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Old 08-18-2007, 10:30 AM   #1
Zach
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OneNote and other Annotation software

I have a Sony Reader and it's pretty good. E-Ink is great but I've come to realize that annotation and indexing are critical features for me.

After doing a little research this past week it appears that there aren't many programs at all that do allow for annotation. PDF annotator and Jarnal let you mark up pdf files but what about programs that can handle an assortment of file types?

I will probably buy a UMPC (Samsung Q1 Ultra) soon, but since one of its main uses will be as an ereader / notepad I want to make sure I have the software issue resolved.

Both GoBinder and OneNote seem like good options. OneNote in particular looks like a good fit. I would appreciate some comments from users on how well suited these programs are as reader / annotators. I'm a bit surprised they've received so little attention on these forums. Most members clearly prefer an E-Ink display but there are others who are interested in annotation as well. Is OneNote poorly suited for use as a reader?

If you have found a different program that does the above with html, pdf and djvu files, please tell me about it.
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:57 AM   #2
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I think another possibility is to use Windows Journal (which comes with tablet PCs). I don't know all the file types it can open, but if you have a PDF printer driver (there are some good free ones out there) then you can annotate as follows:

Print the doc to pdf. Open in Windows Journal. Annotate. Print the result out to another pdf, with the annotations.
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Old 08-18-2007, 11:09 AM   #3
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I've been using OneNote some for keeping up with work minutia (to-do's and such), but I've never used it for reading annotations, so I can't speak to that specifically.

I do know that I really like the interface, especially with the Tablet PC functionality, but that's something that would vary from person to person.
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:12 PM   #4
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I tried Journal and OneNote for annotating other documents. I didn't like the fact that you have to "print" the document, which creates a graphic image of the original. It is this graphic that Journal and OneNote work with. For note taking, both programs are very nice.

You can also install ink addons to MS Office and deal with the documents natively. This requires a Tablet PC version of WindowsXP or Vista (yuck).

For annotating a PDF, I tried three different programs and bought PDF Annotator for the price vs features. PDF Annotator adds its annotations by adding a separate layer to the original PDF. There is no graphic conversion involved. You can also later remove that annotation layer if you wish.

If you are wanting to annotate an ebook, the best program that I have found so far is MS Reader (Tablet Edition). I don't like proprietary ebook formats (LIT, MobiPocket, Sony, IMP, etc.), but at least with LIT, you can "convert" and use it how you want. For creating a LIT yourself, there are several free tools.

For reading a variety of non-DRM'ed ebook formats, I think FBReader is the most flexible. I use it on a desktop PC, a Tablet PC and a Nokia N800 (Linux). It doesn't support annotations yet, but that and other features are coming. One tie-in with LIT is that if you "explode" a LIT ebook, Zip all the exploded files and then rename the Zip file with the ".oebzip" extension, FBReader will open this directly. Works great.

I haven't found the perfect all-in-one solution myself, but for now, these methods are workable for me.

Last edited by jbenny; 08-18-2007 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:57 PM   #5
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"I didn't like the fact that you have to "print" the document, which creates a graphic image of the original. It is this graphic that Journal and OneNote work with."

I knew this was a necessary step with some file formats but I thought html and pdf went in without that step and could even be edited as text. I'm pretty sure OneNote 2007 can search the graphic for text but I would prefer as much of it going into OneNote as text as possible. That way I can keep the page width constant and still change the size of the font.

I've taken a look at MSReader as well and it does look good. My concern was that lit files were exclusively used for copyright material. It's good to hear that other file types can be converted to lit.

FBReader gets a lot of praise. I'm sure it's an excellent reader but annotation is not one of the planned additions.
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:20 PM   #6
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I've been searching for a while for this same solution, but am not able to find an all-in-one solution. What I have found to be useful is that the (previously mentioned) "PDF Annotator" is a great tool for mark-ups and adding annotations (especially on a tablet), but only works on PDFs. For DJVU files I have has no luck finding an anolog. However there is a nifty little program called "A-PDF DJVU to PDF" that conveniently converts the DJVU over to PDF so that I can mark it up in the PDF annotator. Both of the programs are affordable and easy to use.
BTW here is a link for the convertion software:
http://www.a-pdf.com/djvu-to-pdf/

Last edited by tedted; 01-29-2010 at 02:28 PM. Reason: adding in link
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:25 PM   #7
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It won't quite get everything, but you could use a combination of Zotero and PDF Xchange Viewer. Zotero is a fairly powerful citations and documents manager plugin for Firefox. It also allows you to annotate .html and .txt files (it's not the greatest annotator in the world, but it works), and you can attach separate notes to each of the books/articles you have stored in your database. It will even sync all your stored citations and txt/html/pdf files online. It's miles ahead of Endnote, and it's free.

For viewing .pdf files, Zotero uses whatever program Firefox normally calls up to view .pdf files. I use PDF XChange Viewer because it allows me to highlight text and write notes in the margins and it's free. It adds another layer on top of the .pdf text which will show up in other programs like Adobe, but they can be deleted again from within PDF Xchange Viewer itself. You might want to double-check that PDF XChange Viewer does not place marks at the top of a document when you print it out--I really don't think it does (I believe it's Foxit that does that on their free viewer), but I forget since I don't print .pdfs very often. It's a powerful combo. Throw Microsoft Reader in there for (easily convertible) .lit files, and yes, you have quite the document management system.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:46 PM   #8
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I am a fan of One Note. So, I like to do PDF annotations within One Note as well. Doing so was relatively straightforward under 32 bit os in 2007 version. There was a printer driver that let you print tho document directly to One Note and then it was very easy to highlight and add margin notes. However, MS never did ship the print driver for 64 bit systems, and the process did use up a large amount of disk space.
I would really like to see amore elegant approach to PDF annotation in future versions cf One Note.
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