Microsoft OneNote is a brilliant tool for visual thinkers, with the ability to position notes anywhere on the infinite page. Furthermore, it provides rich organization capabilities with pages arranged in sections and notebooks. And OneNote for Mac seamlessly syncs all your content across Macs and iPads, and is even editable on the web at onenote online.
With today's update to OneNote, it now supports hyperlinks. PDFoo users can now copy from PDF and paste into OneNote to get a working PDFoo URL. Use the layout flexibility in OneNote for Mac to arrange the content in a way that makes sense to you. For example, the screenshot below shows my quick reference guide to best features in Scrivener for Mac. The blue URLs are pdfoo:// URLs and prefix "scrivmanv25" was assigned in PDFoo to the Scrivener 2.5 Letter-sized user manual in PDF format (available from the Scrivener support website).
When you want to read and digest the content in a PDF thoroughly, PDFoo provides an efficient way to do so. The PDFoo app makes it possible to create a link to a specific location in the PDF, which allows you to focus on understanding the big picture while the details are just a click away.
Zengobi's Curio app has an amazing "lists" feature which allows you to position several list boxes on an infinite canvas (known as "idea space" in Curio.) If you select such a list box, and hit CMD+V to paste the clipboard contents, it gets automatically appended to the list. This makes it very convenient to use Curio with PDFoo: copy text from PDFoo, select a list box in Curio, and paste the content with a PDFoo URL appended to the text. The figure below shows a Curio idea space used to work through the OmniGraffle 6 user manual, and includes several "see also" links to detailed content in the PDF. In a similar manner, you can efficiently work through any important PDF using idea spaces in Curio and PDFoo copy-paste.
What are PDFoo URLs?
When you click on a pdfoo:// URL, the PDFoo app responds just like when you click on a http:// URL, the Safari app responds (or rather, your default web browser). But the similarity goes further. In a http URL, there is a "server" on the Internet that Safari connects to based on the URL clicked. In the example below, the server is "onekerato.com". The rest of the URL conveys which page on the server should be displayed by Safari.
Similarly, a pdfoo URL has a "prefix" which identifies the PDF that PDFoo should connect to, and the rest of the URL identifies which page or location in the PDF should be displayed. In most cases, the rest of the URL is just numbers which corresponds to page numbers & locations on a page. However, when you drag out a TOC entry from the PDF, you will get a readable URL. When you click on a pdfoo:// URL, PDFoo figures out which page or TOC entry to open. Moreover, just like every website is a unique "server", similarly each PDF on your Mac must be assigned a unique "prefix" in PDFoo before you start dragging or copying out URLs.
You can now copy-paste rich text with PDFoo URLs directly into Apple Pages documents and Keynote slides. The PDFoo URLs are clickable and open up the PDF in PDFoo to the specified location.
The URL support extends to other 3rd party URLs too. For example, you can copy an Evernote note URL (via the right click menu on a note in Evernote) and embed the URL in Pages or Keynote.
You can now take advantage of iCloud collaboration and sync features for your notes, documents and presentations containing PDFoo and Evernote URLs.
PDFOutliner, PDFoo and PDFExplode are now available for purchase outside the Mac App Store. As a launch special, the three apps are available for 50% discount when purchased together in the "Productivity PDF Bundle" offered by Paddle (US$6.50, offer ends November 27, 2013.)
Also, you can now download fully-functional 7-day trial versions of all three apps on the Downloads page.
Build Mindmaps with PDFoo URLs
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.
Taming PDFs with PDFoo
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.