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pdf comment integration with evernote desktop (windows)


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I am trying to fully integrate my research work flow in one application.  I have been using EN for internet grabs and its search facility works well enough for organizing and re-organizing disparate pieces of information.  I now want to bring in the pdf's.  From looking at the material here and the EN site it appears that the Pro version utilizes the Foxit engine.  I have been fiddling with Foxit and it appears to meet my needs for highlighting and commenting: both the pdf text and the comment text are searchable.  Now if moving to EN pro, will this still be true.  Does EN index both layers of a pdf?  I do understand the limitations of the EN search function, but it is a vast improvement over what is currently available for the windows platform in this regard.  Ideally I would use Scrivener but the windows version is years away from integrating pdfs.


Thank you in advance for any information.


Be well,



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  • Level 5*

Hi.  Not totally sure what you're asking,  but the Foxit engine is standard between both versions (free and premium) of Evernote.  OCR'd (by Evernote) files have a 'shadow' text layer that is NOT part of the file.  So downloaded files will not automatically be searchable.


I tend to OCR my own files before upload,  and in that situation,  the online and downloaded copies are identically searchable.


You shouldn't find any significant difference between the premium and the free versions as far as annotation and searching are concerned.


If you're managing PDF files you might want to have a look at Docear -


Docear (http://www.docear.org/) [1] is an academic literature suite. It is the successor of SciPlore MindMapping [2].
Similar in the way that “office suites” bundle various applications for use in an office, e.g., word processing or document presentation software, Docear offers an “academic literature suite”, a set of applications bundled into a single interface tailored to academia, including researchers, students and writers.

Docear offers: a customized reference manager, a comprehensive mind mapping module, an academic search engine, a PDF reader, and a recommender system for related documents. Its unique concept and its one-of-a-kind features, such as a modular composition, free full-text access to literature, information management using mind maps, automatic metadata extraction from PDF files, and literature recommendations, are described in the publications listed below.


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Greetings Operative,


Thanks for your reply.  I did take a look at Docear again.  It is really a front end for two others.  It does not index the pdf's  That is, the search function is only for metadata, ie Title, Author, etc..However it was an interesting read this morning.  There's a blog entry which ended up being a discussion between the developers of Docear, Mendelay, and Zotero.  What was most interesting to me was the underlying disagreement about the use of the cloud.  You can find the discussion in the comments here [http://www.docear.org/2013/10/14/what-makes-a-bad-reference-manager/].


Essentially my question is whether EN pro will index both the pdf text *and* the comment annotations.  If I don't get a response here before tomorrow, I'll sign up for the pro to see if it's any different than the free version.  I comment/annotate most of my serious reading.  Being able to search such is important.  Right now I'm setting up zotero to handle this as I doubt EN will handle the comments.  At least I'd then be able to search all the pdf's from one app.  It surprises me that there are very few desktop apps designed to manage research in this way.


Thanks again for your reply.


Be well,



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  • Level 5*

Kim, I just tested search of a note with a PDF in EN Mac 6.0.6 Premium account, and it did NOT find the text in the PDF comments I had entered previously using Adobe Acrobat.  I can't say for sure about EN Win, but I would be surprised if it did search the PDF comments.


If the comments are important to your searching, the best thing is probably to extract the comments from the PDF, and enter as text in the same Note as the PDF.


EDIT:  Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 2:01 PM


If you are using Adobe Acrobat Pro, you can use this Action Script to export the comments to Excel:



Create Comment Summary

By Rick Borstein — November 25, 2013
This is an updated version of the Create Comment Summary Action that creates a report of comments across multiple PDF documents.

View Action details


The Create Comment Summary Action processes multiple PDF documents and outputs for Acrobat XI:

• A Summary Document which reports on the files which were processed

• An attached Comma Separate Values (CSV) file listing all comments, by page, by document. This file may be opened in a spreadsheet program.

Detailed instruction are available here.


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Greetings JMichael,


Thanks for doing the test.  I surmised as such when I could search a pdf that contained comments but not read the comments directly.  Zotero is still the only desktop app which includes the comments in the searchable index, afaik.  I am presuming foxit is still adobe compliant  and so there is no difference in the way the apps use layers to accomodate comments.  Would have been nice to pull everything together.  Thanks again.


Be well,



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