User Guide Cancel

Use annotation and drawing markup tools to add comments in PDFs

  1. Acrobat User Guide
  2. Introduction to Acrobat
    1. Access Acrobat from desktop, mobile, web
    2. What's new in Acrobat
    3. Keyboard shortcuts
    4. System Requirements
  3. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Opening and viewing PDFs
      1. Opening PDFs
      2. Navigating PDF pages
      3. Viewing PDF preferences
      4. Adjusting PDF views
      5. Enable thumbnail preview of PDFs
      6. Display PDF in browser
    3. Working with online storage accounts
      1. Access files from Box
      2. Access files from Dropbox
      3. Access files from OneDrive
      4. Access files from SharePoint
      5. Access files from Google Drive
    4. Acrobat and macOS
    5. Acrobat notifications
    6. Grids, guides, and measurements in PDFs
    7. Asian, Cyrillic, and right-to-left text in PDFs
  4. Creating PDFs
    1. Overview of PDF creation
    2. Create PDFs with Acrobat
    3. Create PDFs with PDFMaker
    4. Using the Adobe PDF printer
    5. Converting web pages to PDF
    6. Creating PDFs with Acrobat Distiller
    7. Adobe PDF conversion settings
    8. PDF fonts
  5. Editing PDFs
    1. Edit text in PDFs
    2. Edit images or objects in a PDF
    3. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    4. Edit scanned PDFs
    5. Enhance document photos captured using a mobile camera
    6. Optimizing PDFs
    7. PDF properties and metadata
    8. Links and attachments in PDFs
    9. PDF layers
    10. Page thumbnails and bookmarks in PDFs
    11. Action Wizard (Acrobat Pro)
    12. PDFs converted to web pages
    13. Setting up PDFs for a presentation
    14. PDF articles
    15. Geospatial PDFs
    16. Applying actions and scripts to PDFs
    17. Change the default font for adding text
    18. Delete pages from a PDF
  6. Scan and OCR
    1. Scan documents to PDF
    2. Enhance document photos
    3. Troubleshoot scanner issues when scanning using Acrobat
  7. Forms
    1. PDF forms basics
    2. Create a form from scratch in Acrobat
    3. Create and distribute PDF forms
    4. Fill in PDF forms
    5. PDF form field properties
    6. Fill and sign PDF forms
    7. Setting action buttons in PDF forms
    8. Publishing interactive PDF web forms
    9. PDF form field basics
    10. PDF barcode form fields
    11. Collect and manage PDF form data
    12. About forms tracker
    13. PDF forms help
    14. Send PDF forms to recipients using email or an internal server
  8. Combining files
    1. Combine or merge files into single PDF
    2. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    3. Add headers, footers, and Bates numbering to PDFs
    4. Crop PDF pages
    5. Add watermarks to PDFs
    6. Add backgrounds to PDFs
    7. Working with component files in a PDF Portfolio
    8. Publish and share PDF Portfolios
    9. Overview of PDF Portfolios
    10. Create and customize PDF Portfolios
  9. Sharing, reviews, and commenting
    1. Share and track PDFs online
    2. Mark up text with edits
    3. Preparing for a PDF review
    4. Starting a PDF review
    5. Hosting shared reviews on SharePoint or Office 365 sites
    6. Participating in a PDF review
    7. Add comments to PDFs
    8. Adding a stamp to a PDF
    9. Approval workflows
    10. Managing comments | view, reply, print
    11. Importing and exporting comments
    12. Tracking and managing PDF reviews
  10. Saving and exporting PDFs
    1. Saving PDFs
    2. Convert PDF to Word
    3. Convert PDF to JPG
    4. Convert or export PDFs to other file formats
    5. File format options for PDF export
    6. Reusing PDF content
  11. Security
    1. Enhanced security setting for PDFs
    2. Securing PDFs with passwords
    3. Manage Digital IDs
    4. Securing PDFs with certificates
    5. Opening secured PDFs
    6. Removing sensitive content from PDFs
    7. Setting up security policies for PDFs
    8. Choosing a security method for PDFs
    9. Security warnings when a PDF opens
    10. Securing PDFs with Adobe Experience Manager
    11. Protected View feature for PDFs
    12. Overview of security in Acrobat and PDFs
    13. JavaScripts in PDFs as a security risk
    14. Attachments as security risks
    15. Allow or block links in PDFs
  12. Electronic signatures
    1. Sign PDF documents
    2. Capture your signature on mobile and use it everywhere
    3. Send documents for e-signatures
    4. About certificate signatures
    5. Certificate-based signatures
    6. Validating digital signatures
    7. Adobe Approved Trust List
    8. Manage trusted identities
  13. Printing
    1. Basic PDF printing tasks
    2. Print Booklets and PDF Portfolios
    3. Advanced PDF print settings
    4. Print to PDF
    5. Printing color PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    6. Printing PDFs in custom sizes
  14. Accessibility, tags, and reflow
    1. Create and verify PDF accessibility
    2. Accessibility features in PDFs
    3. Reading Order tool for PDFs
    4. Reading PDFs with reflow and accessibility features
    5. Edit document structure with the Content and Tags panels
    6. Creating accessible PDFs
  15. Searching and indexing
    1. Creating PDF indexes
    2. Searching PDFs
  16. Multimedia and 3D models
    1. Add audio, video, and interactive objects to PDFs
    2. Adding 3D models to PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    3. Displaying 3D models in PDFs
    4. Interacting with 3D models
    5. Measuring 3D objects in PDFs
    6. Setting 3D views in PDFs
    7. Enable 3D content in PDF
    8. Adding multimedia to PDFs
    9. Commenting on 3D designs in PDFs
    10. Playing video, audio, and multimedia formats in PDFs
    11. Add comments to videos
  17. Print production tools (Acrobat Pro)
    1. Print production tools overview
    2. Printer marks and hairlines
    3. Previewing output
    4. Transparency flattening
    5. Color conversion and ink management
    6. Trapping color
  18. Preflight (Acrobat Pro)
    1. PDF/X-, PDF/A-, and PDF/E-compliant files
    2. Preflight profiles
    3. Advanced preflight inspections
    4. Preflight reports
    5. Viewing preflight results, objects, and resources
    6. Output intents in PDFs
    7. Correcting problem areas with the Preflight tool
    8. Automating document analysis with droplets or preflight actions
    9. Analyzing documents with the Preflight tool
    10. Additional checks in the Preflight tool
    11. Preflight libraries
    12. Preflight variables
  19. Color management
    1. Keeping colors consistent
    2. Color settings
    3. Color-managing documents
    4. Working with color profiles
    5. Understanding color management

