Marking up with Drawing Markups

The Drawing Markups tools allow the proofreader or copy-editor to mark-up the digital document as they would a paper document (Figure 1). Regard the Digital Markups as the electronic equivalents of your red and blue pens and pencils.

  • Inserting or substituting text or deleting individual letters or words
    • Select the pencil (or line tool) and use to add the appropriate mark to the text and margin.
    • A text box (with no border) can be used to add the text before the marginal mark.
  • Deleting larger sections of text
    • Use the line tool to strike through the text to be deleted (or use the circle, rectangle or polygon tool to draw around the text).
    • Use the pencil tool to draw the appropriate marginal mark(s).
  • Use a combination of the drawing tools to mark up positioning and spacing instructions.
  • Encircled text and marginal comments
    • Use the circle, rectangle or polygon tool to draw around the text to be encircled and use a text box (with a border) or callout to write the instruction in.

 

Drawing markups views in Adobe Reader.

Figure 1. Text marked up with some of the Drawing Markups in Adobe Reader

 

Please note: The image(s) used in this post include Adobe product screenshot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Working with Adobe Reader – Tools

Tools available in Acrobat Reader X

Once the PDF document has been opened in Adobe Reader, check if the PDF has been enabled for commenting (see Is my PDF enabled?). If the PDF has been enabled for commenting you will find various mark-up tools are available.
The Annotations and Drawing Markups menus/toolbars should be visible, as well as the Comments List; if not they should be accessible from the View menu or the Comment button.

  • The Annotations menu (Figure 1): tools available here are:
    • Add Sticky Note
    • Highlight Text
    • Attach File
    • Record Audio
    • Add Stamp (menu)
    • Insert text at cursor (Ins)
    • Replace (Ins)
    • Strikethrough (Del)
    • Underline
    • Add note to text.

 

Adobe Reader - Annotation tools for enabled pdf

Figure 1.  Annotation tools in Adobe Reader

 

 

  • The Add Stamp menu (Figure 2):
    • Show Stamps Palette
    • Marks (this is a custom set of stamps I added)
    • Dynamic (menu – hover over displayed options)
    • Sign Here (menu – hover over displayed options)
    • Standard Business (menu – hover over displayed options)
    • Custom Stamps – 2 options Create Custom Stamp . . . and Manage Stamps . . .
    • Paste Clipboard Image as Stamp Tool.

 

Adobe Reader - Stamps tool

 

  • The Drawing Markups menu (Figure 3):
    • Add text box
    • Add text callout
    • Draw line
    • Draw arrow
    • Draw oval
    • Draw rectangle
    • Draw cloud
    • Draw polygon
    • Draw connected lines
    • Pencil – Draw free form
    • Eraser – erase free form.

 

Adobe Reader - Drawing Markups tools for enabled pdf

Figure 3. The Drawing Markups tools

 

  • The Comments List (Figure 4):
    • Holds details of all changes made using Annotation and Drawing Markups tools.
    • Pop-ups may or may not expand when the Comments List is open – check the Preferences (Commenting tab).

 

Adobe Reader - Comments list

Figure 4. Comments List in Adobe Reader

Please note: The image(s) used in this post include Adobe product screenshot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Is my PDF enabled?

Adobe Reader X/10 allows some very basic mark-up of PDF files through the use of the Sticky Note and Highlight Text tools found in the Comments menu/button (Figure 1).

 

Adobe Reader - Annotation tools for plain pdf

Figure 1. The mark-up tools available if the PDF is not enabled for mark-up in Adobe Reader

 

If the PDF has been enabled for mark-up, additional tools are available – these are the tools to look for (and use) when proofreading a PDF (Figure 2). When the PDF has been enabled, the Comments menu/button will show an extended set of Annotations tools and a new set of Drawing Markups (only one set of tools is visible at a time).

 

Adobe Reader - Drawing Markups tools for enabled pdf

Figure 2. The mark-up tools available if the PDF has been enabled for mark-up in Adobe Reader

 

Please note: The image(s) used in this post include Adobe product screenshot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

How to enable editing tools for use in Adobe Reader

 

  • Open PDF in Acrobat Pro (I’m using Acrobat Pro 9).
  • On the Advanced menu click Extend Features in Adobe Reader . . .

 

Adobe Acrobat Pro -Advanced menu - extend features menu option

Figure 1. ‘Extend Features in Adobe Reader’ menu option

 

  • A dialogue box – Extend Usage Rights in Adobe Reader – comes up informing you of the features that will be available when the document is opened in the reader, these include the commenting and drawing mark-up tools. You are also informed that other features (e.g. editing document content or inserting and deleting pages) will be restricted.
  • Click the Save Now button – this opens a Save As dialogue box.
  • Rename the enabled PDF and save.
  • The newly enabled document should now be the working document. Close and reopen in Adobe Reader.

Please note: The image(s) used in this post include Adobe product screenshot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Working with PDFs

In the same way that copy-editing is now almost exclusively done on-screen, it is now increasingly common to be asked to proofread a document on-screen, as a PDF document, instead of proofreading hard-copy. If you have never been asked to tackle a PDF document before you may have a few questions, such as,

  • What software/hardware do I need?
  • What are the differences between Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader (from a proofreader’s perspective)?
  • How do I use the tools the software provides?

PDF editing software

I have been marking up PDFs since 1999. For many years the only software that could be used to mark-up a PDF file was Adobe Acrobat; now a proofreader has a choice of software: Adobe Acrobat (Standard or Pro), Adobe Reader (http://www.adobe.com/downloads.html), PDF-Xchange Viewer (http://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-viewer), Foxit Reader (http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/), Nitro Pro (http://www.nitropdf.com/), and others.

I am currently using Adobe Acrobat Pro 9, and, following a request to give a demonstration to colleagues, have begun to explore the tools that are available in Adobe Reader X/10. I have no experience of using any other PDF editors: colleagues have told me that they are happy using different PDF editors. If you are just starting to proofread PDFs, I suggest you have a look at the various programs available and pick the one that suits you and the range of tasks you expect/plan to do with it.

PDF editing hardware

‘Do I need to buy a graphics pad and pen?’ This is a question often asked when someone is contemplating proofreading a PDF for the first time.

The answer is ‘No, you can use a keyboard and mouse.’ That said, I prefer to use a graphics pad and pen–I like to use the Drawing mark-up tools and am neater if I use a pen instead of a mouse. The choice of whether to use a mouse or a pen is dependent on which you find easiest.

Differences between Adobe Acrobat Pro and Adobe Reader

As a proofreader or copy-editor planning to work on PDF files, you need to know that the mark-up tools in the full version (Acrobat) are available in Reader, but that they need to be enabled by someone with Acrobat before you can access them in Reader.

If you are working in Reader and the file has not been enabled you have access to a limited set of mark-up tools (Highlight Text and Sticky Notes).