Offline Annotation is a feature that helps reviewers to be productive while offline, using familiar editing tools. You can export any document, along with any annotations it has, and review offline in your preferred PDF editor. You can reply to exported annotations and create new annotations. When finished, you then import the annotated rendition into Vault. This feature must be enabled by an Admin.

Multiple users can review and annotate offline concurrently: when they import, Vault adds each new annotation to the document as if the users had annotated through the UI. If any mistake happens, Vault helps users to recover easily with the Undo Last Import option.

To access the Export Annotations and Import Annotations menu options, you must have a role on the document that includes the Annotate permission. To export, you must also have a security profile that grants that Document: Download Rendition permission.

How to Export for Offline Annotation

To make offline annotations, choose Export Annotations from the document’s Actions menu. If you export and annotate the viewable rendition, Vault will not be able to import the offline annotations.

The Export Annotations action is available even when there are no annotations on the document. This allows you to export an unannotated PDF for offline review and annotation and then import those annotations into Vault.

The document must have a viewable rendition in order to export for annotation.

About Exported Annotations

The Export Annotations option will export all annotations, including anchors, page-level annotations, and resolved annotations. Vault does not include document-level comments in the export.

If some annotations are hidden by filters, select Apply Filters in the dialog to exclude filtered-out annotations. Annotations hidden manually are not excluded.

How to Import Offline Annotations

To import a PDF with offline annotations:

  1. From the Actions menu, choose Import Annotations.
  2. Click Choose and select the file that you previously downloaded and annotated.
  3. Click OK to upload the file.

About Imported Annotations

When importing offline annotations, Vault ignores:

  • Edits to existing comments
  • Replies to line and anchor annotations
  • Deleted annotations

Each line you add in Adobe Acrobat or Reader creates its own annotation, which Vault preserves on import. If you add several lines in Adobe Acrobat , such as to create an X pattern, Vault imports them as multiple overlapping line annotations.

How to Undo Annotation Imports

To undo an import that had mistakes, choose Undo Last Import from the Actions menu.

Note that this option only appears if the last import created new annotations or replies. It only removes annotations created by the latest import.

Supported Offline Actions

The following table details how Vault handles various offline annotation actions:

Offline Action Vault Action
Replying to a new or exported annotation Imports as a reply
Creating a new annotation Imports as a new annotation
Setting new annotations to Accepted, Cancelled, Completed, or Rejected status Imports new annotation and assigns Resolved status
Importing a PDF with annotations made by multiple different users Attributes all new annotations to the user who imports them
Importing drawing markup cloud annotations Imports as an image annotation
Importing drawing markup polygon annotations Imports as a line annotation
Importing drawing markup connected line annotations Imports as a line annotation
Importing drawing markup free form annotations Imports as an image annotation
Importing attached file annotations Imports as an image annotation
Importing stamp tool annotations Imports as an image annotation
Importing recorded audio annotations Imports as an image annotation
Importing sticky comment annotations Imports as a sticky comment annotation and reverts any formatting to Vault sticky comment formatting
Importing insert text at cursor annotations Imports as an image annotation
Creating new links Not supported; does not import link
Revising exported annotations (type, tags, color, etc.) Not supported; does not update existing annotations
Deleting exported annotations Not supported; does not delete existing annotations
Changing exported annotation to Accepted, Cancelled, Completed, or Rejected status Not supported; does not update existing annotations
Annotating across versions (exporting from v0.1 and importing to v0.2) Not supported; no action
"Add Checkmark" selected in PDF annotation Not supported; ignores option on imported annotation

If Vault fails to import one or more offline annotations, the notification bar will show the number of errors.


The export feature allows you to annotate offline and import those annotations for an existing document. Vault does not support uploading the exported file as a new document.

Vault cannot distinguish between new and pre-existing Adobe Acrobat annotations, and treats all annotations as new upon upload. We recommend that you do not upload PDF source files with existing Adobe Acrobat annotations, especially if you intend to import and export annotations on that document.

Supported PDF Editors

Once you’ve downloaded a PDF through the Export Annotations action, you can view and annotate with the following applications

  • Adobe Reader : All versions currently supported by Adobe
  • Adobe Acrobat : All versions currently supported by Adobe

You may be able to view and add annotations using other applications, but Vault cannot re-import those annotations.