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How to Annotate a PDF: 6 Simple Steps for Beginners (Guide)

Oroson  by Oroson  March 29, 2021

Wondering how to annotate on PDFs or how PDF annotations can be useful to you and your business?

We’ve prepared this simple and detailed guide that’ll take you through the different steps in the process, as well as different use cases. 

More specifically, these are some of the topics we’re going to cover:

Additionally, we’re going to include our top picks of available annotation tools.

Looking for a way to annotate a PDF that’s easy and convenient?

You’re in the right place. 

Let’s get into it.


6 Steps to Annotating a PDF in 2021

Step #1: Define Your PDF Annotation Needs

Step #2: Choose a PDF Annotation Software

Step #3: Upload Your PDF

Step #4: Create Annotations and Give Feedback

Step #5: Share With Your Colleagues, Clients, and Partners

Step #6: Streamline the PDF Annotation Process


Step #1: Define Your PDF Annotation Needs

The first and most important step is to define your PDF annotation needs.

These needs will vary depending on what you’re planning to use PDF annotation for.

The two main reasons would be:

Why don’t we explore them in more detail?

Personal Use

Using PDF annotation for personal projects can be really helpful and fun. 

For example, you may want to work with your classmates to prepare a PDF presentation for school or university.

Additionally, you might want to share your comments on your colleagues’ resumes.

A PDF annotation software is of great use when it comes to effective collaboration.

Being able to comment on a specific sentence, word, or even letter of a PDF makes giving detailed feedback easier. 

Let’s have a closer look at using PDF annotations professionally.

Professional Use

Not just working, but also collaborating using PDFs is very popular among professionals across various industries.

Whether you’re in marketing, publishing, or education, you probably want to be able to create your content easily and flawlessly.

How can you do that using PDF annotation? 

Let’s dive into four use cases.

Use Case #1: Get feedback from your clients

Trying to reach your clients and sending countless emails used to be the main step of every review and approval process.

We’ve all been there. 

That’s where proofing tools come in handy.

Highlighting and commenting on PDF documents allow your clients to share their feedback quickly and effectively. 

Based on that, your colleagues are able to make any necessary alterations.

PDF annotation apps help you and your clients optimize feedback and approval processes and, of course, save  valuable time. 

Let’s get to the second use case.

Use Case #2: Get feedback from your teammates

When you’re working as part of a team, getting feedback from your teammates is crucial for professional growth.

Easy and convenient collaboration across team members is extremely important for every company.

By using annotation tools, teammates are able to share feedback on PDF files and improve task performance. 

This gets things done in a quick and efficient manner.

As simple as that!

Moving on.  

Use Case #3: Create educational content

Are you a company owner pursuing online growth through organic marketing strategies?

You’re going to need to start creating educational content.

Educational content is what attracts visitors to your site and that’s why it should be impeccable.

A PDF annotation tool allows you to improve your content by working on it with your colleagues in real-time.

Being able to underline text or add notes to your content can significantly improve sharing and collaboration procedures.

This way, teamwork becomes easier than ever. 

Let’s get to the last use case we have for you. 

Use Case #4: Create business and promotional materials

Your marketing material is a substantial expression of your brand’s identity

Business and promotional materials may vary from business cards and posters to brochures and product sheets.

The key success factor is to ensure the tone of voice is consistent across all business material.

Making sure you’re using the same, or similar, fonts, logo, colors, and images is very important for brand building.

PDF annotation tools support extensive checks and reviews, a feature that, if adopted properly among teammates, can lead to great results. 

All-in-all, it’s important to know your PDF annotation needs so that you can proceed to the second step of our guide. 

Let’s get into it. 


Step #2: Choose a PDF Annotation Software

After identifying your PDF annotation needs, you’re ready to choose a PDF annotation software.

No matter if you’re working on MacOS or on Windows, we’ve prepared a list suitable for all demands.

Let’s examine the following list of PDF annotation tools and see which one is the best for you.

Tool #1: Oroson

The first tool on our list is our very own, Oroson

Sharing feedback can take up a great deal of  time in teamwork projects. 

We know how important tasks such as reviewing and proofing are for you and your team.

Based on our experience, we developed Oroson; a tool specially made to optimize workflow and boost productivity.

Our product is designed to help teams make the most of their teamwork efforts. 

Let’s check it out.

Who is it for?

Whether you’re a freelancer or a team member working in an office or remotely, Oroson is a tool made to fit everyone’s needs.

Suitable for various industries, the majority of our clients are in media, marketing, publishing, and IT. 

When their goal is seamless team collaboration with high-quality results, then Oroson is their first choice.

