How to annotate and manage PDF files [Best Apps]

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
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create PDF Files in Windows 10

Are you looking for ways to create and annotate PDF files in Windows 10? You have quite a few options, namely dedicated programs that you can use to do just that.

Most come with a free trial period or as a freeware version, with just a few functions. So you might want to try all of them, to see which one suits your needs.

No matter the program you choose, they are all great tools for engineers, construction workers, architects, students, teachers, travelers, and just anybody that needs to mark up a PDF document.

So let’s dig in and see our recommendations and what each one has to offer.

How can I create, annotate, and manage PDF files?

1. Use Adobe Acrobat to annotate PDF files

install Adobe Acrobat

  1. Start by downloading Adobe Acrobat using the button below.
  2. Install it.
  3. Open a PDF file in Acrobat.
  4. Then, select the Comment tool.
  5. Choose Add PDF annotations to your file. Highlight text, strikethrough content, add text boxes, or sticky notes – these are all convenient options to choose from for the best results.
  6. After making the desired changes, don’t forget to save your file.

While on the run, Adobe Acrobat keeps the workflow going across multiple platforms. Use it on desktop, while at work or on the mobile, to make sure your long commute isn’t a waste of time.

Creating, annotating, and managing PDF files will all be like a walk in the park thanks to all the advanced tools included and that user-friendly interface.

You may even take advantage of that Share With Others option to send the file to your coworkers. However, do note that only select annotations are supported.

Acrobat Reader

Acrobat Reader

Annotating or creating PDF files has never been easier. Download Adobe Acrobat and see for yourself.
Free trial Visit website

2. Try Icecream PDF Editor to edit documents

Icecream PDF Editor is a notable software alternative to Adobe’s Reader to manage PDF documents. It is intuitive, lightweight, and it offers just what you need to edit your files.

The tool has 4 major PDF editing modes: Edit, Annotate, Manage pages, and Fill in forms to help your stick with the needed action.

Additionally, you can also edit objects, password-protect files, and even add custom stamps.

Icecream PDF Editor

Icecream PDF Editor

If you're looking for a fully-featured tool to edit your PDF files, Icecream PSD Editor is the best one you can get.
Free trial Visit website

3. Use the Drawboard PDF app to create and annotate PDF files

Drawboard PDF app

  1. First of all, download the Drawboard PDF app.
  2. Create a new PDF by going to Drawboard and clicking the + sign.
  3. Click Create New PDF Document next.
  4. You may easily annotate by using the extensive array of available tools. Feel free to show, flatten, clear annotations, and not only.
  5. Save your file.

When it comes to this Windows 10 app, we may only remind you that it is very fast and has a very nicely polished user interface.

Moreover, Drawboard distinguishes itself by its intuitive stylus and touch input separation, smooth and natural pen, and an array of other tools.

Thanks to the included Document Builder, you can merge, re-order, and arrange PDFdocuments.

As for the Calibrated Annotations feature, it lets you calibrate documents so as to scale and add linear and area measurements.

What do you think of the three tools that we’ve told you about? How do you find creating and annotating PDF files while using them?

Let us know your opinion by using the comments area below.

FAQ: Learn more about creating and annotating PDF files

  • How do I create a PDF file for free?

Creating a PDF file is extremely easy. You just need to open Adobe Acrobat, select Tools, and continue with the steps detailed in this dedicated guide.

  • How do I annotate a PDF?

If your wish is to annotate a PDF, software tools such as Adobe Acrobat and Drawboard PDF may help you out.

  • How do I annotate a PDF in Google Drive?

To annotate a PDF in Google Drive, make sure to upload it first. Then, click the PDF to preview it and click on the annotate icon in the upper right.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2018 and was revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in November 2013 and was revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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