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"The Original Document can't be changed" message - can't edit PDF files within Evernote


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Mac OS: 11.0.1 (Big Sur)

Evernote: 10.3.7 (app store version).

Last week I made the mistake of upgrading both my Mac OS and Evernote on the same day.

Since then I can no longer edit a PDF within Evernote. 

Prior to this, my workflow was:

  • Scan large document in using Scansnap
  • Find the note in Evernote, open the PDF file in Preview, make small edits (page orientations, page order etc).
  • Save the file back to the Evernote note.

Since my "upgrade" I can no longer do this - I get the "The Original Document can't be changed, so a duplicate with your changes has been created" message when I  save the modified PDF file. This means that the new file then needs to be added back to the Evernote note, and the previous PDF deleted. 

When doing many scans in one sitting, it's frustrating, and time consuming.

2 main questions I have about this:

  • Is this behaviour a  known difference between the App store version of Evernote, and the direct download? OR
  • Is there a Mac OS setting that the OS upgrade has overridden?

I'd massively appreciate any tips / comments.

Thank you!

 

  • Like 3
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I recently upgraded via the Evernote site (not the app store), and I am experiencing the same trouble.

My workflow is similar: I start in Evernote, and then open a PDF using the Preview app. I highlight text, and the changes are automatically saved back to Evernote.

Annotating/Highlighting:

  • I highlight in Preview because it is 10x faster -- just drag to select text and it's highlighted. By contrast, with Evernote's highlight feature I have to physically draw each line using my computer, which is tedious and time consuming. Their highlight also reduces contrast and readability by covering the text in a transparent colored haze. In Preview, when the PDF does not allow highlighting I can quickly draw lines underneath that are auto-straightened.
  • That being said, I would much rather mark up PDF's natively inside Evernote, once they develop a usable feature.

This highlighting workflow constitutes about 70% of my Evernote usage, I hope we can figure out a way to link these again. I appreciate this company and all their hard work, I hope they can ship a usable PDF annotation feature soon!

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I'm facing exact the same issue, it's very frustrating. What I know is, that has nothing to do with MacOS Big Sur. I updated Evernote to version 10.1.7 before updating OS and the issue was already there. Honestly, I was hoping to get it resolve with Big Sur but unfortunately it looks like an Evernote internal issue. I hope, it will be resolved soon?!

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I second this request to fix a functionality that used to work fine. By the way, this isn't the first time an EN update breaks the ability to annotate PDF in place. I recalled some time around the Mojave update this particular functionality was down for like months.

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Me too.  Upgraded to Big Sur 11.0.1 and Evernote 10.3.7 and lost the ability to edit files using preview.  Ugh.  This is incredibly painful.  Please tell me this was a mistake that just needs to be fixed versus some intentional attempt to force us to use a different PDF editor.   

Interestingly enough, I can edit Excel and PPT files from Evernote without having to go through the Save As / New Note dance.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

It’s really annoying. I’m a paying customer (premium subscription) for many years. My assumption was that major issues will be solved in a short amount of time but it doesn’t seem to be the case. Very disappointing! Unfortunately, this is pushing me to look for Evernote alternatives now! 

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I am having this same problem. If I can't markup PDFs that are in Evernote and save those notes back to Evernote this essentially renders Evernote useless to me. 

My workflow --> save research article to Evernote with associated project, when I find time to read it I open the PDF in Preview -> annotate -> then save back to Evernote. 

The annotation editor (Skitch) within Evernote is unusable for marking up PDF research articles. 

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I have a long holiday. Perfect moment to work in Evernote. But now I'm also stuck. All the pdf's files I have scanned in the last six months are usable because I can't edit them in preview. The reason why I used Evernote in the last ten years. Scan with my snapscan or phone and make quick adjustments. 

Please bring this back

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Hi all. I just made a new post about rotating specifically, but I think I'm joining all your voices in my frustration over not being able to rotate a PDF within the app. This is just such a basic thing and it was working in the previous version by clicking on "annotate" and then rotating the pdf and closing it. Is it possible to return to the old version?

