How to Markup a PDF
By Preflight Books

Learn How to Leave Comments and Proofread a PDF 

Editing, design, proofreading and printing are all part of the publishing process. After editing, we are done with Microsoft Word. Design and typesetting are done in Adobe InDesign or similar software. From here, your typeset book is exported as a PDF document. Any corrections or proofreading at this point should be done using Adobe Acrobat Reader. This might seem daunting, but not to worry, we’ll teach you how to markup a PDF! 

What Does Adobe Acrobat Reader Look Like? 

Adobe Acrobat Reader Interface

After opening your PDF file, you will see a panel at the top and a panel on the right-hand side of the screen. These are what you will need to markup (comment and make changes on) a PDF. 

How to Add Notes to a PDF 

You can add notes to your PDF by adding a sticky note to the document. To do this, you can click on the grey Comment icon at the top of your screen.  

Sticky Note Icon

When you move your cursor, you will see the same icon moving wherever you are moving the mouse. Click wherever you want your sticky note to be and start typing your comment. 

Leaving A Comment

How to Proofread a PDF

Instead of just using a sticky note, you can add or delete individual words, spaces, and punctuation marks by using this next method. When looking at the screen, there should be a panel on the right-hand side that looks like the image below. 

Right-Hand Panel

Select the Comment tool with the yellow icon. When you have done that, look at the top of your screen and search for the blue cursor icon in the middle. 

Top Panel

Click on the cursor icon (it will be blue like the image above). Place the cursor in the spot you want to change by clicking on it and insert or delete details as you wish. After making corrections, press the escape button on your keyboard and get back to proofreading! Don’t forget to take spaces into account when adding or deleting text. 

When finished, save your version under the Save As option in the File tab. A top tip is to rename the file so people know the file has been corrected and by whom by adding a tag like “_Proofread_AB” or “_Corrected_AB” (add your own initials). Your corrections can now be imported directly into Adobe InDesign and a new, corrected PDF can be exported! 

Wrapping up

Working with the tools we have available saves time and reduces possible errors. Learning how to properly markup a PDF isn’t difficult, and it will streamline the proofreading and corrections of your book. 

Take your book to the next level with Preflight Books! We offer professional editing, design and proofreading services. Click here to get a quote or email us at and we will assist with all your publishing needs! 

Further reading and more resources:

Video instructions:

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