Use PDFoo to create links into a PDF - to chapters, to sections, to pages, and even point on a page. Arrange these links in a mindmap for quick lookups. In this example, the mindmap is created using Mindnode Pro (a excellent lightweight app with iCloud integration). Any application that supports rich text notes also supports PDFoo URLs - applications such as Evernote, Curio, DevonThink, NoteShare, Together, VoodooPad, Scrivener and more. You can even embed pdfoo URLs on a web page (such as a blog post or wiki page) and Safari will faithfully launch PDFoo upon request.
When you are editing the table of contents (TOC) manually in PDFOutliner, you have the option to either refer to pages using page labels (the numbers in red boxes on each page and below the thumbnails) or using the page numbers printed on each page. The video below shows how to use the "p" prefix for printed page numbers.
PDFOutliner has a new application icon!
PDFOutliner now provides several techniques to edit the Table of Contents (TOC) in your PDF.
The Editing Features Overview document (PDF, 0.2MB, 8 pages) goes into the details.
The PDFoo app is meant to help you link into your collection of PDFs.
Each PDFoo URL is a link to a specific page (and position on the page) in a PDF. You can store these pdfoo URLs like any other rich text, such as in a note-taking app like TextEdit, Evernote, DevonThink, NoteShare, Mail.app etc. PDFoo URLs behave like http: URLs. When you have a http: URL in your notes, and you click it, then Safari app opens that URL. Similarly, when you click on a pdfoo: URL in your notes, the PDFoo app opens the correct PDF and scrolls to the correct page and location. In this analogy, every PDF is like a website, and every page in the PDF is like a page on that website.
Here is the workflow: Open the PDF you want to link into. Set the prefix for this PDF (which acts like a web server address). Next, you can create PDFoo URLs in following ways:
(1) select TOC items and drag into scratchpad, or copy-paste
(2) select any text on PDF page and drag into scratchpad, or copy-paste
(3) use the search toolbar button on top-right to search, and drag into scratchpad
(4) use the File > Export Annotations command to extract only the highlighted text and note annotations
(5) double-click anywhere on the page, a bullseye will appear, and keep mouse down & drag into scratchpad
The last technique allows you to link to a very precise location on the PDF page.
Use the above methods to build up your notes with links into the PDF.
Now, you have lots of text and pdfoo URLs in the scratchpad area. Copy-paste the entire notes into Evernote, TextEdit, DevonThink, NoteShare, Mail.app, your website or any other rich-text app on Mac OS X, for safe-keeping your notes. When you need it, find your note and click on the pdfoo: URLs to have the PDFoo pull up the precise page of the PDF.
For example, the following notes snippet has pdfoo URLs that point to 3 separate pages inside a "SEEP Framework Manual (1MB, 123 pages)", and allow me to quickly jump to the specific definition. I assigned the prefix "seep.manual" to this PDF. All the pdfoo URLs were generated automatically by PDFoo when I copy-paste text from the PDF.
Be careful to distinguish between “Impairment Losses on Loans” and “Provision for Loan Impairment” seep.manual/Sec1:124/ which are both from the income statement. They should be read in conjunction with the balance sheet item “Impairment Loss Allowance” seep.manual/Sec1:130/. The relationship with the “Value of Loans Written Off” is explained in Box 2.4. How Financial Statements Are Linked seep.manual/Sec1:148/
I build up these notes in the scratchpad area as I browse the PDF, and when done, I save it inside Evernote for long-term access. When I want to refer to this content next time round, I pull up the note in Evernote and click on these links inside Evernote, and PDFoo opens up the PDF and scrolls to the correct location for that link.
Moreover, the pdfoo URL feature can be used to build a TOC for the PDF outside the PDF. For example:
Conventions used in the manual seep.manual/Sec1:115/
Table 2.2. Income Statement Detail seep.manual/Sec1:123/
Table 2.4. Balance Sheet Detail seep.manual/Sec1:130/
Table 2.5. Classification of Cash Receipts and Payments seep.manual/Sec1:134/
Table 2.7. Direct Cash Flow Statement Detail seep.manual/Sec1:137/
Table 2.9. Indirect Cash Flow Statement Detail seep.manual/Sec1:141/
Table 2.11. Portfolio Report Detail seep.manual/Sec1:144/
Table 2.13. Non-Financial Data Report Detail seep.manual/Sec1:146/
Table 3.1. Summary of Adjustments seep.manual/Sec1:150/
Save these sort of links inside Evernote (or other note-taking fast-searching app) and you can quickly jump to any important location in your PDFs.
