Annotating Your PDF Proof with Adobe

This guide will show you how to use Adobe Acrobat Reader to properly annotate your PDF proof, in order to answer author queries and request minor changes to your article.

Getting the Tools You Need

Annotation and Addressing Author Queries

Finalizing and Uploading Proofs



During the production phase of manuscript submission, corresponding authors are sent page proofs for final proofreading. At this stage, it is permissible to make minimal and necessary alterations to the article. Additionally, the proofs will come with queries from the ASHA Journals production team, which you will need to answer.  This guide will show you how to properly annotate your PDF proof to answer these queries and request minor changes to your article.*

For the purposes of this tutorial, and to guarantee accuracy in viewing your annotations, we highly recommend that you use either Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, or Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to annotate PDF proofs for the ASHA Journals. The following module will instruct you on how to obtain a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

*Please note that you are not required to submit an annotated PDF proof when responding to author queries and requesting changes to your article, this is simply the easiest and most accurate way for us to reflect your desired changes. Alternatives to submitting an annotated PDF could include attaching a Microsoft Word document with a list of desired changes and answers to author queries with your proof response, or entering your desired changes and query answers into the body of your proof response on the ASHA Journals Productions System. Please also note that the recommended annotation style in the following modules is also not required, but highly encouraged.


Getting the Tools You Need

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is our preferred program for viewing and annotating your proof. Better yet, it’s free! These steps will walk you through downloading your copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

  1. In your web browser, go to the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC download page. The website should automatically detect the proper version for your computer, so Windows or Mac users alike can just click on the link above or the Acrobat logo below.
  2. Click the “Install Now” button located in the bottom right corner of the page.
  3. Follow your systems instructions for installing Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

It’s as simple as that. If you run into trouble installing Acrobat Reader DC, we recommend visiting the Adobe Acrobat Reader Support page, and contacting Adobe directly for further assistance.


Annotations and Addressing Author Queries

There are multiple tools in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC which will help you notify the ASHA Journals production staff of changes you would like to make. This module will show you what tools you have available, and how to use those tools in order to properly communicate your query answers and desired changes.

Much like using a red pen while editing a paper manuscript, annotations allow you to mark up your PDF proof and notify us of desired changes, rather than making changes yourself. This allows the ASHA journals production team the ability to apply your changes while maintaining the visual quality of the article.

More advanced users, who have programs such as Adobe Acrobat Pro or other PDF editing software, we ask that you annotate your PDF (as described in the following modules) rather than apply edits. The proofs are professionally typeset, and making modifications yourself may cause errors or hurt the visual quality.

Finalizing Proofs and Uploading to the Production System

Here’s a checklist of things you should look for after completing the annotations for your proof:

  1.  Did you make any accidental annotations? Sometimes while working on your proof, you may accidentally hit a key on your keyboard and cause an insert, or strikethrough text annotation to appear. Go through and click on each of your annotations in the comments side bar, doing so will put a dotted blue outline around the annotation in the text, giving you an opportunity to make sure it’s position is right, and the annotation makes sense.
  2. Are all your comment bubbles where you want them? On occasion, you may accidentally misplace a comment bubble by clicking and dragging on them when you don’t mean to. Double check your comment bubble locations. Better still, try adding identifying phrases to the comments themselves, such as “In Figure 1, can we do this…” or “In Table 2, I’d like to…”
  3. Are your annotations clear? Could you add additional instructions to them? Remember that you can add instructions to the ASHA Journals Production team by placing them between brackets in your annotations. Like the example below, where a clinical phrase was changed to italics, and the instruction “[italics]” was added to the annotation. Simple instructions like this can help the production team determine the meaning of your annotations fast and more accurately.