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I'm going to chime in here as well. Not being able to markup PDFs in Preview, search text in large PDFs, and view images inline essentially makes Evernote completely useless to me. 

As a long time Evernote user I am very disappointed. I am in the process of launching a new business and I had planned to use Evernote as part of my workflow. I'm actually leaning toward just using the Files App or Dropbox instead of Evernote. There doesn't seem to be any benefit to Evernote anymore. It just seems to make extra work for me. 

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Adding my voice here - long time evernote subscriber and this is one of the features that brought me back from Notion. Will have to find something else as I cannot work without it.

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  • Level 5

It is an official help document from EN.

The legacy client fully works (as it always did), there just will be no bug fixing, and support will tell you to install v10 if you send them a ticket.

I run it with the latest MacOS 11.1, no issues.

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This is ridiculous!  You used to be able to rotate or annotate a PDF directly in Evernote before this stupid "upgrade"!  Why would they make it harder to do something that is supposed to be a premium feature!

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  • Level 5

Annotating a pdf is possible right within v10.

Changes to the original document (= editing the pdf itself) were never possible in the older versions, and are not supported in the new version. What was and is possible is to export a pdf to an editing app, modify it there (including turning single pages, change the page order etc.) and send it back to EN.

What is abandoned is that with the old version you could open a pdf directly in the editing app, change it there and get the result send back into the original note , and saved inside of EN. With the new version one has to save the pdf to file, open it for editing, save it again, and import it into the existing note, or create a new note with the new attachment. So there is a workflow, but it is less elegant than before.

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17 minutes ago, PinkElephant said:

Annotating a pdf is possible right within v10.

Changes to the original document (= editing the pdf itself) were never possible in the older versions, and are not supported in the new version. What was and is possible is to export a pdf to an editing app, modify it there (including turning single pages, change the page order etc.) and send it back to EN.

What is abandoned is that with the old version you could open a pdf directly in the editing app, change it there and get the result send back into the original note , and saved inside of EN. With the new version one has to save the pdf to file, open it for editing, save it again, and import it into the existing note, or create a new note with the new attachment. So there is a workflow, but it is less elegant than before.

On Mac, editing a PDF directly in EN was always possible before the annoying update end of 2020. I would rather change the complete solution before I start building a workflow over multiple applications... and I will do if Evernote is not willing to give this feature back to the users. It is really difficult to understand how this can be taken out for paying customers. I’m really very disappointed. 

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  • Level 5

Rotating inside of a pdf means changing the original document, which is a type of editing. Does not work inside of EN v10. What would be a feature (not existent in v10) would be to rotate the current view, which could be done without changing the pdf itself.

You should think about EN v10 as a browser. In fact it is an app running inside of an invisible browser. Basically it can do what the framework (browser) allows for, and has a problem when a function is not available there. As I see it editing a pdf is not in the skill box of that framework.

One new feature of v10 is a feedback-Function: By this you can send a feedback to EN product management without going through the support ticket workflow.

E96C71B7-EF89-40D0-BCB8-FB9BFE004CE6.thumb.jpeg.81eed19a04ee651b82359a695137bf99.jpeg

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  • Level 5

@Marius K. Being disappointed is something that happened quite often with the release of v10. We share this feeling.

Just to set it right: Editing a pdf was never possible in the old EN apps. You could rotate a page left and right, and you could delete it from a pdf, but nothing more. However (as I described above) it was possible to open the pdf right into another app (like Preview or a real editing app) from viewing it (or even without, by right click on the attachment), edit it there and then save the changes back into the open note in EN.

This ability was taken away by v10, and it makes my pdf editing (if I need it, which is not very often) more difficult. The elegance of the former workflow was replaced by a multi-step undertaking. Not nice, but no game stopper either.

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42 minutes ago, PinkElephant said:

Rotating inside of a pdf means changing the original document, which is a type of editing. Does not work inside of EN v10. What would be a feature (not existent in v10) would be to rotate the current view, which could be done without changing the pdf itself.

