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Feature Request: TRUE PDF Text Selection / Penultimate's Ink engine

Jorge Ferreira


Just as any other pdf annotation application, would be awesome to truly select the text with the marker tool and not just doodle on top of it or just add this as a separate tool to preserve the original one and also be able to freely highlight stuff.


And also would be reeaaaally nice if you could integrate the ink engine from penultimate into the drawing tool, it would make annotation suuper good looking.


I think with the implementations of these tweaks the power of PDF annotation within skitch would make it the favorite app of many!

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13 replies to this idea

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Thanks for the feedback. I have a quick follow up questions for you. Would you prefer:

a) The ability to highlight text in the background (restricted to PDFs)


B) Ability to hold SHIFT (or some other key) while using the highlighter and have it snap to a straight line (could be used on both images and PDFs).


We're evaluating both options and some feedback would be great.  Thanks.

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Absolutely more than happy to share my feedback to you guys.


As an architect I have to annotate a lot of PDFs, from contracts, to minutes, to building plans. (all shared in evernote notebooks to all my team)


In the last case I heavily rely on the free drawing tool (or pencil) cause I actually draw on the building plans for revision meetings. The key modifier you mentioned is pretty handy when using this tool, since some times you need to draw straight lines. (also this is where penultimate's ink engine comes to the spotlight)


In the case of the marker tool I think its preferable to constrain it just to text (in PDFs only of course) since its the main purpose of it


But also as a regular person I tend to annotate product manuals, receipts, images, and all sorts of info. so in those cases a free marker (or highliter) tool is also welcome 



I would strongly suggest you to check out how iBooks handles eBook annotation with underline, stroke and highlight tools (constrained to text) and how Noteshelf or Bamboo Paper handle the free highlighter. in the case of iOS, the "key" modifier or input method to constrain a free tool into a straight line can be as simple as touching the screen with a second finger while you are tracing the line.



So... to sum all this up


1) Marker restricted to text in PDFs

2) Posibility to not just highlight but to underline and stroke

3) Ability to draw straight lines with the drawing tool with a modifier key or second touch

4) Posibility to integrate penultimate's amazing ink engine into the drawing tool



My 2 cents, hope this is useful to you and if any other user out here wants to share would be interesting

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Thanks for the feedback.


We've had a lot of back and forth on highlighting and this kind of feedback helps us undertand use cases outside of our environment.


We're also evaluating Pentulimate's line writing as a potential future feature enhancement.


If you don't mind I'd like to follow up with a private message in order to ask a few more questions. 

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How about

- highlight text layer of the PDF, save that highlight in the document PDF compliant

- option to create a new note from the highlight (very helpful when prparing research papers)

- have a box highlighter for non-text

- option to create a new note from that highlight (see above)


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Joe:  Also on highlighting, with Skitch it seems like the highlighter is too opaque that it's almost a hindrance.  Take a look at the Windows Snipping tool -- For work, especially with contract snippets or a review of page text for web design purposes, I've found myself having to Skitch it up and then Snip that image to highlight.  Would love to cut out the snipping tool.  

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I know it's been a few months but I am definitely waiting for a way to highlight pdf text with straight PDF text selection instead of doing it freehand. (iOS) We use a lot of pdfs in medical field and this feature would come really handy and I would save time.  Especially since there now is a presentation mode, it would also be "cleaner" when discussing an article with colleagues with the pdf projected on the wall. Shift key is fine with me on OS X.

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"true pdf text selection would also be..."

I have been watching, waiting for this for several years.   Lack of it prevents me from vesting fully in EN.   Given all of what EN does, I'm surprised they have not caught on to this yet... many different types of users would utilize a true highlight text capability.   Basically,  the functionality in apps like goodreader and iannotate fit my needs - skitch does not...

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I love Evernote but if skitch (for iOS) is the only method to annotate PDFs it may be the worst tool I've ever used for this purpose. The pen tool in particular is so poor I've been considering a switch to OneNote(not a decision I would make lightly)

I've tried to take a PDF in Evernote and sign it for example. Virtually impossible. As you lift the pen after your first stroke or letter and try to move to the next it treats the first as an object and grabs it when you lower the pen. You then up dragging this piece of text around instead of continuing to write. I end up pulling all my PDFs out of Evernote into GoodReader to annotate. At that point I just store them outside Evernote. I keep hoping Evernote improves this.......

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