Before you begin

We're rolling out a new, more intuitive product experience. If the screen shown here doesn’t match your product interface, select help for your current experience.

In the new experience, the tools appear on the left side of the screen.

Add comments to PDF files with highlights, sticky notes, a freehand drawing tool, and mark-up tools.

Adobe Acrobat deeplink

Try it in the app
Add comments to your PDFs in a few simple steps.

Add comments while viewing a PDF document

You can now use quick actions in a floating toolbar to add comments while viewing a PDF. The following quick actions are available for commenting based on your selection in a PDF:

  • Actions on text selection: You can Highlight text, Underline selected text, Strikethrough selected text, Redact text, Copy Text, and Edit a PDF.
Actions on text selection

  • Actions on image selection: When you select an image you can perform actions like Add sticky note, Highlight image, Redact image, Copy Image, and Edit a PDF.
Actions on image selection

  • Actions on highlight selection: When you select an existing highlight comment in a PDF you see quick actions to Add Note, Change Color, or Delete the comment.
Actions on highlight selection

Annotations and drawing markup tools overview


In Acrobat Reader, complete commenting tools are available only in PDFs with commenting enabled.

You can use annotation and drawing markup tools to add comments. Comments are notes and drawings that communicate ideas or provide feedback for PDFs. You can type a text message using the Add text comment tool. Alternatively, you can use a drawing tool to add a line, circle, or other shape and then type a message in the associated pop-up note. Text-editing tools let you add editing marks to indicate changes that you want in the source document.


In Acrobat Pro, you can add tags to your comments so that readers with motion or vision limitations can read them using assistive technologies.

Show annotations and drawing markup tools

Annotations and markup tools don’t appear by default, except when you open a PDF in a managed review workflow.

  1. Choose the Comments icon on the right pane to see the added comments.

    Comment pane in Acrobat
    Comment pane

  2. The drawing markup tools are grouped under the Draw freehand tool in the floating quick tools menu on the left.

    Drawing tools menu in Acrobat
    Drawing Tools menu

Select an annotation or drawing markup tool

From the quick tools menu on the left, select the desired annotation to add to the PDF.

Annotation tools


After you make an initial comment, the tool changes back to the Select tool so that you can move, resize, or edit your comment. (The Pencil and Highlight Text tools stay selected.)

Keep an annotation tool selected

You can add multiple comments without reselecting the tool.

  1. In the Comment tools, select the tool you want to use (but don’t use it yet).

  2. Select the Use the same tool until it's unselected icon .

Add a comment


In Acrobat Reader, complete commenting tools are available only in PDFs that have commenting enabled. PDFs in a review workflow typically include commenting rights.

