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Proofreading - Woman proofreading copy
Last updated March 2015

Proofing artwork using Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat has the potential to eliminate hard copy proofs from the design work-flow. This article explains how to create proofs for review, make them available to clients, and make corrections and notes directly within the reviewed PDF document.

The latest incarnations of Acrobat have included online review and markup features that remain a mystery to most users of both the professional version and the free 'Acrobat Reader' version. However, for anyone that has to send documents to other people for approval or editing, Adobe have created a set of tools and features that streamline the review process online.

This workflow eliminates the requirement for anyone in the review process to print the document for markup. Review documents are distributed electronically, marked by reviewers, and comments available immediately to both originator and anyone else receiving the same document or link.*

Acrobat Comment Tool Panel 2

Acrobat's Comment panel

Benefits of using Acrobat's review workflow

As a designer, I benefit from this by being able to receive unambiguous instructions in near real-time, use copy/paste for amended text, and to confirm corrections within the Acrobat window.

As the reviewing client, being able to proof electronically reduces time spent returning proofs for correction and proofs can be distributed to all co-workers in the project for their input.

*Security

When preparing a PDF for shared review you can decide who can open and contribute to comments for that document. Choose to allow anyone receiving the download link, or to restrict commenting to selected email addresses only.

How it works

Please follow the guides below, depending on whether you would like to create a shared review document to send to others, or whether you have received an e-mail invitation to join the review process for a PDF.

Acrobat Review Types

Acrobat provides two methods of sharing your PDFs for comments and corrections.

Acrobat

Acrobat's Review Tool Panel

Shared Review

Send someone a link to download the PDF from an online server. The reviewer logs in to download and identify themselves. When finished they publish comments in Acrobat. Other contributors and the author can simultaneously get comments from other contributors and publish their own to the same document.

This article recommends and describes the steps involved using this method.

E-mail Review

Send the PDF as an attachment to someone. When the reviewer is finished, they e-mail the PDF back to you. When opening, Acrobat merges comments from the PDF sent into your original document.

Sharing comments between more than one person at a time is not available using this method.

Contributing to shared review
Creating Shared review PDFs
How to contribute to a review
  1. You receive an email via Adobe inviting you to review a PDF
  2. Click on the link in the email to open Acrobat.com website, and sign in
  3. Download the PDF review file
  4. Mark comments and corrections using Acrobat Comment Tools
  5. Publish your comments

For clients, or contributors, I have prepared a video that takes you through the process of creating an account at acrobat.com and using the account information when opening a review document.

video
Required software

Shared Review features are available in Acrobat Reader version 9 or later, as well as the full versions of the software.

Download and install the latest version of the software from get.adobe.com/uk/reader. If your computer is not able to operate the latest version, previous versions that may work with your computer are available at get.adobe.com/uk/reader/otherversions.

Your account at Acrobat.com

In order to take part in a shared review you must create an account at acrobat.com and log in using that account when opening a review document.

Making comments and corrections

Acrobat's commenting tools enable you to create a wide range of markup inside the PDF document. I have prepared a guide for proofreaders and other users which is available to download. See documents available at the end of this article.

How to initiate a review
  1. Create PDF using available tools in the application or by printing to the Acrobat PDF Printer
  2. Initiate the review process using Acrobat's Comment tools
  3. Distribute the review PDF to contributors

For design professionals and others interested in the procedure, I have prepared a video that takes you through the process of creating a review document and tracking reviews received.

video
Recommended method of Review publication

In order that comments and corrections can be distributed to all participants in the review process, the review document is uploaded to a server specially designed to handle and track these edits.Although there are other methods, using Adobe's own review server is ideal for most users, and is the method described here.


Your account at Acrobat.com

In order to initiate a shared review you must create an account at acrobat.com and log in using that account when submitting a review document.

Required software

Preparing and sending PDFs for electronic review requires  Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional. The earliest version of this software that can be used to distribute PDFs for review by Acrobat Reader equipped reviewers is version 9.

This means that if you want to initiate a review you will need the full version of the software installed rather than the free Reader.

Documents

Icon Proofreaders marks using Adobe Acrobat Comment Tools

General Information

This document lists the most common proofreading marks, together with the recommended alternative markup within Acrobat. It also contains documentation about how to use Acrobat tools.

Icon Creating and distributing PDFs for shared review - Video Transcript

General Information

I will show you how to create and distribute a PDF shared review using Adobe Acrobat. Firstly, I’ll explain what software is required and why it is necessary. I will go on to outline the two methods of distributing PDFs through the Acrobat interface, their relative merits, and my recommended workflow. Finally, I’ll take you through the process of creating and publishing the review document.

Icon Contributing to an Acrobat Shared Review - Video Transcript

General Information

First, I will show you how to create an Adobe account that you can use when working with shared review PDFs. I will then then show you how to download the PDF from the email sent to you, open it and add a variety of corrections and comments to the document. I will also show you how to edit, delete and then publish those comments to everyone who has access to the review.

Icon Acrobat Comment Markup Guide

General Information

In Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader, a comment is a note, highlight, stamp, or any other markup you add to your PDF document by using the annotation and markup tools in the Comment pane. These tools allow you to insert detailed comments, highlight, replace, insert, and delete text, mark a document with a customized stamp, and use graphics to mark up documents.

Please note you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 or later in order to ensure error-free viewing of PDF documents, including those available on this site. Download and install the latest version of the software from get.adobe.com/uk/reader. If your computer is not able to operate the latest version, previous versions that may work with your computer are available at get.adobe.com/uk/reader/otherversions.

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