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PDF annotations in Firefox 106 - Give us your feedback!

rtestard
Employee
Employee

Hello!

I'm Romain from the product team. We just launched Firefox 106 that brings annotation capabilities to our pdf reader, built inside Firefox.

When pdf forms are not fill-able or when some quick notes are needed on pdf documents, you can now directly add text or draw on pdf documents before saving or sharing them.

How? See https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/view-pdf-files-firefox-or-choose-another-viewer#w_annotate-pdf-...

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the feature to help us steer what's next for annotations on pdf documents.

Thanks for your participation!

75 REPLIES 75

It's the first entry in the double chevrons menu:

calixte_0-1669626842551.png

or you can use the keyboard shortcut: ctrl+alt+p.

sfink
Employee
Employee

One of my more common uses of PDF annotation is to sign documents. I would like this to be easier. Right now it's a matter of zooming in, picking the right pen thickness, then drawing my signature with the mouse.

One alternative approach would be to allow me to import a drawing to paste onto the PDF.

But my use case is really "I want to sign a PDF" (sometimes with my full signature, sometimes with initials). Anything that makes it easier would be great.

zaidi
Making moves

With the PDF tools, the character is freehand, so it would have been nice if you could make a nice straight line, and making is not that easy either, you have to find the right combination of opacity and color

Selinth
Making moves

So I'm not sure this is the right place to mention this but I have some major issues with 'fillable' pdf's on firefox. For instance, every fillable D&D character sheet works fine in edge, and the math works just fine, but in firefox, where having +5 dex should give me +5 to my AC (the math is basically ability mod (5) plus base AC(10)) but instead of 15 AC I end up with 5,010. Weird stuff. Would love to see that sort of issue ironed out so I can stop having to open Microsoft Edge for D&D night

Hi @Selinth can you please share a pdf document link and clarify which field specifically gets wrongly calculated?

It was from here: https://www.reddit.com/r/starfinder_rpg/comments/pqvc25/interactive_character_sheets_updated_links/ (the starfindersupercharactersheet.pdf) Basically if you go in and up your Dexterity ability score you'll see the modifier is calculated correctly (so for 20 dex the mod is +5) but it puts your EAC and KAC (energy and kinetic armor class respectively) to crazy numbers like 5010 and 150, when they both should be 15.

I filed a bug about it:

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1802888

Don't hesitate to file a bug when you think something is wrong.

jhteach
Making moves

Hi!

I am very appreciative of this update to Firefox's built-in PDF reader, particularly as it borrows from Firefox's very user-friendly UI.

I am a high school teacher and use PDFs almost daily. Without access to professional PDF editing software, I largely rely on free PDF editors. There are some features that I would love to see implemented:

1) An "eyedropper" as part of color selection. This would help quickly match colours of fonts and background colors from the PDF.

2) A shape tool. It makes it quick and easy for me to cover up parts of the PDF that I don't want seen (even better when combined with the "eyedropper" to match background color).

3) "Save to PDF" ordered pages. To delete pages of a PDF, I "Print > Save to PDF > Custom Pages", and only type the pages I want to keep. Within this, if I type custom pages "2, 1" the document remains in order. If possible, it would be great if the order typed could be kept, allowing you to rearrange pages on a PDF in a newly saved document.

4) Merge PDF tool. To combine two or more PDFs together.

 

Many thanks and kind regards.

sterafix
Making moves

The only thing missing for me to switch from Adobe Acrobat to the build in PDF editor in Firefox for quickly filling documents is a "safe signature" feature. I hate to draw ugly signatures with the touchpad of my laptop. Instead, I would love to be able to create a beautiful signature once (e.g., on my iPad), and then be able to safe it and in future just add it to documents like a stamp.

GutachterKaplan
Making moves

Hi,
I love the PDF-annotator. That´s a game changer. With the following feature, it would surely become my standard PDF-viewer:

- possibility to add pictures (.jpg) and scale them, i.e. a signature.

As a viewer it's fine, but when annotating the highlighting and comments are only for personal use -- they cannot be sent with the PDF doc. to others (or at least I could not do it...). For annotation, whether private or public, I still prefer the free Hypothesis.

j-p_FF
Making moves

Bonjour Romain. 😉

It's already great to be able to add text and, secondarily, to draw lines freehand.
The way these annotations are implemented is excellent. Congratulations and thanks !
Also, they are perennial= displayed by other .pdf applications.

I'm embarrassed to suggest many additional implementations because I know it's a lot of work.
I'll just point out what I use every day with other software.