You should think about EN v10 as a browser. In fact it is an app running inside of an invisible browser. Basically it can do what the framework (browser) allows for, and has a problem when a function is not available there. As I see it editing a pdf is not in the skill box of that framework.

One new feature of v10 is a feedback-Function: By this you can send a feedback to EN product management without going through the support ticket workflow.

E96C71B7-EF89-40D0-BCB8-FB9BFE004CE6.thumb.jpeg.81eed19a04ee651b82359a695137bf99.jpeg

Rotating and deleting pages directly in EN was essential and not only to me - see multiple posts inside and outside of this feed. I cannot accept Evernote to removing this from an application - this feature was significantly driving my decision to go for premium years ago and to trust EN to host my important content. I understand that there is a strategical decision to replace an application with a browser (viewer). Whoever took this crazy decision, the benefit seems to be on a short one for Evernote, not for the customers. It will have long term consequences (as any decision). At least, through your explanation I got out that staying a customer of Evernote does not make big sense to me, thank you.
BTW: I took the possibility to send a feedback (as explained in your post) some days ago - not only about the PDF editing feature, also positioning of several meta data controls on opposite corners of the screen and overcomplicating search function seems to me as just not very smart.... but what is the benefit of sending feedback? I never got a replay and I have no idea if this influences any development decisions. It looks more like Evernote is not driven by customer needs anyway ...

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  • Level 5

At the moment we can install and run legacy, side by side with v10, or stand alone. I simply wait to see where this new train is going. Currently my workflows are ill supported by v10 on the Mac, better so on iOS, but I don’t need to expose myself to changing them all right now.

Some stuff will come back over time, some is gone for good (or bad). As I see it the question is in these undecided areas, like scanner & import support, sharing & mail handling, shortcuts & scripting and most important reliability and safety for the information trusted into the EN data base.

We will see what happens. Since I am on Mac / iOS mostly, I have more options than with a Windows or mixed setup. 

Whether the feedback goes somewhere, nobody really knows on the sending side. It is just an easier way to drop an issue into an inbox, than with a support ticket, that always leads to a sequence of following actions. I don’t think it would have been build into the app if it was just to dump the input. Anybody can decide to use it, and maybe we get a better result from doing so.

Personally I think that understanding your customer is good, but following customer input not necessarily so. I remember having Siemens, Motorola and Nokia mobiles „back then“. If customer input would have been the driver, we would probably still be bitching about the best size of the keys or whether folding or straight is the way it should be. Innovation is not necessarily oriented on what existing customers wish for existing products and services.

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On 1/10/2021 at 1:52 AM, PinkElephant said:

At the moment we can install and run legacy, side by side with v10, or stand alone. I simply wait to see where this new train is going. Currently my workflows are ill supported by v10 on the Mac, better so on iOS, but I don’t need to expose myself to changing them all right now.

Some stuff will come back over time, some is gone for good (or bad). As I see it the question is in these undecided areas, like scanner & import support, sharing & mail handling, shortcuts & scripting and most important reliability and safety for the information trusted into the EN data base.

We will see what happens. Since I am on Mac / iOS mostly, I have more options than with a Windows or mixed setup. 

Whether the feedback goes somewhere, nobody really knows on the sending side. It is just an easier way to drop an issue into an inbox, than with a support ticket, that always leads to a sequence of following actions. I don’t think it would have been build into the app if it was just to dump the input. Anybody can decide to use it, and maybe we get a better result from doing so.

Personally I think that understanding your customer is good, but following customer input not necessarily so. I remember having Siemens, Motorola and Nokia mobiles „back then“. If customer input would have been the driver, we would probably still be bitching about the best size of the keys or whether folding or straight is the way it should be. Innovation is not necessarily oriented on what existing customers wish for existing products and services.

Did you ever heard about UCD (User Center Design)? It is in opposite to what Evernote has done. As already commented (and submitted as feedback to EN), the new interface is less ergonomic than the previous one. Cancelling a function to rotate and delete pages from a PDF document, which actually is a part of MacOS is just insane. I will use the possibility to downgrade my Macs today and look for alternatives. Many users will follow, I’m afraid...

