Adobe Creative Suite: Managing Comments in Acrobat 6.0

Use the Acrobat Commenting toolbar to add annotations to PDF files, including stamps, text highlights, and electronic sticky notes. Add comments to PDF files by using the Review and Comment tools and the Advanced Commenting tools — each of these has its own independent toolbar. You can access both toolbars by clicking the arrow to the right of the Review and Comment button; a list of review and commenting options appears in a drop-down list.

The real power of PDF comments is the ability to easily manage and share them. For example, you can determine which comments are displayed at any time, and you can filter the comments by author or by the type of commenting tool that was used to create the comment. Additionally, you can indicate a response to a comment and track the changes that may have been made to a document based upon a comment. Also, comments from multiple reviewers can be consolidated into a single document.

Viewing comments

You can use any of several methods to see a document's list of comments:

  • Click the Comments tab along the left side of the document window.
  • Click and hold on the Show button in the Commenting toolbar, and choose Show Comments List from the menu that appears.
  • Choose View --> Navigation Tab --> Comments.

No matter which method you use, a Comments List window that shows all the comments in the document appears along the bottom of the document window. You can see the author of the comment and any note entered by the reviewer. By clicking the plus sign to the left of the comment, you can view more information about the comment, such as what type of comment it is and the date and time it was created.

If you've clicked the plus sign to the left of the comment to expand the view, it changes to a minus sign, which can be clicked to return to the consolidated view showing only the author and the initial portions of any text from the note.

To the right of the plus sign is a check box that you can use to indicate that the comment has been reviewed — you can also use this check box to indicate that a certain comment needs further attention. Use these check boxes for your own purposes — their status does not export with the document if you send the file to others, so they are for your own personal use only.

Changing a comment's status

Acrobat includes a method for indicating whether a comment has been reviewed, accepted, or has additional comments attached to it. To change the status of a comment, follow these steps:

1. Right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) on a comment in the Comments List, and choose Set Status from the contextual menu.

A contextual menu appears.

2. Select Accepted, Rejected, Cancelled, or Completed, depending on what's appropriate to your situation.

3. Choose View --> Comments --> Show Comments List to see the entire list of comments and the status of each.

The comment you changed appears in the list, showing the new status you just assigned to it.

Replying to a comment

You can also right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) on a comment in the Comments List and choose Reply from the contextual menu to add a follow-up note to the comment. This way, additional comments are not added independently to the document when they actually relate to existing comments. If your documents go through multiple rounds of review, this capability allows a secondary or final reviewer to expand on the comments from an initial reviewer. Or it allows an author or designer to clearly respond to the suggestions from an editor.

Collapsing or hiding comments

Because the Comments List can become rather large, you can choose to collapse all comments so that only the page number on which they appear is displayed in the Comments List. To do so, click the minus sign in the upper left of the Comments List window. To view all of the comments, click the Expand All button in the same location.

To hide all the comments within a document, click and hold the Show button on the Commenting toolbar and choose Hide All Comments. You can then determine which comments are visible based upon the type (such as note, line, or cross out), reviewer (such as DeShaun or Mineko), status (such as accepted or rejected), and checked status (checked or unchecked). Use these filtering options to view only those comments that are relevant to you.

Sharing comments

You can share your comments with other reviewers who have access to the same PDF document by following these steps:

1. Click the Comments tab on the left side of the document window.

The Comments List appears.

2. Select the comment that you want to export by clicking it (Shift+click for multiple selections).

3. From the Options menu on the far right side of the Comments List window, choose Export Selected Comments.

The Export Comments dialog box appears.

4. Browse to the location that you want the comments to be saved and give the saved file a new name.

By following these steps, you create a file that includes only the comments' information, and not the entire PDF file. You can share this with reviewers who have the same PDF file, and they can choose Import Comments from the Options menu in the Comments List window to add the comments into their document. You can use this method to avoid having to send entire PDF files to those who already have the document.

Summarizing comments

Compiling a list of all the comments from a PDF file into a new, separate PDF document by summarizing its comments is also possible in Acrobat. To do so, follow these steps:

1. From the Options menu in the Comments List window, choose Summarize Comments.

The Summarize Options dialog box appears.

2. Create a listing of the comments with lines connecting them to their locations on the page by selecting the second radio button from the top of the list.

In the Include section, you can choose to return only the relevant, commented pages to the author or designer of a document by sending only the comments that are showing.

3. Click OK.

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