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How to Annotate a PDF Document

The most convenient format to edit and store files is PDF. Developed by Adobe three decades ago, this format has advanced in popularity and functionality over the years. Although portable files are designed to preserve the original layout of files, it is necessary to modify the content and keep data up-to-date.

Annotation is one way of modifying information in a file using a PDF reader. It simplifies adding new content to files, highlighting key points, and incorporating visual appeal to a document using images and graphics.

This article discovers how to annotate a PDF on windows and the best PDF editor to help make changes in your portable documents. 

What is Annotation?

Any additional information to that contained in a file is called an annotation. When creating a file, the data recorded may vary with time, which requires clarification. You can do this by highlighting the information and commenting on it at the margin of the page. 

The annotation also helps emphasize key points in a file, expounding or correcting them. PDF annotation involves the addition of text, images, signatures, and graphics into a file over a suitable PDF viewer. Annotating a portable file is essential when giving suggestions and contributions to a project or reviewing a task. 

PDF annotation software helps in adding more info to portable files.

Annotate a PDF on Windows 10

Windows 10 comes with a pre-installed PDF viewer- Microsoft Edge. This free online PDF editor is accessible from any browser.

How to Annotate a PDF on Windows 10

To annotate a PDF, access the file and click on open with. The browser will display several online editors, tap on Microsoft Edge. 

When the file opens, highlight the text to comment on, add an image or emphasize. Different colors will appear, choose your preferred highlight color and tap on it. To write a comment, suggestion, or correction on the highlighted text, click on the comment icon on the toolbar. A small box will open where you write your comment. When done, click on the checkmark and save the changes.

Microsoft Edge is not the only editor to use on Windows 10. It is possible to modify the window settings and set a different default reader for your PDF files. If, for instance, you want to use LuminPDF on Windows 10, open the Playstore app and download the Lumin app. Click on install and access the app on your PC. For faster installation, you may need a pre-installed emulator app.

Annotate PDF on Mac

Like Windows 10, Mac comes with a pre-installed program to annotate PDF- Preview. With this software, you can highlight and annotate PDF files on Mac, although the procedure is not direct as in Windows 10.

How to annotate a PDF on Mac

To add text and comment on files, select the preview app to access the recent documents on your device. Pick the document you want to edit from the list of recent files. When the file opens, go to the menu and tap on tools to access all the editing actions.

If you want to highlight part of a text, start by clicking annotate and select the text to highlight. Different colors will pop up, select the highlight color you prefer, and it will appear on the selected text. There are many reasons for highlighting a text, such as pointing out key areas or parts of a text that should be changed.

To make suggestions or clarify a highlighted text, select add note and type a comment. Some areas need a more profound explanation that cannot fit a single comment. To explain more, go to Note and open a note icon. Type your explanation and click on done when through.

What is the Best Software to Annotate a PDF

The best PDF editing software requires the following capabilities:

  • Ability to incorporate images, pictures, and signatures into a text
  • Ability to highlight text 
  • A straightforward UI with a sharing capability
  • A text copying capability

Advanced PDF annotation tools have more features than the above basic ones. Here are some of the best PDF annotator apps supported across devices.

Adobe DC

If you are looking for the best PDF annotator that preserves the quality of images and works pretty fast, check out Adobe DC. This software is intuitive and has sticky notes and comments features to help you add to your text easily and fast.


iAnnotate is ideal for reading and editing files in the office, at home, and on the move. This advanced yet simple software for annotating PDFs is supported on PCs, tablets, and mobile devices. It has a friendly user interface with text annotating tools such as a pen and highlighter.

Its toolbar is customized to match your work progress.


This free online editor helps annotate documents with an intuitive UI. It has the best text highlighting tool and add-on feature. Foxit is ideal for projects and instructional material. After annotation, you can easily share your file with your team.


LuminPDF is the ideal software to annotate PDF files online. It is an all-in-one tool for adding text and images to a file and has the most friendly UI. With this editor, you can:

  • Add comments to, or comment on a text using the comment icon
  • Highlight or mark up a text using the pen on the menu bar
  • Highlight or underline a text using the highlight tool on the menu bar
  • Insert shapes, signatures, graphics, and pictures to a file using the image tool
  • Clear unappealing add-ons by selecting them and clicking on delete


Adding text to a portable file requires a good annotation app. Most editing software and PDF highlighter apps have annotation features but are complicated to use. Before subscribing to software, use the free trial period to assess its annotation capabilities.

To choose the ideal editing software, take your time to study the functionalities and choose one that suits your needs. The best editing software to use should be supported across devices to enable you to work on your files remotely.



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