is there a way to search inside PDF-annotations (notes)?
I have many scanned handwritten notes and would like to expand them with notes (parts of the contents, tags, ideas). This would help me to find them later.
DEVONthink can’t search annotation notes in PDFs. As others have suggested on the forum, you might use Skim to edit your PDFs. Skim can export the notes as separate files that DEVONthink can search.
I never use PDF annotation notes. Even if their text content were searchable in DEVONthink, I wouldn’t use them, because they apply only to one of the several filetypes in my databases, and they are plain text (and so can’t handle text formatting, lists, images or links - note charisterics that are important to me).
My rich text notes, although separate from the document(s) to which the refer, are easily associated with them. If the note uses the Name of it’s target document plus an added string, it will be associated with the target in the results of a Name search, or a Name sort. A searchable link in the note to the target document also serves a similar purpose.
For example, the Annotation template script in DT Pro/Office automatically creates a new rich text document that is associated with a selected document both by Name and searchable hyperlink. Additionally, in the case of PDFs, a link is established from the PDF to its annotation note.
I might, in such an Annotation note, include comments about multiple sections or concepts in the target reference, that appear on different pages in a PDF. Page Links to the pages on which a comment may refer can be entered in the rich text note, and will take the reader directly to specific pages in the PDF. (I would probably choose to open the referenced document in a new tab while viewing the note.)
In the case of a non-paginated PDF or any other document filetype for which Page Links are not available, I copy a string of selected text that is likely unique to a section of the document that I want to identify, paste it into my note and enclose that string in quotation marks. I use that string as a surrogate for a link, by selecting it (including the quotation marks) and do a Lookup search in DEVONthink. When I select the target document in the search result list, it will scroll down to the first occurrence of that Lookup string (for the document filetypes that I commonly use).
I’ve used this workflow for years and it works well for me. I do my draft writing within a database. I try to make my rich text notes easily transferable (in whole or in part) by copy/paste into a more capable word processor for final editing and polishing. I don’t need to meet academic standards for footnotes and citations for most of my writing projects, and don’t use citation manager software. But I often do use footnotes and/or endnotes to cite sources, and my notes support that.
Dear Bill DeVille, thank’s for your reply.
I didn’t know about the functionality of the AnnotationTemplate.
Unlike Skim, this template absolutely suits my needs.
Couldn’t find the link that is established from the PDF to its annotation note.
But I saw, using the AnnotationTemplate again (by mouse or keyboard) opens the first created annotation again. So it’s easy to find.
I like this and will use it. Thank You.