Using Acrobat 6 and PDF for Document Reviews

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

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

src=’’ HEIGHT=’231′ WIDTH=’153′
ALT=’sahlin_fig10-1′ align=’right’>FIGURE
: 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

  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
  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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About the Author: Doug Sahlin

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