Questions about PDFs

doubledee

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2012
496
0
Arizona
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
 

snorkelman

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2010
607
32
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
 

Attachments

doubledee

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2012
496
0
Arizona
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
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
 

snorkelman

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2010
607
32
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)
 

Tumbleweed666

macrumors 68000
Mar 20, 2009
1,652
49
Near London, UK.
- 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?
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/
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
8,485
4,493
Restivus
- What does Adobe Acrobat Professional do that Preview won't?
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.
 

doubledee

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2012
496
0
Arizona
Do you mean in addition to what was already outlined that you can do with Preview?
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?)


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.
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
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2011
6,372
939
Baltimore, Maryland
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.
 

Tumbleweed666

macrumors 68000
Mar 20, 2009
1,652
49
Near London, UK.
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!!
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?
 

doubledee

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2012
496
0
Arizona
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.
Unfortunately, I'm not a student.


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

----------

Once you've had any adobe products a while you'll understand the xkcd :D
I re-read it. I guess the joke was obscure messages and circular logic, eh?


Why would you think any of your email addresses would be in a PDF?
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
 

Tumbleweed666

macrumors 68000
Mar 20, 2009
1,652
49
Near London, UK.
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
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".