Everyone at some point receives a PDF file for review at work or school and it is very likely that you will have to add a note before returning it to request a review or change. If you still don’t know how to annotate PDFs on Mac, here we explain it to you from scratch.
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PDF annotation refers to adding important notes and comments to the PDF for other readers to see. It is quite common during the development processes of a project and you may be asked to sign or fill out a PDF as well.
The Preview app on Mac is probably the easiest way to quickly annotate a PDF document. It’s already pre-installed, completely free, and fairly easy to use. This is what needs to be done:
Step 1: go to the Preview application. The app should be available in your Dock: it’s the icon that looks like a couple of photos under a magnifying glass. When you right-click on the app, you can see all the files you recently accessed with the app and select the one you want.
If you’re working with a new PDF, just open it and it should open in Preview automatically (otherwise, right-click on the PDF for more opening options and select Preview).
Step 2– You have several different types of annotation options to use in Preview. To get started with them, head to the menu at the top of the screen and select Tools, followed by Annotate. In this menu, choose the top option that says Highlight text.
This should add the annotation toolbar to the Preview window and allow you to highlight any text in the PDF. Highlight a section of text, then right-click the highlight to see the option to change the colors of the highlight or Add note. Select Add note to annotate that section.
Step 3– Adding notes to highlighted text is one of the most common ways to annotate. However, there are many other options in Preview. Go back to Annotate and you will see an option to create a Note there. This note is a small block of color that expands into a full note that you can write.
You can place this block anywhere in the PDF, which makes it ideal for more visual PDFs in which to talk about a specific area rather than a specific part of the text. If you notice, you can also create text boxes and speech bubbles with Annotate, which are similar objects with the same type of perks.
Step 4– Another popular type of annotation with PDF files is inserting your signature. If you need to do this, go to Tools and then Annotate, and look at the bottom to see the option Firm.
If you don’t have a predefined signature on your Mac, you’ll need to select Manage signatures. This allows you to create a signature with your mouse on the Trackpad or by using the camera to upload a signature. You can then insert your creation into a PDF as a text box.
Another very popular option for managing PDF files on MacOS is Adobe’s Acrobat DC, which is particularly common in professional environments. If this is the tool you use to manage PDF files, it also has ways to annotate.
This is particularly effective for working in groups to collaboratively develop a PDF and to be able to carry out complete control of requested changes and made. This is what you should do.
Note– These tools may not work if comments have been disabled in the PDF document. In a collaboration or workflow scenario, this is unlikely, but worth keeping in mind.
Step 1: open the PDF with Adobe Acrobat DC. Unless you open a PDF that’s already in a managed review workflow, you won’t immediately see an annotation toolbar, you have to enable it.
Look at the menu at the top of the screen and select Tools. Then select Comment. This will open the Comments toolbar, which is what you will use to annotate.
Step 2– If you look at the Comments toolbar, you will see different options for creating notes. To keep things simple, choose the option on the far left, the little text box.
This will create a post-it note or an expandable note that you can place in the PDF. Click the sticky note icon, then click anywhere in the PDF where you want to place your comment. Write the full content and then select To post.
Step 3– There are many other ways to create comments. You can see options for a number of text highlighting tools on the toolbar (all icons with a “T” in them), which work for more specific types of editing.
If you want to create an object, look on the right side of the toolbar and see the polygon icon that allows you to create arrows, squares, circles, etc. as part of more complex editing tasks.
Step 4: Are you making a lot of annotations on the same PDF? Select an annotation tool from the toolbar Comment. Now before using it, look for the thumbtack icon on the right.
This is the button Keep tool selected. Select it and you can use that comment tool multiple times without having to select it again.