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Sep 29,2020 • Filed to: PDF Editor

PDF annotation feature makes it easy for us to highlight and edit important text or ideas within a PDF document. You are also able to write comments on a PDF page without affecting the layout. This article will review 10 PDF annotator software, which enables you to easily annotate PDF files on Mac and Windows. One of the best PDF annotators is PDFelement Pro.

Part 1. Top 10 PDF Annotator for Windows and Mac Users

1. PDFelement Pro (Windows & Mac)

A top of the line PDF editor also works as an excellent PDF annotator for PDF documents. It has a similar style to Microsoft Word, which makes it even easier for those who are more familiar with Microsoft Office programs. You can annotate your PDFs with a wide range of tools like highlight, underline, strikethrough, wave line, shapes, sticky note, text fields, and hand drawing to leave comments on a PDF to collaborate with your colleagues.


  • Annotate PDF files with sticky notes, text boxes, and freehand drawing tools.
  • Add highlights, underline text, or strikethrough text using the vast amount of annotation tools.
  • You can modify PDF text, links, images, and pages.
  • Convert PDF to Word, Excel, PPT, EPUB, images, and vice versa.
  • Supports Password protection to keep the document from unwanted and unauthorized changes.
  • OCR scanned PDFs and combine, split, and compress PDF files.



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  • Free trial will add watermark to PDF.

2. PDF Annotator(Windows)

A simple yet powerful annotator for PDF documents, PDF annotator allows users to highlight, underline, or make notes and drawings on a PDF page. One great feature of the software is the ability to restore the document to its original page in one click, effectively removing the annotations without damaging the file or its layout.


  • Align annotation function available for an easy to view and organized layout.
  • Add stamps including date stamps, customized stamps are also available with virtually limitless options.
  • Add images to an existing PDF file.
  • Group and lock annotation.
  • Take a snapshot of the work you are doing.


  • Could not handle large PDF files without sacrificing performance, making it impossible to edit and annotate files with several pages like eBooks.
  • The app is just specialized for annotation purposes.

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3. Microsoft OneNote (Windows & Mac)

Microsoft OneNote is a digital notebook, which is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and web. You can use it to annotate PDF files, and it provides flexible and powerful annotate tools, such as sketches, lists, clippings, photos, tables, and more. It is one of the most user-friendly PDF annotator tools in the market.


  • Supports voice and video functions.
  • Provides cloud storage services and syncing notes across your devices.
  • Share works on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler.
  • Interactive web browser feature.

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  • No private encryption.
PDFelement Pro
PDF Annotator
Microsoft OneNote
  • USD 69 for the Standard version
  • USD 129 for the Pro version
USD 69.95 for perpetual license
  • Free for 5 GB
  • USD 1.99 for 50 GB per month
Supported Versions
  • Mac OSX 10.12 and Up
  • Windows 7, 8 and 10
  • iOS and Android
Windows 7, 8 and 10
  • Mac OSX 10.10 and Up
  • Windows 7, 8 and 10
  • iOS and Android
Annotation Feature Excellent Excellent Excellent
User Interface Simple and intuitive which is easy for users to familiarize Easy to use Sleek and interactive
Undo Function Present and fully-functional giving users full control with what to delete Present and fully functional Feature is present

4. Xodo PDF Reader (Windows & Mac)

Xodo PDF Reader works as a good PDF annotator for Windows and Mac devices. The free PDF annotator tool lets users take notes, comment, print, manage, and even add bookmarks on a PDF page.

5. PDF Max (Mac)

Annotating and commenting on PDF documents on a mobile device is easy with this PDF annotator Mac. It can help you annotate PDF documents with highlights and handwriting, insert PDF texts and stamps, and more. This PDF annotation software is designed for desktop and mobile users and provides a cross-platform program for synchronizing documents.

6. Expert PDF Reader (Windows)

Sticky notes, text highlighting, and strikethroughs are some of the features which are added to this PDF annotator free. This application is thought to be one of the most user-friendly PDF annotators. There are several social media platforms added as well. The PDF bookmarking and comment addition is also very valuable with this program. It also has several tools that can be used to easily create separate sets of PDF annotations. You can easily review annotations before submitting them for the ultimate convenience.

7. PDF-XChange Viewer (Windows)

PDF-XChange Viewer is the best PDF annotator free for users who are used to Microsoft Word. Since the layout is similar to MS Office, the interface is very easy to learn for beginners. There are many annotation tools available in the PDF annotation software. This program includes the following features: highlight tool, strikethrough, note tools, and drawing tools. You will get a pleasant viewing experience with full optimization features.


8. Nitro Reader (Windows & Mac)


Nitro Reader does not have a ton of advanced tools but is still a very useful PDF annotation software. There is a limit of available tools, and it doesn't include more advanced annotation tools. The bookmarks, already added annotations and social media sharing are possible however, and standard annotation can be performed, ensuring that the PDF appears clean and professional. PDF files can also be converted to text and vice versa using this program.

9. Adobe Acrobat Reader (Windows & Mac)

There aren't many PDF annotation software that can match the level of adobe acrobat reader. This is a system based program which is completely free to download and install. There is a wide range of PDF annotation tools that can be used easily. From adding notes to rotating your file, this program has it all. Signatures can be added and modified PDFs can be easily stored in the system. It also allows the users to easily print the documents as well.

10. Foxit Reader (Windows & Mac)

This is another free PDF annotator that has all the functions you need. It includes the typewrite tool, note highlighter, strikethrough, double strikethrough, underline, and pencil. The interface is easy to use and therefore it is rated highly by users. Digital stamps, scales, and area highlighters are some of the other functions available as well. The annotations can easily be printed separately and social media sharing has been embedded.

Thanks to PDF annotators, students and professionals can annotate PDF documents much more easily. Transform your work productivity with handy online tools like the ones mentioned above. With some programs to choose from, it is best to choose the one which is packed with important and useful features that best suit your needs. Collaborate seamlessly with other users with the tools we have outlined above.