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Old 03-27-2014, 09:26 PM   #1
Movendi
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Sync Annotations between PC and Android

I'm seeking a solution that will allow 2 way sync of annotations made between pc and android devices with your own pdf's or epubs.

I tried moonreader, ezpdf, montano with a combination of dropbox and dropsync but none have successfully achieved fluent 2way sync between pc and android.


Google Books almost solves this problem except that it does not permit annotations on uploaded books. No matter which pdf i try it will not let me highlight uploaded pdf's that has clear text or even OCR. Apparently it's suppose to work but not sure why it won't let me.

What other solutions are there?
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:45 PM   #2
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I use Dropbox's native app on android to do what you are describing. I am not sure when they starting making 2-way sync possible but I have used it for a few months now. I just tested a few different ways and every one worked.

I navigate to the file using the Dropbox app, select the file to have it download it onto my android device. When you open the file from Dropbox, it uses their native reader but you can get a different one by selecting the menu > Open with ... option. I then make annotations on my android device using the Adobe Reader App and when I close out the changes are saved.

On the computer, I use the Windows version of Foxit PDF on Linux/Windows (Adobe Pro would work also). Foxit has an Android App that works similar to Adobe's, I chose Adobe's because it had a smaller footprint at the time and now I am familiar with it's interface.

Alternatively, you can navigate to the files Dropbox downloads using your android file navigator, where your dropbox root folder is here:
~/android/data/com.dropbox.android/files/random-##s-ABCs/scratch/
make annotations, and then when you close out, they sync.

I tried both favoriting a file, and not favoriting it. Either way, the changes are synced from android to the servers and then to my computer. I would expect favoriting the file to make sure computer annotations are synced to the android. I just tested it and the favorited file on Android did not update to have the changes made on my Computer until navigating to the folder in the Dropbox App. I had already opened the file in Adobe and when I went back to in (using the recent apps button), it had updated without needing to re-open the file.

Last edited by stvn66; 09-03-2014 at 03:50 PM. Reason: Added info
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:16 PM   #3
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Also looking for cross platform syncing for annotations...

Hi,

I´m new to the world of e-reading and I must admit that so far I´ve been pretty frustrated. I did quite some research and experimented with various readers for Windows (Desktop) and Android but so far without success. This thread comes pretty close to what I´m looking for, so I hope it´s ok if I post my questions and thoughts here.

I´m an academic and I travel a lot, therefore I was hunting for a sustainable solution to carry (DRM free) EPUBs and PDFs with me which I can also annotate on different devices. A typical scenario would be: I read and annotate on my Android phone (or possibly an e-reader or tablet which I don´t own yet) and I continue with working on the book/my notes on my laptop or office PC later (therefore syncing annotations from phone to desktop and between different Windows PCs is most important to me).

So far, the closest I got to this scenario on the Android side is Moon+ Reader Pro in combination with Dropbox and DropSync. The latter two let me keep my library in sync which works well so far. Moon+ Reader Pro allows for exporting annotations as plain text without additional information like page numbers etc. My preferred option is to export annotations to Evernote which can then be synchronized with Evernote on my desktop. However, this is not very satisfying as the notes are not tied to the EPUBs/PDFs and I can only find the text sections by performing keyword searches. I also cannot get annotations from my desktop to my phone. Still, this is better than all the other apps I tried.

On the Windows side, I´m torn between BlueFire and Adobe Digitals Editions (ADE) which seem to be the best options so far. The advantage of BlueFire is that one can export annotations in Windows to a TXT-file which can then be used on different platforms (I thought about saving them to Dropbox and/or Evernote). Unfortunately, there´s apparently no feature to re-import annotations into BlueFire. This is what I like about ADE: It automatically saves annotations to .annot files (located in C:\Users\XXX\Documents\My Digital Editions\Annotations) which can also be re-imported. Unfortunately, it´s apparently not possible to move them to Dropbox for automatic synchronization (does anybody know a workaround for that?) and they can´t be opened/integrated on Android.

Does anybody have better solutions? I´m aware that these syncing features can partly be achieved by certain platforms (Google Books, Kindle, Mantano but I´m reluctant to tie myself to a specific platform). Stvn66´s solution seem´s to be only for PDFs not EPUBs.

Any help would be much appreciated. Or we should just initiate a Kickstarter campaign to create our own solution!
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MachineGunJoe View Post

On the Windows side, I´m torn between BlueFire and Adobe Digitals Editions (ADE) which seem to be the best options so far. The advantage of BlueFire is that one can export annotations in Windows to a TXT-file which can then be used on different platforms (I thought about saving them to Dropbox and/or Evernote). Unfortunately, there´s apparently no feature to re-import annotations into BlueFire. This is what I like about ADE: It automatically saves annotations to .annot files (located in C:\Users\XXX\Documents\My Digital Editions\Annotations) which can also be re-imported. Unfortunately, it´s apparently not possible to move them to Dropbox for automatic synchronization (does anybody know a workaround for that?) and they can´t be opened/integrated on Android.
I just realized that BlueFire actually also stores annotations as .annot files:
C:\Users\XXX\AppData\Local\Bluefire\BFReader\Annot ations
Therefore I prefer BF over ADE now...
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:38 PM   #5
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Possibly with judicious use of symlinks, you can make the .annot files resident to Dropbox or similar, and set that up on each system -- but you will have to handle the syncing on each device yourself.

Beware -- Windows does not make file changes visible to applications when they are hidden behind a symlink, the main file must be in Dropbox and symlinked to other locations. Otherwise Dropbox will only sync when it starts up again.
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:24 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info, eschwartz! I have tried it and apparently it works (syncing annotations between different PCs with BF Reader by copying/pasting .annot files). I might stick to manual syncing though. I´m a bit afraid that something could go wrong.

Anyway, I´m still looking for a better solution to sync annotations across platforms. So, if anybody has a good idea, please post it. I actually also thought about getting a little Windows tablet as ereader allowing me to sync to my Windows desktop. But that´s also not really an attractive solution...
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:14 AM   #7
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You are using android right? I use the native Android Dropbox Client with the native Android Adobe Reader app and have fabulous results in marking up PDFs and having all markings sync to Windows/Linux computers using the following procedure:

1. Add the PDF to Dropbox (either from computer or android device)
2. Navigate to the file in the Android Dropbox Client
3. Select the dropdown menu on the right side and 'Favorite' the file.
4. From the same menu select 'Open With' and select Adobe Reader (I had the option to set this as the default). I believe Foxit would work also.
5. Make any markings you want in Adobe Reader making sure Adobe saves those; when I exit the file, it will say something like "Saving Changes".
6. Connect to the internet and Dropbox will update the file to it's servers and your computer/s.

I have great success with this and it require minimal setup.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:16 AM   #8
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It should work with EPUB files also by selecting whatever reader you intend to use from the "Open With" menu in step 4.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stvn66 View Post
It should work with EPUB files also by selecting whatever reader you intend to use from the "Open With" menu in step 4.
Absolutely not -- EPUBs do not save annotations, it is only possible with reader-specific appdata.

With PDF annotations are written to the .pdf itself.
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