This forum is read-only - Please use our new Citavi Forum instead.
Dieses Forum dient nur zur Recherche - Bitte nutzen Sie das neue Citavi Forum für Ihre Fragen.

PDF annotations from other programs

Got questions about Citavi 5? The Citavi team and other users are happy to help.

PDF annotations from other programs

Postby aanon » 2015-12-01 03:47

System information: [ Citavi Version 5.0-5.1, -, -, -, -, - ]

Greetings,

I have not used Citavi regularly for a few months but now again have a good use for this excellent tool.

I use a digitizer screen, and my memory from previous usage is that I was able to mark up PDF files in PDF editors (Acrobat and/or Bluebeam) and see the ink annotations within the Citavi preview pane.

Today, however, it appears that this is no longer the case. I cannot see ink (or other) annotations made to a PDF within other programs.

Has this really changed? Or am I missing something?

Thank you,

aanon
aanon
 

Re: PDF annotations from other programs

Postby Jennifer Schultz » 2015-12-01 14:02

Dear aanon,

Thanks for your question! Citavi can only import highlights made in external PDF readers. All notes, comments, arrows, drawings, etc. are ignored when you open the file in Citavi. This behavior hasn't been altered in any of the updates for Citavi 5. Is it possible that you had previously used highlights?

Best regards,
Jennifer
Jennifer Schultz
Citavi Customer Service
 

Re: PDF annotations from other programs

Postby aanon » 2015-12-04 16:00

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you for your reply.

After some more thinking, I was increasingly sure I remembered the behaviour being different in past versions, so I tried viewing the same PDF (with ink annotations) within Citavi 4 and Citavi 5.

The result was that I could see the ink annotations within Citavi 4, but not within Citavi 5. Please see the attached comparison images.

The two different coloured ink annotations were made in Acrobat and Bluebeam, just to check whether there was a compatibility issue with a particular PDF program.

Is there any chance of this "feature" of Citavi 4 being returned to Citavi 5? It is (was) very valuable to me to be able to use freestyle ink to mark PDFs before starting to extract quotes etc within Citavi.

aanon
Attachments
ScreenClip.png
view of PDF in Citavi 5
ScreenClip [4].png
view of PDF in Citavi 4
aanon
 

Re: PDF annotations from other programs

Postby aanon » 2015-12-05 00:56

I tried other annotation types just to test the limits in Citavi 4. The preview was able to display all of them: ink, stamp, box, arrow, squiggly underline, typewriter and a note!

The note and the typewriter text could not only be viewed but even EDITED within the Citavi 4 preview.

Again, I wonder whether Citavi 5 could get some of these abilities back?

aanon
Attachments
ScreenClip[6].png
aanon
 

Re: PDF annotations from other programs

Postby Thomas Schempp » 2015-12-07 14:39

Hello aanon

There is a huge difference between the internal annotation handling in Citavi 4 and Citavi 5. Citavi 4 exposes the functionality of the PDF control that we integrate from a third-party manufacturer. This control supports many types of annotations and even some support for editing them.
However, there are two drawbacks:
  • All changes are saved into the PDF file itself. This means that a multi-user scenario (multiple users editing the same PDF) will not work.
  • Citavi has no notion of the PDF annotations. It can therefore not link to a certain part of a PDF.

In Citavi 5, the annotations are drawn as if they were part of the PDF. But that's just "mimicry". Technically, they are stored in the Citavi project file. Multi-user scenarios are handled easily, and links between quotations, tasks, and PDF parts are possible.

As you may know, the PDF file format is quite ancient and the PDF specification is very complex. Drawing annotations in different colors is relatively simple. Supporting a wide range of PDF annotations (arrows, lines, circles, bubbles, and many, many more) in a"mimicry" format would be a huge task. Since the said annotations are used rarely, it is our policy that they should be handled in a PDF editor directly and not in Citavi. I can therefore not promise that we will ever be able to support them.

Thanks for your understanding, and best regards,
Thomas
Thomas Schempp
Citavi Customer Service
 

Re: PDF annotations from other programs

Postby jay-squared » 2015-12-07 22:40

As someone who has a habit of stressing the fact that I read PDFs on a tablet before extracting knowledge items before I can very much sympathise with aanon's point. There is a difference between Citavi's ability to link between its knowledge items and its proprietary PDF markup layer to PDF layer annotations on the one hand (where the PDF layer annotations emulation does have a role to play), and the ability to display "standard" PDF layer annotations on the other (which has nothing to do with emulating the PDF layer annotations, only with displaying it).

While I can see how the technical difficulties involved in maintaining a link between Citavi's annotation layer and the standard PDF layer means that it is unlikely that more types of annotations that can be created in Citavi will be supported, it would be nice if Citavi would at least display all external annotations, and not just highlights.

I have certainly often drawn arrows and exclamation marks, and little comments next to a highlight while reading PDFs on my tablet, and it would be nice if I could at least see those when I am in the "extracting annotations and converting them into knowledge items" stage in Citavi.
jay-squared
Citavi Expert
 

Re: PDF annotations from other programs

Postby aanon » 2015-12-08 07:50

Thank you Thomas for the explanation.

I think I can understand the broad gist of your reasoning. However, when you say that it is your policy that annotations "should be handled in a PDF editor directly", I'm not sure this is entirely coherent. Complex annotations have always needed to be made in an external PDF editor*, and this remains the case. The level of risk from version conflict in a multi-user scenario is thus no less than before. What has changed in practice is that users now need to open PDFs in an external editor just to see what annotations are there, which is very much less efficient -- and may even worsen the risk of file version conflict.

Obviously, I'm trying to think of any argument to convince you that being able to view common annotations (such as ink) in the Citavi preview is a valuable thing! I make these points with respect. I am a big fan of Citavi and I will willingly downgrade and keep using Citavi 4 if this is what's required.

Jay-squared, thank you for sharing my pain. It sounds like we have a very similar workflow. I love being able to use digital ink to freely mark up structure, arguments, initial responses and so on during my first reading of a new paper. It puts me much more in touch with the content and lays the foundation for my further engagement with the text.

Regards,

aanon

* I'm disregarding here the strange quirk of being able to edit some external notes in the Citavi 4 preview pane, which is certainly not a necessary feature to retain
aanon
 

Re: PDF annotations from other programs

Postby Thomas Schempp » 2015-12-08 23:46

Thank you both for the good exchange of ideas, aanon and jay-squared

May I ask for my understanding: The ink, symbols, arrows etc. that you apply to your PDF - would you need to "process" them in any way in Citavi (i.e. convert them to quotations, link them, etc.). Or would it be enough to just display them without any further action?

Best regards,
Thomas
Thomas Schempp
Citavi Customer Service
 

Re: PDF annotations from other programs

Postby aanon » 2015-12-09 03:18

Hi Thomas,

Thank you for the follow up. In my usage, I don't need to do anything with the external annotations other than viewing them.

For creating knowledge items, Citavi's existing tools are already sufficient, in my view.

Aanon
aanon
 

Re: PDF annotations from other programs

Postby xkater » 2016-01-11 23:38

I agree that 'mere display' should be sufficient, when viewing docs from another device. Additionally, though, it might (possibly) be convenient to 'mimic' (command: "Make Duplicate Annotation") those annotation types in the CItavi 'layer'

just a (small) thought (;

aanon wrote:Hi Thomas,

Thank you for the follow up. In my usage, I don't need to do anything with the external annotations other than viewing them.

For creating knowledge items, Citavi's existing tools are already sufficient, in my view.

Aanon
xkater
 


Return to Citavi 5 Support (English)