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Thread: Edit PDF files and add highlighting and comments

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Okular (for Kubuntu/KDE) lets you highlight PDFs

    I've searched (in vain) several years for an open-source PDF highlighter that runs on Linux.

    I'm thrilled to say there is now a (buggy but functional) solution, if you're willing to use KDE/Kubuntu: Okular.

    It has some rough edges. Saving files is weird. Saving document XYZ1 as XYZ2 doesn't seem to work, but XYZ1 does seem to save my highlights.

    And I don't seem to be able to see my highlights in other PDF readers.

    On the plus side, Okular has additional annotation options (that I haven't tried). And it's designed to handle many types of documents (currently in various states of implementation). And the program seems well designed.

    Very promising project. And a life-saver for someone like me who wants to highlight 300-page thick Python tutorial PDFs.

    --James

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    The Feisty Fawn Testing

    Re: Edit PDF files and add highlighting and comments

    Nice to hear and thanks for the tip
    Just installed it and it sure looks very promising. It seems to be close to kpdf. It recognizes highlights I made in acrobat writer (just as kpdf does), but highlights made in okular aren't seen in kpdf or evince. Also some of the highlights from acrobat are too far to the right.

    Another thing - and I guess this is because I'm in Gnome - it doesn't turn up in any menu, I can't just type 'okular' at the command line and 'whereis' doesn't find it.

    turns out the command is:
    Code:
    ~/usr/lib/kde4/bin/okular
    ... or use the right mouse button 'open with' for pdf-files

    EDIT:
    After further testing:
    It seems you can't remove highlights (and other annotations etc.) once made. And not only that. They stay in the document even if you close without saving!

    Oh well. Just realized how it's done:
    I guess none of the editing is actually saved in the document it is saved in an xml-doc in
    Code:
    /.kde4/share/apps/okular/docdata/
    That's why it isn't recognized in other programs.
    Remove the corresponding file and all annotations are gone.
    Last edited by fsando; July 16th, 2008 at 06:55 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Buenos Aires, Argentina
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    2,745

    Re: Edit PDF files and add highlighting and comments

    You can use KWord, though it actually imports the PDF. You can then save it in PDF or other formats, as you like. I noticed some format shiftings, though.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Bangalore, India
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    250
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Edit PDF files and add highlighting and comments

    You can highlight text, add comments ... etc to PDF files using pdfxchangeviewer.

    See this post

    http://lglinux.blogspot.com/2008/01/...hlighting.html

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Ubuntu Breezy 5.10

    Re: Edit PDF files and add highlighting and comments

    Thanks very much for this, it works very well! Far better than pdfedit, anyway.

    However, I found that Evince cannot read the block highlighting (it obscures the text), or the post-it notes. But underlining is fine. Acrobat reader can read block highlighting, underlining and the post-it notes, but not text boxes displayed directly on the document.

    So, I've moved back to xpdf which reads everything apart from the post-it notes (which I don't plan to use anyway). The interface is slightly cranky, but as a bonus it is very quick

    This kind of functionality should be a priority for Evince, imho. It would be far simpler to only use one app. Still this will do for now.

  6. #16
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    The Feisty Fawn Testing

    Re: Edit PDF files and add highlighting and comments

    Quote Originally Posted by stumbleUpon View Post
    You can highlight text, add comments ... etc to PDF files using pdfxchangeviewer.

    See this post

    http://lglinux.blogspot.com/2008/01/...hlighting.html
    Tried to run it, but turns out it's a windows exe-file.

    I think the short version is that _real_ highlighting for pdf-files is not yet available under Linux

    We'll just have to keep up our hopes.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Bangalore, India
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Edit PDF files and add highlighting and comments

    However, I found that Evince cannot read the block highlighting (it obscures the text), or the post-it notes. But underlining is fine.
    Yes this is a problem.

    Acrobat reader can read block highlighting, underlining and the post-it notes, but not text boxes displayed directly on the document.
    Install msttcorefonts. And then install pdfxchangeviewer. Text boxes are then properly displayed in Acrobat Reader.

    I think the short version is that _real_ highlighting for pdf-files is not yet available under Linux

    We'll just have to keep up our hopes.
    Yes...there is hope.

    http://gnupdf.org/

    But until that materializes, i would use the FREE pdfxchangeviewer for pdf annotation.

    The windows exe runs fine using wine.

  8. #18
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    The Feisty Fawn Testing

    Re: Edit PDF files and add highlighting and comments

    Quote Originally Posted by stumbleUpon View Post
    Yes...there is hope.
    http://gnupdf.org/

    But until that materializes, i would use the FREE pdfxchangeviewer for pdf annotation.

    The windows exe runs fine using wine.
    I feel certain that it will come soon. The standard is open so it's a matter of time to get it implemented. Okular has it implemented already but in their own xml-format I guess that it isn't too hard to change that into actual pdf-format.

    I'm not a programmer, so ignorance makes everything seem so easy . It may actually be quite difficult since it doesn't exist yet.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    1

    Re: Edit PDF files and add highlighting and comments

    Thanks for all the tips. I tried most of the suggestions on the list. While all had some level of PDF editing functionality, I'd say a Granny Smiths to Fujis comparison to Acrobat Pro, PDF Studio was the closest.

    Being in the architecture/design industry, we edit, mark up, build, comment and annotate large multi-sheet documents. For reorganizing and building spec books with comments and markups, this was more intuitive than the other options.

    I did have some JRE issues when installing the application. Qoppa provided very good support and worked with me on it until we got the issues resolved. I'd recommend the application for heavy PDF users.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    643
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    Kubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: Edit PDF files and add highlighting and comments

    Forget Qoppa, the free trial version is useless as it
    writes "Demo Version" on each page.

    pdfedit is at least open source, but it does not seem to be able to handle tables, and filling in a pdf form is what I wanted to do with it. Or then maybe I didn't spend long enough fiddling with it to discover how to do it...

    kword messed up the tables (% signs appeared instead of table cells) but at least it is fully editable.

    Mariane

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