Mark up pdf and image files stored in Box using drawing features on your iPad and iPhone. Drawing your annotations – circling, underlining, crossing out, drawing arrows, and so on – goes beyond the standard text and image highlighting features, so you can be more specific and precise as to what you wish to annotate. You can:
- Use a built-in “pen,” the Apple Pencil, or even your finger (for touch screen-enabled devices) to write or draw in free hand.
- Choose from a range of colors.
- Erase your annotation.
- Add comments to your annotation to provide clarity and context.
- Automatically notify one or more collaborators via Box’s “@ mention” feature.
To annotate a file in Box, open the file in Box Preview. The annotation menu displays below the preview screen. Then click the annotation tool you want.
- As with all Box annotations, you can only share your annotations with people who are collaborated on the file.
- Box annotations essentially are an overlay in Box Preview – that is, they are not added to the actual file contents. If you open the file in its native application, your annotations do not display.
To draw an annotation:
- Open the file you want in Box Preview.
- The annotation toolbar displays at the bottom of the screen.
- Click the drawing icon; it looks like a scribble (). The full annotations toolbar displays.
- Do one of the following:
- For a marker effect, click or tap the marker ().
- For more precision, or to write, click or tap the fine point pen ().
- Mouse or trackpad
- Apple Pencil
- Your finger
Note: On iPhone, if the comment field is empty, Box does not save the annotation. To save the annotation, type at least one character and click or tap Post.
Adding a comment
After you finish drawing, it’s usually best to add explanatory text, so you can provide context, point out specific details, address one or more individuals directly, and so on.
To add a comment:
- Click or tap into the blank line. As before, the tool you use to enter your comment may change, depending on your device and your preference:
- Type using a real or virtual keyboard
- Write freehand with your Apple Pencil; Apple Scribble recognizes your handwriting and converts it into text. Instructions for using Apple Pencil.
- When you’re done, click or tap Save. From here you can:
- View your comment as it will display in the File Activity sidebar on the right. To do this, click View Comment.
- Delete your comment. To do this, click Delete.
- Begin another annotation.
When you're done annotating, click the scribble icon again. That toggles off the annotation feature.
When you comment on your annotation, you can notify one or more individuals of your annotation. To do this, in the comment box enter the @ symbol and then start entering the person’s name. Box displays a list of names; click or tap the name you want. They receive an email and an alert in their Box Notification Center.
When a collaborator previews the file with your annotations, any comments you have added to your drawing annotation display in the collaborator’s File Activity sidebar. The drawing annotations themselves display as an overlay, directly on top of the document preview itself.
You can move the Comment toolbar anywhere on the screen. To do this, click or tap and drag the lines on the left portion of the toolbar () to wherever you like.
Modifying your drawing
You can change your mind, or alter your drawing, in the midst of an annotation session. To do this, click or tap the eraser (). Then erase any portion of your annotation. This is ideal for cleaning up small mistakes and erasing only certain sections of your annotation.
Undoing an annotation
During an annotation session, you can undo any prior actions with the Undo tool. To do this, click or tap Undo (). Each time you click or tap Undo you remove a segment of your annotation.
- A segment extends continuously from the time you begin drawing to the time you raise your finger or pencil. For example, you draw a single unbroken line in one segment. A dotted requires multiple segments.
You can undo multiple segments. However, you can only undo segments back until the last time you saved. For example, if you draw two circles, then save your annotation, then draw three more circles, you can only undo the second set of three circles -- not the first set of two circles.
To re-display an undone annotation, click or tap Redo ().