How to Add Comments to a PDF With Acrobat Reader
by Elizabeth Mott
PDF files enable you to share and comment on content created in a wide range of applications. Adobe Reader, formerly called Acrobat Reader, offers a subset of the capabilities of the paid Adobe Acrobat products in a free application that you can distribute to your employees. How the creator of a PDF file sets up her document determines the extent to which you can use Reader's commenting tools to mark the file with notes about its content.
Select the Sticky Note tool from the Annotations panel. Click, or click and drag, on a PDF document page to create a note. Type your comments in the box created by the tool.
Choose the Highlight tool from the Annotations panel. Click and drag through a stretch of text to apply a bright yellow background over it, similar to the appearance of a highlighter pen. Double-click on the highlight with the Hand tool to type a comment in the box associated with your markup.
Select the Text Box tool from the Drawing Markups panel. Click, or click and drag, on your document to add a box with a colored border, and type your observations in it.
Choose the Text Callout tool from the Drawing Markups panel. Click on the page detail on which you want to comment, and move your cursor to the position at which you want the comment box to appear. Adobe Reader connects the box to the commenting subject with a colored arrow. Type your text in the box.
Use the Line tool from the Drawing Markups panel to create a straight line segment at any angle on a document page. Use the Hand tool to double-click on the line so you can add your thoughts to its comment box.
Select the Arrow tool from the Drawing Markups panel to draw an arrow pointing at a detail you want to accentuate. Double-click on the arrow to open its comment box so you can type your annotations.
Choose the Oval or Rectangle tool from the Drawing Markups panel to create elliptical or circular markups. By themselves, these tools draw ellipses or rectangles on your document pages. When you hold down the "Shift" key while you use these tools, their output becomes circular or square. Double-click on these shapes to reveal their comment boxes.
Select the Cloud tool from the Drawing Markups panel to enclose an area of interest within a freeform outline with a border comprised of semicircles like a cartoon cloud. This tool requires you to click and drag to create each side of an enclosure that must include at least three sides. Double-click on your cloud to access its comment box.
Use the Polygon tool from the Drawing Markups panel the way you use the Cloud tool, clicking and dragging to define the length and angle of each side of your geometric shape. Double-click on your polygon to enter comments.
Select the Polygon Line tool from the Drawing Markups panel to enclose an area within an open shape comprised of connected lines. Each time you click as you create your shape, you draw another line segment. To add comments, double-click on the shape.
Choose the Pencil tool from the Drawing Markups panel to draw an open, freeform outline. The tool remains selected until you switch to another tool, so you can click and draw on multiple areas and pages of a PDF file. To associate the output of this tool with a comment box, double-click on your drawing. To remove parts of what you've drawn, switch to the Eraser tool, also in the Drawing Markups panel.
- If you need more commenting rights than a file provides, contact its creator for a replacement document with broader permissions enabled.
- To enlarge a comment box created by any of the tools, select the box and drag either its lower right corner or one of its anchor points, depending on the box type.
- To change the look of a comment shape, right-click on it and select "Properties" from the menu at your cursor. You also can access the Properties dialog box by right-clicking with a commenting tool before you use it.
- Only the Sticky Note and Highlight tools become available in Adobe Reader, unless the document author enabled Reader comments when she created the PDF.