How to Annotate PDFs and Other Files Types Using PrizmDoc’s Annotation Tools


08/12/2016

With the annotation feature, PrizmDoc makes it easy to collaborate, proofread, review, and add comments to your documents all in one place. Whether you are a cloud or self-hosted user, getting to know the different annotation tools and how to use them will help you get the most out of PrizmDoc. If you haven't had a chance to use PrizmDoc yet, this will give you a better understanding of the annotation tools and how they can benefit you.

Annotate Tab Toolbar
how to annotate PDFs

The annotate tab contains all of the tools that you can use to collaborate and review documents.

The annotate tab allows you to choose a variety of annotation tools that you can use when collaborating and reviewing documents. You can also choose whether annotations get burned into the document or not. We will go a bit more in-depth into each tool and how to use it below.

Annotation Layers

annotation layers PDF Annotation layers button

The annotation layers option is the first button on the annotation toolbar. This allows you to view the annotation layers to see which feedback was left by each contributor or department.

Here's a look at the annotation layers, which appear as a sidebar to the left side of the document:
annotate PDFs
The annotation layers appear in a sidebar to the left of the document.

Here, you can see "My Annotations" as well as "Annotations for Review," which in this example were made by the Manager and Payroll Supervisor. The eye icon to the right of the annotation owner's name allows you to hide or view the annotations made by each contributor.

Let's see what happens when we hide the annotations made by the Manager.

Here's what the document looks like when we show all of the layers:
hidden annotations PDF

Here's what it looks like after hiding the Manager's annotations:

hiding annotations

Note that the eye icon next to "Manager" now has a strike through it, and the Manager's annotations are now hidden from view.

Arrow Annotation

arrow annotation Arrow annotation button

The arrow annotation button allows you to create arrows in order to draw attention toward annotations you have made. For example, the red arrow below is drawing attention to the name "Joe Smith" with a corresponding comment that the employee now reports do a different manager. This helps ensure that the document owner makes the important change in their system. Customization options for the arrow tool includes color, opacity and line thickness.

arrow annotations
Line Annotation

line annotation Line annotation button

This tool can be used to draw line annotations. This is helpful for drawing attention to certain elements of the document that need review. After you draw the line on the document, you can then add a corresponding comment to add further explanation. Similar to the arrow tool, the line annotation allows you to select color, opacity and line thickness.
how to annotate PDFs
The option to add a comment will appear when you hover your mouse over the line annotation. These comments will appear on the right side of the screen.

Rectangle Annotation

rectangle annotation Rectangle annotation button

This tool can be used to draw rectangle annotations with a fill or outline only. This is another great tool for drawing attention to annotations made on the document or certain elements that need review. Like the other annotation tools, you can add further explanation in a comment that will appear on the right side of the screen.

To add a comment, click on the annotation element (in this case the rectangle). Then choose "Add Comment," which appears as a speech bubble, in the editor located in the top right side of the viewer.
how to annotate PDFs
The editor in the upper-right corner allows you to change the color of the annotation element as well as add and delete comments.

Ellipse Annotation

Ellipse Annotation Ellipse annotation button

The ellipse annotation can be used to draw ellipse or circular annotations. Much like arrows, lines, and rectangles, these can be used to draw attention to certain elements that need review. Customization options include fill color, outline color, and transparency.
how to annotate pdfs
The circle here draws attention to "Joe Smith," a name that will need to be changed on future documents. Use comments to describe why you are marking this for review.

Freehand Annotation

Freehand annotationFreehand annotation button

Not everything in life fits into a neat little box or circle. That's where the freehand annotation tool comes in. This allows you to draw your own annotations right on the page. Below is an example of what this might look like. As with the other annotation tools, you can then add a corresponding comment to provide additional information. You can also control color, opacity, and line thickness.

annotate pdfs
This freehand circle draws attention to a change that will need to be made in the records with a corresponding note to what exactly that change is.

Polyline Annotation

polyline annotation Polyline annotation button

If you're not feeling adventurous enough to draw your own annotations freehand, you might consider using the polyline annotation tool. This lets you draw lines around the element that you would like to draw attention to. To draw a polyline annotation, click where you want it to begin, click again to stop the line and start a new line. Double-click to complete the annotation. Like the freehand annotation tool, you can select color, opacity, and line thickness options.

annotate pdfs
The corresponding comment allows you to provide a bit more detail on why this part of the document needs changes.

Text Annotation

Text annotation pdf Text annotation button

Text annotation allows you to type directly on the document, rather than leaving comments on the side for contributors to comment on. This might be used for quick changes or placeholders where you need to add text to the document. The text tool has a variety of options, including text color, font, size, style, and alignment.
text annotations in pdfs
The words that you type are placed in a box so that others can see what changes have been made. In this case, the text annotation is used to create a placeholder for where the company logo will be featured.

Highlight Annotation

Highlight annotation Highlight annotation button

Highlight annotation is yet another useful tool for drawing attention to certain changes that need to be made on the document. Below, the signature space is highlighted with a corresponding comment explaining what still needs to be done.

highlight annotations in pdfs
Others can reply to your comments, which allows you to monitor progress on the changes or get answers to questions that others may have.

Strikethrough Annotation

Strikethrough AnnotationStrikethrough annotation button

Everyone makes mistakes! The strikethrough annotation tool allows you to cross these mistakes out or strikethrough any elements of the document that are no longer necessary or you wish to delete.
strikethrough annotations pdfs
Make sure you leave a comment to let other contributors know why you have crossed out one of the document items.

Hyperlink Annotation

Text hyperlink annotationText hyperlink annotation button

You can use the text hyperlink annotation tool to add hyperlinks to your documents. Highlight the text that you would like to hyperlink and type or paste the corresponding link into the box. You can either add the link with the checkmark icon or delete the link by clicking on the trash can.
Text Hyperlink Annotation pdf
After you have added the hyperlink to the text, it will remain highlighted in purple on your view of the document.

Stamp Annotation

Stamp annotationStamp annotation button

The stamp annotation tool lets you stamp each document as "Approved," "Reviewed," or "Rejected." This is a simple way to streamline the process of accepting documents and keeping track of which documents have already been reviewed and by which reviewer.
Stamp Annotation pdfs
If red is too much, you can change the color of the stamp in the editor.

Image Stamp Annotation

Image stamp annotationImage stamp annotation button

The image stamp annotation tool works just like the stamp annotation, but you can include your own image instead of the pre-made stamp options. This can be useful if you want to add your company logo to documents or other images that you use regularly.
Image Stamp Annotation pdf
Though a green checkmark and a red "X" are available to use, you can upload any image you want.

Haven't had a chance to try PrizmDoc yet?

If you have not had the opportunity to try PrizmDoc, there is no better time than now. Check out the annotation demo to get some hands-on experience using the annotation feature, and start your free 30-day trial today to experience the full range of PrizmDoc functionality.

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