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Enable PDF Annotations / PDF Markup Tools Instantly

Samuel Adams ~ Modified: 24-Aug-2022 ~ PDF File, Tech ~ 4 Minutes Reading

Do you want to annotate PDF documents? You tried to add comments to PDF in Adobe Reader or any other PDF viewer but failed. –  Use PDF Unlocker designed by SysTools to remove PDF restrictions. This tool will help you to enable PDF annotations or PDF markup tools so that you can easily add comments through sticky notes or drawings, edit or highlight text, or even put signatures into the PDF.

Annotations or markup tools are used to add comments through notes and drawings that communicate feedback to another user so that he/she can make changes according to them.

If they tend to be disabled in the PDF viewer then it means there is restricted comment permission in the PDF files.

You can remove PDF commenting restrictions and enable annotation & markup tools using Adobe Acrobat DC or an efficient automated tool like I just mentioned above.

Let’s see how you can do it.

In this blog, you will learn:

  • The general method to enable PDF annotations in Adobe Reader.
  • Removing PDF commenting restrictions using Adobe Acrobat DC.
  • Removing PDF commenting through SysTools PDF Restrictions Unlocker. (Works even without the PDF permission password)

Enable PDF Annotation in Adobe Reader

To add comments to PDF in Adobe Reader follow these steps:

1. Open the PDF document that you want to annotate or add comments, in Adobe Reader XI.
2. Either you can click the ‘Comment’ button (top right), or select from the menu bar: ‘View’ >> ‘Comment’ >> ‘Annotations’. The Comment windowpane will be displayed on the right of the screen.
3. Under the Annotations heading, select an annotation tool listed, then click on the PDF where you want to make an annotation. You can also select the tools listed under the Drawing Markups heading to draw lines or shapes.

For Mac OS: All Mac systems come with a pre-installed application called ‘Preview’. This application offers annotation functionality. Click on the ‘Annotate’ button from the toolbar. Annotation tools will appear at the bottom.


If your PDF document has a commenting or editing restriction then, Annotation and Markup tools will be disabled. To remove the restriction you will need the permission password. If you have the PDF permission password you can use Adobe Acrobat AC but if you don’t know the permission password then, go for SysTools-designed PDF restriction remover software.

In the upcoming sections, I will tell how to enable annotation using Adobe Acrobat Dc and SysTools Automated software.

Remove PDF commenting Restrictions using Adobe Acrobat DC

  1. Open the PDF document that you want to annotate, in Acrobat.
  2. Now using the “Unlock tool”: Choose “Tools” > “Protect” > “Encrypt” > “Remove Security”.
  3. After choosing Remove Security: Type it in the “Enter Password” box, then click “OK”. Again Click “OK” to confirm the action.

Now you can add comments in the PDF or use PDF markup tools to draw. You can even edit or highlight the text in the PDF documents.

For Mac OS: Use the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC version. The steps are the same.

Enable PDF Annotations Without Permission Password Using SysTools Automated Tool

This tool can remove all PDF restrictions like Editing, commenting, document assembly, signing, form filling, printing, etc.

1. Install & launch Unlocker Tool in your system. Free download is available for both Windows & Mac.

For Windows: 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 (32-Bit & 64-Bit) & Windows Server 2008/ 2012 R2/ 2016

Download Now Purchase Now

For Mac: Mac OS X 10.15 (Catalina), Mac OS X 10.14 (Mojave), Mac OS X 10.13 (High Sierra), Mac OS X 10.12 (Sierra), Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan), Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite), Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks), MacOS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

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Enable PDF annotations

2. To insert PDFs that you want to annotate, click on Add File(s) / Add Folder(s) option.

Enable PDF annotations

3. By default, your PDFs will be saved on the desktop. To change the location to save the resultant PDF files, click on the ‘Change’ button.

Enable PDF annotations

4. After providing the location, click on the Unlock button.

Enable PDF annotations

5. The following message will be displayed.

Enable PDF annotations

Your PDF documents are restriction-free. You can now add comments to PDF in Adobe Reader. The steps to annotate PDF have been given above in the blog.


Annotations are important in giving feedbacks and marking important points in the PDF files. You can annotate PDF in Adobe Reader or any other PDF viewer. But sometimes you come across restricted PDF files in which you can’t add comments, highlight, strikethrough, or draw. Basically, PDF editing is restricted. To enable PDF annotations you can either use Adobe Acrobat or go for an automated tool.