How to work with comment tools in Acrobat XI

Learn how to do a PDF review or document review using Acrobat XI, including working with various commenting tools.

By October 4, 2012

 



In this tutorial, learn how to do a PDF review or document review using Acrobat XI, including working with the various commenting tools available in both Acrobat XI and the free Reader.

View transcript

How to work with comment tools in Acrobat XI

Donna BakerOctober 4, 2012

What tools can I use to comment on or markup a PDF file?

Follow these 5 simple steps to add comments in your PDF file using Acrobat or Adobe Reader XI.

  1. Both Acrobat XI and Adobe Reader XI offer many tools to add comments.
    Drawing Markups
    Annotations
    The Text Correction Markup is new in Acrobat XI.
  2. Select a tool, then click the page to add the comment.
    Click the Sticky Note tool
    click the page to place the comment
    double-click the icon
    type the comment text
  3. Each comment shows on the Comments List.
    commenter's name
    time and date
    document location
  4. Right-click a comment and choose Properties.
  5. Choose settings for the comment’s appearance.
    change settings like color and opacity
    Click to use the same appearance for every comment of that type

Did you know?

  • You can ask a question and get an answer from one of our experts.
  • You can search our database of over 800 tutorials by product and/or topic.
  • You can leave a comment below for the author of this tutorial.

Products covered:

Acrobat XI

Related topics:

Review and Comment

Top Searches:

Start a PDF review, comment on your mobile device

57 comments

Comments for this tutorial are now closed.

Lori Kassuba

5, 2016-02-12 12, 2016

Hi Denese McKinley,

Try running the Repair command found under the Help menu (Windows) to correct this issue.

Thanks,
Lori

Lori Kassuba

4, 2016-01-22 22, 2016

Hi Mike,

It’s not possible at this point to change the default font for this particular tool.
You can make the suggestion here: http://www.adobe.com/products/wishform.html

Thanks,
Lori

Mike

4, 2016-01-19 19, 2016

I have Adobe Acrobat Pro XI. When I go to Tools/Content Editing/Add Text/change default font from Minion 12 to Arial 11, start typing on the ,pdf you are working with - no worries HOWEVER I want to change the default font from Minion 12 to Arial 11. I am not comfortable working around the software in regedit; I don’t know anything about java code; I have contacted Adobe support and was helped to find a chat support link that I can not make work, I have looked at forums till my eyes hurt. If someone out there can help e neanderthal like me, I will be eternally grateful

Denese McKinley

10, 2016-01-13 13, 2016

Hi I have Acrobat Adobe Xl pro. I don’t know how it has happen but it has now changed from the red icon to an E PDF. Do you know how I can change it back to the original setting with the red icon.

Thank you
Denese

Lori Kassuba

9, 2015-12-22 22, 2015

Hi Lorraine Harmon,

This other tutorial explains how you can change the font size in your comment in Acrobat DC:
https://acrobatusers.com/tutorials/customizing-text-in-a-comment-using-acrobat-dc

Also, we’ve moved away from creating videos without audio. Most folks seem to like written or video with sound as you mention.

Thanks,
Lori

Lorraine Harmon

12, 2015-12-16 16, 2015

I am using Acrobat DC and came here to find out when/why I would use comments versus call-outs.  Can you change the font that is used in the the text box on the document when commenting.  The preferences seem to be referring to the comments when you are reading them in the right hand column where both the call-out and comment text appear.  Why?  I’d really like to see a compare and contrast on these functions.—I am only hugely frustrated with Adobe.  Might be an improvement for those in the work environment who don’t want to use tracking changes in Word (uh oh wrong company - like you guys are going to put a dent in the Office envirenment). 

I’m only trying to read some instructions and found some unclear sections that I thought I’d send to the company. Am finding that the comments and the giant 18 - 24 point font is trashing up the because the text boxes have to be so big they cover up the document.  On tahe other hand the callouts are so puny as not to be very visible.

If there isn’t going to be any sound tell me right away. There shouldn’t be any microphone or if you want one put the f’ng X to show that it is muted.  Third time through this stupid slide show I see the no audio notation over on the right side.  C’mon there are standards to these things. (or is that standard Mac and I’m PC so SOL) Wasted 5 minutes trying to figure out why my sound wasn’t working (Part can be attributable to Dell/Realtek/Maxx audio playing music that I hadn’t heard before and trying to figure out how to turn that off.) 

I’d much prefer audio to accompany the video but since this isn’t the product I’m using that doesn’t matter too much.

