Questions about PDFs

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by doubledee, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. doubledee macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #1
    Where to begin?! :confused:

    Okay, so I am working on a paper, and before I can actually write anything, first I need to do lots of research!!

    As I am busy reading articles and reports and papers, I need some way to HIGHLIGHT the material which supports my thesis.

    And here is my (technical) problem...

    Twenty years ago - back when I was in college - this would have involved using markers and red pens, but unfortunately all of my research in the modern world is being done using the Internet.

    So I am looking for an easy and secure way to be able to HIGHLIGHT text on webpages and save it to my computer, so it can ultimately serve as research material for my paper.

    Back when I was a Windows person, I would have addressed this problem as follows...

    - Find an article online
    - Use Adobe Acrobat Professional to PDF it
    - Open the Saved PDF
    - Use Adobe Acrobat Professional to Highlight the relevant text
    - Resave the PDF


    For most things (e.g. MS Word docs, Webpages, other PDFs, etc), this approach worked great!!

    Unfortunately, Adobe Acrobat Professional costs like $800?!


    Questions:
    1.) For some weird reason, I don't even have Adobe Acrobat Reader on my new MBP.

    Is Adobe Acrobat Reader safe???? (I thought it was a malware trap?!)


    2.) Is there any open-source software that would mimic what I described Adobe Acrobat Professional doing?


    3.) Any other ideas?


    Really I'm just looking to highlight text from web pages and then save them as a PDF so that when I go back to my "Research Folder" and am looking through 20-30 articles, I can easily find the excerpts that I needed for my research paper!!

    Hope that makes sense?!

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  2. snorkelman macrumors 6502a

    snorkelman

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #2
    go to webpage

    chose print

    click the pdf button at bottom left of the print dialog

    save the pdf

    bring up the pdf in preview

    select the text you want to highlight

    hit the highlight button (default color is yellow)

    quit preview


    ends up like example attached
     

    Attached Files:

  3. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #3
    Oh, wow! I had no clue that I could do that using OS-X's Preview?! :eek:


    So what about my other questions...

    - Is Adobe Acrobat safe?? (I recall reading that it is one of the more popular "attack vectors" among hackers...)

    - What does Adobe Acrobat Professional do that Preview won't?

    - Are there any open-source solutions out there that would allow me to PDF webpages and highlight and make them up as a form of my research process?

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  4. snorkelman macrumors 6502a

    snorkelman

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #4
    Yeah preview is a lot more flexible than it often gets credit for :)

    I'd need to leave it to other folks to answer your other questions (with Preview being able to do it I've never had cause to go find any other options)
     
  5. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #5
    Do you mean in addition to what was already outlined that you can do with Preview?

    You can use preview to collect multiple PDF's into one document easily. Just open the side bar, drag PDFs onto it, select them all and the select save as, or if that doesn't work, select Print >PDF>Save as PDF.

    re Adobe Acrobat see http://xkcd.com/1197/
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    helps empty your wallet (Acrobat Pro is not free) :D
     
  7. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #7
    Here are Acrobat Pro's features:
    http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobatpro/features.html

    Go through the list and write down which features you need or want.

    Then ask a specific question about whether Preview has that feature or capability.


    I also found this comparison:
    http://smilesoftware.com/pdfpen/compare.html

    I used the search terms:
    compare acrobat pro to os x preview

    Some other useful-lloking articles also show up in the search results. You might want to look at them, since they discuss things like pricing, features, alternatives, etc.
     
  8. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #8
    Right.

    Let's say I get greedy, and I want to be able to do other fancier things. (Not sure what, but let's say?!)

    I dunno...

    It would be nice to have a way to *totally remove* (versus hiding) content. For instance, say I wanted to PDF an e-mail and post it on the Internet, but I needed to be 110% certain that no one could ever get my personal e-mail address from the PDF file!! How would I do that??


    Or another thing that might be handy is the ability to make corrections to text. Let's say I got a PDF from someone and didn't have the source document, and I found a type-o, and wanted to fix it directly in the PDF...


    How would I do those kinds of things??

    (I'm guessing that OS-X Preview isn't that robust?)


    Okay, now that would be handy.

    (That is something else that I used to use Adobe Acrobat Pro for back on my Windows PC. For instance, maybe I needed to take a Word doc and merge it with some Spreadsheets so it was all one PDF that I could send to a client.)


    Sorry. That one went over my head?! :eek:

    Was there a joke there??

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  9. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #9
    Acrobat Pro will do a good bit more than Preview and you can get it for under $300...perhaps less if you're a student.

    Have you checked into Evernote and it's markup abilities? There are browser extensions for Evernote, also.
     
  10. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #10
    Once you've had any adobe products a while you'll understand the xkcd :D

    Why would you think any of your email addresses would be in a PDF?
     
  11. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #11
    Unfortunately, I'm not a student.


    Thanks for the tip, but what a *horrible* website?! :rolleyes:

    After looking around for several minutes, I have no clue what the company does or what Evernote is supposed to do for me?!

    (I do now, however, have another sample of how NOT to build a website...) ;)


    Debbie

    ----------

    I re-read it. I guess the joke was obscure messages and circular logic, eh?


    If I PDF'ed an e-mail that I received, then it would most certainly have my e-mail in it...

    Maybe I want to PDF an e-mail and post it online, but I don't want people to see that I was the "recipient"?

    So it would be nice to have some application that can truly CUT out whatever text I select, and ensure me that it is not just hidden in the background.

    For example, if you "erase" text using Snag-It, it can be very easily recovered using Photoshop - from what I have heard - because the text was really just covered up with a rectangle.

    Follow me?


    Debbie
     
  12. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #12
    I do now. I wouldn't start from that place though. I wouldn't PDF the email in the first place, I'd cut and paste only the text I wanted into a word processing document of some sort and then create the PDF from that.

    In the more general case of removing data from a PDF, I'd still start with the original, remove from there and then recreate a PDF from that. I dont think PDF works that well as the document source of choice. I do from time to time see various ads for cheaper PDF editors but I've never used them. Google brings up a few suggestions if you want to continue your search.

    In the main your problems seem to stem from wanting to use PDF as the "original" source, or the place of "record". This is fine if you have access to an $800 piece of software, if you haven't, then in the words of the Irish joke about directions, "I wouldn't start from here".
     
  13. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region

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