Resources » Working With PDFs (Advanced) » Draw Custom Shapes on a PDF

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can draw any shape you’d like on PDFs that you’re editing. While PDF.Live’s editor has a few preset shapes that you can use, it also allows you to make more free-form shapes that you can hand-draw with your mouse cursor. 

Creating Custom Shapes 

There are endless possibilities to how you edit your PDFs using PDF.Live’s editor. This extends to creating shapes, as the PDF.Live editor allows you to draw free-form shapes. The editor can draw a few preset shapes to a PDF — circle, square, etc. — but for the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can draw custom shapes on any PDF. 

  1. Upload your PDF to the PDF.Live editor

You can either drag and drop your PDF to upload it or click Select File to Edit and navigate to where your PDF is located on your computer. Once you’ve uploaded your PDF, click Edit PDF to open the PDF.Live editor and get started. 

  1. Select the Comment tab and click the Pencil tool to start drawing a custom shape. 

Your cursor will then turn into a pen, signifying that you can start drawing your shape anywhere on your PDF. To do this, hold down your left-click button and drag your mouse to start drawing a shape. Once you’ve made your shape, you can select the Hand tool to reposition it or right-click it to change its appearance. 

how to draw waves on a pdf using pdf live and the freehand pencil drawing tool

Here, you’re able to change its color, thickness, and opacity. 

  1. For other freeform but preset shapes, once again navigate to the Comment tab and select Drawing

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll be focusing on the Polygon and Polyline functions. These tools allow you to draw multiple straight lines within a single shape. The waves that we drew before were fine, but with the polygon function, we’ll be able to achieve straighter lines for a more perfect shape. 

Select Polygon and click anywhere in your PDF. A line will then be anchored to that point. From there, you can click somewhere else in your PDF to create an endpoint for that line. You’ll see a line appear between the anchor and your mouse cursor so you know what the line will look like. 

Once you’re drawing the final line within your shape, double-click your mouse to signify that this is the last line you’d like to make and “close” the shape. 

As you can see, using this function we’ve achieved a more precise shape. At any point, by selecting the hand button, you can go back and adjust the vertices of a shape you’ve drawn by clicking and dragging them. 

Try experimenting by making shapes of your own on your PDF! Try adjusting the formatting settings to change how your shapes appear on your PDF.