For the so-called annotations:
- highlighting;
- underlining;
- strike out text;
- drawing colored rectangles (around pieces of sentences to create titles);
- text as a reducible note ~post-it-like~ (rarely).

Beyond annotations:
- Page manipulation: rotation (possible already but only in display, not perennial), extraction (which can already be done by the "Print" function but without rearrangement), merging; insertion (which would be possible if a merge were feasible);
- Image insertion (including a signature image);
- digital signature;
- encryption;
- OCR;
- file size reduction.

If FF could provide these capabilities, or many of them, it would be super-great !

Currently, I use Okular KDE (excellent on many points) + PDFsam Basic (for page manipulation) + Foxit Reader (for image insertion) + NAPS2 (for OCR).
I have definitively abandoned Adobe applications that pollute, slow down systems, and cost exorbitant prices.

J-P

Jon
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks @j-p_FF ... this is great feedback!

j-p_FF
Making moves

Thank you Jon.
Feel free to link my post somewhere else for more visibility if useful.

dillon
Making moves

Suggestion: Keyboard shortcuts to swap to different tools

I think it would greatly increase productivity

Jon
Community Manager
Community Manager

This is an interesting one, thanks! 🙌

nose_gnome
Making moves

It would be great if you could make it so that you could draw on a part you've previously drawn on, as currently when you go to a new page or something, it deselects what you were drawing, and then you can't draw on top/around what you have previously drawn, as it just thinks you're trying to select your drawing to move it.  It also deselects when you try and change colour, meaning that when you try to draw with a different colour on top of something you've already drawn, it just moves it instead of drawing.

 

It would also be useful if you could add shapes and stamps to the annotate feature, allowing you to put check marks/crosses for when you're filling out a form, or add square/circles to a pdf if needed.

rrandor
Making moves

I am happy FireFox added a pdf editor. The one I paid for sucks; worst UI ever for an editor. But I am surprised that I cant add, edit and follow hyperlinks in the Firefox pdf editor. Come on! Firefox is a browser! I hope that feature is coming soon. Thanks for your hard work.

I am curious. It seems that the pdf standard is not smart enough to page without cropping text. I see this on every pdf editor. They just cut off the page at a certain length and it doesnt matter if they have to cut a line of text in half! This seems bizarre to me that the pdf standard doesnt flow text around page boundaries. Am I the only one who finds this to be a BUG?

adi04
Making moves

When I start writing on pdf, the slides of pdf start moving to next slide, and I'm unable to writE.

Paul_AS
Making moves

Hi, thanks for the new pdf feature, however I could not get it to work!
On the supplied sample pdf I clicked all over it and could not get it to accept any input,
Eventually I figured out I had to use the toolbar - How about telling us how to use it!

Anyway, all I could do was add silly text panels, not actually "Edit pdf in FireFox" as advertised.

mak1
Making moves

hello i usually read 700 pages books is there a way with the new pdf editing feature of fire fox to make the pdf open on the page i close it on

AlainMig
Making moves

Hi, I'm not sure about this. Firefox is a browser, not a pdf tool, what next ? spreadsheet capabilities ?

This makes firefox heavier on resources, slower.. And when I want to edit a pdf tool I use a dedicated tool that will do the job better than firefox anyway.

It's just another alternative, Alain.  I have found an adage that one uses 10% of software's functionality 90% of the time; the remaining 90% of the available functionality is used little.  Oversimplification? Maybe, but to pay the Canadians' the price for things one uses little is silly, n'est ce pas?

MWPollard
Making moves

I saw similar comments, but not these specific ones. I'd like to be able to:
- Select a font - any installed font
- Select a specific point size, for which I can type a number - not just a slider, though I see some may like that
- Select whether the boundary box autoexpands horizontally, or if the text will wrap within the current width
- Move an existing note, both by mouse and by keyboard for accurate placement, which is particularly useful when filling forms where I want them to line up with the underlines and other fields
- Copy existing notes with alignment lock (hold Ctrl while dragging to copy, hold Shift to align with the original) so multiple notes line up), and select multiple notes to copy or delete at once (Ctrl-click)
- Insert and resize an image, so I can "sign" a document.
The free program Foxit PDF Reader has most of these abilities.
That said, this is a good first version.

js2
Making moves

The PDF editor is a very welcome change, but I am having a few problems with the "pen" feature:

  • Smoothing is very aggressive, making handwriting/signatures very difficult to write accurately (bug already filed on Bugzilla).
  • Shapes are grouped together even if they are completely separate. This means the shapes cannot be resized/moved separately, and prevents drawing anything between them (as selecting the group takes priority over drawing).
  • ctrl-z doesn't seem to affect resizing/moving text or shapes, only creating them.

ryandtai95
Making moves

Hi Romain,

When opening PDFs with notation fields in Firefox, I'm running into an issue that's unique to Firefox (not experienced on Chrome, Edge, or Adobe Reader). When entering too much text in these fill-in fields, the text gets cut off as shown in the attached image. In the other PDF applications, the text size decreases to fit everything in the box. This would be a necessary feature for us to consider Firefox as a default PDF viewer at our organization.

