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Home / Blog / How to Add Notes to a PDF

How to Add Notes to a PDF

By Charlotte | Follow twitter | Updated on December 2, 2022 | Deutsch
A note in a document is a kind of annotation and comment, which is oftentimes used to give suggestions or feedback. Whether in school learning or business work, it is common to leave notes on a file. But is it possible to add notes to PDF since the format is hard to edit? The answer is yes.

Read this article to learn how to add notes to a PDF with SwifDoo PDF and other introduced tools on/in different operating systems and browsers.  

Add Notes to PDF on Windows

SwifDoo PDF

When you ask for a handy PDF annotation or comment app, SwifDoo PDF is always the best choice. The tiny and powerful software lets you add notes to PDF, insert text, carets, and shapes, and highlight text in a PDF document permanently. So, the recipients of your file can view the changes in any PDF reader and browser. If needed, you can freely edit, reply, and remove notes from a PDF with SwifDoo PDF.

Let’s see how to add notes to a PDF.

Step 1: Download and launch the software, then click Open to import the PDF you need to add notes to;

How to add notes to a PDF with SwifDoo PDF step 1

Step 2: Tap Annotate on the top and click the small triangle icon under Note in the sub-menu bar to choose note color;

How to add notes to a PDF with SwifDoo PDF step 2

Step 3: Locate and hit a position to add a note to the PDF, then type text. Click anywhere on the PDF to finish notes making.

How to add notes to a PDF with SwifDoo PDF step 3

If you want to leave only the sticky note icon on the PDF, just tap on the cross tab to close the comment. To show the comment again, double-click on the note icon. Click “Note” and repeat Step 3 to add more notes to your PDF.  

When you need to change the note color, click it and open the color palette in the top left corner, then directly select or use the color picker to select your desired color.

How to add notes to a PDF and change note color with SwifDoo PDF

To remove notes from the PDF, right-click on them and choose “Delete”.

How to add notes to a PDF and remove notes with SwifDoo PDF

After you add comments or notes to your PDF, click the “Annotation” icon in the left sidebar to open the annotation panel and show all the notes. All the text comments can be re-edited and replied. The “Delete all annotations” icon can clear all annotations in a PDF.

How to add notes to a PDF and manage notes with SwifDoo PDF

This is all about how to add notes to a PDF and manage them with SwifDoo PDF on Windows PC. You can also utilize the software to add arrows, lines, links, and images to PDF files. When you need to edit the existing text, or convert, compress, and organize PDFs, look no further than the program. Get SwifDoo PDF for free.

8 Best PDF Annotators in 2023 for Windows and Mac

8 Best PDF Annotators in 2023 for Windows and Mac

Looking for the best PDF annotator to highlight, add notes to, and do more with PDFs on Windows or Mac? Here are the 8 best PDF annotation apps or software.


Add Notes to PDF on Mac and iPad


For those Mac device (such as Macbook) users, they can add notes to PDF natively with the vendor-supplied PDF and image viewer, Preview. The Preview app also allows you to highlight, underline, and strikethrough text, and add text boxes to PDFs. Check out how to add notes to a PDF on Mac.

Step 1: Right-click on a PDF file in a file folder to choose Open with and Preview;

Step 2: Click the Show Markup Toolbar icon to show the markup toolbar, then hit the Note button and type the text you want to add notes to the PDF with.

How to add notes to a PDF with Preview step 2 | SwifDoo PDF

When needed, Preview can help change the note color, edit, and delete notes from PDF.

Tips: In addition to adding a note to a PDF file, you are able to add a speech bubble by choosing Tools > Annotate > Speech Bubble.

PDF Expert

PDF Expert is a PDF editor and annotator designed for all Apple devices. With this app, you can easily highlight text, draw lines on a PDF document, and add notes to PDF. If required, it allows you to add full pages to a PDF as comments. Thanks to the clean and intuitive interface, it has been one of the best sellers in App Store. The following steps explain how to take notes on a PDF on Mac and iPad.

Step 1: Open your PDF file with the PDF note-taking app;

Step 2: Go to the Annotate menu on the top and choose the Note tool, then tap on a position in the PDF to add a note or comment.

How to add notes to a PDF with PDF Expert step 2 | SwifDoo PDF

Excluding the mentioned way, you can add notes to a PDF file by right-clicking on the selected text and selecting “Note” in the context menu. When necessary, you can drag the note icon to move the note to a different place.

