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Marking up emails and attachments (not just PDF's)

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Hi Folks,


I have been using Evernote, Penultimate, NoteShelf etc for quite a while (measured in years for some bits), and i have an extreme frustration...


I live on the road and use an iPad for a lot of my work, but what i really need to be able to do is get an email and put it (or any kind of attachment in it) into a note and then annotate it by hand. I.e. literally scribble all over it. (I also use an Adonit Jot Script). 


I don't really want to edit the original text, as in word processing, but simply mark it up. People often talk about pdf's, but it is a much bigger need than that. It is the mail itself, or attached pdf's, or attached word doc's etc.


Example use - someone e-mails a document (in MS Word) for use in a meeting, and i simply want to edit, sketch or make side notes ON the document as you go.


Saving things as pdf's, converting formats etc is, frankly, something the tool should be able to do natively. 


Have i missed a basic trick here - It's driving me mad to have tablet i can write on, but can't actually write on top of anything without jumping through a ridiculous set of hoops.

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  • Level 5*

Hi - welcome to the forums.  What you seem to have is a feature request mixed in with a mini-rant - no one tool that I'm aware of will give you random access to so many formats and allow you to save back your own sketches / annotations; Evernote does a fair job with Skitch in a lot of situations,  but what you have is a use case that's not supported by existing applications.  Some things- 


Saving things as pdf's, converting formats etc


- would seem to involve some (presumably) sensitive areas of intellectual property.  And making all this happen in all the different formats available on Windows and Mac for all the different available devices...


You may have to make the best of what you have,  and wait for the market to catch up with your needs...

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Thanks for the reply. Apologies, it did come across as a mini rant - and i certainly felt better afterward :-) A bit of forum therapy... and cheaper than a shrink.


I would be happy if a utility were able to simply open the "document" and poke it into a notebook (Penultimate?) as a jpeg? I.e. an import as jpeg option or something such like. It would make it such a powerful tool. Maybe i should write an Evernote plug-in!!!

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  • Level 5*

No apology required - rants of various sizes tend to be reasonably common around here,  and sometimes they can be effective.  And often satisfying.   :)


-And if you do have the skills to generate a plug-in,  I think a few fellow-ranters will be grateful.  

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With Evernote for Windows, can I draw on a JPEG? I expected to be able to do this once I installed Skitch, but it just opens another program which I don't find useful when I'm working in Evernote and want to mark on the JPEG itself

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  • Level 5*

Evernote 'opens' additional software whenever you read a PDF or look at an image.  Evernote itself is not a drawing application,  so if you want to change or add to an image you'll have to open the file in other software.  Right click the image and (in Windows) you should have an 'open with' option that will allow you to open that file in a drawing app like Paint or Photoshop or XnView.  Using an external application is the only way you can edit the image.

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Hi, JimboH,


I'm working on an Android Tablet - but perhaps my workaround may be helpful.

Whenever I feel the need to annotate an Document like an E-Mail, Word-Document etc., I use the screenshot-Function of my Tablet.


This is how it works:

- Displaying the Document

- Screenshot

- Annotation(s)

- sharing with Evernote.

- Scrolling down

- and repeat.

The result is a (small) bunch of notes in my EN-Account.

I can live with that very well and sometimes it is not bad to have a jpeg from a single page of my documents to share this single page with others.

When I'm at home, I connect the notes together in one big note.


Kind regards,



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