Whether you are proofing a white paper or catalogue, a brochure or magazine, business cards or layouts, teams of all kinds use PDF as the go-to format for gathering feedback. It is a universal format, generally works across operating systems and browsers, and is print-friendly. And yet, PDF markup and collaboration is still not a very simple process.
There are generally four ways that teams collaborate on reviewing PDF content.
The first and all too common way is sharing a PDF as an email attachment. This is often accompanied by a long, confusing email thread that requires highlighting page numbers, the referenced text in quotation marks, alongside the required changes. It tends to lead to miscommunication and reviewing comments several times to understand what is being said or asked.
The offline print-and-mark-up method, still utilized across many teams, provides precise visual annotations and feedback. But it’s inefficient, requires multiple “pass-arounds” or meetings from various busy reviewers, and is not scalable for managing multiple large projects. Collecting feedback from clients is a different and very real challenge.
Non-collaborative PDF markup (Adobe Acrobat or Apple Preview as prime examples) can be a step up from printed markups, but still has shortcomings for synchronized consolidation, file tracking, project management, task management and much more.
Finally – and this is where ReviewStudio comes in – online PDF proofing provides a more effective and efficient alternative for collecting feedback and approvals on your PDF projects. Collecting feedback on a PDF document from multiple collaborators does not have to be painful. Here’s how ReviewStudio presents a much more efficient method of collaborative PDF markup and, ultimately, approvals.
Synchronized Collaboration – Real Time Commenting and Threaded Conversations
The most important element in any proofing and collaborative process is synchronization. If comments and feedback aren’t shared in real-time and properly threaded, this can result in confusion and miscommunication.
With online proofing, all markups and annotations are synced in real-time, ensuring everyone is working with the same feedback at the same time.
You’ve Got PDF Markup Options
As with any file format on ReviewStudio, you have multiple markup tools for providing the most effective feedback, such as the freehand pencil, shapes and sticky notes tools. For documents that have copy, you also have all of the standard text markup tools for highlighting, deleting, replacing or inserting text.
For reviewing packaging layouts with graphics and text in multiple orientations, you can easily rotate the document to review and mark-up from the proper perspective. The range of tools offered in ReviewStudio makes providing feedback on your PDF projects much simpler and annotations more precise.
Managing Proofing Tasks
Once your feedback is collected, a great feature is being able to turn the comments you want to implement into actionable tasks for any user who’s a part of your team. Whether you need to assign a task to a designer or content creator, simply click “set task” below any comment and you can assign it to anyone who’s a part of the Review. Through visual cues, the person assigned the task is able to quickly see which revisions to implement and can then check off the tasks as “completed.” This way, everyone involved can track the progress of the revisions being made.
Tracking and Comparing Versions
A PDF review in ReviewStudio conveniently registers the full history of all file revisions in one place. Using Compare Mode, you have the ability to review the feedback provided in one version while assessing the changes that were implemented into the latest version. Your designer made an update to the catalogue or whitepaper? It’s easy to check that the changes were implemented correctly. When you are using Compare Mode, the files you’re comparing are synced so that as you pan, zoom or change pages, both versions move in unison.
Keeping a Project Overview
It’s not always enough just to get notifications and links for PDFs that need your feedback. As a project manager or designer, seeing an overview of all your projects and their progress in context of the content is essential to managing deliverables. ReviewStudio’s dashboard highlights upcoming tasks and deadlines that require your attention.
Making Adoption Easy
When it comes to adopting and updating a workflow, the biggest challenge (perhaps besides selling the idea) is getting people to adopt the new tool or process. Your PDF proofing software should be intuitive from the get-go to facilitate adoption. What is your organizational investment in a tool? Does it require extensive training?
With ReviewStudio you’re up and running in minutes, and you’ll see an immediate benefit to your project timelines. You have full flexibility to manage who can see what and when. Set up dedicated project teams and invite guests to review and markup any files you’re working on.
Nothing to Install – Ever
Your PDF markup and approval solution should be platform agnostic. It doesn’t matter whether you (or your collaborators) are using Windows or Mac, iOS or Android, at home or on the go – you should be able to access your projects files anywhere, anytime. ReviewStudio works from any desktop or mobile browser – there’s no need to download and install any software, nor are there plugins required to access, view and leave feedback.
Having One Single Source of Information and Truth
Ultimately, you probably don’t just work on only one form of content. The overwhelming majority of our clients benefit from using our online proofing software for feedback on a wide range of different formats (images, video, PDF and HTML) in a single, centralized platform. This provides not only ease of reference and accurate feedback, but transparency and accountability across the board.
Marking-up PDF content in a collaborative manner, is essential to every team’s workflow, whether you are on a marketing team, or in an advertising agency, an illustrator or architect, a studio head or the client. It’s much easier to get feedback and approvals using ReviewStudio.