How to most effectively and efficiently use digital editing tools.

content revision using adobe acrobat pro

Adobe is well known for its creative software solutions, and along the way they they’ve made a great editing tool even better with Acrobat Pro. Acrobat is the ultimate tool for submitting proofs to clients and print vendors. When using Adobe Acrobat Pro as a tool to submit revisions, we recommend these best practices to help communicate more clearly, and get comments and revisions resolved faster. Consider these “best practices” to streamline your workflow.

1. Avoid scanning handwritten notes from a printout of a PDF. Type your notes in a “comment” field within a “sticky note” in Acrobat. It’s easier to read and helps avoid misinterpretation of different handwriting styles.

comment iconMake sticky notes using this icon

2. Typed “sticky notes” can be copied and pasted from the “comment” field into the layout. This saves time as compared to keying handwritten notes and lessens confusion.

3. Avoid using single letter or punctuation inserts to paragraphs. They are difficult to notice and increase possibilities for error—even when best practice #5 is followed. It is best to copy an entire paragraph from the PDF into a “sticky note” and make changes in the “comment field.” It’s easier for the editor to proofread the revisions and the note in its entirety can be copied and flowed into the layout efficiently.

4. Avoid using too many drawing tools as edit tools to create arrows and other shapes. While there are times these edit tools are necessary, most often they are overused, making the “comments” list unnecessarily long and unmanageable in seeking out legitimate edits. When deleting content, including a whole sentence, use the symbol T with a line through it. Then in the comment box you may utilize a directive such as “Delete this bullet.”

replace text toolMake a note to replace text using this icon

5. When reviewing edits, use the “comments” list on the right side of the screen to see all edits requested. Check each edit off one at a time to ensure you catch everything.

Efficiency and effectiveness are not the only reasons to utilize “best practices” of Adobe Acrobat Pro. Our collective electronic footprint is much cleaner and greener than printing paper copies, saving even more of our resources.


Here is an example of using the comments tool as a “sticky note”. Place the note over the text you would like to replace with a directive “Change to…”.

using a sticky note to revise text in adobe acrobat pro

You can also use the “replace text” tool instead of the “sticky note” tool with similar efficiency.

using the replace text tool to revise text in adobe acrobat pro

This example shows how three different tools (line tool, arrow tool and text box tool) were used to create a less efficient markup to replace text and created extra, empty listings in the comments list that are sometimes difficult to keep track of.

inefficient revision markup using adobe acrobat pro

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