The Sticky Note Properties dialog box determines the appearance of a sticky note’s icon; it has no effect on how the pop-up looks. If you want to change the pop-up’s appearance, you have to go to the Acrobat X preferences. (Remember you do this by selecting Acrobat X > Preferences on the Mac or Edit > Preferences in Windows.) Among the myriad controls in the Preferences dialog box are a set that affect comments, and among these are a collection of settings that determine annotation pop-up appearance (Figure 12).
Figure 12 The Acrobat Preferences dialog box has a Commenting pane with a set of controls affecting annotation appearance. These controls apply to annotation pop-ups, not icons.
The Font and Font Size controls are straightforward; you’ve seen their like in hundreds of other places, no doubt. The other controls could use a little explanation.
- Pop-up Opacity: This seems easy enough at first glance; pick an opacity from the drop-down menu or type a number into the text field and that becomes the opacity for all annotation pop-ups, regardless of the type of comment (sticky note, text highlight, etc.).
- Enable text indicators and tooltips: When you hover the mouse pointer over the icon, Acrobat displays a tooltip containing the full text of the sticky note, even if the note’s pop-up isn’t open (Figure 14).
- Show lines connecting comment markups to their pop-ups: Acrobat displays a swooshy line (I don’t know how else to describe it, though I’m open to suggestion) that connects an annotation’s icon and pop-up whenever the mouse pointer rolls over either of them (Figure 15).
- Ensure that pop-ups are visible as the document is scrolled: Just as the checkbox’s label says, when you scroll the PDF page, Acrobat will reposition all annotation pop-ups so that they remain visible on your screen (Figure 16); this ensures you can’t overlook the pop-ups when zoomed in on a page.
The only reason that opacity is worth a paragraph here is that it applies to the sticky note pop-up only in its non-selected, non-rolled-over state. That is, this is the opacity of the pop-up if you haven’t selected the sticky note’s icon and the mouse is not inside the pop-up’s border (Figure 13). If you click on the icon or if the mouse rolls over the pop-up, then the pop-up becomes completely opaque. This is good; a glance at Figure 13 will convince you that the pop-up needs to be opaque if you hope to read its contents.
Figure 13 The opacity control in the Preferences changes the opacity of the pop-ups of all annotations displayed by Acrobat. The pop-up always become completely opaque when the mouse pointer rolls over it.
By the way, the pop-up opacity we set here doesn’t travel with the document. That is, other people will see your sticky note pop-ups displayed with the opacity set in their own Acrobat’s preferences.
Figure 14 When the mouse pointer hovers over an annotation icon, Acrobat displays the comment text in a pop-up.
This is handy; it allows you to read a sticky note’s text without having to open the pop-up. It’s at its best when you are looking for a particular note; it relieves you from having to double-click each annotation’s icon, read the pop-up text, and then close the pop-up for each and every note until you find the one you want. (Yes, I know you can do a text search on annotation contents, but reading the tooltips is more convenient if you don’t have too many comments to look through.)
Figure 15 When the mouse pointer rolls over either the icon or the pop-up, Acrobat displays a swooshy pointer connecting the two. (Well, what would you call it?)
This lets you easily see which icon corresponds to what pop-up. (This can be remarkably difficult otherwise, if you have a page littered with sticky notes, text edits, and annotative circles and arrows.) This feature is on by default.
Figure 16 As you scroll your document page (up, in this case), Acrobat repositions all pop-ups so that they remain visible on your screen.
The importance of this depends mostly on your PDF-viewing habits. I tend to initially view documents in a zoomed-out state so that the entire page is visible; among other things, this ensures that I always see all the comments and pop-ups when I go to a page. On the other hand, if you like to have Acrobat zoomed in on the page when you first open a document, then this feature can be useful; you immediately see all of the page’s pop-ups even if the corresponding icon isn’t visible on your piece of the page.