Lori Kassuba

3, 2015-06-16 16, 2015

Hi JT,

I would recommend uninstalling Reader using the Cleaner tool and then reinstalling:
http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/acrobatcleaner.html

Thanks,
Lori

JT

2, 2015-06-10 10, 2015

Recently changed computers and downloaded Reader XI on new PC but some of the drawing tools are faded on Comment Panel and do not function as they did on old computer.  E.g. draw cloud, polygon.  Have attempted Repair function repeatedly but they still do not work.  Have now uninstalled and reinstalled new download but still does not work.  How do I fix?

Lori Kassuba

2, 2015-06-01 01, 2015

Hi Patty Backlund,

It sounds a lot like the issue that is mentioned in the link that I posted. Have you tried running the Repair command in Acrobat from under the Help menu?

Thanks,
Lori

Patty Backlund

4, 2015-05-26 26, 2015

Thank you, Lori Kassuba, for your reponse. I currently have Acrobat Pro XI version 11.0.11 installed. It says there are no updates available.

The problem is not with missing comments; it is with files missing from the Tracker. When I recently sent out 7 files for email review, only 1 file showed up in the review tracker. They were all sent the same way, and to the same people. It wasn’t the first file I had sent to them that was listed in tracker, but the 3rd or 4th.

I would like to have files that I send listed in the review tracker so I can send to others, email the reviewers, or just track comments. Is there a way to get this working?
Thanks,
Patty

Lori Kassuba

3, 2015-05-26 26, 2015

Hi Patty Backlund,

Make sure you have all the latest point updates for version XI installed. There was a issue with this in 11.0.09:
https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/11009-missing-comment-or-hung.html

Thanks,
Lori

Patty Backlund

8, 2015-05-18 18, 2015

Hi,
I frequently send pdfs for email review, using Acrobat Pro 11. Quite some time ago, they stopped showing up in the review tracker. Occasionally one will show up, but most don’t. I just sent out 7 files for review and only one shows in review tracker. Is there a glitch in 11?
Thanks

Joe

12, 2015-02-20 20, 2015

John,

try having “toggle touch mode” off…cloud appears.

Lori Kassuba

2, 2015-01-12 12, 2015

Hi Donna,

I would suggest uninstalling and then reinstalling Acrobat to correct the problem.

Thanks,
Lori

Donna

3, 2015-01-06 06, 2015

Using Adobe Acrobat XI Pro and having trouble with the drawing markup tools.  For example, when I choose the Add text callout tool and click on the page, the callout box appears but when I click a second time to add the text it disappears.  Doing these same steps on another user’s computer with the same program works just fine and I can’t find a difference in our settings.

Lori Kassuba

3, 2014-12-09 09, 2014

Hi basesbelong,

Here is a discussion that explains how to set the default font for the Text Comment tool:
https://answers.acrobatusers.com/How-set-Default-font-add-text-feature-Acrobat-XI-q125974.aspx

Thanks,
Lori

basesbelong

5, 2014-12-05 05, 2014

All my markups are in red font. Why isn’t there a way to change the font color in properties?

Lori Kassuba

3, 2014-09-05 05, 2014

Hi Diane Yarger,

Thanks for letting us know you got things working again.

Lori

Diane Yarger

2, 2014-09-05 05, 2014

Thank-you, Lori.
With the help of an Adobe rep, this is exactly what I had to do. It was an involved process, but it is now working normally again.
Diane

Lori Kassuba

1, 2014-09-05 05, 2014

Hi Diane Yarger,

I think perhaps something is wrong with your registry entries. My suggestion would be to uninstall using the Acrobat Cleaner tool at:
http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/acrobatcleaner.html

Then, reinstall and apply all updates.

Thanks,
Lori

Diane Yarger

6, 2014-08-28 28, 2014

Lori,
No, I have tried to use the T in Comments->Annotations (The Comment Properties box calls it Typewritten Text) on many different PDFs (none are PDF/A).
The Security settings are all ALLOWED.
I have tried Repair Installation also.
The Edit Text under Tools, which also displays the text box when selected, works fine when the document is not in Shared Review (but is properly grayed out when in Shared Review). The Comments Annotations T(ypewritten Text) is always locked and I can’t write anything in the box, it cannot be resized, etc. I click once and the box appears and the Comments List shows it being added & locked. It cannot be deleted either, despite it having no text.
Could this be a setting somewhere?

Lori Kassuba

6, 2014-08-25 25, 2014

Hi Diane Yarger,

Could the file be set to PDF/A mode for viewing?

