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How to use Adobe Reader X for commenting and marking up PDF documents

During the design phase, there are often numerous occasions where you need to send mockups of the design to your client for them to review and comment on. Often this means that they print them out and hand annotate the pages and then they have to return these to you somehow.

One very easy and efficient means of doing this (and which also is more environmentally friendly), is to generate the draft document in PDF and then send it to your client and let them make use of the powerful mark-up and commenting features of the free Adobe Reader X tool. They can add all their comments easily and re-save it and send it straight back to you.

This guide gives a brief overview of how to use the Adobe Reader X to mark-up and add comments to a PDF document when you are reviewing a design with a client.

Please note: when saving the original document for review, you need to ensure that you save it with the “Enable For Commenting And Analysis In Adobe Reader” option selected.

Get adobe readerIf you do not already have Adobe Reader X installed on your PC, you can download it free of charge from Adobe’s website.



Download and install Adobe Reader if you have not already done so.

Save the PDF file you wish to review to your PC.

Start Adobe Reader by clicking on the icon on your desktop and you should see a screen like this:

Adobe Reader screenshot 1

Open the PDF file you wish to comment on and you should see something like this:

Open file in Adobe Reader X


You can open the page thumbnail viewer by clicking on the page icon on the top of the left sidebar if you wish to make navigation around the pages easier.


Adobe Reader X thumbnail viewer

Click on the “Comment” button (top right) and you will see this view:


Adobe Reader X comments panel

You can add new sticky notes (like my example) by clicking on the sticky note icon and then click again at the position in the document where you want to add a comment. You can then fill in the details.


Adding comments in adobe reader x


When you are finished, save the document with a new name (e.g. with your initials added) so that you don’t overwrite the original and then you can send it back with the comments included when done.

You can also do a lot of other detailed marking up of the document if you wish. I suggest you have a read of the Adobe user guide if you want to make use of these tools.


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