The most common type of comment is the Add a comment that resembles a sticky note. The comment appears as a note icon on the page and a pop-up note for your text message. You can Add a comment anywhere on the page or in the document area.

Add a comment in Acrobat
Use the Add a comment tool to add a text message in a pop-up note.

Steps to add a comment

  1. Select the Add a comment tool  from the quick tools menu, and select where you want to place the note.

  2. Type text in the pop-up note. You can also use the Select tool  to copy and paste text from a PDF into the note.


    If you close the pop-up note, your text remains.

Edit a comment

  1. Select or double-click the note icon.

  2. To change the comment properties, right-click the sticky note icon or from the options menu of the comment, select Properties. Modify the Sticky Note Properties as desired and select OK.


    Use the Commenting panel in the Preferences dialog box to change the font size, default pop-up behavior, and other settings for creating and viewing comments

Copy partial text in a comment

  1. Click or double-click the note icon.
  2. Select the text, and then right-click and copy text.

Delete a comment

  1. Select the Add a comment tool , the Hand tool , or the Select tool .

  2. Select the note icon, and press Delete.

    Alternatively, double-click the note icon and choose Delete from the Options menu of the pop-up note.

Add a text comment

Use the Add text comment tool to type text anywhere on the PDF page.

  1. From the quick tools menu, select Add a comment > Add text Comment.

  2. Select the location on the page to place the cursor

  3. To change the text formatting, double-click the added text comment, select the text, and then select the font, text alignment, and other text formatting you want.

Change author name for comments

When you add a comment in a PDF file, by default your login name is used as author name for the comment. To change the author name, see change author name for comments.

Add a line, arrow, or shape


In Acrobat Reader , drawing tools are available only in PDFs that have commenting enabled. PDFs in a review workflow typically include commenting rights.

When selecting a drawing tool, consider the effect you want.

  1. From the quick tools menu, select the Draw freehand tool and then select the desired drawing markup tool:

    • The Rectangle tool , the Circle tool , the Arrow tool , and the Line tool  let you create simple shapes.

    • The Cloud tool  and Polygon tool  create closed shapes with multiple segments. The Connected lines tool  creates open shapes with multiple segments.

    • The Draw tool creates free-form drawings, and the Erase a drawing tool  removes the drawing markups.


    To specify the line width, color, and other properties before you draw, select the desired tool, and press Ctrl+E to open the properties toolbar. Set the desired options in the Properties toolbar.

  2. Draw in the PDF:
    • To create a cloud or polygon shape, click to create the start point, move the pointer, and click to create each segment. To finish drawing the shape, click the start point, or right-click and choose Complete from the menu. Double-click to end a polygon line.

    • To draw a line, arrow, or rectangle, either drag across the area where you want the markup to appear, or click twice: once to create the start point and once to create the end point.

    • To draw a square or circle, or to draw a line that’s horizontal, vertical, or at a 45° angle, press Shift while you draw.

    • To draw free-form lines using the Draw tool, drag where you want to begin drawing. You can release the mouse button, move the pointer to a new location, and continue drawing. To erase parts of the drawing, select the Erase a drawing tool  and drag across the areas of the drawing that you want to remove.

  3. To edit or resize the markup, select it and drag one of the handles to make your adjustments.
  4. To add a note to the markup, select the markup and then select Add note in the quick action pop-up menu.

    Add note to markup
    Add note to markup

  5. (Optional) Click the close button in the pop-up note. A note icon appears to the right of the markup to indicate the presence of text in the pop-up note.


    To delete a drawing markup, select it and press Delete.

Also, you can edit PDFs with comments online. Our online PDF editor lets you easily add text, sticky notes, highlights, drawings, and more to PDFs.

Group and ungroup markups

You can group two or more markups so that your comments function as a single comment. You might group markups temporarily to move them to a new location or to modify their properties rather than editing each one individually. Grouping also helps to distinguish your markups from other reviewers’ markups in a document review.


You cannot group text edit markups.

Group markups

  1. Using the Select tool or the Hand tool, select a markup.
  2. Ctrl-click/Command-click to select the markups you want to group.
  3. Right-click within the selection, and choose Group.

Ungroup markups

  1. Right-click the grouped selection, and choose Ungroup.

Add comments in a text box or callout


In Acrobat Reader, commenting tools are available only in PDFs that have commenting enabled. PDFs in a review workflow typically include commenting rights.

You can use the Add text comment tool to create a box that contains text. You can position it anywhere on the page and adjust it to any size. A text box remains visible on the document page; it doesn’t close like a pop-up note.

