As Acrobat is designed as a document handling program, it has many handy commenting tools. These tools are used for editing drafts of documents, to ensure they reach the level of quality you are looking for.

You have two options to access most of these tools. The first option is to navigate to them by going to Comments, and then selecting the tool you wish to use. The other way is to use the comments toolbar seen below. You can access the Comment & Markup bar by going to
Comments --> Show Comment & Markup Toolbar


Text Editing

Possibly the most useful of the commenting tools is the Text Edit comment tool. To activate this tool, go to Comments and select Text Edits. Another way to activate the tool is to choose the Text Edit button from the toolbar.


The first time you do this, an explanation of the tool will appear. If you don't want to be reminded of what the tool does later, you can choose "don't show again." After reading with the explanation, you can begin marking the document. Any changes you make while editing are not permanent. There are three main features of the Text Edit tool.


The first feature is Insert Text. This is just like inserting text in any other word processor but instead of the text appearing directly on the document, it goes into a comments bubble. A blue carrot appears where you made your insertion, informing the author where you suggest they insert the text.

deleted text

Next is the Delete feature. Highlight the text you do not want and hit the delete key on your keyboard. The text will be crossed out with a red line.

replaced text

The last feature is replace. To mark what text should be replaced, highlight it as you would if you where deleting it. If you start typing while you have text highlighted, then Acrobat will assume you are making a replacement entry. The replacement entry is a hybrid of both Delete and Insert - it creates a blue carrot that marks new text and crosses out the text you no longer want.


notes toolbar

If your comments do not directly relate to a particular area of text, then you can use a "note." To insert a note, go to Comments, then Add Note. You can also use the "Note" tool button on the toolbar. A yellow box will appear accompanied with a small comment bubble. Enter any comments you want into the yellow box. When you are done writing your comment, click anywhere other than the box to deselect the box. You can move both the bubble and the box to any position you choose.

You can edit the properties of your notes to more clearly express what you are saying. To change the comment box, click the "Options button" on the box. From the drop down menu, choose Properties. From here you can change the appearance of the note by altering its icon or color. You can also change the transparency of the comment box if it is blocking the view of the text. The properties panel General Tab also allows you to alter the author and subject.

There a few other types of notes you can use. These other notes are: "Attach a File as a Comment," and "Record Audio Comment." "Attaching a file as a Comment" allows you to use another document to comment and attach it to your the document you are editing. "Record Audio Comment" lets you record your comments vocally.


The Highlighting Tool allows you to make marks on a document and accompany them with feedback. The subgroups of the highlight tool are: highlight, underline, and cross-out. You can access these tools by going to Comments, Commenting Tools, Highlighting, and then selecting the tool you want. There is also a highlighter button on the tool bar.


The highlight tool acts just like it does in any other program. After selecting it, drag the cursor across whatever text you want highlighted and it will highlight the text in a transparent yellow. If you want more pizazz in your commenting, you can change the color by right clicking on the highlighted region and choosing properties. You can change the default for future highlighting by right-clicking on the highlighting button on the toolbar, and selecting Properties Bar. The properties bar will change depending on the highlight tool selected.


Another "highlighting tool" is underlining. Just like the highlight tool, you underline by having the tool selected and selecting a line of text. By default, the underline color is green. You can change the color in the same way as with highlighting in the properties panel.

crossed-out text

The last highlighting tool is cross-out. The cross-out tool works just like underline and highlight.


Acrobat also has the ability to create digital stamps. These stamps are used in much the same way you might use a stamp on a paper document.


Stamps allow you to inform others of a variety of things. To use a stamp go to Comments, Commenting Tools, Stamp Tool.


Initially this will only give you a revised stamp, but you can change the type of stamp in two ways. The first way is to navigate back to Commenting Tools and, instead of selecting Stamp Tool, go down to Stamps. This will open up a sub-menu that lets you choose the type of stamp you want, the groups are "Dynamic" (the "revised" stamp is dynamic, because it changes), "Sign here" (signature related stamps), "Standard Business" (the classic "not approved" stamp is here), and "Favorites" (you can add the stamps that bring you the most joy to this group). You can also make your own stamps by selecting "Create Custom Stamp." This menu can also be reached by using the drop down menu for the stamp button on the toolbar.

Navigating Comments

You can look over your comments by opening a Comments List window. To do this, go to Comments and chose show Comments List. This will open a menu, that you can navigate and that shows a list of all the comments on the document. You can except these changes or make comments on your comments. For the most part these options are for the original author to use and send back to the editor to inform them of changes they are making.

You can also make it possible for people without Acrobat to add comments by going to Document, and then to "Enable for Commenting and Analysis in Adobe Reader".

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