Lori

Diane Yarger

6, 2014-08-22 22, 2014

Lori,
Thank-you for your quick response. I want to add that this feature works as designed for those using Adobe Reader 8. There the reviewer “Attaches a file as a comment”. It does not work for anyone using Reader XI or Pro XI. I reported this as a bug in late June, but have had no response.

As a second issue, my “Add Text Comment” (The gray T) does not work, but it does for others. Mine is locked (padlock) and under the properties “Locked” is checked and grayed out. How can I unlock it? For some reason recently, my tools were all locked. I could unlock them and the Make the Properties Default to keep them unlocked, but not for this one. Is there a reason? What can I do?  Thanks, Diane

Lori Kassuba

5, 2014-08-22 22, 2014

Hi Diane Yarger,

I was able to replicate the same thing during a shared review so I think you may have run into a bug. Please post this issue here:
https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform&loc=en

Thanks,
Lori

Diane Yarger

3, 2014-08-21 21, 2014

Hi Donna,
My company purchased Adobe Pro XI for the Shared Review feature. We have not been able to get the Annotation paperclip to work correctly, and it is the feature we are most interested in.
For example, I send a file for shared review. A reviewer attaches a small file (e.g. jpeg), Publishes this comment, and closes. When I (or other reviewers) try to look at the attachment(using the Attachments list on the left side), the File Name is Unknown, but the Description field holds the file name. It is unopenable. Can you explain the order of steps on how to use the Annotations paperclip so that all reviewers can view the file? We are using a network folder and Windows 7 64 bit.  If there is a detailed step-by-step explanation for this someplace we certainly would appreciate knowing about it. Thank-you in advance for any guidance.

Donnelleigh

5, 2014-08-20 20, 2014

Hi Lori,

Thanks again for the tip on the font sizes in the Comments text box! I found on the Mac that Cmd+E is the way to go. I neglected to mention that I’m working on a Mac.

D

Donnelleigh

3, 2014-08-20 20, 2014

Hi Lori,

I’m not familiar with LiveCycle Designer. I created the PDF by dragging several JPG images onto the Acrobat icon, and it compiled them into a single document. I’m providing comments back to a vendor who created renderings for a project.

Thanks for the tip on the font size!

D

Lori Kassuba

8, 2014-08-19 19, 2014

Hi Karen - thanks for letting us know that updates fixed the problem.

Lori

Lori Kassuba

8, 2014-08-19 19, 2014

Hi Donnelleigh,

This doesn’t sound like a regular PDF. What is created using LiveCycle Designer?
You should be able to click inside the text box and press Ctrl + e to set the font size for the text.

Thanks,
Lori

Donnelleigh

1, 2014-08-16 16, 2014

Hi Lori,

I’m using Acrobat Professional XI. I just tested it and it happens even if I Cut a text box and Paste on the same page.

Original text:
see updated brief

Pasted text:
<?xml version=“1.0”?><body xmlns:xfa=“http://www.xfa.org/schema/xfa-data/1.0/” xfa:APIVersi xfa:spec=“2.0.2”  ><p dir=“ltr”><spandir=“ltr” >see updated brief</p></body>

Can I ask a second question? Is there a way to increase the size of the type in the Comment text box? Sometimes it is very small.

Thanks so much for your help.

D

Karen

5, 2014-08-15 15, 2014

Lori,
The problem I was having was fixed. However I don’t have the details for you. My IT department found a patch from Adobe for this problem and successfully installed it on 2 PC computers. The problem was invisible comments. I was not able to see comments that were made as evidenced in the Tracker by the commentors name. Dynamic stamps seemed to be the ones affected, i.e. Approved by XX on X/X/14.

Lori Kassuba

5, 2014-08-15 15, 2014

Hi Donnelleigh,

What version of Acrobat and/or Reader is this? You’re not attempting to do this in Mac Preview at all are you?

Thanks,
Lori

Donnelleigh

3, 2014-08-15 15, 2014

When I’m using the Comments/Drawing Markups Text Box and I want to duplicate a comment from one page in a document to another page, the pasted text is XML code rather than just the comment. Am I doing something incorrectly?

Lori Kassuba

7, 2014-05-30 30, 2014

Hi Karen,

I wonder if the stamp is hidden or transparent. Maybe you can do a test with any of the other stamps that ship with Acrobat.

