Questions about PDF annotations: highlight, repetitive prefix, annotations pane, notes and comments - auto expand?


  • highlighter
    with other PDF annotations app, I am used to highlight using a “highlighter”. You click on the highlighter icon, and as soon as text is selected, it is automatically highlighted. In terms of workflow it is much faster than select text → press keyboard shortcut (⇧⌘L). Is it possible to work with a highlighter in DT? If not, I would like to suggest it for a future version

  • repetitive prefix
    annotations are great. Even better than dedicated annotation apps like PDF Expert, because they are easy to copy paste, merge, create new annotation documents etc
    One problem in terms of workflow is that each annotation is preceeded (prefix) by a line of text
    page number type of annotation author name date time
    This is fine, but when I finish annotating a document, and create a new annotations document with the annotations, I end up with the actual annotations with multiple repetitions of
    page number type of annotation author name date time
    throughout the text.
    Is there any way in DT that I can specify not to precede each annotation with page number type of annotation author name date time and replace it simply with a new line? If not, could I do it with something like a regex search and replace smart rule ?

  • annotations shortcuts
    do I understand correctly that there are no shortcuts for the different annotations. I would just like to confirm because I create my own series of shortcuts with keyboard maestro.

  • annotations pane
    what slows me down the most is the annotation pane which appear every time I click on an annotation icon. Once I configure annotations the way I like them, I have no need for the pane. It’s too tedious to click on set after each annotation. Is there any way to have the annotation pane appear only on demand. If not could you suggest a way to close it quickly. I tried escape but it does not work.

  • notes and comments
    is there any way to auto expand notes and comments on the PDF document, so I don’t have to click on them to read them

sorry for the many questions and thank you very much for your time and help

This is planned for future releases. In the meantime it might be faster to enable the Editing bar and click on the Highlight icon after selecting the text.

The only possibility would be to process the files via AppleScript.

There are no default shortcuts currently.



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thank you very much

Take a look at PopClip. It’s not free but should be installed on every mac, I think.

There are PopClip Extensions, one of them lets you highlight with the last used color.

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I am working on solutions using keyboard maestro which I will post later today. I have popclip but have I think a faster solution.
thanks very much for your reply !

@cgrunenberg @pete31 thank you both for your comments

So here are my workarounds which accelerate workflow

1- Highlighter. Now very fast to highlight using keyboard maestro macro below.
I select text → type the y key twice
Note the use of a tap twice trigger which is unusual. I could not use a tap once trigger because any time I would type the letter y the macro would be triggered !

2- repetitive prefix:
I select text → cut apply the following regex to the clipboard → paste
regex based on the fact that the prefixes start with a page number
find ^\d.*$
replace with nothing
I find the annotations easier to read after this process.

3- annotations shortcuts: easy to create with keyboard maestro

4- annotations pane:
I stupidly would close it every time after clicking on an icon in the annotation bar because it overlay the PDF I was reading. The solution is simply to move it out of the way and leave it there. It changes every time I change the type of annotation.