Text font and size are based on the system's default settings.

Add comment in a text box or callout


You can add comments to Japanese, Chinese, and Korean text with the Text Box tool, but you must have the Asian-language resource files installed. Text boxes allow for horizontal text only.

You can use the Text callout tool to create a callout text box. Callout text boxes are handy when you want to single out—but not obscure—a particular area of a document. Callout text boxes have three parts: a text box, a knee line, and an end-point line. You can resize each part by dragging a handle. The knee line can be resized in one direction only; horizontal knee lines can be resized horizontally only; vertical knee lines can be resized vertically only. The text box expands vertically as you type so that all text remains visible.

You can move the text box itself or together with the end-point line. The text box moves around a stationary anchor point—the arrow on the end-point line—created when you first click in the PDF. You can modify the color and appearance of the text box and add arrows or leaders to the end-point line.

Add a text box

  1. From the quick tools menu, select Add a comment > Add text comment.

  2. Select a location in the PDF where you want to add the text.

  3. Select the Set or change properties for the selected text icon in the quick tools menu to change the text color, alignment, and font attributes for the text.

  4. Type the text. The text wraps automatically when it reaches the right edge of the box.

  5. (Optional) To make further changes to the text box:
    • Using the Select tool, select an edge of the text box and then drag a corner to resize it. Right-click the text box to open the Text Box Properties and change the border and fill options.

    • Double-click the text box to edit the text or change the text attributes. Drag across the text to select it, then select options from the quick tools menu.

  6. To delete the text box, select it, and then press Delete.


    You can also paste a block of text by selecting and copying the text in any application, selecting the Hand tool in Acrobat, and choosing Edit > Paste.

Add a callout

  1. From the quick tools menu, select Draw freehand > Text callout.

  2. Click once to set the location of the end point, and click again to set the location of the text box.
  3. Choose the Set or change properties for the selected text icon in the quick tools menu, and then select the text's color, alignment, and font attributes.

  4. Type the text. Text wraps automatically when it reaches the right edge of the box.

  5. (Optional) To make further changes to the text box:
    • To resize the callout, select it and drag any of the handles that appear.

    • To move the text box, click inside the box and drag it.

    • To move the entire callout, click either the end-point line or an edge of the text box, and drag it.

    • To change the color, opacity, or line characteristics, right-click and choose Properties, and then select the options you want.

Add comments in a file attachment


In Acrobat Reader, commenting tools are available only in PDFs that have commenting enabled. PDFs in a review workflow typically include commenting rights.

Use the Attach file tool to embed a file at a selected location in a PDF, so that the reader can open it for viewing. By adding attachments as a comment, you can reference longer documents that can’t easily be pasted into a pop-up note or text box. If you move the PDF to a new location, the embedded file automatically goes with it. To view an attachment, the reader must have an application installed that can open the attachment.


Be sure to use the Attach file option from the Add Comments tool when attaching files for a document review. Document-level file attachments that you attach using the Attach file tool from the  Edit > More menu aren’t tracked with other comments in a review workflow and may cause your attached comments to be lost.

  1. From the quick tools menu, select Add a comment > Attach file.

  2. Click in the PDF where you want to place the attachment.
  3. Select the file that you want to attach, and then click Open. If you’re attaching a PDF, you can highlight areas of interest in the file using comments.

  4. In the File Attachment Properties dialog box, select the settings for the file icon that appears in the PDF and select OK.

    The comment attachment also appears in the Attachments tab (in the right navigation pane) with a page number indicating its location.


    To delete the attachment, right-click the attached comment icon, and choose Delete.

Commenting preferences

Commenting preferences affect both the appearance of and the way you view annotations and markups in PDFs.


A reviewer can place comments anywhere within the document frame. As a result, sometimes you need to scroll or zoom out to see comments that are located off the page.

In the Preferences dialog box under Categories, select Commenting.

Viewing comments

Font, Font Size

In Windows, you can determine the font and the size of text in pop-up notes. In Mac OS, you can select only Large, Medium, or Small settings for the font. This setting applies to all new and existing comments.

Pop-up Opacity

Determines the opacity of comment pop-up notes in values from 1 to 100. When a pop-up note is open but not selected, an opacity value of 100 makes the note opaque, while lower values make it more transparent.

Enable Text Indicators And Tooltips

Shows a tool tip when you place the pointer over a comment that includes a pop-up note. The tool tip contains the author name, comment status, and two lines of the text. Selected by default.

Print Notes And Pop-ups

Specifies that pop-up notes associated with comments, and icons for note, audio, and file attachments print exactly as they appear on the page.