Thanks,
Lori

Karen

5, 2014-05-29 29, 2014

Hi Lori,
You’re right. In the Tracker it shows 4 comments were made but only the 3 green check marks show up. On a new review today it shows 2 comments were made and none of them show up. In the .xml file I see “stamp” and “approve” buried in the code, so I think his Approval stamp is not working.
Karen

Lori Kassuba

1, 2014-05-23 23, 2014

Hi Karen,

Both the tools you mention are a type of stamp comment so they’re not mutually exclusive. My guess is that something else is going on here. Under the reviewer’s Tracker listing, what is detailed under the Joined reviews? It should have a list of all new/added Comments.

Thanks,
Lori

Karen

8, 2014-05-20 20, 2014

Can one person use both the green check mark under the Sign Here tools, and the Dynamic stamp for “APPROVED”?  When this person used both comment tools, the Dynamic Approval would NOT Publish for other viewers to see, but the green check marks did Publish successfully. Are these 2 tools mutually exclusive? This is on a shared review which resides on the company server.

Karen

alex xr

9, 2014-05-12 12, 2014

Hello Lori,
Many thanks for your reply re. note creation time. I will continue to insert blank spaces to reset the time then.

Lori Kassuba

2, 2014-05-06 06, 2014

Hi alex xr,

The creation date and time is a read only property so it’s not possible to remove it.

Thanks,
Lori

Lori Kassuba

2, 2014-05-06 06, 2014

Hi Bob Lkindstrom,

Yes, you can use the backspace and delete keys. All you need to do is activate the Text Correction Markup tool first by selecting the command with a T and star next to it in the Annotations panel.

Thanks,
Lori

Lori Kassuba

2, 2014-05-06 06, 2014

Hi Dawn M,

We’re you using the Comment tools in Acrobat X to do this? The boxes are showing you that this area has an annotation or comment associated with it. Perhaps you were using a different tool in Acrobat X.

Thanks,
Lori

alex xr

11, 2014-04-30 30, 2014

Hello Donna and the team,
Could you tell me please how I remove (or, if not possible, at least, hide)the time and date reference stamped on my notes/comments both in the text and in the comments section of a file.
This possibility is mentioned exactly at 0:50 in the tutorial above.
I just don’t want users to know I’m doing this during my working hours :)

Bob Lkindstrom

9, 2014-04-29 29, 2014

Isn’t it possible to just select a text and either press Delete or Backspace to strike it, or just start typing to replace the text? Why should all this tool clicking and right-clicking be necessary? I use Acrobat in a professional editing situation, and these interface-obsessed function are nothing but a slowdown.

Dawn M

6, 2014-04-18 18, 2014

Is there a way to be able to right click and select underline like we used to be able to do in Acrobat X? Also why are there boxes around my text and I have to select text in each box before I can select underline??? I want to select a section of text and just hit underline like it used to be in Acrobat X! Not liking 2013 so far…

Lori Kassuba

7, 2014-02-12 12, 2014

Hi Kim,

Try running the Repair Adobe Reader Installation command from under the Help menu to see if it corrects the issue.

Thanks,
Lori

Kim

9, 2014-02-10 10, 2014

I’ve been using Adobe Reader for quite sometime now and something happened to “add texte” configuration, it seems to be locked and I cannot unlock it. Could you please assist in this as without my text add-ons I’m lost in mt work…

donna baker

9, 2014-01-21 21, 2014

Hi Narelle -

I don’t recall any changes to the Underline comment tool over numerous Acrobat versions. The only thing that affects the appearance of the Underline is your zoom or magnification amount.

donna.

Narelle

4, 2014-01-13 13, 2014

I have recently been marking up a document with the underline tool. When I started using underline I had a nice thick underline - easy to see however when using underline today it has reverted to a very thin line that is difficult to see.
How can I change the thickness? The only options in tool default properties is to change the colour or opacity.
Narelle

donna baker

4, 2013-11-18 18, 2013

Hi Christina -

In Acrobat X and XI you can work with the Add Text tool, which is the renamed Typewriter tool. The tool is configurable, and you can specify the text characteristics which can then be used as a default for the tool.

donna.

donna baker

4, 2013-11-18 18, 2013

Hi desperate student -

You will always see the two tools you mentioned - the sticky note and the text highlight in any document. However, unless the author of the document has added special extended rights to the document, you won’t be able to access any of the other comment tools. If possible, ask the person who created the PDF file if they can send you a different copy with Reader rights enabled for commenting. Then you’ll be able to use other tools.

On your own, from within Adobe Reader, there’s nothing else you can do.

donna.

