Intro to Advanced Acrobatics

Intro to Advanced Acrobatics

This handout is from my presentation at the EAC 2014 conference. Get a printable PDF version here.

Mark up any file you can print to/save as PDF and absolutely anything you can take a screen shot of: website flash menus, apps, PowerPoint presentations, YouTube videos, and good old text manuscripts. You can do all of this with the free Adobe Reader XI that works on both Mac and Windows platforms.

Summary of Tools in Comment Panel

comment menu in Adobe Acrobat Reader XIDrawing Markups work like an electronic pencil.

Annotations mark up text much like Word’s Track Changes feature.

Stamps can be used to place proofreader’s marks & dynamic markup.

Zoom and page view to see many pages at once or one page at up to 400%.

Find and Advanced Find work much like Word’s tools.

Comments List can be used to navigate the document, sort markup and comments by date, page, type, or reviewer, and as a quality control checklist when implementing changes.

Attach file tool (paper clip) can be placed anywhere on a page to attach additional files such as graphics and inserts that will travel with the PDF.



  • Double-click any text box or callout to access the text inside to copy it, correct it, paste new content, or set properties of the text.
  • Set/change properties of any mark by selecting the mark or tool, then opening the Properties toolbar (via right-click, or ? + e on a Mac/ ctrl + e on a PC).
  • Snapshot tool (Edit menu) can be used to copy any part of screen into system’s clipboard.
  • Spellchecker works on comments.




Session Feedback

Thanks to everyone who came to the session, I was chuffed to be tied for 3rd most popular session at the conference. There were many accomplished, entertaining, and informative speakers.

[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”left” width=”50%”]Is there any reason I need the full program?[/pullquote]


“Is there any reason I need the full program?” an audience member asked me. Honestly, I fire up the full program for only 3 reasons now, and these could be accomplished with one of the cheaper alternatives:

  • reduce file size
  • reorder, add, or delete pages
  • add hyperlinks


Anything you can take a screen shot of can be marked up as a PDF. Here is a quick demo showing how to mark up corrections to titles (or captions) in a video. Written instructions will be posted later this week.


New tricks

Teachers always say that they learn from their students, and I definitely did. Two tips they gave or we figured out on the spot:

  • Comment List menu in Adobe Acrobat XIThe snapshot tool will let you print just that area by using the typical print command after making the selection. Thanks to Iva Cheung for that one.
  • To see the original document without markup, in the Comments List, click the yellow speech bubble. Then select Hide All Comments. Handy option when markup starts obscuring everything. I didn’t notice who called out this solution, but I’m happy to give credit if you let me know.


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