Top 5 Ways | How to Draw on a PDF in 2022

August 12, 2022
3 min read

Picture or a hand holding a black pen, while drawing something on paper.

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Have you ever tried drawing on a PDF? Maybe you need to sign your name, jot down a quick note, or are taking notes on your e-textbook. Drawing on a PDF is very useful. But maybe you’ve had some trouble with this. 

If you want to quickly draw on a PDF but can’t, it can be really frustrating. 

Fortunately, with the right tools and know-how, drawing on PDFs is simple! We’ve covered different methods. Choose the one that works best for you! 

Why Draw on a PDF? 

There are many reasons why you may need to draw on a PDF document. Common reasons include:

  • Note taking in class. 
  • Markup and annotation 
  • Proofreading / revisions 
  • Marking assignments 
  • Add your signature 
  • Writing in your e-textbook 

Top 5 Ways to Draw on a PDF

There are different methods and tools you can use to draw on PDFs. Some you may already have access to, while others may require you to sign up for a trial or pay for a subscription. 

We’ve listed the most popular methods ranging from free to paid tools, so pick the one that works best for you! 

1. Web Browser (Microsoft Edge) 

If you’re a Windows user, then you already have a built-in program that lets you draw on PDFs: Microsoft Edge. 

  1. Open the PDF on Microsoft Edge. 
  2. Press the Draw button in the toolbar. 
  3. Draw on your PDF. (You can adjust the line color & thickness at this point, by clicking the down caret next to the Draw button). 
  4. Once finished, Save the changes made to the PDF. 

2. PDF Editor (PDF Writer) 

The most reliable way to draw on PDFs is by using a PDF editor. We’ll be using PDF Writer for this example, but you can use your preferred PDF editor. If you don’t have a PDF editor, you can download PDF Writer for free today! 

  1. Open the PDF in PDF Writer. 
  2. Press the Pencil tool. 
  3. Draw on the PDF. (You can adjust the line color and thickness in the toolbar above).
  4. Once done, Save the PDF. 

3. Adobe Acrobat

If you already pay for the premium version of Adobe Acrobat DC then you can use it to draw on PDFs. This method will not work for the free version of Acrobat DC. If you’re looking to draw on a PDF for free, try another method on this page. 

  1. Launch Adobe Acrobat. 
  2. Press File 
  3. Click Open 
  4. Select Comment, on the left. 
  5. Select the Draw Free Form tool 
  6. Draw on your PDF. 
  7. Once finished, Save the PDF. 

4. Microsoft Word 

If you have access to Microsoft Word, you can use Word to draw on PDFs for free.

Note: this method requires Word to convert your PDF into a Word document, then back to PDF format. Spacing and formatting issues may occur. For a more reliable method, use a PDF editor. 

  1. Launch Microsoft Word. 
  2. Click Open.
  3. Click Browse.
  4. Open the PDF. 
  5. Click OK
  6. Press the Draw tab. 
  7. Select the Pen icon you want to use.
  8. Draw on the PDF. (You can choose the line color and thickness here).
  9. Once done, press File.
  10. Click Export.
  11. Publish as PDF/XPS.
  12. Click Publish

5. Google Drive/Google Docs 

Google Docs is a free word processor, similar to Microsoft Word, but is completely free. You can use it to draw on PDFs, but it may have similar spacing & formatting issues like with the Word method. 

  1. Upload the PDF to Google Drive
  2. Open the PDF in Google Docs. 
  3. Ok
  4. Draw on the PDF (You can change the line color and thickness at this point).
  5. Press the File menu. 
  6. Click Download.
  7. Then click, As PDF (.pdf)

Draw on PDFs Online & Offline — PDF Writer

From note taking and proofreading, to signing your signature, drawing on PDFs is extremely useful. 

There are free and paid tools that can help you to draw on PDF documents, even for free. One such tool is Microsoft Edge, the built-in browser on Windows. The most reliable way to draw on PDFs (and make other changes) is by using a PDF editor. 

If you need to draw and write on PDF regularly, you’re going to want to invest in a reliable editor like PDF Writer.  PDF Writer is our no-nonsense, no-subscription PDF editor. 

What else PDF Writer can help you with: 

Download PDF Writer for free or Buy Now!

Digital Marketing SpecialistArron Staradub
Arron is a Digital Marketer at PDF Pro, where he writes helpful and engaging articles for those that that use PDFs in their daily life. He has a knack for explaining concepts in an easily understandable way. He also loves reading and drinking too much coffee.


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