How to Share, Collaborate, and Annotate PDF


The introduction of remote work has pushed many people to look for ways to digitally manage their documents, with PDFs being the predominant file format. 

However, PDFs are tricky to work with, especially when you lack the technical editing skills to annotate and share documents online.

Luckily, developers constantly compete to create the best PDF annotation app to help people manage PDF files. 

For instance, a PDF note taking app gives you the flexibility to edit and annotate PDF documents. It also promotes collaboration at work, which makes it ideal for organizations of any size. 

So if you are looking to learn how to use apps for writing on PDFs, you have found the right article.

Why is it difficult to make changes to PDF files?

Making changes to PDF files is difficult because of the technology behind them. For instance, if a document owner doesn’t want you to alter the file, they compress or convert it to PDF. 

In that state, all the components in the document are in a single layer, making it difficult for you to isolate them for editing.

As a quick fix, some people try to use desktop browsers to edit their PDF files. However, most browsers cannot handle the task effectively.

Besides, compressed PDF files are difficult to edit because many desktop tools can’t differentiate between the various objects in a single file. So, using subpar tools to change something as simple as a sentence can affect the entire document. 

Therefore, you are better off using dedicated PDF tools to take notes on PDF and make any other changes you need. Software developers add features to them to give you maximum control over the editing process without sacrificing file quality.

How do I add notes to comments in a PDF?

History shows that PDF file creators don’t want other users to have control over their documents. But you can skirt around that limitation by using third-party apps to take notes on PDF. 

A quick Google search for the best PDF note-taking app will show you several feature-packed software, some of them available for free — or at a low price. These tools let you add notes to your PDFs to encourage collaboration on documents. 

Most PDF editors have a ribbon or tab to execute a bunch of actions. To add notes, you need to:

  • Navigate to the “Review” option in the ribbon and select “Markup”.
  • Click on “Add Note”.
  • Click on the PDF document page you want to add a note to, and a text box or speech bubble will appear.
  • Input your notes.
  • Click anywhere outside the text box to save it.

An advanced PDF note taker will give you the luxury of selecting the font type and color for your notes. So if you want to add a bit of pizzazz to your document, rest assured that annotators have got you covered.

Can I add comments to a PDF with Adobe Reader?

Adobe Acrobat Reader is one of the best apps for highlighting PDFs and leaving your thoughts on documents. But why?

When writing on PDF app like Adobe Reader, you have the flexibility to add remarks to an existing document, especially one that is available to other users. 

Besides, adding comments using the Adobe reader software is easy. All you need to do is follow these steps:

  • Select the “Text Callout” tool from the “Markups” panel.
  • Go to the page where you want to add your comment.
  • Drag the mouse cursor to the exact word, sentence, or object you want to reflect on, and the app will link the position of your cursor to a text box with a colored arrow.
  • Type your comments in the text box.

Adobe Reader remains one of the most advanced apps for annotating PDFs because it handles commenting like a champ.

How can I replace text online?

There are various online tools for annotating PDF texts or replacing them entirely, but you need to add PDF editor extensions to your browser to get quicker results. These extensions will often open a full-page tool that you can upload your PDF on and edit.

To replace the text on a PDF file online:

  • Upload the PDF document.
  • Click the “Magnifying glass” icon or search bar in the PDF editor.
  • Search for the text(s) you want to change in the document; most tools will automatically highlight them.
  • Type the text you want to substitute and hit the “Replace” button.

Voila! The PDF editor will swap the old text with your new one, and then you can save the edited copy by clicking the download button to export the document afterward.

How do I add a sticky note online?

Any tool that claims to be the best annotation app online should have features for adding sticky notes to documents. These notes help you remember to do something on a file or direct someone else to do it.

If you need to add sticky notes to your PDF document:

  • Add the tool you would use as an extension to your browser.
  • After installation, launch the tool and import the document.
  • Open the comment section and click the “Sticky Note” icon to add one.

You can change the position of the sticky notes with your mouse cursor. Every time you select a new position, a sticky note icon will appear with a pop-up text box that you can write in. If you want the same sticky note to appear on other parts of the document showing the same content, click on “Use as default”.

How do I edit a sticky note comment online?

After including sticky notes, you may need to make a few edits to it, which is where annotation apps come in. You can edit sticky notes by selecting the one you want, then clicking on “Edit” and changing or replacing the text. 

You can choose to either have the change apply to every sticky note on the document or just on the one you selected. When you are through with the changes, click “Save”, then download and export the current copy.

How do I delete a sticky note online?

Before deleting a sticky note, remember that this action is irreversible in many online PDF editors, so take care not to delete those created by someone else. But if you are sure that you want to delete a sticky note from your PDF online, do the following: 

  • Highlight the sticky note.
  • Right-click on the mouse to see more options
  • Select “Delete Annotation” from the list of options, and the tool will remove the highlighted note.

Note: Don’t click “Remove” since that option deletes the entire document. And don’t select the “Hide Notes” or “Markup” option, or the tool will hide your sticky notes and highlights instead of deleting them.


Not long ago, editing a PDF file was nearly impossible. But today, you can download tools for editing, adding notes, and working on documents with your team members. These apps and extensions simplify actions like dropping remarks in a PDF, adding and deleting notes, and replacing text online.

This article answers most questions about annotating PDFs, and if you follow its tips, you will be editing PDFs like an expert in no time. You will also learn the best way to annotate PDF using handy tools like Lumin PDF and Adobe Reader. So try the steps outlined above and watch the magic unfold on your document.

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