Today’s tutorial explains how to edit PDFs with Adobe Acrobat DC’s comment and mark-up tools such as the sticky note, strikethrough, and insert-text tool. The first section shows you how to access the tools, the second section shows you how to use the tools, and the final section explains a recent update to Acrobat DC’s instant mark-up process.
This is an update to my 2015 tutorial “How to Use Adobe Acrobat DC’s Comment and Mark-Up Tools.” I’m writing an update because Acrobat DC’s recent update, mentioned above, has improved the functionality of the comment and mark-up tools since I published my original tutorial. I have also enhanced some of the previously presented information.
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than fifty other videos about Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat on my YouTube channel.
Before we begin, I’d like to share an important note about editing PDFs in Acrobat: Acrobat’s comment and mark-up tools can’t change a PDF like the Track Changes tools in Microsoft Word can change a Word file. Instead, Acrobat’s comment and mark-up tools function like handwritten editing marks on paper—the tools can be used to mark what should be changed, but you have to make those changes manually in the original PDF. Therefore, you should use these tools on a secondary copy of your PDF.
How to Access Adobe Acrobat DC’s Comment and Mark-Up Tools
There are several ways to access Acrobat’s comment and mark-up tools. Here is the method I have found to be the most convenient:
1. Open your PDF.
2. Select the Tools tab.
3. Select the Comment icon in the Tools Center.
The comment and mark-up tools will appear in the toolbar, and the Comment Pane will appear on the right side of your screen.
How to Edit PDFs Using Adobe Acrobat DC’s Comment and Mark-Up Tools
Now, let’s take a look at how to use the comment and mark-up tools most relevant to editing: the sticky note, the highlight, the strikethrough, the add-note-to-replace-text tool, and the insert-text-at-cursor tool.
1. Select the desired tool from the toolbar.
The sticky note tool lets you “stick” a note anywhere on the page. To use the sticky note tool, select it in the toolbar, click the spot where you would like the note to appear, and then type your note in the pop-up note, which will appear automatically.
The highlight tool lets you highlight specific text. To use the highlight tool, select it in the toolbar and then select the text that you want to highlight. If you want to attach a note, right click on the highlighted text and select Open Pop-Up Note.
The strikethrough tool lets you place a line through text that you want to mark for deletion. To use the strikethrough tool, select it in the toolbar and then select the text that should be deleted. If you want to attach a note, right click on the text with the strikethrough and select Open Pop-Up Note.
Add Note to Replace Text
The add-note-to-replace-text tool lets you mark text for deletion and create a note showing the replacement text. To use this tool, select it in the toolbar and then select the text that should be replaced. Then, write the replacement text in the pop-up note, which will appear automatically.
Insert Text at Cursor
The insert-text-at-cursor tool lets you indicate where new text should be inserted in an editable text box. To use the tool, select it in the toolbar and then click the location in the editable text box where the new text should be inserted. Write the new text in the pop-up note, which will appear automatically.
2. Select the X on the right side of the toolbar to close the comment and mark-up tools.
2016 Update to Adobe Acrobat DC’s Comment and Mark-Up Tools: Instant Mark-Ups
From an editing perspective, the most important change to Acrobat DC’s comment and mark-up tools is the elimination of the shortcut tool. Previously, you had to select the shortcut tool to instantly mark text for insertion, deletion, and replacement. However, in the latest version of Acrobat DC, you can just open the comment and mark-up tools, as shown above, and then create mark-ups without selecting a tool:
- To create an insertion in an editable text box, place your cursor wherever you want the new text to appear and then start typing the new text, which will appear in a pop-up note.
- To create a strikethrough, select the text you want to mark for deletion and then press your Delete
- To insert replacement text, select the text you want to mark for replacement and then type the new text, which will appear in a pop-up note.
Do you need to respond to or review someone else’s comments and mark-ups on your PDF? Check out “How to Reply to Comments and Mark-Ups in Adobe Acrobat DC.”