Mystified by Annotation - is there a plain-language tutorial

I’ve been using DTP for years but, by the level of chat on these boards, am self-evidently a n00b. I’m mystified by Annotation; can someone guide me?

What I want to do, when reading a scientific paper in DTP (2.7.5) in pdf, is to highlight passages and copy them into separate Notes or documents so that they retain the tags of the original and are findable by Search.

New> Note doesn’t retain the tags, and I don’t understand what New from Template> Annotation is doing (it seems to allow only one Annotation per document?) but it’s not what I want.

If anyone is aware of a simple guide to what I need to do, I would appreciate a pointer.

[Edit: :blush: Ignore mine - read the one above! I took too long! :wink: ]

I presume your PDF’s are “searchable” - have been OCR’ed - so you can copy and paste their ‘text’ into that Data>New From Template>Annotation?

Assuming that to be so - then the Annotation remains your best bet.
Whilst it’s true that you can only have 1 of the above-mentioned annotations linked to the particular PDF, it should provide mostly what you are looking for.

For starters - it preserves the tags. So whatever your PDF is tagged with, will be automatically carried over to the new Annotation.

Secondly, it maintains a ‘live-link’ between the annotation and the pdf.

[Have a looksie at some of the pics below, to see where the links are found.]

Having this virtual link created automatically between the pdf and the annotation, is of course very useful and convenient. Having said that - there are several other ways to create links between documents inside DTPO, but I’m not sure whether you would want a bit more info about that?

Thirdly - there are several scripts that allow you to select text inside the pdf, and then quickly paste that into the Annotation, and have a hyperlink back to the specific page that the text was from, inside the pdf automatically generated. So you could insert multiple text-grabs from your pdf, into a single scrollable annotation, and be able to click on any of the various hyperlinks, which will take you back to the particular page where those comments/text etc. was from.

See in particular, these two (although there are obviously others), I use them - and they work brilliantly - created by some Script gurus/geniuses that frequent these forums!:

[url]Make an Annotation with Links, Notes, Tags v2]
[url]QuoteHighlight&Annotate script]

In addition - if you have any type of screen-grab app, or even the native Apple screengrab function should work - you can insert images of the pdf into the RTF - for a quick visual representation of the specific text you might be referring to.

Since text inside the Annotation will be indexed by DTPO - it will of course be searchable. So you could search for the Annotation, find the part you are interested in, then use the hyperlinks to jump through to the relevant PDF.

Below is a screen-grab of a very ‘busy’ annotation I am currently working with, to sort of give you an idea. Pretty sure some of the old hands will be able to give you some more nuanced advice - but fire away if I’ve raised more questions than answers, and I’ll give it a bash at clarifying! :slight_smile:


Thank you for the clear reply; that is the most plain-language response I have ever gotten on these boards. But in response to my Q:

You said both:


But when I tinker with this, I get only one Annotation that keeps reopening for any one pdf. What I want to do is not have a single document listing all annotations for one document, but more like a set of index cards, each containing one of several annotations of one document, all tagged with the original document’s tags. If the Annotation template is not the correct tool for this, is there a better one?

Thank you again.

Cassady said:

Thank you for the screengrabs. The ability to link from specific text in the original pdf to specific text within the Annotation document may be a work-around that I can use, though it’s not what I was hoping for. I appreciate your taking the time to assemble your post.

There might be, but I’m not immediately aware of any tool that quite allows what you are looking for. But you would be able to do it manually, quite easy. Right-click on the pdf in question, and select either “Copy Page Link” [if you right-click inside the pdf] or “Copy Item Link” [if you’ve simply selected the PDF out of a list] - both of these can be pasted into any RTF document, to be used as links back to the actual pdf, or specific page of that pdf.

You could presumably open up several RTF notes, and then use a combination of the links above, to generate several notes with several annotations, all linking back.

The tags, if they don’t copy over automatically, can also be done easily enough with copy-and-paste.

Unless you’re doing all of the above already, and you’re simply wanting to check if there isn’t some automated manner of doing it, via Applescript? :confused:
[In which case - apologies for not reading between the lines properly… :wink: ]

:smiley: Pleasure!

Been helped so much here over the past few years, I try my best to throw something back to others!

I kind of answered your query above, in my (immediately) previous one. It will be a bit clunky, but will be workable [unless I’ve missed something awesome posted somewhere else (quite possible)]!

This may not be correct practice, or even useful for others, but for my strange needs it is.

This is not for linking text as such - just linking “minor” files to a “master” file easily.

As you can only have one annotation if that is already used then it can be useful to still “link” a bunch of files together - without a linking document as such.

I do this;

For example you have a file “Main.pdf”, and you also have two other files, “Sub1.pdf” and “Sub2.pdf” and you would also like these to be linked to “Main” in some way.

Right click on “Main” and select “Copy Item Link”. Then select “Sub1” and click the “Info” button. In the URL: box right click and “Paste”. Then when you select “Sub1” you will see the hyperlink in the status bar back to “Main”. Likewise for “Sub2”.

Note this is one-way only - when you select “Main” you won’t see any links to the “Sub” documents, and there is no back/forward navigation possible.

Maybe there is a better way - but so far this has special uses for me. Example, a Generalised “Main” specification sheet, and a few “Sub” sheets which all stand alone - but anyone viewing the Sub sheets would benefit from being aware of the Main sheet.

If that kinda makes sense… :smiley: :smiley: