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What is a redlining tool? It is a tool or app that lets you add comments to a document to propose changes. It got its name from the practice of marking up contracts using red ink to inform the other party of your desired changes. But redlining is not exclusively for contracts; you can also do it in other documents.

In this article, you will find 7 redlining software. They each have a niche to fill. So, no matter who you are, there is one tool that will be right for you.

Top 7 Redlining Tools

Here are the 7 best redlining tools you can find.

In this article
  1. Wondershare PDFelement - Best PDF Redlining Tool
  2. Microsoft Word - Most Common Redlining Tool
  3. Juro - Contract Redlining Software for Internal and External Reviews
  4. Google Docs - Free Redlining Software
  5. Preview - Free Redline Tool for Mac
  6. SpotDraft - A Very Secure Contract Redline Software
  7. DealHub Contract Redlining - Red Line Tool for Buyers and Sellers

1. Wondershare PDFelement - Best PDF Redlining Tool

Wondershare PDFelement has many features that are great for redlining. First of all, Wondershare PDFelement is a PDF tool, and most documents that would require redlining are PDFs. You can use its Comments feature to redline documents. On top of that, you can use the Encrypt feature to password-protect confidential documents like contracts. The Share feature allows you to send the redlined documents to the other concerned parties.

But that is not all. You can use the Chat with AI tool to write or rewrite your comments so they would be in the right tone.

Here is how to redline documents using Wondershare PDFelement:

  1. Launch Wondershare PDFelement > click Open PDF > open the document.
  2. Click Comment > Highlight > Red.
using the highlight feature of pdfelement
  1. Select the text that you want to redline.

redlining text using wondershare pdfelement
  1. Click Add Comment on the left panel to propose changes.
proposing changes using the comments feature
  1. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have no other changes to propose.
  2. Save the document.
  3. Click Share > Email. Compose your email and send the redlined document to the other party.

sending redlined document using share feature
  • Most documents are in PDF, and Wondershare PDFelement specializes in this format.
  • Wondershare PDFelement provides you with more than just a redlining feature. It also offers document sharing, encryption, and OCR, which can be useful.
  • Wondershare PDFelement is not free. You get a 14-day free trial, and then you have to subscribe to access all of its features.

2. Microsoft Word - Most Common Redlining Tool

microsoft word track changes for redlining

Microsoft Office is one of the most popular suites of tools. It includes MS Word, which you can use to redline documents. MS Word's Track Changes feature allows you to edit the document and record the changes. Recipients of the document will see what you have changed, as there will be red lines in those spots. You can also add comments to add more context.

  • MS Word comes pre-installed on most Windows PCs.
  • MS Word allows you to easily edit documents.
  • DOCX is the default MS Word file type, and many documents are in this format.
  • Unlike PDFs, the formatting of DOCX files can change when you use a different tool or device.
  • When you are using Word for redlining, you are editing the document directly rather than putting proposals in comments.

3. Juro - Contract Redlining Software for Internal and External Reviews

redlining a contract using juro

Juro is a contract redlining software that simplifies contract negotiations a lot. You and the counterparty can add redlines to the digital copy of the contract. You can both view them in real-time! And to give the other party access to the contract, all you need is to input their email address in the correct box. This is a significant improvement over past methods, which require saving the document and sending it through other tools.

  • Juro is perfect for redlining contracts.
  • You can create a thread of comments, enhancing how you and the other party communicate.
  • Both parties can view the contract and all the redlines in real-time.
  • You can only use Juro for redlining contracts.

4. Google Docs - Free Redlining Software

redlining a contract using google docs

For common documents that don't require absolute confidentiality, like contracts, there is a free tool you can use. That tool is Google Docs, which you get access to by just registering a Google account. You can use the Comment feature to suggest changes to the document. The other party can see these in real time, and both of you can edit the document simultaneously.

Admittedly, the highlight color is yellow rather than red. But this should not be an issue if you are familiar with Google Docs.

  • Google Docs is a free online tool.
  • All parties can view the contract in real time.
  • Google Docs has a Version History feature that lets you track all the changes you made.
  • Due to security risks, you should not use Google Docs for redlining sensitive documents like contracts.

5. Preview - Free Redline Tool for Mac

redlining a contract using mac preview

Are you using a Mac? If so, we have good news for you. Mac has a built-in PDF editor called Preview. You can use its annotation and drawing tools to easily mark the text you want to change. Furthermore, you can use the Share feature to easily send the redlined document to the other party.

It is no secret that Preview is not as sophisticated as paid PDF tools. But it does not change the fact that you can use it as a redlining tool. Preview has the necessary features for this.

  • Preview comes pre-installed on macOS devices.
  • It's simple and very easy to learn.
  • There is a Share feature that lets you easily send the document to the other party.
  • Because Preview is very simple, it lacks the advanced features that you may need.
  • This tool is only available on macOS.

6. SpotDraft - A Very Secure Contract Redline Software

spotdraft integration with microsoft word

Spotdraft is another contract redline software. With its powerful security layers, it ensures your contracts remain confidential. One of the best things about SpotDraft is it lets you make specific sections of the contract editable only by authorized parties. Moreover, it lets you add comments only your authorized people can see. And like any good contract redlining software, SpotDraft offers version control. This lets you review even the smallest changes made to the contract.

  • SpotDraft offers high-level security.
  • SpotDraft lets you leave comments for specific people and make sections editable only for specific people.
  • This tool has great version control.
  • SpotDraft is also available as a Microsoft Word plugin.
  • You can use SpotDraft for contracts only.
  • SpotDraft may be complicated for some.

7. DealHub Contract Redlining - Red Line Tool for Buyers and Sellers

dealroom feature in dealhub

DealHub is a contract redlining tool that facilitates faster deal cycles. It allows all parties involved to enter a page called a "DealRoom," where you can review and redline contracts. It offers real-time status and visibility to everyone involved. Because of how much easier sales become with DealHub, it creates a positive experience for customers. And having customers pleased should always be a business' top priority.

  • DealHub is perfect for redlining contracts for sales.
  • All parties involved can view the contract and suggest edits in real time.
  • You can only use DealHub to redline sales contracts.


If you are looking for a redlining tool, you have so many options. There are paid ones, free ones, desktop tools, online tools, and more. Choose the one that offers the best set of features and suits your needs the most. You can never go wrong with Wondershare PDFelement. It is a PDF editor with Comments, Share, Protect, OCR, and Scan features! That's everything you will ever need for redlining.

On top of that, Wondershare PDFelement is available on Mac and Windows, is affordable, and is easy to use. Thus, getting your partner to agree to use this tool would be easy. This is important as using different tools will result in compatibility issues. So what are you waiting for? Download it now, start your free trial, and see how good PDFelement is as a redlining tool.

Audrey Goodwin
Audrey Goodwin Apr 24, 24
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12 years of talent acquired in the software industry working with large publishers. Public speaker and author of several eBooks on technical writing and editing.