How to redline a document before signing.

A woman sitting at a table redlines a document before signing it on her laptop.

Prepare contracts for signing wherever you are. Learn how to redline a document before signing to provide effective feedback with our step-by-step guide.

Redlining is an essential part of contract negotiation. The redlining process involves editing the draft document’s language to create a contract that satisfies all involved parties and is legally compliant. Before computers, this process was slow and used a lot of red ink — hence the name “redlining.”

Today, you no longer need that red pen. Digital PDFs make it fast and easy to redline documents before signing.

What does it mean to redline a document?

Redlining documents is the process of tracking changes between document drafts. The name comes from the red lines that word processing programs add under text when they track changes.

Now that you know what it means to redline a document, you may want to know how to redline a document.

How to redline a document or agreement.

There are multiple routes you can take to redline your documents. You can redline a document online, redline a Word document, or redline a PDF.

How to redline documents before signing

In most businesses, it’s criticall to redline documents quickly to ensure they’re completed and signed on time. Fortunately, online PDF editing tools — like Adobe Acrobat online services — let you redline documents even when you’re on the move.

A woman sitting at a table redlines a document before signing it on her laptop.

  1. Open your web browser and navigate to the Edit PDF tool.
  2. Click Select A File to locate your PDF or drag and drop it to the file selection frame.
  3. Add your comments and mark up text with the provided tools.
  4. Select Download to download your finished document.

You can now easily send your redlined PDF document for approval. If you need to make further edits, simply repeat the process until everyone’s happy with the contract language.

How to redline a Word document.

You can redline your documents in Microsoft Word in no time. Use these steps to learn how to redline a Word document:

  1. Open your document in Word.
  2. Identify areas of the text that require changes.
  3. Select the text you want to revise. Use the Track Changes feature to mark up the document. This feature can be accessed by clicking the Review tab in the top navigation bar and selecting Track Changes.
  4. Adjust the text as needed. Any modifications will be highlighted to indicate the changes.
  5. Add comments to the document by selecting the text you want to comment on and clicking New Comment in the Review tab. Type your comment in the pop-up box that appears.
  6. Make any other adjustments as needed.
  7. Once you have finished making changes and adding comments, the document can be reviewed in Final View to see the final document with all changes accepted.

Your Word document is now polished and professional.

How to redline a PDF.

You can redline your PDF from your computer in a snap with the Adobe Acrobat desktop application.

Follow these steps to redline your PDF in the Acrobat desktop app:

  1. Upload your PDF to Acrobat.
  2. Choose Tools > Comment to view the toolbar.
  3. Click the Strikethrough option, then select red for the color.
  4. Drag from the beginning of the text you want to mark up. Press Control and drag to mark up a rectangular area of text.

Your PDF should now be redlined, and anyone receiving the document should be able to see what needs to be edited or negotiated.

Is redlining documents a change that has to be honored by the other party?

While redlining a document doesn’t guarantee negotiations will be made, it’s more likely to be revisited if there is a redline in the text.

How a redline document is beneficial for your business.

Redlining documents may come with some difficulty, but by starting the process, all parties get to sign documents quicker and start on the next big task or project. When a document is redlined, it ensures that all parties feel comfortable moving forward and have the chance to agree on a solution that benefits the group as a whole.

When should you redline a document?

The time to redline will depend on the position and number of people involved with the document. Typically, internal teams and legal teams will review, and then anyone externally will make changes as needed. A tool that supports commenting and collaborating in one place, such as Acrobat, can eliminate confusion and keep the process moving forward smoothly.

Resources to streamline contracts and documents.

Now that you’ve learned how to redline a document before signing, here are additional ways to work with your documents:

With Acrobat online services, you can also do more than just mark up PDFs. Whether you’re working with Word files, spreadsheets, or even image files, you can convert document drafts into PDFs for redlining and use the Fill & Sign tool to sign a completed contract with a legally binding digital signature. You can also protect confidential contract drafts with passwords and much more.

Discover everything you can do with Acrobat online services today.