Grouping and Ungrouping Annotations

Grouping and Ungrouping Annotations

PDF Annotator 4 comes with several powerful tools to make annotating more efficient and much easier. In this article, we are going to explore one of them: The Group/Ungroup Annotation feature. Once you understand it, you will find yourself using it extensively. If your vocation is education, you will find it useful when grading papers or emailing lecture notes. However, in whatever job or scenario you use PDF Annotator 4, you will find the group and ungroup feature valuable.

Accessing the Group Function

Select annotations The grouping feature is actually accessed in the Selection submenu. To begin, open a document and place several annotations or stamps on it, close together. In the example, I’ve used a text box, exclamation mark and a date stamp.

Next, the annotations you added need to be selected. You can do this by holding down the CTRL key and clicking on each one. However, an easier method is to use the lasso select tool. It’s available on the tool bar or you can press S on your keyboard.

Draw a lasso around your annotations and they will all be selected. You can move them as a group; however, once you click off of the selection they become separate again. To keep them grouped, right-click inside the selection to get a pop up menu. Scroll down to Selection, then over and down to Group. Clicking on Group merges them into one single selection.

Group annotations

The group of annotations can now be moved together whenever you click on them.

If you want to separate the annotations, select the grouped annotations and right-click to get the menu again. This time, choose Ungroup to separate them. Once you click off the selection, they will become individual elements again.

To group and ungroup the selected annotations more quickly, use the group and ungroup buttons on the toolbar.

Tips for the Group Annotations Feature

There are several options when using the Group Annotations feature. The most obvious is that you can select the entire group with one click and move it to a different location. However, there are some additional tricks you can use.

You can save the grouped annotations as a custom stamp. Select the group and right-click to get the menu. Scroll down to Selection again, then over to choose Save Selection as Stamp. A dialog box will open where you can enter a description and save the new stamp. The stamp will be available in your Stamp Toolbox whenever you open PDF Annotator 4.

To Group or Not to Group ... and When

There is another way to save the individual annotations as one stamp. This gives you options that might be better suited to your needs.

  • First, select all the annotations you want in the stamp, as mentioned earlier.
  • Instead of grouping them at that time, just choose to save the selection as a stamp.
  • In the resulting Configure Tool dialog box, note the check box on the left-bottom. It is checked by default. This inserts the annotations as a group each time you use that stamp.
  • Uncheck it to keep the stamps from being grouped. They are still inserted together; they just aren’t automatically grouped. You will be able to edit each one individually without ungrouping them first.

Save selection as stamp

For example, if you have text boxes included, as in the example, you don’t have to ungroup them to edit the text. In the example shown, I’ve saved several document review options so that they all are inserted in the document. I can delete or move them as needed.