Christina

4, 2013-11-15 15, 2013

Good morning,

I had adobe version 9 and it would save the font settings for my typewriter tool.  For our team/department, this is the tool we use the most for what we do.  Now, it will not save my settings.  Each document the font settings must be readjusted.

Is there any way in version XI that this can be done?  This is a very important feature for us.  If not, is there a plan to update or patch this in the future?  We are considering stopping order for the upgraded versions for other team members because of this lack.

donna baker

6, 2013-11-14 14, 2013

Hi Vickie -

I’m not sure if I understand your question, but I’ll give it a try. If you are using Adobe Reader, and are trying to fill out a form you may not be able to do so unless the person who created the form included settings to allow Adobe Reader users to fill it in. If that’s the case, you need to contact the form’s author and ask them to provide you with a form you can use.

donna.

vickie l. smith

7, 2013-11-09 09, 2013

Hi I am trying to apply for programs however, when I try to fill out a document nothing comes up. it told me I still have pdf so what am I doing wrong?  Thank you very much. mrs. Vickie smith

desperate student

2, 2013-11-08 08, 2013

Hello,

I use Adobe Reader XI.
How can I add a random tool to the toolbar at the top of the surface? My intention is to put ANY tool (like ANY tool from the sidebar-tab ‘comment’)to this toolbar at the top to create Quicktools I can use without blending the sidebar in. I managed to add the comment tools ‘mark’ and ‘create a note’ but nothing else.

Google research suggests that I can customize the toolbar pressing the ‘customize’ button which should be somewhere in the toolbar, but I do not have such a button and did not find any comparable options either.

Does the freesource Adobe Reader XI not have such a ‘customize’ button and is not permitted to add all of the comment tools to the Quicktool bar? Or should I just try to reinstall my Adobe Reader?

donna baker

3, 2013-09-25 25, 2013

Hi Emma -

When you produce a comment report you can specify where the comments are located. In the Comments List, click the Options icon and choose Print with Comment Summary. In the Print dialog box, choose Document and Markups from the Comments & Forms dropdown menu.

donna.

Emma

6, 2013-09-09 09, 2013

How can you print the document with the sticky notes showing exactly where you placed them instead of on a separate page?

donna baker

5, 2013-05-06 06, 2013

Hi James -

You can’t reset the default font used in the Text and Image panel, I’m afraid. In order to have a colored background, you need to add a Text Box comment.

donna.

James

9, 2013-05-01 01, 2013

Hi Donna,

I am using the typewriter tool (Edit Text & Images—> Content Editing—> Add Text) and was wondering how I can change the default font/size/colour that appears. At the moment I have to reset it from Minion Pro, 12, Black each time I reopen a document.

Also, is there a way to add a background to this ‘textbox’ or must one use the actual textbox function?

Thanks,
James

donna baker

8, 2013-02-13 13, 2013

Hi John -

There shouldn’t be any tools that you can’t select. Try correcting your installation. Choose Help > Repair Acrobat Installation and let the program go through its installed components.

donna.

John

9, 2013-02-05 05, 2013

Why have my “Draw Cloud”, and “Draw Polygon” tools faded and become unavailable, while the other Drawing Markup tools are ok?

Thanks for your time.

donna baker

5, 2013-01-28 28, 2013

Hi Mike -

What you’re describing certainly isn’t normal behavior. Please try repairing the installation. Choose Help > Repair Acrobat Installation, and let the program process all its components.

donna.

mike

2, 2013-01-11 11, 2013

When we are done commenting and try to save, it tells us the document is read only or in use by others, when it isn’t, and tells you to save it as a different doc, each time a doc is opened and new comments added the same issue, we need to review and comment,  save comments without having more than one copy of the doc, any suggestions?

Penny

2, 2013-01-03 03, 2013

I cannot find the drawing tool in XI Standard???

Hi Penny,

All the drawing tools are located in the Comment Pane in Acrobat XI.

Lori

Cindy

4, 2012-12-04 04, 2012

I’m an old Acrobat user too so my questions is how do I change the font size and color in a text box I created in the PDF?

Hi Cindy,

With your cursor inside of the text box, try using the keyboard combination Ctrl + e to bring up the properties dialog where you can change the font size and color.

Thanks,
Lori

donna baker

6, 2012-11-12 12, 2012

Hi Shahram -

I agree with you. The process is much more streamlined, isn’t it?

Thanks for posting.

donna.

Shahram Khorsand

7, 2012-11-10 10, 2012

The new comments tool is so much more intuitive. I am an old time Acrobat user, now things are so much easier to explain to people and get them to comment in the right way.

Comments for this tutorial are now closed.