Handwritten comments on pdf (for proofreading)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thomaskyhn, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. thomaskyhn macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2010
    I'm looking for a way of writing comments and correction marks directly on a pdf page like you would with a pen on paper. So far, I've been looking at the Wacom Intuos Pro tablets and the iPad Pro/Apple Pen/Astropad solution. Any recommendations/suggestions?
  2. Porkchop Sandwich, Jun 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017

    Porkchop Sandwich macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2017
    I provided my spouse with an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil in order to do exactly what you would like, in support of my business. (mark-ups, highlight, strikethrough, notes..all handwritten)

    As predicted, she is more interested in Pinterest and all of the "great ideas" derived from Pinterest that will never actually materialize within our own lives..

    Anyhow, I've played with it a little..it is fantastic and the ability to place the files or working notes in a "file" plus the ability to share with your other devices et al is extraordinarily powerful and efficient. Now, just waiting for pencil support on the ginormous trackpad that is found on the latest laptop offerings from Apple..

    Seriously..pencil + iPad = good stuff!
  3. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    Just want to add a general comment there. Why are we living in a world where we spend $1000 on an iPad and a pencil to write hand written notes when literally a paper and pencil would cost $1?! I mean you could literally just scribble and scan it using your smartphone which we all have anyway o_O.

    Anywho you won't see pencil support on the MBP, it's completely different technology so the earliest you'd see something is the next design (About 2020).

    If you want a cheap option, and assuming you had a laptop, you would be fine with a Wacom Intuos Draw https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wacom-Intu...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=R1WHYR6C0ZCNS7PY9Z0M or frankly any cheap tablet, I use Ugee stuff at the moment which is a fraction of the price and honestly 95% as good. Unless you're doing serious art, you don't need an expensive tablet. If you want the bells and whistle option then iPad Pro + Pencil it is! Just saying you don't need to spend all that money :apple:
  4. Porkchop Sandwich, Jun 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017

    Porkchop Sandwich macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2017

    Point acknowledged (and well received).

    I can answer that from a real world (stretched thin) small business owner perspective..

    Speaking for myself; hand
    written notes end up in "the pile".

    The pile consists of "need to do's" and other
    relevant information that is pertinent to any given situation in its totality yet not worthy of precious time here and now. This is because, sometimes, what is "significant" and wholly "relevant" does not always become clear until a matter fleshes itself out...just how it is in the real world of small business.

    The ability to mark up and to create notes "on the fly" and simply save them on a medium that will allow you to consolidate and refer to said notes is an INCREDIBLY powerful tool.

    If you are familiar with mind mapping software..think of it like mind mapping software, lite.

    Consider this: I can mark up a part drawing at a customers facility. As I am leaving I can share the info with an employee, as I am leaving. That individual can then "get on it" as I am re-framing my mindset for the next meeting, project, or set of circumstances while taking in the whole of the upcoming customers agenda and requirement.

    This is an incredibly powerful business tool. (Analyze, take notes, determine course of action, pass along info, forget it with the ability to revisit)..as simplistic as it may sound, that's huge.

    Again, your point is acknowledged..often I will take notes, snap a photo of the note, text to office..voila! Same thing..
  5. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    I use a Surface Pro 3 in combo with Foxit Mobile PDF. I also use Nitro Pro as my main PDF editor, as I like it far more than the loving Adobe product. IIRC the most recent version of Nitro Pro has direct stylus annotation abilities too (my version is 10, which is older)

    I believe OneNote can do this as well, and I believe OneNote's ICR (written text-->typed text) may work in conjunction with this. I'm going to play around with it.
  6. thomaskyhn thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2010
    Thanks for your replies!

    I've never used a graphics tablet, and there's one thing I would like to know. Do you easily get used to coordinating your movements – when you're writing on the tablet while looking at the screen? I imagine it would feel a little disconnected.

    As regards scanning paper with your phone – it's not really an option if you have a manuscript of several hundred pages.
  7. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    That was a generalised comment, hence I said general and 'we'. Not aimed at you as a criticism... I know it's a useful thing, believe me. I just think it's funny we live in a world (forum) where $1000 is a reasonable amount to spend on note taking, and have countless people complain about $2000 being extortionate for a whole laptop...

    There is a learning curve, but it's mostly down to getting used to how to hold and use one. You also need to find your size, if it's your first one then go for a middle sized, the smaller are more portable but difficult to use, larger ones you can only really use on a desk. Best thing to do is go try some out in a store. It does feel a little disconnected but it's really no different to using a mouse, just gives you a greater level of precision.
  8. Porkchop Sandwich, Jun 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017

    Porkchop Sandwich macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2017




    I shared your same concern about a disconnected feel before acting on the purchase. Much to my surprise the iPad + pencil feels very natural to me for about 85% of my use (9" iPad). I deal with part drawings (machine shop) and various documents (e.g.; proposals, legal, govt correspondence).

    The only time I want a real paper copy is when I am drafting a legal or other sensitive document. Of course I proof before submission and that typically results in two hard copies. First one for proof, second one for final review just prior to submission. (i.e., all drafts including final are done electronically)

    Clearly, I use paper copies for jobs that are being processed in the shop for several reasons, not least of which is the potentially harsh environment. If any given part drawing ends up w/mark-ups during the course of production, I may scan via phone camera and stuff it in a file if the information is of importance or is relevant to future matters.

    My lovely bride, who pitches in and does some secretarial work for me, prefers hard copies for review or edit. It’s just her way.

    I hope that my use description has been helpful in order for you to decide. Don’t forget, although it should not be abused, Apple is quite liberal in their return policy. Good luck.
  9. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Because if you work in construction, and you're marking up drawings in the field (which happens VERY often), you need to email your copy to several subcontractors, printing those sheets can be expensive, and at that size, snapping a photo simply doesn't give an adequate reproduction of the drawing.
  10. typonaut macrumors member

    May 7, 2014
    In general I think this is a really bad idea. Of course you can 'write'/draw within Acrobat, but I think you should only do that where you cannot get across what you want to do in words (ie typed out). It's better to use the 'sticky' type notes in Acrobat, as the text you put in them is less ambiguous than what you might scribble on a page.
  11. ShufromChina macrumors member


    May 23, 2017
    Jacksonville, FL
    I use iPad Pro and Apple Pencil for hardware and PDF Expert app for software. Works perfectly. PDF Expert even supports annotation by touch.

    iCloud and Microsoft OneDrive both have their built-in pencil annotation support on PDF files, but the experience is much worse than third-party dedicated PDF annotation apps. I'm very happy with this app purchase.
  12. thomaskyhn thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2010
    I would much prefer to use sticky notes, but some publishing companies want corrections that they can print out and don't accept sticky notes. It has to be like to corrections made by hand on paper.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 3, 2017 ---
    I ended up getting a Wacom Intuos Pro M. I've only used it for a few days, but so far I find it difficult to write on, and I'm unsure if anyone will be able to decipher my handwriting. Hopefully, it will get better when I get used to it.

    Btw, regarding the Wacom Pro Pen 2, does anyone here know if the nib supposed to be loose (this is one of the things that make it difficult to use the tablet for writing)?

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