March 3, 2024
Learn how to annotate a PDF with this comprehensive guide. Discover the best software, tools, and devices for annotating PDFs. Explore professional use cases and step-by-step instructions.


PDFs have become a ubiquitous format for sharing and storing documents, especially in the professional world. While PDFs are easy to send and read, annotating them can be a challenge. Adding notes, highlighting text, and making comments are all essential tools in making these documents more useful. That’s where this article comes in; it is a comprehensive guide to annotating PDFs, which will help you make the most of your documents.

Step-by-Step Guide to Annotating PDFs

Before you start, you will need a software program that allows you to annotate your PDFs. Adobe Acrobat, Foxit Reader, and PDF-XChange Editor are just a few examples. Once you have chosen a software program, you are ready to follow the steps below.

A. Download suitable software for the annotation process

Start by opening the PDF file you wish to annotate using the software program you have chosen. You can do so by dragging and dropping the PDF file into the software or by opening the file directly through the software program.

B. Highlighting text

To highlight text, select the highlight tool and choose the text you want to highlight. Some software programs allow you to choose the color of your highlight.

C. Underlining text

Similar to highlighting, underlining text is easy with the underline tool. Select the text you wish to underline and choose the underline tool in your toolbar.

D. Adding notes and comments

There are various ways to add notes and comments to your PDFs using the annotation tool. Firstly, you can add a comment box by selecting the ‘add comment’ tool and placing the box where you wish to insert the comment. Alternatively, it is also possible to add-text-box or a sticky note.

E. Drawing and Adding shapes to the PDF document

The ‘drawing tool’ allows for more customization options when annotating a PDF. This feature allows you to add shapes, arrows, lines, circles, and squares, to name a few.

Video Tutorial on Annotating PDFs

Video tutorials are an excellent resource to learn how to annotate a PDF. They provide a practical overview of how to use each feature of the software.

Compare Software for Annotating PDFs

With many annotation software programs on the market, it can be tough to know which one to choose. In this section, we will examine some of the most widely used programs for annotating PDFs and analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

Best Tools for Markup PDFs

In this section, we will look at different tools for annotating PDFs. Each tool has unique features that are intended to better assist specific areas. For example, Adobe Acrobat is an excellent tool if you are looking to add digital signatures to the PDF file.

Examples of Professional Use Cases for Annotated PDFs

PDF annotations can be useful for a variety of business purposes. In this section, you will learn about some commonly used business applications where annotated PDFs are put to good use.

Multiple Device Options for Annotated PDFs

One of the great benefits of annotating PDFs is the ability to do it anywhere. While desktop and laptop computers may be the most common devices for viewing PDFs, there are several other options out there.


The ability to annotate PDFs is an essential skill in both the academic and professional worlds. Whether you’re highlighting, underlining, adding comments or drawing shapes, the ability to annotate PDFs can help you get the most out of your documents. By following the steps outlined above, you will be able to begin annotating your PDFs in no time.

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