Add Notes to PDF in Browser

Microsoft Edge

When talking about how to add notes to a PDF, it's safe to say you can do that in a web browser. Microsoft Edge makes it simple as ABC to take notes on PDF with its built-in PDF viewer and annotator. When you save the changed PDF and open it in another browser or PDF reader, the notes remain there. Take a look at how to add notes to a PDF in Microsoft Edge.

Step 1: Open your PDF file with Microsoft Edge;

Step 2: Select the text that you want to add a comment and highlight to, then a menu will pop up. Click the Add comment icon;

How to add notes to a PDF in Microsoft Edge browser step 2 | SwifDoo PDF

Step 3: Add comments to the PDF, and you can tap checkmark or X mark to save or close the comment window.

How to add notes to a PDF in Microsoft Edge browser step 3 | SwifDoo PDF

That’s how you make notes on a PDF for free without using an extension or third-party software. To show the comment again after closing it, hit the note icon in the top left corner of the text, or click the text to choose “Open comment”. Within the text box, you can tap the “More Options” icon to delete the note if needed.

Google Chrome

Some people who have no Edge browser may wonder how to add notes to PDFs in Chrome. The truth is users cannot take notes on PDFs in Chrome, and the way to do that is using Google Drive or an extension.

To add notes to a PDF file in Google Drive, follow the instruction below.

Step 1: Open your PDF file in your Drive in Chrome browser;

Step 2: Select specific text and tap the pop-up plus icon to add a comment.

How to add notes to a PDF in Google Drive browser step 2 | SwifDoo PDF

Alternatively, you can right-click on the selected text and choose “Add a comment” to add a sticky note to the PDF.

Speaking of how to add notes to a PDF in Chrome with an extension, Kami is the ideal choice. This PDF note-taking app enables you to add shapes, text boxes to PDF, and markup a PDF for free in the browser. Here is a simple instruction on how to add a comment to a PDF in Chrome.

Step 1: Add the extension to your Chrome from Chrome Web Store, allow its access to file URLs, and open your PDF file in Chrome;

Step 2: Hit the extension icon to open the PDF in it, choose Comment, tap the Text Comment icon, then hit anywhere on the PDF to add a note.

How to add notes to a PDF with Kami Google extension step 2 | SwifDoo PDF

When all notes have been added, you can save the PDF to your Google Drive, OneNote, or download it to your local computer.

What is the Best PDF Annotation App? 

The best PDF note-taking app or annotation app should be multipurpose, which will let you make notes on PDF, also reply, edit, and delete them with ease. Furthermore, it may allow freely hiding and showing all the notes and comments while reading a PDF.

That being so, for Windows users, SwifDoo PDF is the one that perfectly meets the requirements, and it is light and quick to use. Get it to start your trial!


As PDF documents have been commonplace in our life. It’s not difficult to answer how to add comments in PDFs. If you just manipulate PDF files occasionally, the browsers may be enough to use. However, frequent PDF users are recommended to adopt dedicated and affordable PDF software. These software not only allows you to add notes to PDFs but also can handle almost everything related to PDF.


Q:Why can't I add comments to a PDF?

The reason why you can not add notes to PDF might be the file is locked or protected with passwords from editing by the author. In this case, you can remove the passwords from the PDF using SwifDoo PDF, and then add your notes or comments.

Q:How do I make notes on PDF online?

For those who bother with the download and installation of desktop applications, they can add notes to a PDF through an online tool, PDF4me. Here is a brief guide on how to add sticky notes to PDF online.

Step 1: Search the online tool name + add notes to pdf in browser and enter into its PDF Editor page;

Step 2: Upload a PDF, tap the note icon in the sidebar to add notes in the PDF.

Q:How do I add comments to a PDF in Adobe Reader?

Regarding how to add comments to PDF files in Adobe Reader: open your PDFs in Adobe, choose “Tools” on the top and click the “Comment” button, then select a tool in the comment toolbar to add notes, highlights, or other annotations to the files.

Q:Why cannot I see comments on PDF?

Sometimes you may find PDF comments not showing while viewing the file. This may be because the comments are hidden or just lost. In SwifDoo PDF, open your PDF, navigate to “Annotate”, click “Manage Annotations” to choose the “Show Annotations” option, then all the comments will appear in the annotation panel. In Adobe, go to “Edit” > “Preferences” > “Commenting” to check whether the comments are hidden.

Other solutions you can try: update to the latest version of your PDF reader, make sure a good internet connection, and add comments in your PDF as regular text.

Charlotte has been in the software industry for 8+ years. She works for AWZWARE now as a passionate writer. She is good at providing simple guides to use various video, office and entertainment software. Charlotte also recommends many other useful tools to make your work and life easier. A food lover too.

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