You can now draw directly on a PDF – but only if you have an Android phone

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Making specific amendments to a PDF file on your Android device could soon be a lot more hands-on thanks to a new update.

Google Drive has announced a new feature that will allow users to annotate or draw onto a PDF file when viewing a preview on their Android device with their finger or stylus.

The company says its new annotation tools will offer users of the cloud storage platform a quick and easy way to make edits whilst on the move, for example when travelling to a meeting or on their commute.

Android PDF edits

When updated, users will now see a new pen-shaped floating action button (FAB) in the bottom-right corner of the screen when opening a PDF file in Google Drive for Android, which when tapped, opens up a new toolbar of options to draw and annotate with.

The pen tool is available in red, black, blue, and green with multiple stroke thicknesses, ranging from 8 to 40px. These can be adjusted by dragging a slider with your finger or stylus. 

There is also a highlighter, which is available in yellow, green, blue, or purple, and an eraser, which is able to remove any strokes you may have made, alongside undo and redo capabilities. Finally, there is an option to hide all edits entirely. 

Your annotations can then be directly saved to the file if it is a PDF, or you can create a new PDF copy of the file with the annotations saved to it. And if you’d prefer a cleaner view, the toolbar can also be snapped to the side of the screen by tapping and holding.

The new function is rolling out now, with users downloading the latest version of Google Drive set to be the first to enjoy – although they will need to have Android 6.0 Marshmallow or above installed on their device.

The update is one of a series of recent upgrades to Google Drive, as the company looks to ensure its service remains useful and intuitive for users everywhere.

It recently added a new toolbar for multi-selecting files too, which Google hopes will make bulk changes easier to accomplish, alongside new “search chips”, which will find files fast by filtering for criteria such as file type, when a document was last modified, and who they have been shared with.

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