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View Full Version : Why is there no perfect PDF annotation app??!




Han Solo 1
Mar 14, 2013, 11:17 AM
This is getting ridiculous. All I need is a stinking PDF app that:

1. Allows you to highlight in straight lines (shape recognition) without it deleting the lines above or below your selection (looking at you, PDF Expert)

2. Allows you to add a sticky note to your PDF.

3. Doesnít lag on rendering PDF pages with images or highlights on them.

4. Has a decent bookshelf UI, not some horrid, depressing garbage (Iím looking at you, Notes Plus and PDF Expert).

5. Allows seamless, horizontal scrolling.

6. Allows true full-screen reading ability without pesky tools in the corners.

7. Doesnít store huge caches of each PDF in your library, taking up 4GB of data on the iPad (Iím looking at you, pdf-notes for iPad).

8. Lets you choose the highlight color BEFORE actually highlighting and not have to go back and choose the color after you've highlighted (again, looking at you, PDF Expert, you sucky app).

Why the heck is it so hard to do this? It seems like every stinking PDF app has 4 or even 5 of these features, but then leaves out the other 2. Ugh.



jojoba
Mar 14, 2013, 07:12 PM
I generally prefer iAnnotate. What I'm missing, though, is a zoom box for hand writing and reliable annotation export.

Scrub175
Mar 14, 2013, 08:06 PM
I second iannotate.

maflynn
Mar 18, 2013, 10:21 AM
[MOD NOTE]
Stay on topic and stop with the bickering.

FuNGi
Mar 25, 2013, 09:02 AM
Papers2 meets all if those needs.

Readdlemate
Mar 25, 2013, 09:29 AM
This is getting ridiculous. All I need is a stinking PDF app that:

1. Allows you to highlight in straight lines (shape recognition) without it deleting the lines above or below your selection (looking at you, PDF Expert)

2. Allows you to add a sticky note to your PDF.

3. Doesnít lag on rendering PDF pages with images or highlights on them.

4. Has a decent bookshelf UI, not some horrid, depressing garbage (Iím looking at you, Notes Plus and PDF Expert).

5. Allows seamless, horizontal scrolling.

6. Allows true full-screen reading ability without pesky tools in the corners.

7. Doesnít store huge caches of each PDF in your library, taking up 4GB of data on the iPad (Iím looking at you, pdf-notes for iPad).

8. Lets you choose the highlight color BEFORE actually highlighting and not have to go back and choose the color after you've highlighted (again, looking at you, PDF Expert, you sucky app).

Why the heck is it so hard to do this? It seems like every stinking PDF app has 4 or even 5 of these features, but then leaves out the other 2. Ugh.

Given the negative tone of your post, I want to clarify a few things here.
-highlighting depends on a PDF file, it not virtually possible to have 100% accuracy for every single PDF out there.
-if you like bookshelf UI, you can switch to thumbnail preview mode. It's still important to have a column on the left to have quick access to recent files, online services and settings. This proved to be the best concept out there.
-adding options for color highlights will mess up the clean UI layout we have.

And yes, it is very hard to build a perfect PDF annotation app.
A big update will be coming soon

Best,
Denys.

Luis2004
Mar 25, 2013, 10:53 AM
Papers2 meets all if those needs.

I searched for Papers2 in the App Store and can't find anything by that name.

Do you mean Papers by mekentosj? The $15 app?

TheDavinHarris
Mar 26, 2013, 02:11 PM
Maybe if you made a PDF SDK it would be your ideal App.:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool: :cool:

Han Solo 1
Mar 26, 2013, 03:45 PM
Maybe if you made a PDF SDK it would be your ideal App.:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool: :cool:

Yeah, I get that you believe I shouldn't be critical if I don't do the work. But by your logic, you also can't be a critic of the government if you're not a bureaucrat, you can't criticize a restaurant if you're not a chef, you can't criticize a movie if you're not a director.... See where I'm going with this?

If an app is no good, it's no good.

printz
Mar 26, 2013, 04:04 PM
Maybe if you made a PDF SDK it would be your ideal App.:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool: :cool:

Dude, he can't develop his own iPad app without paying tribute to Apple. It's not like with computer open-source development.

