Is anyone aware of an app that will allow you to retrieve the position of the highlighted piece of text from a PDF ?
If i can generate a link that will open a pdf viewer and take me to the exact position of that highlight , that would be amazing .
I am in need of such a feature to complete my digital Zettelkasten setup .
How do you generally keep your bibliography box and slip box connected ? How do you keep you bib slip connected to the refernce ?
Interesting challenge. I imagine there is some tool to do it, but I’m not directly familiar with an exact match. That said, I use PDF-XChange Editor (most features free, but a Pro version has even more). It’s Windows-only, unfortunately. But it has a variety of features that might partially accomplish your goal, including Bookmarks in PDFs, Comments with Highlight, Underline, etc. (for a specific piece of text), etc. The Comments in particular can be exported and do include location info in the file. It appears to be in a standard Adobe (originators of the PDF format) file type and syntax, .fdf or .xfdf. Here’s a sample of what’s in the export, for what it’s worth:
So given that the PDF format has bookmarks/links/etc. functions as part of the spec, I guess a PDF editor that supports that may be your best chance of such a feature. It looks like some of the better Mac PDF apps are:
And this open-source one that specifically says it’s for reading and annotating scientific papers:
I know that doesn’t definitively answer your question, but hopefully it helps you get a step closer. Let us know if you do ultimately find a great tool for this!
Thanks for the effort ! This is a good technique that I had never explored .
Unfortunately , I want to be as minimalistic as possible with respect to the apps I use in my workflow and so wouldn’t want another app to read the comments/ highlights I make in the PDFs.
In my ideal situation , I should be able to generate a link (local) for my highlight/comment in the pdf and I should be able to paste it in the note-taking app of my choice , as bibliography metadata for my slip. This would enable me to refer to the source material and by literature notes (comments) without having to maintain a separate slip box for both .
I have a feeling that the app named hook , might be able to help me with that . But haven’t gone down that rabbit hole yet . Will update once I try .
Unfortunately , there’s no mention of being able to export the annotated sections of PDFs as links anywhere in the website . Am I missing something ?
Also , this came as a surprise to me . Is this a web annotation tool like hypothesis.is and world brain’s memex ? I have never heard of this and the website says they have more than 9 M + users . That is a LOT .
My app (Keypoints, see my intro here) tries to connect note taking, PDF annotation & reference management. It can be used as a standalone app but can also work as a hub to feed into other apps. Each note extracted from a PDF highlight gets its own URL. Clicking such an URL will select the note in the app and open the corresponding PDF with the highlighted text next to it.
I realize that you only want to use a single app, but since you’d likely need a PDF viewer anyhow(?), maybe this would still be a feasible solution? My app isn’t yet available, but I wanted to mentioned it here since I wrote this app exactly for this use case.