Q: How can I easily, securely and completely anonymize comments in a PDF file?

“I have a PDF document that I reviewed by adding annotations to the document. This is to be an anonymous review. How do I remove all reference to my identity from this file so I can save it and send it back to the editor?”

A: There are many cases, for example in academic peer reviews or scholarly articles, that you may wish to have your comments or feedback remain anonymous. If you would like to remove author or name information from all comments or annotation types (see below list) you can do the following:

Prior to making comments/annotations

The best option is to remove the author information BEFORE review. This will then allow you to review the document anonymously without having to make changes later.

  1. Open Preferences and go to the Comments panel
  2. In the “Author” field change this setting to any other name or “Anonymous”
  3. Close the preferences and begin working on the document
  4. PDF Studio will use this setting for the “Author” in any annotations created going forward

Comments that already exist in the PDF

If you have an existing document that already contains review annotations you can still remove the Author information by doing the following:

  1. View the comments panel by clicking the  comments button in the bottom left corner of PDF Studio
  2. Select multiple annotations across pages. To do this just select the very first annotation and then scroll to the end and hold Shift and select the last annotation which will select all annotations on all pages.
  3. Then either click on the  Properties button or Right Click on any of the selected annotation and choose the Properties option
  4. In the properties dialog switch to the General tab, and in the “Author” field change this setting to any other name or “Anonymous”
  5. Click “OK” to apply the changes
  6. Make sure to save the document

NOTE: this will only clear “Author” details from the annotations. If you have used the “Status” feature of annotations this information will not be removed. This is the reason that we recommend removing the “Author” information BEFORE creating any annotations/markups as listed above.

Comment Types

Author information is applied to the following comment types:

Text Annotations

Shape Annotations

Text Markups

 Text Box  Circle  Highlight Text
 Callout  Square  Cross out Text
 Typewriter  Highlight Area  Underline Text
 Sticky Note  Polyline  Squiggly Underline Text
 Polygon  Replace Text
 Cloud  Insert Text
 Arrow
 Line
 Pencil

Rubber Stamp Annotations

Measurement Annotations 

Media & Other Annotations

 Rubber Stamp  Distance  Sound
 Image Stamp  Perimeter  Attach File
 Area  Attach File as Comment