Let’s take a look at its features.

Features

With Oroson, teammates can easily share and review files of any kind and size, including PDF documents. 

It allows users to upload and edit PDF files from their computer, Google Drive, or Dropbox. 

Oroson is great for sending and receiving feedback since leaving comments is one of its key features. 

Forget spending countless hours trying to communicate and decide on adjustments.

When a team member leaves or edits a comment, notifications are sent to the rest of the collaborators.

A great advantage of this tool is that reviewers don’t need to sign up to view a document that someone else shared.

Oroson allows co-workers to collaborate effectively and save a lot of time.

Pricing

We offer three pricing packages that you can choose from, depending on your individual or company needs.

Let’s have a closer look at our three different plans.

Every package includes:

What differs between our three plans is storage space and item numbers.

The Starter plan allows users to have 50GB of storage and up to 1000 items, making it more suitable for small teams.

The Pro plan offers 125GB of storage and up to 2200 items.

Our Business pricing plan supports 250GB of storage and up to 5000 items.

After having covered everything you need to know about Oroson, it’s time to move on to the next tool.


Tool #2: Adobe Acrobat 

Second on our list of annotation tools is Adobe Acrobat

Image Source: Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is one of the most popular tools for PDF management worldwide.

Recently, remote work has become a standard practice and many teams face several difficulties when it comes to efficient teamwork.

Acrobat’s functions help streamline feedback from multiple PDF annotators. 

Known for its flexibility and speed, it is a PDF editor that upgrades collaboration and improves teamwork.

Who is it for?

Adobe Acrobat is well suited for professionals working in various different industries such as publishing, marketing, and graphic design. 

Regardless of whether you’re working from home or in an office, Adobe Acrobat helps improve team productivity and workflow.

Have a look at Adobe Acrobat’s features below.

Features

Adobe Acrobat is equipped with various features for PDF management. 

 It can be operated on Mac, Windows, and Android devices.

Its features vary from converting and editing, to annotating and sharing PDFs.

You can add comments with the help of markup and drawing tools, highlighters, and sticky notes.

Markup tools include freehand drawing, strikethrough, and underlining text. 

How about pricing?

Pricing

In terms of pricing, Adobe Acrobat offers flexible pricing packages, depending on whether you’re an individual or a business.

Individuals can choose between Pro and Standard pricing plans based on their needs.

Image Source: Adobe Acrobat

Depending on their size and requirements, businesses can select between the pricing plan “for teams,” or the one “for enterprise” that’s available. 

Image Source: Adobe Acrobat

Let’s have a look at the next tool on our list.


Tool #3: Markup Hero

Image Source: Markup Hero

Markup Hero is a great tool that helps teams manage their work wherever they are.

If you’re working with a team and looking to improve your review processes, then you should consider Markup Hero.

Markup Hero is designed to make communication clearer and project management more efficient.

Let’s go into the details.

Who is it for?

Anyone who wants to collaborate using PDF files should try out Markup Hero.

Both individuals and companies can benefit from its features. 

It has proven to be a great asset for educators, content creators, digital marketers, and sales managers.

What are some of its features?

Let’s take a look. 

Features

A few of its features involve importing and editing images, PDF files, and web pages.

Annotating PDF files is one of its key properties. 

Image Source: Markup Hero

When reviewing a piece of content, Markup Hero allows users to add comments for other team members to view and adjust.

Like most PDF annotation softwares, it offers a wide range of markup tools, such as arrows, shapes, highlights, and text.

Another benefit of Markup Hero is its option to integrate with Chrome, Google Drive, and Slack.

Based on its features, we would say that Markup Hero favors organization, communication, and productivity.

Let’s see what the pricing looks like. 

Pricing

The tool offers three pricing options.

Image Source: Markup Hero

There are two free versions available for individuals to choose. 

In case you’re a professional or a team in need of a wider range of tools and features, Markup Hero also offers an affordable paid option.

Let’s examine our fourth and final tool on this list.


Tool #4: Filestage.io

Image Source: Filestage.io

Filestage.io is the last tool on our list of the best PDF annotation tools. 

It’s an online proofing software that aims to improve teamwork and feedback procedures.

Who is it for?

Filestage.io offers content review and sharing options, a fact that helps optimize these processes.

It’s suitable for teams who want to find a tool they can collaborate on in real-time.

It can prove to be very useful for professionals from different industries, such as marketing, biotech, design, and more. 

Take a peek at Filestage.io’s features below.

Features

Teams of all sizes can use Filestage.io to make their collaboration and task management more efficient.

