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How to Annotate PDF Effortlessly

Ever wondered how to annotate PDF or are confused about the various platform options to add annotations to PDFs, such as online, desktop, and mobile methods? Well, get ready to discover how to annotate a PDF on Windows and Mac systems because this is the most common use-case scenario for marking up PDF documents.

Part 1. What are the Main Scenarios of PDF Annotations

The best way to annotate PDF is on a desktop or a mobile device. Annotations are an integral part of the PDF workflow because PDFs are inherently non-editable unless you have a special application called a PDF editor. However, annotations can be done with a range of Windows and Mac applications, and even through online services. So, where are PDF annotations used, primarily? Let’s look at some common use cases:

1. Review Feedback

Any document that’s shared between two people for the purpose of final approval usually goes through two or more iterations before the final version can go through. For reasons such as trackability and convenience, it is recommended that you add annotations to PDFs directly rather than send the feedback via a different document. It’s easier to point out errors and make content-specific suggestions when the annotations are alongside the corresponding content.

2. Design Reviews

Designs of any kind also go through various stages of development before the client or chief stakeholder approves the final version. During these review stages, PDF annotations offer a direct way to communicate with the design team so there’s no confusion about what needs to be added, removed, or changed. This review process is critical to the success of any design project that has multiple stakeholders.

3. Collaboration in Remote Work

In today’s digitized environment, a company’s workforce is often spread out across multiple locations. PDF annotations, therefore, are a key component of the communication process between employees or between different departments. Marking up documents, making notes, highlighting content, or providing feedback on work performed are all common use case scenarios in such situations.

4. Proofreading

Publications of any kind, such as books, articles, white papers, case studies, etc. typically go through several levels of quality control. One of these is proofreading, where the ‘proofer’ meticulously goes through the content to spot and ‘annotate’ typos, misalignments, wrong spacing, and other errors. Therefore, knowing how to annotate PDFs is an essential part of the editorial workflow.

Part 2. How to Annotate a PDF on Windows

Method 1. How to Annotate PDF on Windows with UPDF

UPDF is a free PDF annotator that allows you to highlight, underline, and draw on PDF easily. To annotate a PDF, you can follow the below steps.

Step 1. Lauch UPDF and Open PDF File

Firstly, you need to launch UPDF and then upload your file with UPDF by clicking the "Open File" button.

open pdf with updf

Step 2. Annotate PDF Files

Now you can click the "Comment" button on the top, and then start annotating PDF files. For example, you can markup text by highlights, underlines, and strikethroughs. You can also add comments through text, text box, and sticky note.

Moreover, it is available to add shapes to PDF, including rectangles, ovals, arrows, and lines. you can also change the shape properties, such as style, thickness, fill color, opacity, and color.

annotate pdf windows with updf

Video Tutorial on How to Annotate PDF on Windows

Method 2. Annotate PDF Files with Adobe Acrobat

Since Adobe Acrobat DC or Reader DC are the most used PDF readers in the commercial realm, let’s look at how to annotate PDF on Windows using one of these useful tools:

Step 1. Open the PDF in Acrobat DC or Reader DC

You can do this by dragging a file into the Acrobat interface or using the File → Open option

Step 2. Click the Comment tool to see all annotation options

annotate pdf windows

The annotation toolbar can be seen right below the main toolbar and contains various options such as text boxes, callouts, freehand drawing, preset shapes, stamps, and so on

Step 3. Select a tool such as highlighting or shapes and then click on the document where you want it to appear or select the content to be annotated

Step 4. You can adjust the size, color, font, position, etc. of the annotation and then click anywhere to apply it

Step 5. Save the newly annotated PDF with a different name to avoid any confusion

That's the method of annotating PDF on Windows. Moreover, if you don't want to download software on your device, you can also choose to annotate PDF online. But it must be noted that most of the online tools will have limitations on your file size. If your file size is too big, you cannot upload your PDF to the online tool. So, you can choose the right tool as you needed.

Part 3. How to Annotate PDF on Mac

On a Mac, you can use a great annotation tool such as UPDF for Mac, which is actually a full-fledged PDF editor that has a built-in markup tool. It also enables you to add notes, shapes, and stamps to PDF files. Apart from these core functions, UPDF also has a powerful page management tool to help you organize your PDFs just the way you want. Moreover, UPDF is releasing its tools in a cadenced manner, and we’ll soon see file conversion, OCR, etc. appear in upcoming versions of this stunningly designed free PDF editor.

annotate pdf with updf

There are several advantages to using UPDF as your PDF editor of choice:

  • 100% free PDF editor with premium tools - You pay nothing to start using UPDF right away, and new features are constantly being added to eventually cover all basic and advanced PDF capabilities
  • Lightweight and Fast - UPDF is designed to be light on its feet, allowing you to work through your PDF documents faster than ever before. Intuitive design elements and a user-friendly interface contribute in large part to the amazing user experience of UPDF
  • Comprehensive PDF Editing - Control any and all elements of a PDF file at the touch of your mouse. Add, remove, or modify content, and change any attributes you need to, such as font size, style, and color, and much more

Steps to Annotate PDF on Mac with UPDF:

Step 1. Launch UPDF and open your PDF file.

Step 2. Click the "Comment" button to enter annotation mode.

Step 3. Annotate your PDF with the rich collection of annotation tools in the top toolbar.

Step 4. Save the file and update the file name to reflect the markups.

annotate pdf on mac

What's more, if you want to know more about other tools to annotate PDF on Mac, you can check these 5 PDF annotators for Mac. Based on your needs and the tool's features, choose a proper tool to enhance your work.

Parting Thoughts

As you can see, it’s super easy to learn how to annotate PDF files when you have the right tools. For Mac users, the new UPDF application is one of the best annotation tools around because it’s 100% free and very attractively designed to make it fun for PDF users. The simplified interface and powerful functionality are all contained in a fast and responsive application that won’t eat up your Mac’s resources or force your system to hang like most other free PDF editors that promise the moon but can’t even get off the ground!

In stark contrast, UPDF gives you a pure and unadulterated PDF experience that is superior even to many premium PDF editors. Try UPDF today and feel the difference in your workflow productivity and the way you interact with PDF documents, whether it’s for a simple annotation job or an elaborate editing session.

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