5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 20, 2012 11:31 AM by Bill@VT RSS

    Option to annotate PDF without modifying it

    philippejbruno

      I recently made the move to an almost paperless environment by purchasing a tablet PC. In my work, I need to review lots of PDF documents and take notes when I read them. I believe it would be nice to be able to take notes while consulting an eBook or some other document but WITHOUT making any modification to the original documents (in particular when the PDF is protected or very large). One simply way Acrobat engineers could implement this would be to store the comments and annotations in a separate file that gets simply overlaid on the original document (with matching page numbers). If the file is absent, the documents load normally, otherwise the comments are simply overlaid.

       

      I know that some third party applications offer some annotation possibilities, but I don't find it convenient to switch to another type of reader (or worst, import or convert the PDF) for the purpose of annoating the PDF document in a non intrusive way.

       

      Thanks in advance for your consideration,

       

      Philippe

        • 1. Re: Option to annotate PDF without modifying it
          Bill@VT CommunityMVP

          You can annotate with the pen drawing tool, but it is clunky and the issue has not been addressed in several versions of Acrobat. I too would like to annotate in Acrobat, but use PDF Annotator instead so that it does the job needed. With the pen tool, you can write. But dotting and I or crossing a T often leads to you accidentally selecting the graphic of the text you have been writing and moving it, instead of doing the dot or cross. A real pain.

           

          So fixing the annotation capabilities would be great.

          • 2. Re: Option to annotate PDF without modifying it
            philippejbruno Community Member

            Hey Bill,

             

            Thanks for jumping in. I fully agree with you and gave up using the pen drawing tool precisely for the reasons you mentionned. Until Adobe comes up with something nice and useful, because I must annotate PDFs by hand, I print them to Microsoft OneNote using the supplied printer driver (more or less like when you print to PDF) and annotate them in that separate product. Far from being efficient (both in terms of wasted time and wasted hard drive space--mind you, drives are big nowadays), it does the job.

             

            Never heard or tried PDF Annotator. How is it and how does it work?

             

            Philippe

            • 3. Re: Option to annotate PDF without modifying it
              Bill@VT CommunityMVP

              PDF Annotator is a tool used by many educators for online grading when needed. It acts like a writing tool would be expected to act and you can simply turn over the pen to erase. Of course, I am talking about use on a tablet (I guess that is going to have to be called a convertable since Steve Jobs changed the meaning of tablet and called the slate a tablet). So if you have a tablet, the markup is rather natural. You view a single page at a time and step through the document. I use it for paper reviews also, but actually tend to the comment tool a bit more there. Basically, PDF Annotator adds a markup layer of the written comments as a graphic layer. You might want to look it up on the web.

               

              I would much rather do all of this work in Acrobat, but the tools just don't meet the need.

              • 4. Re: Option to annotate PDF without modifying it
                philippejbruno Community Member

                Hey Bill,

                 

                Thanks for the detailed explanation. However, you picked my curiosity with your original post and, sure enough, I googled PDF Annotator. It did not take me long to go ahead and purchase a license. I have been using it for a few days now, and I must admit and am very content with this product. However, like you, I believe it does what Acrobat should have done in the first place.

                 

                Thanks for the heads up. I guess I owe you a beer!

                 

                Cheers,

                 

                Philippe

                • 5. Re: Option to annotate PDF without modifying it
                  Bill@VT CommunityMVP

                  Enjoy the beer for me, particularly since I don't drink. Glad it works for you.