How to Draw on a PDF: Best Tools and Practices

Fri. 25 Aug. 20238243
Using our markup tools on PDF Reader Pro, there are plenty of editing options. Here’s your guide on how to draw on a PDF, why it can be beneficial, and some best practices to keep in mind.
How to Draw on a PDF: Best Tools and Practices

PDF documents have become one of the most widely used document formats, from business presentations to academic research papers. While PDF files are often considered static files, modern technology allows for a more interactive experience, including drawing or annotating directly on the document to give constructive feedback.

Using our markup tools on PDF Reader Pro, there are plenty of editing options. Here’s your guide on how to draw on a PDF, why it can be beneficial, and some best practices to keep in mind.

 

 

How to Draw on a PDF with Windows

Use your creative skills to spruce up a PDF file or give feedback on graphs and text with our drawing options on PDF Reader Pro for Windows. 

pdfimage

Navigate, edit, and
convert PDFs like a Pro
with PDF Reader Pro

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Easily customize PDFs: Edit text, images,
pages, and annotations with ease.

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Advanced PDF conversion: Supports
multi-format document processing with OCR.

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Seamless workflow on Mac,
Windows, iOS, and Android.

Don’t let PDFs slow your efficiency DOWNLOAD NOW

 

Step 1: Open the File in PDF Reader Pro

Prep your document for editing by clicking "Open File" or dragging it to the drop zone of our easy-to-use program. 

Step 2: Click "Tools" on the Menu Bar

There are four main PDF drawing tools available.

  • For highlighting, click the yellow "A"
  • For underlining, click the green underlined "A"
  • To strikethrough text, click the "A" with the red single stroke through it
  • To create freehand drawings, click the pencil tool




Image Source: PDF Reader Pro


Step 3: Choose Your Favorite Color Pen

Change your drawing color for any drawing PDF tool by tapping the properties tab on the top right-hand side. 



Image Source: PDF Reader Pro


Step 4: Click the File Button

Click "Save" or "Save As" to export all the added elements with ease.


 

How to Draw on a PDF with Mac

Use our comprehensive guide to draw on your PDF documents using your Mac operating system. 

pdfimage

Navigate, edit, and
convert PDFs like a Pro
with PDF Reader Pro

check

Easily customize PDFs: Edit text, images,
pages, and annotations with ease.

check

Advanced PDF conversion: Supports
multi-format document processing with OCR.

check

Seamless workflow on Mac,
Windows, iOS, and Android.

Don’t let PDFs slow your efficiency DOWNLOAD NOW



Step 1: Open the File in PDF Reader Pro

Open the document you want to draw on using your favorite device. 

Step 2: Click "Tools" on the Menu Bar

There are four types of tools used for drawing on PDF Reader Pro. Use the four PDF Drawing Tools to:

  • Highlight, click the yellow "A"
  • Underline click the green underlined "A"
  • Strikethrough text, click the "A" with the red single stroke through it
  • Create freehand drawings by clicking the pencil tool





Image Source: PDF Reader Pro


Step 3: Pick Your Favorite Stylus Color

Access additional settings and color styles by tapping the properties tab on the top right corner.




Image Source: PDF Reader Pro


Step 4: Save Your Forms with Ease

Click the Files button and select "Save As" or "Save" to export the document in real time. 




Image Source: PDF Reader Pro 

 

Reasons to Draw on a PDF

There are many cases where you would need to use our drawing markup tools to add comments to PDF files or to edit PDF image files.

Here are some other use cases:

1. Annotation and Feedback: Drawing or marking up a PDF is crucial for editors, peers, or team members to provide feedback on content. Annotations can highlight areas needing revision or comment on specific text parts. Alternatively, you can use these editor tools to add comments to PDF files. 

2. Emphasis: Sometimes, certain parts of a document need to stand out. Drawing or highlighting can help emphasize key points or important data in presentations, reports, or study materials.

3. Signatures: In business, contracts or agreements often come in PDF form. Drawing tools allow users to add their signatures directly to such documents without printing or scanning.

4. Creative Collaboration: For graphic designers, artists, or architects, our PDF drawing tools can be invaluable for sketching ideas, correcting, or providing visual feedback.

5. Interactive Learning: Teachers and students can draw on PDFs to solve problems, annotate study material, or make class presentations more interactive.

 

Best Practices for Drawing on a PDF

There is an array of tools available to draw on PDFs. However, there are ways to use these advanced features to your advantage.


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Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

1. Use the Right Tools: Opt for reliable PDF editing software or apps offering a comprehensive drawing and annotation tool set, such as PDF Reader Pro. 

2. Save Originals: Before making any changes, save a copy of the original PDF. This ensures you have an unaltered version in case of mistakes or if you need to refer back.

3. Opt for Clear Colors: While using a broad color palette might be tempting, sticking to clear, contrasting colors ensures your annotations are easily distinguishable from the original content.

4. Use Layers: Some advanced PDF editors allow you to add annotations on separate layers. This way, you can hide or display your drawings without affecting the base document.

5. Keep It Legible: If you add notes or feedback, ensure your handwriting (or typed text) is clear and legible for others to read.

6. Group Annotations: If you're making multiple annotations, some software allows you to group them together for more organized feedback.

 

How to Draw on a PDF: FAQs

Navigating the world of PDF annotations can be filled with numerous questions, especially for those new to the concept. Here are some frequently asked questions to guide your journey:


Can I draw on a PDF without specialized software?

Using PDF Reader Pro, you can quickly and easily use various comprehensive drawing tools.


Will my annotations be visible to others?

Yes, annotations typically become a part of the PDF and will be visible to anyone viewing the document, regardless of the software they use.


Can I draw on a PDF using a tablet or smartphone?

Absolutely! Many PDF apps for tablets and smartphones, such as PDF Reader Pro for mobile, have drawing tools optimized for touchscreen use.


How can I ensure my drawings aren’t accidentally deleted?

Many PDF editors allow you to lock or flatten annotations, which can prevent accidental deletion or modifications. Always save a backup of your original document before making changes.


Can I change the color and size of my annotations?

Most PDF editors provide options to customize your annotations' color, thickness, and style to fit your preferences.


Is it possible to erase or modify my drawings after saving the PDF?

Yes, if you're using an editor that supports editing features. You can usually select, modify, or delete annotations even after saving unless the annotations have been flattened or locked.


Are my annotations searchable within the PDF?

Text annotations, like comments or sticky notes, are often searchable. However, hand-drawn markings or sketches aren’t searchable unless the software has advanced recognition capabilities.


How do I differentiate between multiple annotators’ markings in a shared PDF?

Many editors allow users to choose different colors for their annotations. Some collaborative PDF tools also provide user labels so each annotator's comments and drawings are attributed to them.


Can I export or print only my annotations without the original content of the PDF?

Some advanced PDF editors provide an option to print or export just the annotations summary, which can be useful for review or collaborative purposes.


What if my PDF is "read-only"? Can I still draw on it?

A "read-only" designation can prevent editing of the base content, but annotations are usually still permissible. However, if the PDF has been password-protected against annotations or modifications, you'll need the appropriate permissions to make changes.

Remember, drawing on a PDF offers a dynamic approach to engaging with content, providing feedback, and collaborating. Equip yourself with the right tools and knowledge to make the most of your PDF annotations! By understanding the best practices and tools available, you can ensure that your annotations are practical and professional.

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!