Adobe Reader PDF Annotation


Adobe Reader LogoThe latest versions of Adobe Reader (XI) have introduced annotation and commenting tools for marking up PDFs. The annotations and comments you save with your PDF can then be read and manipulated across a whole range of devices running the latest versions of Adobe Reader or on mobile devices, the official Adobe Reader App.

On a PC or Mac

  1. Open your PDF in Adobe Reader XI.
  2. Click the Comment button (top right), or select from the menu bar: View > Comment > Annotations. The Comment pane will appear on the right of the screen.
  3. Select an annotation tool listed under the Annotations heading, then click on the document where you want the annotation to be made. To draw lines or shapes, select the tools listed under the Drawing Markups heading.

Tip: On a Mac, you will automatically have a programme called Preview installed. This also offers annotation functionality. Click the Annotate button from the toolbar. Annotation tools appear at the bottom of the document.

On a mobile device

Adobe Reader App on a Kindle Fire HD with Annotation Toolbar
  1. Open your PDF file using the Adobe Reader App.
  2. Tap the top of the screen to access the App toolbar. Tap the Annotation icon: adobe-reader-app-annotation-icon.
  3. Choose the tool you want to annotate with: comment, highlight, strike-through, underline, text or pen.
  4. Create your annotation by drawing on the document.
  5. Click Save (top right) to store your annotation.

To delete or amend an annotation, access the Annotation toolbar (steps 1-2), then tap the annotation you want to edit. A popup menu appears that allows you to change the annotation or delete it.

Workflow for using Adobe PDF commenting on tablets

Printing comments out

We’ve tested printing the ‘post-it note’ type comments using Adobe Reader. When you send to print, click the ‘Summarise Comments’ button in the Print popup box (where you choose the printer and what pages you want to print). Then send to print. The post-its are printed with numbers, and the associated comments printed on subsequent pages.

Useful links


4 thoughts on “Adobe Reader PDF Annotation

  1. Sometimes you may need to use a machine where you cannot install software and a suitable version of Adobe is not already there. For the PC there are portable applications available – I’m happy with PDFXchange viewer ( free for non-commercial use. I use iAnnotate (not free) on my iPad, links well to Skydrive and Dropbox.

    • Thanks for this Neil and a good point. I’ll add portable apps to our list of updates as well as taking a look at online applications to get around this very situation… in fact I can feel a case study coming on!


    • I think the only way would be to print the comment summary page separately. When you use Adobe Reader’s print dialogue (File > Print), at the top right the ‘Summarize Comments’ button produces an extra printable page you can print on its own with all the comments. Then, if you wanted to print the main document, print again without using that button. The toggle for annotation printing is available within the Edit > Preferences > Commenting.

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