How to Annotate PDF Documents in Windows 11

PDF (Portable Document Format) files are one of the most popular universal formats for document file sharing. You can open and view PDF files with a wide variety of PDF reader programs, including some web browsers. However, not all PDF readers include annotation tools.

It’s not always enough to show a draft PDF to others. Some users also need to annotate PDF documents by adding highlights, text, and shapes. As such, here’s how you can annotate PDF files on a Windows 11 PC.


How to Annotate PDFs with Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is a browser that also acts as the default PDF software of Windows 11. Apart from opening PDF files, you can also annotate files online and offline in Edge. It includes drawing, text and highlighting tools with which you can annotate PDF documents.

If you haven’t changed the default PDF software in Windows 11, you can open PDF files in Edge just by double-clicking them. You can also right-click on a PDF file you want to annotate and select Microsoft Edge on the Open with menu. The PDF will open in a separate tab in Edge which includes an annotation toolbar.


If that doesn’t work, see our guide on fixing Microsoft Edge when it can’t open PDFs before continuing.

How to Use Annotation Tools in Microsoft Edge

You can start doodling on your PDF by clicking To draw in Edge’s PDF toolbar. Click the small arrow on this button to display a color palette of ink properties. There you can select different ink colors and adjust the line by dragging the Thickness bar slider left and right.

If you want to highlight certain lines of text, click the Underline button. You can change the highlighter color by clicking the little arrow on this button and choosing another one from the palette options. Then hold down the left mouse button and drag the cursor over the text you want to highlight.

To add notes to a document, click the Add text option. You can place a text box anywhere in your PDF with the cursor; click it Text color on the small toolbar to choose a different font color. You can also select options to decrease and increase the font size. Drag the right side of the box with the mouse to expand it, then type some text into it.

You can also add yellow comment boxes to the PDF instead. Select a passage of text with the cursor. Then right-click to select a add a comment option. A yellow comment box will appear next to the selected text where you can add notes. Click the checkmark (Save) button in the comment box when you are done.

Remember to save your PDF after annotating it. Click it to safeguard Where Save as disc icons on Edge’s PDF toolbar to do this. You can also select a To print option from there.

There are many third-party software packages with which you can annotate PDF documents in Windows 11. Among them is the freeware PDF24 Toolbox (also known as PDF24 Creator), which includes a wide variety of PDF tools. It is one of the most comprehensive PDF toolkits available for free for Windows.


You can add this software to Windows 11 by clicking To download > PDF24 Creator 11.3 on the PDF24 tools website. Open the directory (folder) where the PDF24 installation file was downloaded and double-click pdf24-creator-11.3.0.exe to display the installation wizard. Select I accept the agreementkeep clicking Nextthen press Install to finish.

How to use the annotation tools in PDF24 Toolbox

Double-click the PDF24 Toolbox desktop shortcut to launch the software. Click it Annotate PDF button on the home screen. Then press the Choose file select a PDF document, then click Open.

You can freely draw on your PDFs in the PDF24 Annotate PDF window by selecting the Free drawing option. Select a Right line or Free drawing in the toolbar. The brush type drop down menu includes Pencil, SprayWhere Circle options to choose from. Click on Color to choose a color from the palette, then left-click anywhere on the PDF and move the cursor to start doodling.

Unlike Edge’s PDF annotator, PDF24 Toolbox lets you add shapes to documents. To do this, press the Add a shape button. Then choose a shape, click it, and drag it to position it in a document. Drag the corners of the shape’s box to resize it.

To add notes, click the Add text button. You can choose a font from the drop-down menu and select bold, italic, and underline formatting options. Reposition and resize the text box with the mouse, then type a note inside.

If your PDF document is missing an image, click the Add a picture annotation toolbar button. Then you can select an image and click Open to add an image. You can reposition and resize added images in the same way as shapes and text boxes.

Click the disk button on the far left of the toolbar to save. This will bring up a “save as” window from which you can choose a folder and enter the file title. Hurry to safeguard in this window.

How to Annotate PDFs with PDFescape

You can also annotate PDF files in Windows 11 browsers with some web apps. PDFescape ranks among the best free online editors for PDF files; you can add highlights, shapes, notes, images, text boxes, and checkmarks to documents. This is a fairly comprehensive free web application with premium and ultimate plans that you can upgrade to.

To start annotating with this web application, open the PDFescape page in a browser; Click on Free onlineand select the Upload a PDF to PDFescape option. Then press Choose file to select and open a PDF in the web application.

Click it Annotate to display PDFescape’s annotation options. There you can select Underline to drag the highlighter areas over the text. Click it Color box to change highlight colors.

To add notes, click the sticky note button; then click anywhere in the document to place the note. Enter text in the Sticky Note box.

By pressing the Underline The button allows you to add lines under the text. After selecting this option, hold down the left mouse button and drag the box over the text you want to underline. You can change the color of the underlines by clicking on the Color box.

To add circles and square shapes, click the Rectangle and oval option on the Annotate tab, hold the left mouse button and drag over the document to place them. Click it border width drop-down menu to configure shape outlines. Selection of To fill The option allows you to add color inside the shape.

You can also add arrows and lines to PDF files in the same way from the Insert tongue. Click it After on the Insert tab to select Line and Arrow options there.

After annotating the PDF, click the Save and download PDF option in the left sidebar of PDFescape. Selecting this option will save the modified file to your browser’s download folder. you can click Print the document just below this option.

Annotate PDFs Any Way You Want in Windows 11

PDFescape, Microsoft Edge and PDF24 Toolbox collectively have all the tools you will need to annotate PDF files in Windows 11. You can add reference notes or comments, highlight or underline important text, draw basic illustrations and insert arrow pointers into PDF documents. with these tools. These annotation options can be invaluable for creative professionals writing layouts and documents.

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