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>Were the implications for plagiarism thought of before this "useful" feature was added?
Uh...I'm not one to ruin a perfectly good rant but, the only way highlighting can be used in Reader is if the creator of the PDF enables it.
Also, unless security has been set preventing it, copy/pasting has ALWAYS been allowed in Reader.
So, always remember, before going off on a tangent, do your homework.
>I was wondering why the function to highlight, copy & extract text directly from pdfs has been added to Adobe Reader???
This has been in Adobe Reader since 1.0, since long before anyone
>any student can now copy & paste text directly into their assignments
Nothing has changed except the order of buttons to click and so forth.
"Since long before anyone published anything" oh really?????? And when was that?
I have just checked and in the older versions you cannot highlight, copy and past with the mouse, you can only select copy and paste everything using the drop down menus.....so again, it's been made A LOT easier and students can just cut out the segments they want. So YES, something HAS changed....if people wanted things to be freely copied & pasted then they'd just put it on a webpage or blog, or in a word document.
And it means that older pdfs (produced before the change) probably won't have bothered adding the security, but can now have segments chopped out of them easily.
>"Since long before anyone published anything"
Sorry, that wasn't very clear. Since long before anyone published
anything IN PDF.
>I have just checked and in the older versions you cannot highlight, copy and past with the mouse
Acrobat 4.05 (I assume Reader was the same).
Open a document.
Click on the Text select icon
Select text with mouse
Right click - Copy
or Edit - Copy
or In Browser, use Copy icon.
>it's been made A LOT easier and students can just cut out the segments they want.
You must have a very low opinion of the intelligence of students, if
you consider that these slight changes have suddenly made plagiarism
possible. That is, that it would never have occurred to anyone to use
a menu before.
Your stand against improvements in the availability of information,
and improvements in accessibility for the visually impaired, would
probably find sympathy in some. But not many, I think, would agree
that improving the user interface in this minor way is a retrograde
It just makes it a lot easier & more obvious, so students are more likely to do it. It gives the impression pdfs can just be treated like webpages - most people see nothing wrong with copying & pasting sentences if they can.
I think the number of visually impaired people this MIGHT help is miniscule compared to the number of people that are more likely to plagiarise.
As for availability of information, it's there in the pdf - why should you need to copy it into another format anyway? You can take in information without copying text into other documents...you can read it, print it, photocopy it etc... So that is a cr*p excuse.
There is an easy way around it though - download free trial of Acrobat Professional, edit settings in old pdfs and then make all new ones in Open Office using security.
Not all publishers take the time to make the pdfs they produce secure, the older ones particularly may not be. So yes it may have been possible before, but now it's very simple & easy & clear to extract someone's words and put them somewhere else, totally out of context.
The author's probably have no idea it's happening.
> It gives the impression pdfs can just be treated like webpages
Exactly. Yes. This is EXACTLY what Adobe have had as their focus for
over a decade now.
>I think the number of visually impaired people this MIGHT help is miniscule compared to the number of people that are more likely to plagiarise.
Yes, but there is a legal obligation in many countries to consider the
needs of the visually impaired. If Adobe had not done a lot of work in
this area, the use of PDF may well have been banned completely by
companies subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act. And I don't
think that would be good.
>As for availability of information, it's there in the pdf - why should you need to copy it into another format anyway?
I appreciate that you want to stop people sharing or reusing
information. But I think you should realise that Adobe have made it a
high priority to help people do EXACTLY this. I doubt you will
persuade them to change this policy, even if anyone from Adobe happens
to read this thread.