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"Open, Edit & Save attachments Directly in Evernote Notes" is one of the most powerful functions of EN.  It work perfectly and as importance as drag & drop in most of the software.  Understand that this may not be the problem of EN, but Big Sur.  However, this was happened in the upgrade of OS X in 2017.  Why cannot yet fix after 3 updates nowadays? Obviously there is something wrong in company QA system.  And management do not allocated more efforts on importance functional bugs, but an duplicated interface call "Home". the problem is, why I can't chose use it or not? 

I use EN as an information collector.  That mean most of my notes are import to EN from others places.  So my using practice is "Imported" everything in a notebook named "Collection", and every time go into EN it will be my first stop, and start my annotation, edit, processing and  sort  into different notebooks.  So, why I need another Home Page?  Of course, I never say it is not good.  And sure that many users are very glad of this.  But, may I have a choose? And also fix those bugs and functions failure before somethings too fancy?

After ready the post in forum, what most of the users asking is, "bring our Evernote back, don't force us to change, even our using practices or software".  Actually, we are still here because we don't want to change to new software.  So do not make EN into a Brand New software that we don't know.  Please.

 

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I think I have had it with Evernote. There has been other glitches since the update, I have waited for them to fix them. But annotating pdf it is the biggest part of how I use Evernote. Sure the new home looks great but if I can't annotate in preview I can't work through Evernote. and yeah I have premium, I have the latest Evernote update and no I do not have big sure, so that's not the problem... I have started to look for alternative to Evernote.

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I recall there was a fix to this that I did before that had something to do with where the note database was stored and the new OSX file structure. I remember I created an alias of the database and then moved it to another place on my hard drive. This re-enabled the editing and direct saving of a PDF. Anyone familiar with this fix, and whether it is is even possible on Big Sur? I wish I had written it down...

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On 1/7/2021 at 11:15 AM, PinkElephant said:

This is a shure fix for most v10 ailments:

https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/360052560314

Many thanks to PinkElephant for the hint. I installed Evernote Legacy App today. It works perfectly for me for now. The question is, what can I do to ensure continuity of my solution and process for the future? A content solution without simplest and most important PDF features (which actually are a part of MacOS) is not acceptable. Does anyone here know how long the EN Legacy App will be supported?

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OK so I think I remember what I did now. I went into the container that contains the Evernote database (named www.evernote.com ). I made an alias of it and then moved the original into my documents folder. Bingo - pdf's saved directly again. I did just try this in Big Sur though but no luck. Maybe the sandboxing system has changed? Beyond my paygrade.

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1 hour ago, Atalay said:

Does Evernote read our frustrations???  We need this resolved please!!!!

Honestly, I do not believe that anyone @Evernote is interested on this! It is so disappointing! 
Does anyone here know how to contact customer care - is there any possibility to contact them?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found that it was the problem of Preview. The pdf can be edit and saved back to EN if I changed the default software to others, and not only pdf but everything edited by Preview cannot be save changed. However, there is no menu to select software as previously version, and there is no better software for me to give Preview up as my default viewer.  What can we do? 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just to join the discussion. As much as I like some visual elements of the updated Evernote, there are restrictions and a delay in many functions that simply weren't there on previous version. 

I hope they update the Editor soon otherwise people are getting frustrated enough to look elsewhere. This may be a good time for competitors to offer a decent migration tool. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
在 2021/2/3 在 PM11點17分, romelden說:

I found that it was the problem of Preview. The pdf can be edit and saved back to EN if I changed the default software to others, and not only pdf but everything edited by Preview cannot be save changed. However, there is no menu to select software as previously version, and there is no better software for me to give Preview up as my default viewer.  What can we do? 

The update mac version 10.10.5 solved this finally.  

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On 3/29/2021 at 8:09 PM, romelden said:

The update mac version 10.10.5 solved this finally.  

It's still not working for me.

Is it because I have a Mac with the M1 chip?

I updated both Big Sur and Evernote to the latest versions and tried with both JPG and PDF files. Preview keeps creating copies of any attachment I open from Evernote and then won't save it back.

Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 4.20.37 PM.png

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5 hours ago, Guy Bjerke said:

Not working for me either.  I'm on an older iMac.

 

I have Evernote for mac 10.10.5 and am running a iMac with Big Sur 11.2 and it is finally working for me. I'm not sure about the iMac requirements, but when I went back to legacy EN for a while it was working. 

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7 hours ago, kimbabwe805 said:

I have Evernote for mac 10.10.5 and am running a iMac with Big Sur 11.2 and it is finally working for me. I'm not sure about the iMac requirements, but when I went back to legacy EN for a while it was working. 

not working for me on iMac 2017 and Big Sur 11.2.3. either 🤨

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Being able to delete the pages I didn't need out of a large pdf I had scanned was one of the most useful features of Evernote and I'm disconcerted to discover that it's gone!  Adding my voice to the 'votes' to bring it back.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was finally able to fix it.

The problem is with the App Store version.

If you installed Evernote from the App Store, simply delete it from your Applications folder and download the current version from the Evernote website. Install it and it will work.

Even though both versions are supposed to be identical, I have a feeling the App Store version is sandboxed by the system and causes the problem with Preview. Hopefully they can fix that in the future but for now this simple fix works without having to go back to a legacy version.

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20 hours ago, OlivierLebourg said:

I was finally able to fix it.

The problem is with the App Store version.

If you installed Evernote from the App Store, simply delete it from your Applications folder and download the current version from the Evernote website. Install it and it will work.

Even though both versions are supposed to be identical, I have a feeling the App Store version is sandboxed by the system and causes the problem with Preview. Hopefully they can fix that in the future but for now this simple fix works without having to go back to a legacy version.

Unfortunately I cannot confirm that. I even deleted Evernote client and whole data from my Mac and I made a complete new installation of a fresh downloaded application (from Evernote homepage). Nothing has changed! The menus for rotate or flip a PDF page are still grey, I even cannot see a menu to delete a page. This is so disappointing! 

Does anyone know how can I contact Evernote support? I cannot find anything in the application nor on the homepage...

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Opening a pdf previously saved in Evernote in Preview now let’s me delete a page or rotate a page and save directly back into Evernote. Exactly as we were able to do in legacy Evernote. 

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21 minutes ago, Guy Bjerke said:

Opening a pdf previously saved in Evernote in Preview now let’s me delete a page or rotate a page and save directly back into Evernote. Exactly as we were able to do in legacy Evernote. 

I’ve checked the way Guy described and it’s working indeed!  In the Legacy application there was a set of functions built in Evernote directly. Opening and changing in the MacOS preview never resulted in a change in Evernote on my Mac - so I was always looking for a similar option. This replacement is sufficient to me and im enabled to work with the application now again. Many thanks to all of you helping to clarify in this community. 

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46 minutes ago, Marius K. said:

Unfortunately I cannot confirm that. I even deleted Evernote client and whole data from my Mac and I made a complete new installation of a fresh downloaded application (from Evernote homepage). Nothing has changed! The menus for rotate or flip a PDF page are still grey, I even cannot see a menu to delete a page. This is so disappointing! 

Does anyone know how can I contact Evernote support? I cannot find anything in the application nor on the homepage...

I have to correct my last comment. There is no method to rotate or delete pdf page within the Evernote application but - opening a pdf in MacOS built in Preview, changing there and saving results in a amended document in Evernote 🙂. Many thanks for helping and clarification 

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10 minutes ago, pencat5564 said:

I have the same issue.  I have reinstalled Evernote directly on my Mac and the options to rotate the pdfs are still greyed out.  What is going on Evernote?

Double click on the pdf file, the document will appear in the Preview application. You can rotate or delete pages now but do not forget to save the document before you close Preview. After that, your document in Evernote should be updated… this work on my iMac now 

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On 5/1/2021 at 12:43 AM, Marius K. said:

Double click on the pdf file, the document will appear in the Preview application. You can rotate or delete pages now but do not forget to save the document before you close Preview. After that, your document in Evernote should be updated… this work on my iMac now 

Thank you Marius! This works on my Macbook (Mojave).

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