How to Draw in a PDF File

By Cooper Temple

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • PDF-writing application

  • PDF file

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The Portable Document Format (PDF) file type has become one of the major conversion formats for circulating documents electronically. Any computer user with a PDF-reading program may open and view the material. To create an PDF file, users need a writing program. Most writing programs contain many features in addition to the ability to convert source material, including editing and drawing. You can draw in an PDF file--with the appropriate program--by following a few steps.

Install a PDF-writing program onto your computer. The PDFill PDF Editor program is used in the steps that follow. While many PDF-writing programs are expensive, PDFill may be downloaded free of charge (see Resources). Make certain that the PDF-writing application you choose has the ability to draw in a document.

Launch the PDFill PDF Editor program. Select the “Open new PDF Project” option under the “File” menu. This will launch a separate “Select a PDF file” window. Use the “Look in” feature to find the folder where the PDF file you want to draw in is saved. Click once on the PDF file name and once on “Open.”

Click once on the “View” menu and once on “Toolbars.” This will launch a list of available menu types to the right. Choose the “Drawing Toolbar” option from this list. If the “Drawing Toolbar” floats over the document, click once on the left edge and drag it to a location with the other toolbars while holding down the mouse button.

Click once on one of the available drawing tools, such as the “Line” tool. The will cause the cursor to appear as a plus sign. Click once in an area of the PDF file that you want to draw. Drag the cursor while holding down the mouse button to create the desired shape, line or image.

Repeat Step 4 for each drawing tool that you want to use. To edit a “Drawing Tool” item, use the “Select to edit” option under “Edit” menu and highlight an object. Right-click once on the selected object and select “Properties” to edit its appearance, such as color or thickness. Click on one of the small circles surrounding the object and drag to a new size or angle while holding down the mouse button. Move an object by dragging it to a new area while holding down the mouse button.