14 Replies Latest reply: May 1, 2014 5:19 PM by PcCreator RSS

    Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke

    jsg

      I'd like to use the freeform drawing tool to mark up PDFs on my tablet, but I'm having a problem with drawing accuracy. For some reason Acrobat takes a split second to recognize that the user is drawing after putting the pen down. For example, rapidly drawing a large circle will produce a straight line from the initial contact point to a point that is something like 20 percent along the circle outline. This makes drawing and writing pretty much impossible.

       

      Is there a setting that I can toggle to improve accuracy / response time? For reference, the Evermap Autoink add-in produces smooth and pressure sensitive annotations within Acrobat, so it's not a problem with my machine.

       

      Alternatives exist, but are not cheap or have issues:

      - iAnnotate PDF: near perfect but turns annotations into bitmaps

      - PDF Revu is rather expensive

      - AutoInk works, but does not allow the user to define custom pens beyond customizing the included 3 or 4 pens

       

      System:

      - Acrobat X (10.1.2)

      - Win7 X64 Ultimate

      - Lenovo X220 tablet, core i7, pen + touch

        • 1. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
          jsg Community Member

          Below an example of the problem: rapidly drawing a circle leads to round shapes in PDF Annotator, and truncated shapes in Acrobat.

           

          Correction:  wherever I write 'iAnnotate', I meant 'PDF Annotator'. Spending too much time on my iPad.. The problem remains though: Acrobat X doesn't work well.

          Comparison.jpg

          • 2. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
            Aditya Rastogi Community Member

            As of now, Acrobat X does not officially support touch based input. However, Adobe plans to address the issue in a future release.

            • 3. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
              jsg Community Member

              Thanks, good to hear, but not exactly what I meant.  The problem I desribe involves the use of a tablet pen (Wacom based).  There is a recurring 'hiccup' after initially putting the pen down before Acrobat starts tracking the pen/pointer position, leading to kinks and missing sections in the annotations. PDF Annotator, AutoInk, and OneNote all track the pen just fine, so there seems to be an Acrobat specific problem relating to the annotation tool.

               

              Is there anyone that is able to write smooth text with Acrobat X, and if so, on which operating system and using which hardware and software settings?

              • 4. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
                lyam_c

                I'm facing the same problem - and same tablet too! The best that I have been able ot find is autoink by evermap. It does have limited pen styles, but it is almost perfect other than that. As you know, there is some flexibility in the pen seection, and it does not bloat acrobat or casue crashes as far as I can tell.

                 

                But I am eagerly watching your thread here to see if anyone else has found anything...

                • 5. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
                  jsg Community Member

                  Agreed, AutoInk is pretty good. In the end I coughed up the money for Grahl's PDF Annotator because I like having a full-screen mode with a toolbar for favorite pens. It's pretty crazy that Adobe can't make this work though.  I'm hoping Aditya will chime in once more. He's an actual Adobe employee, so maybe he can figure out the origin of this problem.

                   

                  Edit: PDF Annotator is $30 for students, so that's a pretty affordable workaround. Short link: goo.gl/wmWl4

                  • 6. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
                    shwills Community Member

                    Try FoxIt Reader, for annotations.  Their pen mode isn't exactly perfect, but it picks up more points than Acrobat.

                    • 7. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
                      Parris37

                      This is completely unacceptable behavior. I've been a registered Acrobat user since version 4.0 and X is the first version that will not work with my Wacom Intuos 2 tablet. There is the a time lag to start each stroke that didn't exist in 9, 8, 7, or 6 (far back as I can remember). And it just gets worse if you pick up the pen and drop it again to draw another letter or shape. The lag each time creates bizarre artifacts, straight lines, etc. I have no plans after spending $600 to upgrade to Design Premium CS5.5 to buy an add-on program to fix something that Adobe broke since version 9.0. I will try to revert to version 9 for my workflow unless there is an iminent fix by Adobe for this bug.

                      • 8. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
                        jsg Community Member

                        That's helpful info, thanks. You're the first person I've heard mention that this did work at some point (before version X). I'm hoping that an Adobe engineer will spot this thread, figure out what changed between versions 9 and X, and come up with a patch.

                        • 9. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
                          Parris37 Community Member

                          Upon further investigation, here's a possible fix (please let me know if it works for anyone else): While the Wacom tablets' freeform drawing tool (pen or pencil icon) did work perfectly before Acrobat X, there is a newer Wacom driver on their website at least for my Intuos 2, driver 6.2.0w5 dated 1/12/2012. After installing this driver and rebooting, the tool appears to be working again (very preliminary testing, but so far!!). The previous driver is not much older, driver 6.1.7-3 from 9/13/2011 and while that one worked fine in Acrobat 9 it does not work for me in X.

                          • 10. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
                            jsg Community Member

                            Good news, let us know whether it's a real solution for the Intuos 2. If another forum member finds a driver that resolves this issue for the X220t, please post here.

                            • 11. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
                              AmbooS Adobe Employee

                              I tried this with A9 and AX on a HP tablet. I could see that the issue exists in both the versions if you try to draw fast using a pen.

                               

                              Parris37: Did it work for you in Acrobat versions prior to X on the same tablet where you see issues with AX?

                               

                              pgk2011, Parris37: You may want to file a bug/feature request for fixing this in next Acrobat release.

                              • 12. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
                                Parris37 Community Member

                                Yes, I am now back to smooth drawing with the Free Form Pen/Pencil tool in Acrobat using the January 2012 driver. This with my aged Intuos 2 tablet. It was not the case with the earlier September 2011 driver, even though that driver did work fine in Acrobat 9. Since Wacom could fix this with a driver update, I hesitate to log it as being a bug with Acrobat X; it's possible Wacom's earlier driver didn't account for some behavior that got exposed for the first time in Acrobat X. If it were truly an Acrobat X bug I wouldn't think Wacom could have fixed it in a new driver release. I do think Acrobat X does something differently than previous versions and that is tripping up some of the older drivers... added to the interface changes in X that I don't like, I'd personally have been happier upgrading to CS5.5 and keeping Acrobat 9 with its interface and lack of any driver issues, but time marches on ...

                                • 13. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
                                  khuzemaCW

                                  Hi AmbooS.

                                   

                                  This problem seems to occur on Acrobat and Windows.  I've had the problem using Acrobat X as well as 9 and on Windows 7 as well as XP.

                                   

                                  By contrast, I've not had any problems using the pen on Acrobat in OS X.

                                   

                                  Also, the problem persists whether it's Intuous or Bamboo.

                                   

                                  Downloading a 2012 driver for Bamboo didn't seem to help in my case, so I'm open to other suggestions.

                                   

                                  Cheers.

                                  • 14. Re: Pen annotation in Acrobat X leads to jagged initial stroke
                                    PcCreator

                                    I figured out a solution!  I am using windows 7 with a wacom device.  I found out the issue related to microsofts pen/tablet funcion. 
                                    Go to:
                                    Control Panel/Pen and Touch

                                    Disable the "Press and hold" option.  (See image below for Windows 7 example) After that one fix the pen works like a charm!

                                     

                                    PenFix.png