Being able to add your own notes to PDF files can be really useful, whether they are lecture notes you want to add your own thoughts to, documents or journal articles you have downloaded for your own research, or student or collaborative papers that you need to feed back on. There are many different options available for this. Here are a few we found.
iOS (Apple) apps
neu.Annotate is a free app that will allow you to open a PDF file (e.g. from email, the web or a cloud storage service like Dropbox), and annotate it using typed text or freehand annotation in a range of colours, as well as adding shapes, stamps and images. You can even add whole new pages, and annotate those too. The annotations are saved as part of the PDF, which can then be sent out by email or saved back to Dropbox.
iAnnotate PDF is an advanced tool with lots of options, including the usual highlighting and annotation. It can be set up to sync with Dropbox, but also has it’s own sync tool, called Aji PDF service, that allows you to set up a live link to a folder directly on your PC or Mac. This allows you to batch download original files, and then batch upload your annotated versions.
There is also an iAnnotate Lite version of this app for Android.
GoodReader is an app that can handle many different types of files. It’s really a file management tool, that allows you to access PDFs, Office and iWork files, images, video and even archived web pages on your iOS device. It can collect together files from a range of sources, including Google docs, Dropbox and iCloud, and let you read, organise, annotate (PDF and txt only) and re-upload them. It’s pretty complicated, as apps go, but if your files are a bit all over the place, this might be a good one for you. The PDF annotation here is kind of a bonus.
Again, there are a number of options available. Features vary, but all of the following will allow you to mark up, type on and highlight PDFs, as well as fill in PDF forms. In order of price at time of writing:
ezPDF Reader includes text-to-speech and the ability to view audio and video files if they are embedded in the PDF. It also has a plugin to integrate with Google docs.
Repligo Reader allows you to annotate and send PDF files via email, Bluetooth, Dropbox and Evernote.
qPDF also allows you to send files via Bluetooth and sync files in Dropbox.
A note on workflows
If you’re planning to annotate a number of files, it’s worth thinking through how you will transfer these to and from the device. Many of the apps listed above will allow you to download files from (and sometimes upload or sync them to) cloud storage services, like Dropbox or Google docs. This saves having to attach individual files to email, but these services also have their own limitations.
We recommend, particularly when working with documents relating to student assessment, that you transfer the files directly between your device and a University computer wherever possible, rather than using a third party cloud storage solution. You may be able to do this wirelessly, using WebDAV or FTP, otherwise you may need to connect your device to the computer. With an iOS device, you can transfer annotated files via the iTunes software for all of the apps mentioned above. If you have an Android device, you may be able to connect it via USB as you would a memory stick, and batch transfer your files.
With thanks to Dr. James Xue, Lecturer in Computing, for the iAnnotate recommendation.
Our next University STEM
networking event will be a lively, interactive session given by Ed Drewitt, famous for his Bristol Dinosaur Project (www.thebristoldinosaurproject.org.uk) and Nicholas Garrick from Lighting up Learning Limited (www.lightinguplearning.com
) Both are trained
practitioners and highly regarded in their field of expertise. Friday 8 February 2013
Newton Avenue Campus, University of Northampton, UK1.15pm Tea and Coffee1.30 start5.00pm finish The
session builds on recognition that many scientists
do not have the skills to interact effectively with school students (especially
Key Stage 1 - 3 pupils). The aim of the session is: students, PhD students and STEM academics to be more
involved with public engagement activities and to create and share a range of
materials for workshops in primary schools. This
is a must for all STEM Ambassadors or those interested in improving their
skills and techniques in public engagement and we encourage to you come to this
In a previous post I discussed using Scratch and Excel to model neurones. This post looks at using Excel and six-sided dice as a way of developing insights into how Genetic Algorithm work, before going on to program one.
A very simplified version of Tournament Selection is used for the parent selection and the mutation works by rolling a die to get a number between 1-6.
The problem to be solved is to find the lowest values for x and y in the equation (x-6)*(x-6)+(y-1)*(y-1).
Using an Excel spreadsheet, roll two dice six times. Fill in the first two columns with these numbers - these are X and Y values for each solution.The fitness scores should be calculated based on the equation. Low values for this problem are best.1st Parent: Roll two dice, if the numbers are same reroll one die to until the numbers are different. Use the two values to select the 1st parent, the solution with the lowest fitness of the two. Take the X part of the selected parent and it forms the X part of the…
In previous posts the availability on the JISC Jorum repository of six Open Education Resources (OERs) from the former School of Science and Technology (now part of the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology) at the University of Northampton was discussed. After 13 years the Jorum repository was discontinued.
Three of the OERs though were migrated across to the JISC Apps and resource store and available for reuse.
All views and opinions are the author's and do not necessarily reflected those of any organisation they are associated with. Twitter: @scottturneruonAll views are the authors, and may not reflect the views of any organisation the author is connected with in any way.