Using Acrobat 6 and PDF for Document Reviews

About the Author

Doug Sahlin

Doug Sahlin is an author, graphic designer and Web site designer living in Central Florida. He is the author of ten books on graphic design including "How to Do Everything with Adobe Acrobat 6.0." Sahlin's articles and product reviews have appeared in national publications...  More



Editor's Note: This is a sample chapter from the book How to Do Everything with Adobe Acrobat 6.0" by Doug Sahlin, published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media. Chapter 10 -- titled 'Review PDF Documents' -- includes illustrated techniques on how to:

  • Use the Comments Tab
  • Add Comments
  • Use the Note Tool
  • Add Audio Comments
  • Use the File Attachment Tool

When you use Acrobat in a corporate environment, you can share information with colleagues in faraway locales. You can send documents via e-mail or a corporate intranet for review and approval. Team members or clients can mark up the PDF document with audio comments, notes, highlighted phrases, shapes to highlight items, text boxes, and more. If you ever have sent out an original document for review and a team member altered the original by adding comments to the text or modifying the formulas of a spreadsheet, you will appreciate how easy it is to create a PDF document from the original and use the copy to share and receive comments with colleagues using the Acrobat annotation tools.

When you mark up a document, you often need to identify the object you want modified and then create a note or other annotation to reflect the desired change. You can use shapes to identify the object, highlight the object, or point to the object with an arrow, straight line, or squiggly line drawn with the Pencil tool. In this chapter, you'll learn how to use the annotation tools to mark up a document, add comments to a document, and more.

Initiate an E-Mail Review

When you create a PDF document that you want other colleagues to review, you can easily do so by initiating an e-mail review. When you start an e-mail review and send the document to selected reviewers, Acrobat sends an FDF (Forms Data Format) file that contains setup and configuration information, as well as a copy of the PDF document you want reviewed. Your reviewers can open the file attachment-which opens the document in Acrobat-add their own comments to the document, then send the comments back to you. To initiate an e-mail review, follow these steps:

  1. Open the document you want to send for review.
  2. Choose File | Send By Email For Review. Acrobat displays the Send By Email For Review dialog box.
  3. Enter the e-mail addresses of your reviewers in the To field. Separate each e-mail address with a comma.
  4. Send copies of the e-mail review to other recipients by entering e-mail addresses in the CC and BCC fields. E-mail addresses you enter in the BCC field will not be displayed in the e-mail header.
  5. Accept the default Subject title or enter a different title.
  6. Accept the default Message For Reviewers or modify it with additional information. The default message gives reviewers detailed instructions on how to conduct the review and return their comments to you.
  7. Click Send. Acrobat sends the document for review.

NOTE: Certain e-mail applications generate error messages saying the temporary file for the document isn't available when you try to send a PDF document for review. It this occurs, refer to your e-mail application Help menu, or select another e-mail application such as Microsoft Outlook Express, which will send the document with no errors.

You'll receive comments from your reviewers as FDF files. Open the file, and Acrobat opens the original file you sent for review while adding the reviewer's comments. You can keep track of your reviews using the Review Tracker (see the following section).

Use the Review Tracker

sahlin_fig10-1FIGURE 10-1: You can keep track of Email reviews with the Review Tracker.

You use the Review Tracker to keep tabs on the documents you send out for review. When you use the Review Tracker, it appears on the right side of the interface, the same area that the How To...? and Search pane occupy when in use. To use the Review Tracker, follow these steps:

  1. Click the triangle to the right of the Review & Comment button and from the drop-down menu, choose Track Reviews. The Review Tracker opens, as shown in Figure 10-1. In the Showing All window, you'll see a list of the documents you've sent for review. When you click a document title, information about the review appears in the lower half of the dialog box. Reviews are listed as Active or Completed.
  2. Select a review in the Showing All window and then click Open to view the document and reviewer's comments in the Document pane.
  3. Select a completed review and then click the Remove button to remove it from the tracker.
  4. Click the Manage button and choose one of the following options:
    • Email All Reviewers -- Launches your e-mail application with the Subject and e-mail addresses of your reviewers already entered. You can modify the Subject with your own follow-up message and send the e-mail. (The default reads "Follow up to" and the filename of the document you sent for review.)
    • Send Review Reminder -- Launches your e-mail application with the Subject and e-mail addresses of your reviewers already entered. You can modify the Subject, which by default reads "Follow up to" and the filename of the document you sent for review. The default message reminds reviewers to respond to your review if they have not already.
    • Invite More Reviewers -- Launches your e-mail application with the FDF attachment. The FDF attachment contains instructions to the reviewer as well as the PDF file you want reviewed. Enter the e-mail addresses of the new reviewers and send the message.
    • Go Back Online -- Opens the document in a Web browser when you are participating in a browser-based review.

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