Instead of selecting this option, you can print comment text in various layouts by choosing File > Print, and click Summarize Comments. For more details, refer the document to print comments.

Show Lines Connecting Comment Markups To Their Pop-ups On Mouse Rollover

When you place the pointer over a comment markup (such as a highlight or a note icon), the shaded connector line appears. Selected by default.

Ensure That Pop-ups Are Visible As The Document Is Scrolled

As you scroll a PDF, the pop-up notes on a given page shift to stay in view within the document pane. Selected by default.

Pop-up open behavior

Automatically Open Comment Pop-ups For Comments Other Than Notes

A pop-up note appears when you create a comment using a drawing tool, the Stamp tool, or the Pencil tool.

Hide Comment Pop-ups When Comments List Is Open

Helps reduce screen clutter when a page includes many comments. Selected by default.

Automatically Open Pop-ups On Mouse Rollover

When you place the pointer over a comment of any type, including drawing markups and stamps, the pop-up note opens.

Making comments

Always Use Log-in Name For Author Name

Determines which name appears in the pop-up note you create. If this option is selected, the Login Name in the Identity panel of the Preferences dialog box is used. If this option isn’t selected, the default name you specify for Author in a comment properties dialog box is used. Selected by default.

Create New Pop-ups Aligned To The Edge Of The Document

Aligns pop-up notes with the right side of the document window, regardless of where the comment markup (such as a note icon or highlighting comment) is added. If this option is deselected, the pop-up note appears next to the comment markup. Selected by default.

Allow nested reply to sticky notes (requires restart)

Allows reply to Sticky Notes with a single-thread experience. If this option is selected, each annotation appears like a conversation and all replies appear like a single-thread experience.

Enable Text Selection For Highlight, Strikethrough and Underline

Allows you to select and copy text for highlight, strike-through, and underline comments

Enable Comment Type Text And Icon In Comments List (requires restart)

Shows you the type of added comment and icon in the comments list.

Show Checkbox In Comment Note

Displays the checkbox consistenty for all comments.

Making comments (Acrobat specific)

Copy Encircled Text Into Drawing Comment Pop-Ups

Copies text that you circle using the drawing tools in the pop-up note associated with the drawing markup.

Copy Selected Text Into Highlight, Cross-Out, And Underline Comment Pop-ups

Copies selected text to the pop-up note associated with text editing comments, such as those created by the Highlight Text tool.

Change the look of your comments


In Acrobat Reader, complete commenting tools are available only in PDFs that have commenting enabled. PDFs in a review workflow typically include commenting rights.

You can change the color and appearance of comments or markups before or after you create them. You can set the new look as the default appearance for that tool.


To change how your name appears in comments, open the Preferences window, select Commenting, and then deselect Always Use Log-in Name For Author Name.

For the selected tool, you can use the Color Picker and Text Properties icons availabe on the Comment tools.

Color Picker
The Color Picker tool on the Comment toolbar

Text formatting tool
The Text formatting tool on the Comment toolbar

Alternatively, you can choose Properties from the right-click context menu, and then select appropriate options.

Properties, with note icon selected

With pop-up text and formatting options
With pop-up text and formatting options

Change a comment’s look and set it as the default

  1. After you create a comment, right-click the comment or its icon and then choose Properties from the righ-click context menu.

    Properties, with note icon selected

  2. In the Properties dialog box, do any of the following, and then click OK:

    • Click the Appearance tab to change such options as the color and type of icon used. The type of comment selected determines which options are available.

    • Click the General tab to change the name of the author and subject of the comment.

    • Click the Review History tab to see the history of changes people have made to the status of a comment during a review.

    • Select Locked at the bottom of the Properties dialog box to prevent the comment from being edited or deleted.

    • Select Make Properties Default at the bottom of the Properties dialog box to apply these properties to all subsequent comments of this type.

Set the default look for a tool

  1. After you create a comment, right-click the comment and choose Properties.

  2. Set the properties as desired, and select OK.

  3. Right-click the comment and choose Make Current Properties Default.

    All comments you create using this tool display the properties you set. Existing comments aren’t affected, nor is the appearance of text in pop-up notes.

Draw attention of a reviewer to your comment

Use @mentions to get attention of any reviewer.


When you use @mention in your personal commenting notes in a PDF file, the review mode gets enabled. Reviewers will receive an invitation email with a link to the shared file.

  1. In the comment text, click the @ symbol.

    @ mention the reviewers to draw attention

  2. A popup menu will appear with a list of reviewers. Choose the reviewer you want to mention.


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The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

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The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online