PDF annotations

Annotations are a mechanism used to add comments and markup to PDF files.

PDF comments

The Acrobat toolbar for this shows the various possibilities, including:

  • You can add sticky notes to a page.
  • Textual markups and highlighting text are supported.
  • Drawing circles, squares or freeform shapes is possible.
  • Using the pencil tool even small drawings can be added to a page
  • You can use a wide range of rubber stamps to add an overall comment to pages.

How to use annotations in the approval cycle

A lot of companies already use annotations to speed up the correction and approval cycle. Until Acrobat 8, users had to buy software to be able to add annotations. Adobe changed this policy with Acrobat 8: now users of the free Adobe Reader can add comments to PDF files provided the document creator activated ‘Enable for Commenting and Analysis in Adobe Reader’ using the Comments menu in Acrobat 8 or 9 Professional.

Annotations and PDF printing

The hassle with annotations is that they will appear on the output unless your workflow or RIP is configured to omit them. As you can imagine a small icon of a post-it note in the middle of a page on a printing plate can lead to a lot of complaints and extra costs. For this reason annotations are prohibited within the printable page area in all PDF/X variations.

To avoid such situations:

  • Prohibit the use of annotations in supplied files. When you stick to the industry standard GWG specs for supplied files annotations will never bother you.
  • Configure your workflow to omit the output of annotations for the final output.
  • A PitStop action can move all annotations outside the bleed area. This makes sure that the information contained in the annotations does not get lost while the PDF can be output without worries. Other tools may offer a similar function: add a comment if you know of tools that can do this.
9 August 2013

One response to “PDF annotations”

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