How to Submit Layout Changes from Author to Book Designer Using PDF

Once the initial layout has been completed and you have the first draft of your book in PDF format, you may want to submit some changes. Whether it’s layout design changes, or spelling mistakes, one of the easiest ways to do that is to make them directly on the PDF itself.

I always include 2 rounds of revisions in each project’s pricing as I expect there to be some corrections that pop up after the initial layout, or design decisions can vary once the whole manuscript has been designed. To keep these changes to a minimum, it pays to take the time to familiarise yourself in how to mark changes in the most effective and efficient way. I have spent upwards of 15 hours making changes on a book design which doubled the cost of the project!


It is possible to send a list of changes (in a text file or pasted in an email) if you are making fewer than 30 changes, such as:

  1. On page 53, paragraph 4: change “ manuscript’ to ‘document’.
  2. On page 233, at the end of paragraph 2: add a full stop to the end of the sentence after ‘…making updates to my book.’
  3. On page 312, paragraph 5 after ‘making additions to your text is possible.’ add ‘by directing the changes using a list.’

Make sure you use the page number itself (and not the Acrobat PDF page number as these can vary if the PDF is showing the spread), use quotation marks around the extract word of phrase to change and that you point out the instance if there is more than one on a page.

One of the more streamlined ways to send changes however, and if you have more than 30 changes to submit, is to mark the PDF directly.


Why Use PDF for Layout Changes?

PDFs are a widely accepted format for sharing documents due to their consistent appearance across different devices and platforms. When you submit layout changes from author to book designer using PDF, you ensure that what you see is what the designer sees. This consistency eliminates misunderstandings and speeds up the revision process.

Steps to Submit Changes Using PDF

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to effectively mark up your PDF for layout changes:

1. Open Your PDF Document

Use a reliable PDF editor. Popular choices include Adobe Acrobat, online Acrobat Reader, Foxit PhantomPDF, or even free tools like PDF-XChange Editor. Ensure you have the latest version for optimal functionality.

2. Use the Comment Tools

Most PDF editors have commenting tools that allow you to add notes, highlight text, and draw shapes. These tools are essential for marking out specific changes.

  • Highlight Text: Use the highlight tool to draw attention to text that needs corrections or alterations.
  • Add Notes: Click on the note tool to place comments explaining the changes you need. Be as specific as possible to avoid any ambiguity.
  • Drawing Tools: Use drawing tools to encircle areas that need layout adjustments or to draw arrows pointing to specific parts of the page.

3. Make Clear Annotations

When making annotations, clarity is key. Here are some tips to ensure your instructions are understood:

  • Be Specific: Instead of “fix layout,” specify “move this image to the right margin” or “increase font size to 12pt.”
  • Use Consistent Language: Maintain a consistent terminology when referring to design elements. For example, refer to “margins,” “spacing,” or “font style” consistently throughout your comments.
  • Prioritise Changes: If there are numerous changes, prioritise them by importance. This helps the designer address the most critical issues first.

4. Save and Review

After making your annotations, save the file and review your comments. Ensure all necessary changes are clearly marked and that you haven’t missed any details.

5. Send the Annotated PDF

Once you have made all the necessary annotations, save the modified PDF file. Be sure to use a descriptive file name that indicates it has been reviewed and contains comments, such as “Book_Title_Edits.pdf.”

Send the annotated PDF file back to us. At and Amsterdam Academy Press, our designers are adept at interpreting and implementing changes from annotated PDFs, ensuring your book reaches its full potential.

Benefits of Using PDF for Communicating Changes

  • Consistency: The PDF format preserves the original layout, ensuring that both parties view the document the same way.
  • Efficiency: Making changes directly on the PDF can expedite the review process, as it reduces back-and-forth communication.
  • Clarity: Visual annotations can make it easier for designers to understand specific issues and implement changes accurately.



Submitting layout changes from author to book designer using PDF annotations is a streamlined, effective method to refine your manuscript. It ensures that your vision is accurately translated into the final product. We are committed to helping you achieve a beautiful and professionally polished book. Embrace the ease of using PDFs for your revisions, and watch your manuscript transform into a masterpiece.

For more tips and guidance on perfecting your book, visit and explore our wealth of resources tailored for authors like you.