How to Mark Up PDF Files

By Eric Hammer

Adobe Acrobat software offers an array of tools for editing and commenting in PDF files. It also has what Adobe calls "markup" tools, which allow you make various editing marks in a PDF file similar to what you might use on a paper document. They include "call out," "text box," "cloud," lines, shapes and "pencil," which gives you a free-form drawing using a mouse or stylus.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional
  • Computer Stylus (optional)

Step 1

Open Adobe Acrobat. Click "File," then "Open." Select the document you want to edit.

Step 2

Locate the line or word you would like to mark up.

Step 3

Select a tool from the markup menu and drag it to the location you want to use it. You can select: Call out: This will create an arrow pointing to a text box.Text box: Similar to call out, however it places the box directly over the word or words you wish to mark up.Cloud: Select the tool and then drag around the area on which you would like to draw a cloud.Shapes: These work in the same way as cloud. Select the tool, then drag where you would like to draw the shape.Pencil: Works the same as cloud and shapes. Begin dragging from the point you would like to draw. This particular tool is best suited to use with a stylus.

Step 4

Double-click where you have marked up the PDF document. You can now add text to the markup.

Tips & Warnings

  • If all you need to do is make a simple note, it may be easier and faster to use the "Sticky note" feature.
  • Keep markups to a minimum. While you can add as many as you want, they tend to get cluttered and will add to the total size of your document.
  • Be sure to remove all markups and sticky notes prior to publication of the PDF document.