28 Sept. 2008

To be done ... part 1: PDF Annotations

Sometimes I think that there are so many problems to fix on the free desktop...
Today: PDF Annotation!

The PDF specification includes annotations, with position, color, text, highlighting, whatever.
This is a really useful feature, because I think that PDFs are an excellent way to share documents with other people, who are often supposed to make some corrections on that document (and no one wants to share whole latex directories...).
So if you work in a Microsoft environment, you are allowed to buy Adobe Acrobat. If you work on Mac OSX, you can use "preview" to annotate PDFs (in a very intuitive way). But if you work on GNU/Linux there are no good programs to do that.
Sure, there are a lot of programs, that you can use to do something very close to that, but thats not enough!

  1. PDFedit: the interface is not very friendly. There is no back/undo button. There is no way to highlight just a word, strike through just a word. Make a box and add some text outside the page borders. AND I DONT NEED 10 colors for my pencil. 3 colors would be more then enough!
  2. OpenOffice 3: The fonts are broken. Every time. If I can't read the PDF, I can't annotate it. And others won't be able to read my annotations. (And I don't even know, if annotations would be possible in OpenOffice...
  3. Inkscape: Fonts are broken too. Only one page is open at a time. NO WAY.
  4. Xournal: Close, but ... A simple box to write some text would be cool. Text highlighting as well. I know that it's not possible if the page is only loaded as an image, but that's what I would need.
  5. Evince: well, there will be Annotation support at some time in the future, ... (hopefully).