Using the Pencil to annotate documents?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by kat.hayes, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. kat.hayes macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2011
    i want to use an iPad Pro and the Pencil to annotate on word documents, pages documents, power points, keynotes, PDFs, etc.

    I opened a pages document and didn't see an option to annotate. Are only certain programs supporting this right now? Is there a way to annotate on any document in any program using the same technique?

  2. Cascades42, Mar 23, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016

    Cascades42 macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2016
    I always export things as PDFs to annotate. My preferred app is Notability as I can add extra pages as required, sort documents into notebooks and so on. As far as I'm aware it's not possible to annotate non-PDF documents.
  3. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I'm not sure you can annotate Office files, only PDFs. My data may be outdated on this, but I haven't been able to do what you are wanting.
  4. kat.hayes thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2011
    That is unfortunate. I'd figured/hoped it would recognize the pencil and enter annotation mode on its own. I think that's how my oooooold tablet pc use to work and I think my old note3 did this also...
  5. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Programming wise, handling annotations directly on a word processing document isn't so simple. Say you circle a word, then later, you change the font size. Now the circle has to change size and position to stay with the word you circled. Not simple at all.
  6. dsampley macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2007
    If you have the Microsoft office apps, you can use the pencil inside those apps to mark them up. For example, I was able to sign a Microsoft Word document inside the Word app on my iPad Pro.
  7. kipwheeler macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2016
    You can annotate Microsoft Word documents, but you have to save them as PDFs and it is sometimes wonky (as others note) if you make changes.

    What I do is have my students send me their papers as PDF files in a dropbox, then I open the PDF files using Documents or Readle and mark them up with the pencil, then re-save them and email them back to the students using our college's portal for instructors.
  8. cipher29 macrumors regular


    Mar 6, 2009
    I annotate powerpoint docs etc using OneDrive for iOS :)
  9. kazmac macrumors 604


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream
    Seconded on saving Word documents as PDFs first before importing those into your mark up app of choice. Notability has been my go-to app for annotating PDFs.
  10. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    But if you convert to PDF first, doesn’t that mean the recipient won’t be able to make easy corrections based on your annotations?
  11. kipwheeler macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2016
    The students do not resubmit with corrections. The one I mark up is their third (and final draft) done for assessment, rather than the earlier rough-draft revisions.
  12. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    Of course this might not have been true 2 YEARS AGO when the question was first asked.
  13. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    sure, but thats only one use case. Although for editing/adding comments for further editing, it is perhaps more likely you'd use something like Word's own reviewing and tracking tools..

    edit : how about these
    annotating in word on ipad -

    smart annotation in pages on ipad
  14. kipwheeler macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2016
    The Smart Annotation in pages might not work for me, as my students are primarily Microsoft Word users.

    I'm mucked around with writing directly on the Word documents, as your article on the Office Updates mentions, but I've had inconsistent results on the student's end. (I.e., I mark the paper up, and it looks fine on my end, but when the students receive them via email, about 1 in 20 of them find the written comments aren't aligned as they should be with the text when they open it and try to read it in Word.)

    However, if they submit their paper as PDF (to save me the time of converting it), and I mark it on the PDF, the written commentary and editorial marks stay aligned as they should, as far as I can tell. (I've only been doing this two semesters though--there may yet be problems that rear their head.)
  15. sallenthornton macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2014
    I use PDF Export at work. Love it! It’s a little on the pricier side (9.99), but well worth the investment. I highly recommended if workin with PDF documents.

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