Annotations, flexible sharing, multiple teams, thread comments, and file sharing are a few of its most important features.

Filestage.io helps companies organize their internal processes to create value-adding and shareable content.

You can use Filestage.io on Microsoft Windows, Mac, and the iOS app for iPhones and iPads.

Keep reading to learn about the pricing options.  

Pricing

In terms of subscription pricing, the tool offers three plans.

Image Source: Filestage.io

What differentiates these three pricing packages is the number of active projects and maximum team members.

All three pricing options, though, provide an unlimited number of files, reviewers, and archived projects.

Professionals and companies are able to choose the pricing plan that better fits their needs.

As you can see, there are several annotation tools worth considering.

We’re now going to show you how to use Oroson in order to upload, annotate, and share your PDF documents.


Step #3: Upload Your PDFs

The first step you need to take is to upload your PDF on Oroson.

As you can see below, there are two options here. 

You can either drag and drop a PDF file on the Share for Review section, or select “Browse content types”. 

Clicking on the second option – to browse content types – a window will appear and you can pick which file type you want to upload. 

In this case, we intend to annotate a PDF document, so we double-click on “File / Image”.

Following that, it’s time to choose the particular file you want to work on from your computer. 

Our chosen file is a PDF document of Oroson’s homepage.

You should click on the PDF you wish to upload. 

Once you make sure it’s the correct file you intended to upload, click the “Open” button in the lower right corner.

After a few seconds, your file will be uploaded to Oroson, as shown below.

When that’s done, you can modify the title of your PDF. 

As you can see above, we named our PDF file “Version A”.

To be able to work on your document, you must click on the Settings button.

Then, select the “Open” option, as shown below.

Yes, that’s the whole process!

Uploading your PDF file to Oroson is a very straightforward procedure, don’t you agree?

Let’s get on with our next step.


Step #4: Create Annotations and Give Feedback

Now you’re all set with your uploaded PDF file, let’s see how you can use our tool to create annotations and give feedback.

Once you choose the “Open” option, your file, along with several features, will show up on your screen, as shown below.

Oroson provides its users with numerous options, when it comes to PDF annotation.

To help you understand what each icon does, we’ve numbered them from one to eight, as you can see in the image above.

Each number in the toolbar represents an action you can take to annotate or download a file:

  1. Click to disable pinning
  2. Make changes to item
  3. Download file
  4. Close
  5. Item options
  6. Toggle chat
  7. Leave a comment
  8. Zoom in or out

Let’s see how you can annotate a particular part of your PDF file.

Select the specific point of the PDF you want to comment on and move your cursor over that point.

Once you click on it, a text box will pop up in the bottom right corner in which you can type out your comment.

When you’ve typed your comment,  you then click on the “Post comment” option, as demonstrated in the screenshot below. 

After posting your annotation, it’ll appear on the right side of your file, along with every other annotation made.

This way, all your comments will be visible to all collaborators and collected in an organized manner. 

Oroson also provides the feature of a time and date display for every annotation, helping users manage their annotations efficiently.

You must admit, this process is like a walk in the park, isn’t it?

After having demonstrated how to annotate a PDF on Oroson, we can continue to the next stage of our guide.


Step #5: Share With Your Colleagues, Clients, and Partners

Now that you know everything about how to upload and comment on a PDF using Oroson, it’s time for perhaps the most valuable stage of our guide, sharing your file with your team members.

Click on the “Share” button on the upper right corner of your screen to share your feedback with your colleagues, clients, and partners.

When using Oroson, feedback and review processes become more effortless than ever.

Oroson is an excellent proofing solution for any business that values collaboration and communication among its employees. 

Let’s get to our final step.


Step #6: Streamline the PDF Annotation Process

Oroson is a neat tool that supports remarkable features to help individuals and companies improve their work processes.

As shown in the screenshot above, you’re able to invite a Guest, at point one, or a Teammate at point two, and you can even select the Copy link option and share your annotated PDFs directly.

It’s as simple as that.

You can share documents and keep all your feedback and content organized and in one place.

Teammates can work on files and collaborate in real-time.

Forget about endless email threads. 

Workflow is optimized with simple and hassle-free processes.


Now Over to You 

We hope this post was useful and helped you get a deeper understanding of PDF annotations.

You now have a guide on how to annotate PDF files. 

You can also choose between four PDF annotation tools that can help you streamline sharing and review processes.

If you’re looking for a software that can help you review your content and improve your approval workflow, we strongly recommend you give Oroson a try.

Want to learn more about Oroson and how you can benefit from it?

Make sure to request a free demo and experience Oroson yourself.




Featured image by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash.



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