Annotating printed books/book chapters

Hello everyone,

I have been using DT for a few months and it is doing an invaluable job for organising my PDFs of printed books and articles. I know many people on here prefer to use DT as a library/file database, and keep their annotations separately. I am by no means skeptical of this as a workflow, but I often edit my annotations and I don’t use any note-taking software that allows double-ended synchronisation with my PDFs in DT so I don’t have to go back and forth between two programs every time I edit something. (but I am aware there probably is some software that does this?). I have also discovered I am quite happy to simply replicate all my annotations for a specific project to a separate DT folder, thereby avoiding ‘noise’ from other files in my library.

The specific problem I have is that when I am taking notes on a book PDF in DT, I would like to be able to take annotations on separate chapters, so I split the larger PDF into smaller PDFs for every separate chapter, and annotate them individually. But I am finding this to be quite cumbersome - for instance, if I want to replicate my chapter annotations to some project-specific folder, I’ll have to do this with every single annotation. I just wish there was a more structured way to annotate PDFs that allowed for chapter divisions, but still organised within a ‘master’ annotation for the whole book that can be easily replicated.

Has anyone had a similar problem and if yes, how did you work around it? I am open to suggestions for any workflow, including using separate software for my annotations (but, as above, I would really like this to be double-synced with DT)

Are you referring to annotating the PDF directly, not using an annotation file?

No - I am actually referring to using a separate annotation file, not directly annotating the PDF.

You could split the PDF document into chapters (either automatically via Tools > Split PDF into Chapters or on your own) and then annotate each chapter using Markdown (via the Annotations & Reminder inspector). Finally, use one additional master Markdown file & transclusion to view all the annotations as one.


Haha! That’s exactly what I was going to suggest of the answer was “annotation files” :slight_smile:

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