properties of the frame. Like, for example, I almost always will change the fill color to none in case I happen to obscure something in the page, and you might even want to change the border style to none.
So now, I can drag this guy over and deselect--let's choose the Hand tool--and it looks like it's just part of the page, but it's actually a comment. The text callout is a cross between the Arrow and the Text box tool. So you can just start dragging at something that you want to comment on, and it creates a text box with an arrow pointing to it--very useful. I know a lot of people who have marked up my PDF have used that tool a bit. We have a Straight Line tool, which is pretty self-explanatory, as is the Ellipse and the Square and the Cloud tool.
Well, the Cloud tool deserves special mention. The Cloud tool is one of the Polygon tools, meaning that you don't actually drag out a cloud; that's what you might think looking at it, but no, it's not what happens. Instead, you're supposed to click corners of the cloud. I don't know the last time you saw a cloud with corners, but that's how it works. And then you get back to the beginning point to that area with the black square, you just click once, and it closes the shape. Now I heard that you ever need to drag out a cloud. I mean this, obviously, this is a shape for like, you are supposed to enclose something that you want to call the person's attention to. But its saving grace is that you can right-click on it and change that bump kind of style for the line to something more useful, like say a dashed line.
Let's make this a thicker amount, and we'll change the color to green, and you can see why this would be useful. Then we have a Polygon tool and a Line tool. They both work the same except that one always makes close shape; one always makes an open shape. So here is the closed shape. Say I wanted to say something about this purple bit of texture, there is closed shape and then the open shape. You can just say, this section here, you double-click to finish it, exactly as though I had drawn on here with the pen saying, "This section, right here." Then we have the Free-form tool so that you can actually draw whatever you'd like. Like, for example, if I want to say that these two elements should be flipped, you can drag out this kind of Proof mark tool.
It looks kind of bumpy, but everybody understands that you're drawing it with this tool, and it always comes out bumpy. It never looks smooth. Again, if you're not sure the person is going to understand what you're saying, by dragging this out, you can always double-click it, open up the pop-up and type some explanation: "please flip the position of these 2 bits of text." If you don't like what you did with that Free-form tool, there is this cute little pink gum eraser tool that you can use to just drag over what you just created, and it erases as it goes.
So between the regular annotations kind of comments and the drawing markup kind of comments, I believe that Acrobat has you covered, as far as marking up a PDF.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
82 Video lessons · 74539 Viewers
80 Video lessons · 129748 Viewers
52 Video lessons · 63980 Viewers
59 Video lessons · 49751 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.