Editing Style Properties in Non-text Annotations

We covered the editing of multiple text annotation styles in a previous article. In this issue, we will be showing you how to edit the properties of other types of annotations and how mixing types affects the options available.

Different Tools Have Different Style Editing Options

Editing the Styles of Multiple Annotations

You can edit the style of a non-text annotation, often called a markup, by selecting it and pressing F3, just like a text annotation. These markups include pens, markers, lines, arrows, shapes and some stamps.

Each type of annotation or markup will have a different set of style options that can be changed. For example, the marker tool options are the color, the line width and pressure sensitivity for pen tablet entry.

When you click on a tool in the toolbar, you will see the style options available in the options bar underneath. However, three options – auto-smooth, snap line to 45° angles and the resize maintaining aspect ratio – will not be available in any of the style edit options, since those make only sense while creating new annotations.

Selecting Multiple Markup Annotations

You can select and edit several markup annotations simultaneously in the same ways as we discussed in the issue concerning editing text annotation styles. However, there are three important things to remember when selecting the markups for style editing:

  1. Selections of like annotations will have all the style options for that group available. For example, when changing the style of arrows, you will have color, line width, arrow tail, line style and arrow head options available.
  2. When you select dissimilar markups, the only options available will be those that are common to all the selected types. For instance, if you select an arrow with a straight line, only the color, line width and line style will be available.
  3. If you include a text box in the selection, only the color will be available. This will be the color of the line in the markups and the color of the text in the text box.

Including Stamps When Editing Annotation Markups

Most stamps are images and will not allow any style editing, so it is best not to include them in the selection. However, there are three exceptions:

  1. Text-based stamps, such as the time and date stamps that come with PDF Annotator 4, do have style properties that can be edited. They are limited, however.
  2. Some stamps - as the red arrow with "Sign Here" - are in fact groups of images and text annotations, and their properties can only be edited after ungrouping them.
  3. The proofreading stamps also have editable style properties, such as color and line width.
  4. If you created a text box and saved it as a custom stamp, the properties will be editable and it can be used with a multiple-selection edit. If you saved objects, such as arrows or lines, in your custom stamp and chose the Insert as group option, the same style editing properties rules apply as in multiple selections edits. If you want to be able to edit the individual elements of your custom stamp, either ungroup them after you insert the stamp, or edit the properties of the custom stamp in the stamp toolbox.

Two Bonus Tips

I have two bonus tips for you today. One is about using pressure sensitivity and the other concerns drawing lines at specific angles.

Bonus Tip #1

Editing the Styles of Multiple Annotations If you have a pen tablet that allows pressure sensitivity, PDF Annotator 4 can recognize it. If you have the pressure sensitivity icon off for the pen or marker, editing the style will allow you to restore the sensitivity for the selected markups. PDF Annotator 4 remembers how you drew the lines.

One exception is when you use the auto-smooth feature and draw a straight line. Even when editing the style to include pressure sensitivity, the line will stay the same width.

Bonus Tip #2

Snap lines in 45° angles There is an easy way to make sure your lines and arrows are lined up perfectly horizontal, vertical or at a 45° angle. Turn on this feature by activating the option icon that looks like a carpenter’s square. This will force the line or arrow to draw along the correct angle.