Highlighted propositions broken between two pages

Good morning. Is there any way to merge a highlight of a broken proposition between two pages within a pdf, so that the highlight list appears in full?

I don’t see nor have ever seen a command in a PDF tool to join highlights across pages. View the PDF in “continuous scroll” and you can select and highlight across pages. But if there are headers and footers on the pages, they will get into the selection. This is how it works with the other two PDF tools just tried (Apple Preview and PDFPen).

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It would be a useful and, if ever conceived, innovative feature

Given PDF specs are mature and an international standard for describing document “pages” it’s probably an unlikely future feature by any PDF viewer/editor.

If this important to you now, and if you are creating these PDF’s then maybe you can create the files as one-page PDF’s, or one of the editable formats (text, rich text, markdown, etc.) Experiment to see what works for you if this an option.

The popular open source PDF viewer Skim doesn’t quite have this feature, but it has something similar. Here’s the documentation on it: Joining Notes - Skim
Skim can merge highlights as long as they’re on the same page. But you can manually edit the content of the first highlight to include the text on the next page.

Interesting. @psnDN9999 probably would like to know.

I’m talking about documents to study and that I could always print, so I can’t resort to a single-page pdf conversion. The point - I know, it is a subtlety - is that the interruption of the highlights is reflected in the annotations collected by devonthink in which a single sentence of complete meaning becomes two sentences of unfinished meaning. Since I work very profitably with the exports of devonthink annotations - without dwelling on the details on which this annoying thing affects -, a solution in the devonthink features would be very useful, so little is useful to find it in other apps

As @rmschne mentioned annotations are a property of a PDF’s page (see PDFKit’s annotations).
It is not DEVONthink that “adds” this interruption, it’s the PDF format.

Each page only knows “hey, this is my annotation”, but there’s no connection across pages.

(It would be possible to simply connect annotation 1 and annotation 2 but it would unfortunately always be guessing.)


I konw, Devonthink is ok. I only would like a function in Devon to merge highlights

It’s a great idea, but … not how PDF can be made to work and not in the International (ISO) Spec released by Adobe into public domain.

I understand that and would like merged highlights too. But unfortunately the PDF format wasn’t built with our wishes in mind :wink:

Guessing whether one annotation and the next belongs together isn’t something DEVONthink should do, I think.

no, i don’t say merging on the pdf, but merge highlights in the list of annotation in devon

It was in fact built with physical printers in mind, and the requirements of the printing industry. With a page as the central building block, on which ink leaves marks. PDF as such knows nothing about words, lines, paragraphs etc. They are build by commands that position a virtual pen, output some characters, re-position the pen, output some more characters (or an image, or a line) and so on. There’s no rule at all in which sequence marks are to be left on a page. The only rule is that all the marks are fixed to the page when the showpage command is issued. Then the interpreter forgets everything it has drawn and starts with a new blank sheet.

The idea to use PDF as a digital format for long-time storage is much younger, and it is not particularly well suited for some use cases (ePUB and HTML are much better, but there you have the issues with assets like images).

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Indeed this is true - from Warnock’s first forays into Postscript’s creation as a page description language for printers to PDF evolving as a less repetitive subset of Postscript to the extensions of PDF over the years, it has had a past very tied to print. I remember having heated discussions about switching from 1-bit TIFF-IT files to PDFs for plate generation. :slight_smile: