How to Annotate PDF on Windows and Mac


Nowadays, PDF has been widely accepted and used by people all over the world. The users can easily share, view PDF with their device. Besides, some people will annotate PDF. It may be helpful to share useful information with others.

Annotating PDF is very useful for highlighting important aspects or parts of projects, presentations, contracts, agreements, newsletters, etc. After annotating the PDF, the reader will focus and read important parts of the text immediately. It also allows the reader to easily scan documents and quickly locate key points. For readers, this function is more convenient than view the entire document and find the important points. Do you know how to annotate a PDF? Follow our steps to learn!

Section 1 - Annotate PDF Online

When you receive a PDF, the best way for you to annotate it is to use an online annotating PDF tool. With the online annotating PDF tools we provided below, you can directly annotate the PDF without any software and send it to your friends or colleagues quickly.

1. PDF24 Tools

PDF24 Tools is a free and easy to use online PDF tool. PDF24 makes it as easy and fast as possible to annotate files. You don't have to install or configure anything, just edit your file. With this function, you can use numerous tools available for comment. Everything from free drawing to adding shapes, text, and images is available.

Step 1. Navigate to the "Annotate PDF" function of PDF24 Tools.

Step 2. Select the file you want to annotate. Uploading the PDF from Google Drive or Dropbox is also supported.

PDF24 Tools Annotate PDF Choose File

Step 3. Annotate your file with tools like adding text, images, and shapes by clicking the corresponding button on the toolbar.

PDF24 Tools Annotate PDF

Step 4. Click the "Save" button to save your file as a PDF.

2. PDFescape

PDFescape is an online, free PDF reader, free PDF editor, and free PDF form filler. With PDFescape, you can change the existing text, images, fonts, or colors in your PDF. The PDF files being edited in PDFescape can now be encrypted when exported or emailed.

Step 1. Upload the PDF from your computer by clicking the "Upload PDF to PDFescape".

PDFescape Upload File

Step 2. Click the "Annotate" button which shows in the left toolbar. You can choose the tools that you need to annotate like highlight, insert, underline text, and so on. Just click and drag on page to insert a new object.

PDFescape Annotate

Step 3. Click the "Save" button to save the PDF.

PDFescape Save File


XODO is an all-in-one PDF reader and PDF annotator. With Xodo, you can edit, annotate, sign, and share PDFs on desktop, mobile, and web. The annotating tools in XODO enable you to annotate your documents, including adding sticky notes; highlighting, underlining, and striking out passages; inserting shapes, and drawing freehand. Once you've created your annotation, you can always go back to change its color, size, thickness, and opacity.

Step 1. Open a file from your local device by clicking the "Local File" button. Uploading the file from Google Drive and Dropbox are also supported.

XODO Open A File

Step 2. Using the tools which show in the upper right corner to annotate the PDF.

XODO Annotate PDF

Step 3. Click the "Save" button to save your PDF. You can save it to your cloud accounts like Dropbox.

XODO Save File

Section 2 - Offline PDF Annotator

When you need more annotation tools to edit your PDF, the best choice is to select a powerful and helpful PDF annotator to help. Here, we recommend you 2 PDF annotators which can make your annotations more diverse.

1. PDFelement

PDFelement is one of the easiest ways to create, edit, convert, and sign PDF documents on Windows and Mac. With the annotate PDF function in PDFelement, you can integrate files with comments, sticky notes, text boxes, stamps, and personalized drawing tools allow for easy document sharing and collaboration.

PDFelement Annotate PDF


  • Covers many annotation tools
  • Simple and intuitive interface


  • Sometimes when batch processing it is slow

2. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC can give you everything you need to easily create, edit, share, and sign PDF documents from anywhere. With the tools in this software, you can add text boxes, format text, and insert sticky notes, shapes, or freehand drawings with the pencil tool easily. You can also use highlighters, underlines, strikethroughs, and more. Besides, it also helps you to share the PDF and deal with the PDF file with colleagues together.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Annotate PDF


  • See all your feedback in one place
  • Simple and intuitive interface
  • Great for editing PDF files


  • Optical character recognition needs to be improved

Section 3 - Annotate PDF on Mac with Preview

Preview is the vendor-supplied image viewer and PDF viewer of the macOS operating system. Although you cannot edit the text in the PDF in Preview, you can use annotation tools to provide feedback or write down something you want to remember. The editing tools in the "Markup" toolbar are ideal for collaboration-marking changes and replying suggestions in the PDF. If you are a Mac user, you can annotate PDF with Preview directly.

Step 1. Click the "File" > "Open" to upload the PDF file from your local device.

Step 2. Click the "Tools" > "Annotate" then choose the annotation tool that you need to use.

Preview Annotate PDF

Step 3. You can also use the toolbar to annotate the PDF.

Preview Toolbar

Step 4. Finally, click the "File" > "Save" to save your PDF.


1. I am a Mac user, which method is the most convenient for me to annotate PDF?

The most convenient method is to use Preview in your Mac to annotate PDF directly. But if you need more functions, you can download the software we provided above like PDFelement.

2. How can I convert the edited PDF to images?

You can use the "PDF to JPG" tool EasePDF to convert your PDF.


We have provided both the online and offline PDF annotators to help you easily annotate a PDF on Windows and Mac easily. If you have more options to annotate PDF files, please feel free to share them with us!

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