Using Adobe Reader

Using the Commenting tools on a PDF file in Adobe Reader is the most effective way to communicate changes and revisions to the Designer. Additional benefits include:

  • Streamlining the review/revision process. Sending a marked-up PDF via email or FTP allows a client to see the document in a color layout that can be forwarded or printed.
  • Tracking revisions with easy-to-use tools. Using the Text Edit and other commenting tools allows the designer to easily find the correct document and make revisions without having to decipher handwriting or other guesswork.
  • Cutting down on paper and toner usage. While it is possible to print out a PDF file, it is not necessary. The client can make comments right within the PDF file and email it back to the designer.
  • Protecting sensitive information. A PDF file can be locked and/or password protected if the content is confidential.


Five easy steps to download Adobe Reader:

Please ensure that your operating system has the most recent version of by following these steps to download the free Adobe Reader:

  1. Visit
  2. Find the “Adobe Reader” link.
  3. The Adobe website will evaluate your operating system and suggest which version of Adobe Reader will work on your system.
  4. Click the “Download now” button. The installer will download to your hard drive. Please make a note of what the filename is and where you have saved it (the Desktop is a good place to save this file).
  5. Once the file has downloaded, double click on it and follow the installation instructions.


Marking up a PDF file using the Annotations tools:

There are several tools that can be used for Commenting within Adobe Reader. These tools are found under the Comment tab on the top right side of the screen.

The amount of tools that appear when you open Comments depends on what type of PDF file you have received. If you open a regular PDF, you will only see Sticky Note and Highlight Text. Using Sticky Note is usually a bad idea, as the notes sometimes move on the page and it becomes difficult to know where the revision should be placed.

You will see the full suite of Commenting tools when you receive a PDF where Comments have been enabled. This enabling needs to be done by your designer or someone with the full version of Adobe Acrobat Pro.

When you open this type of document and click on the Comment tab in the upper right side of the screen, a several lists will appear, including Annotations, Drawing Markups and Comments List. Click on the small triangle next to Annotations to view the Commenting tools:

To use any tool, click on it to choose it from the palette, then highlight the text within the document that needs to be revised. Start typing in the updated text and a small edit box will appear with the new text. You can modify items within this box at any time.

The most useful tool for marking up revisions is Insert Text at Cursor. In the screen shot below, it is the first tool in the second row. If you would like to insert text, choose Insert Text at Cursor and click on the page where the new text should appear, then start typing. The same edit box will appear and you can type in your new or modified text.

A few other handy markup tools for Commenting on a PDF file include: Attach File, Replace, and Strikethrough. Just move your mouse over the tool and a tooltip should show the name.

The Drawing Markups pane provides you with simple shapes and arrows to indicate changes to the PDF.

Notice that the edits you are making show up in the Comments List on the right side of the document. You can double click on any list item to move your cursor to that position on the page.

When you are finished marking up the PDF:

Save the file, using the original file name and adding _edit to the end of the filename.

Example: original filename is Spring Flyer.pdf, new filename with comments is Spring Flyer_edits.pdf.