Annotations and drawing markup tools overview

Note: In Reader, complete commenting tools are available only in PDFs that have commenting enabled. PDFs in a review workflow typically include commenting rights.
You use annotation and drawing markup tools (Comment pane) to add comments. Comments are notes and drawings that communicate ideas or provide feedback for PDFs. You can type a text message using the Sticky Note 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. Most commenting and markup tools don’t appear in the toolbar until you add them.
Note: If you open a PDF in a browser for a shared review that has ended, the commenting tools are unavailable.

Most comments include two parts: the icon, or markup, that appears on the page, and the text message that appears in a pop-up note when you click or double-click the icon or place the pointer over the icon.

After you add a comment, it stays selected until you click elsewhere on the page. Acrobat highlights a selected comment with a blue halo to help you find the markup on the page. A wireframe with selection handles appears on drawing markups and stamps, so that you can adjust the size and shape.

You can add tags to your comments so that readers with motion or vision limitations can read them using assistive technologies.

Annotations panel
A.
Add Sticky Note

B.
Highlight text

C.
Attach file

D.
Record audio

E.
Add Stamp tool and menu

F.
Insert text at cursor

G.
Replace text

H.
Strikethrough

I.
Underline

J.
Add note to text

Drawing Markups panel
A.
Add text box

B.
Add text callout

C.
Draw line

D.
Draw arrow

E.
Draw oval

F.
Draw rectangle

G.
Draw cloud

H.
Draw polygon

I.
Draw connected lines

J.
Draw free form

K.
Erase free form

Types of comments in a PDF
A.
Stamp

B.
Text edit

C.
Comment rollover (tool tip)

D.
Sticky note

Additional resources

For videos and tutorials on commenting, see these resources:

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.

 Click the Comment task pane button, and then click the Annotations or Drawing Markup panels.

Select an annotation or drawing markup tool

  • Choose Comment > Annotations > [tool].
  • Choose Comment > Drawing Markups > [tool].
Note: 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. Select the tool you want to use (but don’t use it yet).
  2. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) and choose Keep Tool Selected.