The 500-page Scrivener PDF manual is well-written and comprehensive. In this post, I've collected some of my favorite features in Scrivener with pdfoo URLs back to relevant section of the Scrivener manual for details.
The text below includes pdfoo:// URLs which will work correctly on your Mac after installing PDFoo and assigning the "scrivman" prefix to the Scrivener v2.3.1 PDF manual (5.0 MB). See the post on Taming PDFs with PDFoo and how to Build Mindmaps with PDFoo URLs for details.
Workflow for annotating PDFs
Skim.app is a free, open source Mac OS X app which is great for annotating PDFs. In particular, the Text Note tool provided by Skim (shortcut CTRL CMD 1) allows you to draw "sticky notes" on a PDF page and write comments. Skim does not modify the original PDF directly, and annotations are kept in extended attributes, i.e. hidden information attached to the PDF file on disk. To ensure that these annotations do not get clobbered when syncing PDFs via Dropbox or a similar application, make sure to turn on "Automatically save Skim notes backups" option in Skim Preferences. This will create a small-sized .skim file adjacent to the original PDF to hold all the Skim-created annotations. This is a reliable way to annotate a PDF on multiple computers using Skim, since only the small-sized .skim file has to be synced across computers.
Export PDF Annotations with PDFoo
Skim can export a new PDF with embedded notes (i.e. annotations) using the File > Export menu command. Open this new PDF using PDFoo, and export annotations with pdfoo:// URLs that provide a context for each note and allow you to jump back to the source PDF.
Dictate Note Annotations
The voice dictation feature in Mountain Lion opens up the possibility of quickly adding note annotations to a PDF. To add a text note annotation to a PDF opened in Preview.app, use the Tools menu > Annotate > Note command. Use the voice dictation feature (shortcut fn fn) in 10.8 to dictate the note. Continue adding note annotations to the PDF, and use File > Save a Version (CMD S) to embed the notes into the original PDF.
Export PDF Annotations with PDFoo
Next, open the PDF in PDFoo, assign a prefix, and export the PDF annotations to a text file. Each note will be followed by a pdfoo:// URL which links back to the original PDF. Follow the link to lookup the context for your note. Save your exported notes in Evernote/Scrivener/DEVONthink for easy search and retrieval, or share it with your colleagues via email or the web.
Like to Dictate? Get Dragon Dictate
OS X 10.8's inbuilt voice dictation feature has a few shortcomings currently: it has to connect to Apple servers for processing which introduces a noticeable lag, it doesn't quite work well with accents, and it requires keyboard intervention to switch it on and off repeatedly. For users who find the dictation feature useful, Dragon Dictate for Mac v2.5 (currently $80 on amazon) is a worthwhile upgrade which addresses the above limitations.
Why export PDF annotations?
Do you read and refer to important PDF documents at work? Do you make notes and annotations using tools like Preview.app on Mac OS X and iAnnotate or GoodReader on iPad? Are your insightful notes locked away in the PDF? Would you like to make your notes accessible and easily searchable? PDFoo enables you to export notes and comments from these PDFs into text to share easily with your colleagues, or to index and search inside your favorite note-taking application. PDF annotations are largely useless without context however. Using PDFoo app, you can easily attach pdfoo:// URLs to each text annotation, and the context for each note is just a click away.
PDFoo can export notes and highlight annotations from your PDF to a text file (RTF format). Further, it inserts pdfoo:// URLs to link back to the location for each note in the original PDF. Simply follow the pdfoo URL to open up the PDF and view the context for the annotation. The workflow is as follows:
More about PDFoo
Watch the PDFoo Quick Guide video, or skim the PDFoo overview document, or download and try out "PDFoo Lite", and purchase the unrestricted version of PDFoo on the Mac App Store.
PDFoo enables linking into PDF content. The concept has a simple analogy: to link to web pages we use http:// URLs. Similarly, to link to PDFs we can use pdfoo:// URLs. These PDFs reside on your computer, and PDFoo resolves the URL to figure out which PDF to open. For example, PDFoo is wired to respond to pdfoo://apphelp/ URL to open the PDFoo help document.
Creating PDFoo URLs is easy: First, open the PDF. Second, assign a prefix such as "motion5man" for 1500-page Motion 5 PDF Manual. Third, drag out links to sections inside the PDF, or copy out specific paragraphs with links back to source, or even export annotations with links back to the original PDF.
This 2 min video shows how the AutoTOC feature works by interpreting the fonts used in the PDF document. AutoTOC makes it easy to automatically generate a table of contents (TOC) for your PDF, and its easy to experiment. AutoTOC in action on the 140-page PDF manual for Curio 7 available from www.zengobi.com