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Reviewing proofs

The Proof Viewer is an easy to use application that allows your reviewers efficient access, viewing, commenting and decision making on the proof.

Using the Proof Viewer for commenting and decisions makes your proofing process run much quicker and smoother than traditional methods of reviewing such as email or hard copy.

You will find this to be especially true when working with multiple reviewers and proof versions.

Below you will find a guide to the Proof Viewer user interface as well as instructions on utilizing the main components such as commenting, decisions and comparing versions.

Click here for the new ProofHQ Viewer


  • Proof image (1)
  • Comment and Decision buttons (2)
  • Compare proofs (3)
  • Action buttons (4)
  • Settings, help and exit (5)
  • Navigation and zoom tools (6)(see below)
  • Page navigation (7)
  • User name (8)
  • Sidebar (9)
  • Basecamp link (10)(if you have integrated ProofHQ with your own application, your own custom link will appear here)
  • Home (11)(if you are logged into the web app, this will take you to the last viewed page)
  • Folder (12)(click this icon to see and access other proofs in the same folder which have been shared with you)
  • Version navigation (13)


You can zoom by clicking on the proof image and also by clicking and dragging to highlight a certain area of the proof to zoom in to. If you choose the latter method, the smaller the area highlighted the more it will zoom in.

When you open a proof:
  • The proof will open at 100% if this fits in the proof viewer
  • Otherwise the proof will zoom until it fits the proof viewer but no further than 50%
When viewing comments:
  • The image will not zoom in automatically
  • If the markup fits in the current zoom level, it won't zoom out
  • If the markup fits in the current zoom level but is not in view, the proof image will pan to show the markup

You can easily make comments and reply to other people's comments on the proof and they will appear on the proof instantly (almost real time).

The comment list will be available to all reviewers added to the proof in the sidebar in the Proof Viewer.

You can easily browse between comments either by clicking through them in the sidebar or using the arrows available in the comment box.

Please take a look at out Comments help page for more detailed instructions.


Mark-ups allow you to place drawings on the proof to explain clearly what you are describing in your comments. There are several mark-up tools available in the proof:
  • Rectangle (draw a box shape)
  • Pencil (draw a freehand line)
  • Arrow (draw an arrow)
  • Line (draw a straight line)
  • Marker (highlight text or an area of the proof with a colour)
  • Crop (draw a mask shape)
  • Color (set the colour of the currently selected drawing)
  • Thickness (set the thickness of the drawing line)
  • Delete (erase a mark-up by placing your mouse over it and clicking the 'x' icon)

Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Ctrl + left mouse click = zoom in
  • Shift+ left mouse click = zoom out
  • Spacebar activates panning
An additional markup tool is now present in the header so that you can switch between text annotation and drawing tools.

Text annotation is available for PDF, Office, PSD and AI files.

Text annotation lets you highlight and select text on proofs. When you are reviewing a proof, the cursor will automatically change into a text highlighting tool whenever it detects that the mouse is over a text area on the proof.

You can click to place the cursor at a specific point in the text, or click and drag to highlight an area of text.

If you place the cursor in a single location in the text, you will have the option to use the “insert” text annotation shortcut. This will place the word “[INSERT]” in the comment box to indicate that they want to insert additional text at that point. In addition, an “insert” markup will appear at that position in the text.

If you select an area of text, you will have the option to use the “delete”, “insert after” or “replace” text annotation shortcuts. The words “[DELETE]”, “[INSERT]” or “[REPLACE WITH]” will respectively be added in the comment box.

Please note: In order for Text Annotation to recognize the text in your proofs, the original file must be saved with text. For instance, if your PDF file is saved as all images and not images+text, the text annotation functionality will not recognize the text.
Proof Approvers can make a decision on the proof by clicking on the Decision button.

The Decision options are customizable and you can add Reasons to them.

Please note: Custom decisions and Decision reasons are available on Select and Premium plans only.

Please visit our Decisions help page for more information on Decisions.

Electronic signatures allow you to not only enhance security on your proofs but also, and most importantly, they allow organisations to comply with industry standards, e.g. Title 21CFR Part 11.

This setting can be made mandatory or non-mandatory at account level. If this setting is mandatory by default, the feature will be enabled on all proofs created in your account and it will not be possible to disable the feature at proof level. If this setting is non-mandatory by default, you will be able to enable/disable this setting at proof level.

Please see Account settings - Settings tab

If the electronic-signature setting has been enabled on a proof, after a reviewer makes their decision an electronic-signature pop up box will appear asking them to input their details. The pop-up will show the default message set (if any) and the reviewer will be required to input their email and password.

If Single Sign-On is enabled in Account settings, reviewers will be re-directed from the Electronic Signature pop up to the Single Sign-On page and asked to sign in with their SSO details instead of inputting their ProofHQ login credentials.

Click here for the new ProofHQ Viewer

  • Close compare (1)
  • Version navigation (2)
  • Lock/unlock simulanteous navigation of proofs (3)
  • Reposition both proofs to the same co-ordinates (4)
  • Auto-compare (5): this is pixel-level comparison where differences will be highlighted in red. The proof on the left hand side is compared to the proof on the right hand side, with any differences being shown in red on the left proof.
The Compare function is a very powerful tool that lets you compare two versions of the same proof or even two completely separate proofs (in the same folder) side by side. To open the compare page, click the Compare button on the proof viewer (see point 3 in Overview above).

You can compare differences between proofs automatically by clicking the Auto-Compare button.

The Compare function has a number of key features:
  • If you want to compare 2 different versions of the same proof:
    • Versions are displayed side-by-side at the same zoom level and same position on the page
    • The new version is shown on the left and the old version is shown on the right
    • The older version on the right opens with the first comment displayed. This makes it really easy to check that the comment has been actioned on the new version
    • You can navigate from comment to comment on the older version and the new version will move in sync
    • You can select which versions of the proof you want to compare, by clicking the version number at the top of each side of the split screen
    • You can compare differences between proofs automatically by clicking the Auto-Compare button
  • If there are multiple proofs in the same folder and you want to compare 2 different proofs within that folder:
    • You can select which ever proofs within the folder that you want to compare, by clicking the folder icon at each side of the split screen and selecting the proof
    • Proofs are displayed side-by-side at the same zoom level and same position on the page
    • You can navigate from comment to comment on each proof and both proofs will move in sync
    • You can compare differences between the proofs automatically by clicking the Auto-Compare button
  • Navigation is synced, so when you navigate, zoom and pan, both versions will move together.
  • You can turn off the sync function and re-sync if you have done so. This is useful if each version/proof has different pagination.
Please note: Compare mode is available both for static and AV proofs.

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