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Commenting in Adobe Reader X

One of the highlights for the release of Adobe Reader X back in October 2010 – amongst many – was that the Sticky Note tool and the Highlight tool are now always available for any PDF file: as long the document permissions allowed for commenting. But those are not the only commenting tools and functionality available in Adobe Reader X. In fact, the software has many more. But those capabilities are only made available when the PDF file being viewed in Adobe Reader X has been enabled for additional functionality using Adobe Acrobat X Pro (choose File > Save as > Reader Extended PDF) or Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions.

By default, all Adobe Reader X users will see the Sticky Note and Highlight tool in the Quick Tools bar and in the Comments pane on the right. But nothing more when it comes to the Comment tools. I’ve highlighted them in the screen shot below…


Once that “special sauce” has been added to the PDF file to enable additional functionality, then all the Comment tools, or Annotations, from Acrobat X become available in Adobe Reader X. That includes the Sticky Note, Highlight, File Attachment, Audio Recording, Stamps (including custom and dynamic ones), Insert Text, Replace Text, Delete/Strikethrough Text and Underline Text…


As do all the drawing markup tools: Text Box, Callout, Line, Arrow, Circle, Rectangle, Cloud, Polyline, Polygon, Pencil and Eraser tools are all there for a Reader Extended Document…


Depending on the features enabled in the PDF file, any related capabilities or tools are available from the Tools pane that becomes available on the right of the Adobe Reader X window for the Reader Extended Document. In this example, we can see that the “Add or Edit Text Box” (formerly known as the Typewriter Tool) and Analyzing tools are available in Adobe Reader X for this Extended Document…


One of the benefits of using Adobe technology to allow others to comment and markup documents in the free Adobe Reader is that can they can also participate in Shared Reviews, allowing them to see other reviewers comments and submit their comments online without having to email files back-and-forth, making reviews much more efficient…


If you’d like to find out more, check out the tutorials and resources available on the Acrobat User Community site.


    This is a pain. In the last version, I could insert text boxes easily. None of my files are enabled as noted. So I cannot enter text anymore without buying Acrobat Pro? This is bogus. If there is a workaround, please advise. You didn’t charge for this capability before – now? That sucks!

      Thanks for your question. If you are using Adobe Reader, you have not had the ability to add a text box for any document you opened. This was enabled for usage in Adobe Reader on a per document basis by someone who had either Acrobat Pro or LiveCycle Reader Extensions.

    I was filling in a form (in PDF) and the content has red “strike through” lines.

    How do I get rid of these?

    Thank you.

      Thanks for the question. If those red-lines are markup (you will see them listed in the Comments panel if they are), then you can’t delete them with Adobe Reader X I’m afraid (only highlight and sticky notes), unless the document is Reader-enabled by somebody using Acrobat. So Acrobat is needed to remove those.

    I am a novice in using adobe. I downloaded a genealogy form which I am trying to fill in with information. In trying to use the highlighter, I hightlighted something and can’t undo it, I figured out how to use the text box,and now I get a “|” bar and it won’t let me type anything.(I don’t understand how I enabled this function) I am just not understanding all the capabilities/functions of this program and am frustrated trying to figure this stuff out.
    Can you direct me to an easy to understand “help” guide?
    Thank you so much, Sarah please use my email (or copy to my email if you respond on this site) for response ’cause I do not know if I can find this site again.

      [I will send you an email off-line too]

      One good resource for tutorials on Adobe Reader is Adobe TV. Just search for “Adobe Reader” once you get there. For example, here is a short video on filling out forms in Adobe Reader X. You can find similar tutorials and videos at http://www.acrobatusers.com.


    I have created a form in Adobe X and sent it to someone that has Adobe Reader to complete, they can fill the fields with the needed information but cannot save the form with the included information on the fields. I have searched for a solution to the problem and I am stumped 🙁 can you please help??

      Hi Ana! In Adobe Acrobat X, either Distribute the form (from the Forms pane of the Tools pane on the right side of Acrobat), or choose File > Save as… > Reader Extended PDF > Enable additional features… That will create a copy of your PDF form that someone with the free Adobe Reader can save.

    Hi there. In adobe reader x, when I try to save a comment/sticky note. Its prompts me to replace existing file. This process then several minutes. This issue doesn’t exist with say nitro pdf whereby clicking the disk icon the document save the changes made immediately. Am I doing something wrong? Please advise. Thanks

      Please make sure you have updated to the latest version of Adobe Reader X. Otherwise, try posting to the forums at forums.adobe.com or acrobatusers.com.

    I have highlighted some text. How do you get rid of highlighting?

    Addendum to my previous question: I have tried re-highlighting the text in question and toggling the highlight button, but this doesn’t work.

      Have you tried selecting the text with the selection tool, right-clicking and choosing Highlight? By the way, highlighting tools only work out-of-the-box in Adobe Reader X. With earlier versions you would need to have opened a PDF file that was enabled for commenting in Reader [which is done in Acrobat Pro or LiveCycle Reader Extensions]. You’d know if that was the case as the message bar at the top of the document would tell you.

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