Jon
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks for sharing, @ryandtai95! I'll link to your idea post here for more visibility:

PDF Viewer Fillable Fields Text 

Aftermath
Making moves

In my opinion, Edge offers the best basic PDF editing experience (for example for student reading and commenting on pdf files). I'm gonna list some differences, some of which might be bugs. I could happily file bugs or enhancment requests when asked to.

1- Firefox can't edit the annotations made by adobe acrobat and can't copy the text of the annotation. (Edge handles both in a good way)

2- Firefox can't "resize" the annotations from Acrobat Reader so that it fits when using tiling features (the pop-up with the annotation stays in its place on the right side of the screen). Edge gets this done (by moving the pop-up with the annotation to the middle of the screen)
https://imgur.com/a/sUU5Px8

3- Edge's Tool Bar:
- choice of icons is IMO clearer than Firefox's. (T) is known to be text, where this curved (I) is somehow new to me
- Their Icons are bigger and way easier to click on. Icons from firefox are even smaller then the mouse cursor itself
- The "Save" Feature is superior to Firefox's "Download" Feature. When editing PDF's, I don't want to download a PDF file each time I edit the file, but I simply want to save the edited file in case the computer/browser crashes or because I want continue editing later or the battery is about to die. I can see the point of having the original copy and downloading the edited one, but I don't think that it's being used more than simply saving the file (just like saving a word document for example, without wanting to download a word document each time you save it).
- The Tool Bar itself is IMHO prettier and more intuitive to use in Edge (maybe it's just because I got used to edge, other community members should also say their opinion about it)
https://imgur.com/8bGjuTl

4- Editing the added Text:
- Edge offers editing directly when pressing on the text you want to edit, without having to hover the mouse over to the right upper corner each time (In Firefox you would have to go to the upper right corner)
- Edge offers a simple button to make text bigger or smaller (Firefox has this bar which is not easy to use at all, as you have to be very careful for each step to make the text bigger, as each small mouse move makes the text noticeably bigger)
https://imgur.com/a/cwNAVpo

However: The Tool to add pictures (only on firefox) is one thing that Edge doesn't have, and it's really awesome. But all the mentioned things above makes me use edge on my computer solely for editing PDF's (and use Firefox for everyday browsing).

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vnnd
Making moves

To improve the functions of the editing option, would be interesting to give users the ability to modify the built-in shortcuts, specially to quickly change in between tools and highlighting colors.

Actually I am trying to add these shortcuts myself, I am looking into modifying the omni.ja. Any thoughts or suggestions?

wayfaringrob
Making moves

Two things I would benefit greatly from: pressure sensitivity with the Draw tool (for things like Wacom tablets) and commenting on selected text a la Word/Google Docs or as a "sticky" like in Acrobat or macOS Preview. Without pressure sensitivity, drawings look pretty bad, and comments are a nice way to annotate without junking up the page.

It would also be nice to have a more convenient color picker (e.g. a small toolbar with 5 preset colors that stays open when using the draw tool), and as others have said, a more intuitive thickness controller.

aww
Making moves

Hi! I'd love to move to Firefox as my main PDF app. Some features I'd love to see in the future are

  • Text highlighting with comments/annotations
  • Bookmarking
  • Photo insertion (for signatures)

Good work with the current release!

Jon
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks @aww! We're actually working on a couple of those features right now. Feel free to follow those specific idea threads here:

PDF reader highlighter 

Signature on PDF documents - using an image of my signature 

Sticky Notes in pdf viewer 

sandraghassen
Making moves

Awesome! this is great. I have tried it and it works.

sandraghassen
Making moves

Hi Romain

Greatly to see the pdf tools are growing awesome. The filling up of form is really one of the best achievement .Keep up the hard work!

Got an idea regarding the editing tools - a cleaning tool to remove unwanted text or image or eraser to edit existing pdf documents.

BandiSukaKasti
Making moves

Hi. unlike edge or chrome . firefox doesnt save pdf state when i rotated pdf document using rotate button . when re opened pdf file it going back to default state. it is annoying