Re: Has anyone reviewed or edited using PDF marked up by Acrobattools?

Subject: Re: Has anyone reviewed or edited using PDF marked up by Acrobattools?
From: Chris <cud -at- telecable -dot- es>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 01 Jul 2003 11:28:02 +0200

The merits of PDF for markup notwithstanding, I think these statements show a misunderstanding of Acrobat. I just want to clarify them - perhaps more people will have better luck with the product.

It's okay for reviewers and anyone who makes mostly higher-level comments.
The mechanism of highlighting the offending passage and then filling in
comments in a sticky note is effective and reasonably clear.

No need for the sticky-note. Highlight, then double-click the highlight. A window appears. That window is attached to the highlight.

For copy-editing, it's a nuisance. The results are cumbersome and unclear.
Heavy copy-editing from a remote location is best handled by traditional
paper mark-up, which can either be scanned or shipped back to whoever needs

You can use the free-form (pencil) drawing tool to make the standard editing marks. Granted, you lose the flair because drawing with a mouse is notoriously shakey. But you can get the idea across. And if you want to say more, double-click the mark to open a window.

For diagrams, it's a nightmare. Stuff, especially sticky notes, don't stay
where you put them, so markup rearranges itself and becomes

If the diagrams are in a PDF, you can draw a rectangle or free-form shape aound any part of the diagram. Double-click the shape and a window appears. The shape should not move unless somebody decides to move it. An author interested in the comments won't do that... And the window is definitely tied to the shape.

That's interesting. I recall using the text and graphic tools to draw arrows and circles to indicate where the change was needed (with an associated number to identify the corresponding note), and they stayed put. I could then put a corresponding number in the sticky note, which could be moved around as usual.

Arrgh!!!!! Draw the shape and double-click! No need for a sticky note. Of course, if you get too elaborate and use 13 circles and 25 arrows for a single comment, the author will have a heck of a time figuring out which graphic has the note attached. (Its text does show up in the left-hand list of comments, BTW.) But if you keep to one graphic per comment, there's no problem what-so-ever.

So the short answer is that they can move, depending on the environment

where the PDF is opened.

Yes, but not highlights or circles and arrows. Sticky-notes can move - but I think their icons stay put. Since highlights and circles are associated with the page description, you can just send your comment file, and not the entire PDF. If the author retained a clone of your PDF file, importing the comments will work. So the author can import all of the comments into one file, and see everything at once.

BTW, I'm not affiliated with Adobe or Acrobat. In fact, I strenuously pooh-poohed it when it first came out. But lo, there are applications for which it is quite handy. I personally believe this is one of them.

Chris Despopoulos, maker of CudSpan Freeware...
Plugins to Enhance FrameMaker & FrameMaker+SGML
cud -at- telecable -dot- es


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