Tknull
Mar 26, 2013, 06:05 PM
Given the negative tone of your post, I want to clarify a few things here.
-highlighting depends on a PDF file, it not virtually possible to have 100% accuracy for every single PDF out there.
-if you like bookshelf UI, you can switch to thumbnail preview mode. It's still important to have a column on the left to have quick access to recent files, online services and settings. This proved to be the best concept out there.
-adding options for color highlights will mess up the clean UI layout we have.

And yes, it is very hard to build a perfect PDF annotation app.
A big update will be coming soon

Best,
Denys.

I just shelled out the moola for this app (pdf expert) a few days ago. Haven't had a chance as of yet to really dive into it yet and learn the ins and outs. but perhaps you can answer one question for me. I downloaded a fillable pdf into the app, and tried to copy/paste to add multiple of the same pages. It told me that this is not supported in the current version. You mentioned an update coming soon... any chance this feature made it in?

FuNGi
Mar 27, 2013, 10:39 AM
I searched for Papers2 in the App Store and can't find anything by that name.

Do you mean Papers by mekentosj? The $15 app?

Yes. Papers2 by mekentosj in particular. You import and manage all you pdf's in this app - works great and uses little system resources. I have ~2,000 pdf's in mine and it stores only one real copy but has virtual folders where one pdf can be accessed in different "collections". You can put notes and highlight sections with ease and read in full screen or tabs of multiple pdf's. There are several ways to use it as a reference manager and database search engine too. They offer student discounts and have a great (also paid) iphone/ipad app that allows you to bidirectionally sync with your mac library.

Readdlemate
Apr 1, 2013, 06:32 AM
I just shelled out the moola for this app (pdf expert) a few days ago. Haven't had a chance as of yet to really dive into it yet and learn the ins and outs. but perhaps you can answer one question for me. I downloaded a fillable pdf into the app, and tried to copy/paste to add multiple of the same pages. It told me that this is not supported in the current version. You mentioned an update coming soon... any chance this feature made it in?

The best way would be to contact our support team, who will gladly assist you. If you attach your document/ PDF and shoot us an e-mail at rdsupport@readdle.com we'll help.

TheDavinHarris
May 8, 2013, 04:45 PM
Yeah, I get that you believe I shouldn't be critical if I don't do the work. But by your logic, you also can't be a critic of the government if you're not a bureaucrat, you can't criticize a restaurant if you're not a chef, you can't criticize a movie if you're not a director.... See where I'm going with this?

If an app is no good, it's no good.
Your search is for perfection, and with your standards, you will never get the perfect app unless you make it yourself.:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool:

gxtoast
Jul 19, 2013, 05:14 AM
Well, the OP has got a point - and there are a whole lot more desirable things missing from reading apps on not only IOS, but Windows and Android.

All of the reading apps available across all platforms are suitable only for passive reading and very simple annotations. Certainly no apps allow an active reader to create comprehensive notes that are aligned with hand written annotations and the pages they are written on.

See this excellent article that articulates very well the intuitive requirements for active reading:
http://www.fxpal.com/publications/FXPAL-PR-98-053.pdf

The tablet space is very new and reading apps will take a while to mature. Certainly, on the iPad there still is no way to capture handwriting accurately. For that you need at a Wacom digitizer and fine-tipped stylus that supports accurate writing reproduction.

For me, the ideal solution for active reading is a tablet with enough screen resolution and screen size to view an entire page from a technical PDF next to a note-taking page. In other words, a two page spread to allow reading and writing at the same time. So, two iPads side-by-side.

The minimum diagonal measurement would be 15 inches. Better still would be a tablet that is 17 inches in a 16:10 aspect ratio, with a Wacom active digitizer and comfortable stylus on a matte surface with very little glare or reflection.

But, I digress...

T'hain Esh Kelch
Jul 19, 2013, 05:28 AM
Papers2 meets all if those needs.
Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing.

I searched for Papers2 in the App Store and can't find anything by that name.

Do you mean Papers by mekentosj? The $15 app?
Yes. Papers2 is the Mac app, Papers is the iOS app. You can try out the free 30-day trial on Mac first.