PDF Annotation (made easier) - Keyboard Maestro & ActionsApp

Hello All,

This might be old news to some – but having only recently started to play around with Keyboard Maestro, I came across a workflow that has really made a useful change to my (inside)DTPO annotation regime…

On the off-chance that (a) there are academics and others(?) who regularly annotate PDFs - and use multiple highlight colours like me; and (b) are not familiar Keyboard Maestro [or maybe haven’t thought of using it like this] – figured I would pop something up!

1.) Setup KM to invoke a Palette only to be used inside DTPO, whenever a particular keyboard shortcut is invoked;

Keyboard Maestro Editor at 14.26.19.png

2.) Setup a series of Palette items, all invoking the specific menu inside DTPO, that selects the Highlight colour;

Keyboard Maestro Editor at 14.27.00.png
Keyboard Maestro Editor at 14.27.22.png

Note that I have allocated a “hotkey” to each item, in the above case Cmd+1. I can therefore select the text of the PDF I want highlighted, and then either

(i.) hit Cmd+1;

(ii.) click on the actual option inside the Palette (which kind of defeats the purpose in wanting to make this quicker - but given that the menu can ‘float’ closer to the text being highlighted, I guess that on a screen with plenty of real estate, this will still be quicker than having to ‘jump up’ into the top menu, to select the dropdown in the highlight button (assuming you want to change colours);

(iii.) Set-up a corresponding keyboard shortcut palette in ActionsApp for iPad [see below].

I’ve reached the limit for attachments.
Will pop this up now - and continue below…

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[Part II]

3.) Back over in DTPO - here be what my highlight options are, having set these up in preferences [and also, incidentally, set up in the same way in Goodreader on my iPad];

DTPO Variants.png

4.) Here be the floating KM menu, that I invoke with a keyboard shortcut, when I’m in Annotating mode. As soon as I’m done, I close it again, to avoid my shortcuts [for its specific use] interfering with the ordinary shortcuts inside DTPO.

DTPO floating KM palette.png

As an aside – to “turn off” the selected Highlight, I use the same KM setup, but simply select the Highlight menu option, which acts as a ‘toggle’, removing any highlight where the text I’ve selected, has already been highlighted.

Lastly – although, this is by no means necessary – here be a screengrab of ActionsApp for iPad, showing the subset menu I created [DTPO Highlighting], together with all the options thereunder. Each of those “buttons” are live - so tapping them, invokes the keyboard shortcut [e.g.] CMD+1, which invokes the KM palette, and highlights the selected text in yellow…


I like to use my iPad in conjunction with all of the above, since I find it to be quicker than finding the individual keyboard shortcuts each time – bigger area to tap/colour coded/less thinking! :wink:

So - picture my using my Bamboo Wacom pad [see here: [url]Anyone use a Wacom Bamboo pad to annotate PDFs inside DTPO?] ] in the one hand, selecting the text as I read along – and the other hand, tapping away at the iPad, each time I want to highlight/change colour… Really quick and simple, imo!

Hope this might give some DTP users some ideas, and maybe make things go quicker – certainly has sped things up my side!

Thank you, @Cassady. I have used KM extensively with DEVONthink, prompted by many posts from Greg Jones about DM/DT integration. Now, you’ve activated my CRIMPing radar to look into Actions App! Hello, Apple Store … 8)

Nice call. This is a very interesting app. Though I personally don’t see a use for it, I can see others liking it and wanting to use it with DEVONthink. Very interesting. Thanks.

Happy to spread the word about ActionsApp [and I’m in no way affiliated with them!] – I’ve been using it for more than a year now, and it’s one of the most often used apps on my iPad.

Must be honest, it made me a bit lazy initially – since it became a visual & tactile representation of all my Mac shortcuts [each ‘set’ is tied in with whatever App on the Mac has focus – so when you swipe out of DTPO, into say Safari, the ‘set’ in Actions on the iPad changes as well, so you always have your shortcuts etc. with you] – which meant I had no real need to “learn/remember” anything… :slight_smile:

But when they rolled out the IAP “Flows” upgrade - it took on a new life. It’s basically like KM, only a visual one, on the iPad. Obviously not quite as sophisticated, but I’ve surprised myself on several occasions with the workflows I was able to construct, across multiple Apps!

And when you add in the stock-standard ability to insert text snippets/control shortcuts/control media/system controls/window controls/webpage access/email templates - it’s a lot of bang for your buck, so to speak!

So figured the above could give someone inspiration – KM and ActionsApp – annotation bliss! :smiley:

THANK YOU! I’ve been wanting a highlight shortcut for a long time, and I followed your direction and it worked perfectly. I’m so happy. :pray:t4::pray:t4::pray:t4:

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