How to Annotate a PDF Using Google Drive App on Android

How to Annotate a PDF Using Google Drive App on Android

Regardless of what devices you own, you can definitely use Google Drive to store photos, files, and backups on different platforms. Besides offering cloud storage options, Google Drive also lets you access and edit files directly from its app or web client through Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

While the service offers all the necessary means to edit most file types, one thing it has lacked over the years is the ability to edit PDF files on the go. If you wanted to add more information to a PDF file, Google Drive only allowed you to add a comment on a PDF file, but you couldn’t annotate items on it.

That’s changing now as the company has updated its Google Drive app on Android with a new feature that lets you freely write notes with a finger or stylus. In this post, we will explain how you can use the annotate feature on Google Drive to release PDF annotations on your Android device.

What do you need?

The ability to annotate PDFs is only available on the Google Drive app for Android, not on iOS or the web. To annotate a PDF, you must meet the following requirements:

An Android device running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or newer versions. The latest version of the Google Drive app is installed from Google Play. The PDF file you want to edit is uploaded to Google Drive. What note-taking tools can you use on Google Drive?

The Google Drive app on Android offers you several ways to annotate a PDF file, provided the file you want to edit is uploaded to your Google Drive account. When you use the note-taking feature on Google Drive, you can perform the following actions:

Mark text or items within a PDF with a marker or pen. You can choose from different brush sizes and colors when marking items. Highlight content with the Highlighter tool using different brush sizes and colors. Erase edited content with the Eraser tool. You can undo or redo the last annotation at any time using the Undo and Redo icons. You can hide your edits on a PDF using the Hide annotations option. To make them appear again, you can use the Show Notes button (marked with an eye icon). How to Annotate a PDF on Android

Once you have made sure that you meet the aforementioned requirements, you can edit a PDF file on Android by following the guide below. Open the Google Drive app on your Android device to get started.

Within Google Drive, find and select the PDF file you want to edit. You can use the search bar at the top to search for PDF files you want to edit if you can’t find the desired file.

When the PDF opens in preview mode, tap the pin icon (otherwise known as the annotation button) in the lower right corner.

You should now see a toolbar with multiple options appear on the screen. You can select the tool you want to use to annotate the file by tapping it with your finger or stylus. You can choose from these options – Highlight, Highlight, Erase, Undo/Redo or Show/Hide annotations.

To permanently access the notes toolbar, Google Drive lets you do so by tapping and holding the toolbar and dragging it to your preferred side of the screen. When done, this toolbar will be visible at all times during the editing process.

Once you’re done annotating the PDF file, you can either save the edit over the original PDF or create a new copy to leave the original file unannotated.

I can’t use the annotation tool. Why?

The ability to annotate PDFs is a feature currently rolling out to the Google Drive app on Android. Since this is a new feature, it’s possible that the Drive app on your device may not yet host this functionality. If you can’t access the Annotate button when you open a PDF file on your Google Drive app, you’ll need to wait a few days or weeks for this feature to work.

Unfortunately, if you plan to use the Annotate option on Google Drive on iOS, there’s no guarantee that the feature will arrive or even support iPhones. Google’s support page currently only mentions the availability of the Annotate feature on Android devices for now.

That’s all you need to know about annotating PDFs with Google Drive.

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