Syllabus—PDF Markup

Video Promo | System Requirements | PrerequisitesSyllabus
Who Should Take This Course | How the Courses are Presented


Buy the Full Course Dates & Registration


(Sign up here for email notification of the next course dates.)

How the Courses are Presented

This is a 4-part recorded webinar with a 60 page workbook.

No marks are assigned but students in live courses may submit exercises to the instructor for feedback and/or troubleshooting. Editing skills are not assessed as the focus is on the technology, not on language or format.

Questions and discussion are encouraged — either about variations or glitches encountered on your own system, or special circumstances that apply to your editing practice. One of the benefits of taking a course is access to your fellow students. They have proven to be an excellent resource.

4 hrs video instruction

+ 60-pg workbook

+ free Acrobat Reader

= super-proofreader

Within an hour, you’ll learn skills you can use right away. Sign up NOW.


[sociallocker id=6556]Click to download the PDF markup Cheat Sheet.[/sociallocker]


For a sample of the webinar / video style and pacing, check out What to Do with an Edited PDF, a guide for production teams and self-publishing clients.

[sociallocker id=”6562″] Click to download the Acrobat keyboard shortcuts for Mac or for Windows.[/sociallocker]

System/ Software Requirements

  • Acrobat Reader DC (free), or Acrobat DC Standard or Pro
  • website access
  • ability to view YouTube videos
  • email

A free trial version of Acrobat Standard or Pro DC can be used to test the advanced features in the final lesson. (Note that versions 9 and X/XI look very different than DC, so they are not suitable.) The Standard or Pro versions of Adobe Acrobat DC can be used instead of the free Reader version, though I emphasize that you don’t have to buy any software to complete this course.

The program works nearly identically on a Mac and a PC, so you may not notice a difference at all. Just some of the keyboard shortcuts are different (such as using the cmd vs. ctrl key).


Those who come in with some efficiency at using computers will get the most out of this course. So now is the time to brush up on these skills:

  • proofreader’s marks
  • file creation and management
  • menu options and navigation
  • mousing and keyboard navigation
  • basic word processing functions such as cut, copy, paste, undo, save as, spellcheck, bold, italic, and indenting

Syllabus — PDF Markup for Editors and Proofreaders


When and Why PDFs are Used

  • What is a PDF?
  • Why are PDFs used?
  • Why are PDFs used in publishing?


Adobe Reader and Acrobat Tools

  • Viewing options
  • Search tools
  • Markup techniques (traditional)
    • Drawing tools
    • Setting tool properties
    • Including notes


  • Text markup tools — features, functions and limitations
  • Stamps
    • Proofreader’s stamps
    • Dynamic stamps
    • Create and install custom stamps
  • Signatures and initials
  • Comments list functions and features for QA
    • Sorting and filtering “comments”
    • Searching comments
  • File attachment tool
    • and looking at them/ opening them after
  • Select multiple objects to copy and paste
  • Access hidden toolbars
  • Find word count


Functions and tips for editorial pros using Acrobat Pro DC

  • Customize the toolbar
  • Search several PDF files at once
  • Combine reviewers’ markup
  • Compare documents tool
  • Add, remove, and reorder pages
  • Reduce file size
  • Apply a watermark
  • Summarize comments in a PDF output (not hard copy)


Production-like skills

  • Add bookmarks to create document map (e-index)
  • Add links, internal and external

— Jump to Word Syllabus —


Who Should Take this Course

  • Those who are too busy editing to find out new software tricks.
  • Those who are new to editing.
  • Those who are new to editing onscreen — moving from paper markup.
  • Those who have to work with writers to mark up PDFs.
  • Those who are full-time editors.
  • Those who are scared of editing onscreen.
  • Those who want to get more efficient and effective at proofreading.

Students are typically evenly split between Mac and Windows users, and between very experienced editors and those who are completely new to the practice. They range from subject and product specialists to complete generalists. While the majority of students are in North America, they have come from all over the English-speaking world. It’s a huge breadth.

One thought on “Syllabus—PDF Markup

Leave a Reply