Sunday, June 17, 2007

PDF Annotator -- Why did I not try this years ago?

I just downloaded a trial copy of PDFAnnotator and used it to answer a student's question. I brought up a blank screen and proceeded to draw a graph about measuring consumer and producer surplus. When done I saved and sent back to the student in pdf format. I BCC'ed myself and was able to read it with Acrobat Reader. The pen selections were adequate and the writing smooth and natural (unlike the horrible markup feature in Adobe Acrobat).

Before this I would read a students email and print it to MS Journal, mark it up and then save to pdf (using the full version of Adobe Acrobat) and finally send back to the students. PDFAnnotator saved me quite a few steps.

What it lacks is the ability to read in different formats or to have a print to PDFAnnotator feature. I may still need Acrobat for that. I was able to use the MS snipping tool to cut from a non pdf document and easily paste into the PDFAnnotator screen.

This is a 80% solution. It needs a print to feature or ability to read other file formats. Until then I won't scrap Journal and Acrobat, but I won't likely use them as much.


  1. steven,

    i had a good look at the possibilities of AA 7.0 for review and annotation last year and am impressed by its possibilities in a number of modes, including online review and annotation with version control etc.

    kind regards


  2. I have just installed Adobe Acrobat 8.0, and while I agree it is powerful and robust for the reasons you suggest, the digital ink feature is what frustrates me.

  3. I just rejected a comment which was negative about PDF annotator. I did not reject it because it was negative, rather I rejected it for other reasons.

    The negative comments included the fact that the user had done hours of work on a large document, his computer locked up at the time he tried to save and he lost all his work. He blames PDF annotator for having no autosave feature. This is a legitimate complaint and I would hope they will add such a feature, but the wise advice is

    save early and often!