Love them or hate them, PDF files are here to stay. And if they look very good and are easy to open, they are almost impossible to edit. Almost but not entirely. This is your solution to highlight and annotate PDF documents.
The Portable Document Format
PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It is a type of file much like DOCX (Word documents) or JPEG (images). PDFs were invented by Adobe in 1991 to exchange documents easily. Today, they are the most common filetype to share documents on the Internet. The reason for this success is simple: a PDF file is platform independent, it will look the same whether you open it on a Mac, Linux or Windows computer or even on your phone or tablet. Images and titles will remain in their original place. Text colors and sizes will be consistent. Even the fonts will be preserved. This makes it a great publishing format.
Curse of the PDF
From this major advantage comes its biggest drawback. Since it is essentially an electronic printout of a document, it is almost impossible to modify a PDF file. If you receive a Word document, you can very easily to open and add text or pictures. When you open a PDF file with most applications, you are basically limited to viewing or printing it. The smallest typo may require you to re-create the PDF file.
One obvious solution to edit a PDF file, is to turn back to its creator: Adobe. In fact, the software company has an app called Acrobat Pro. Acrobat Pro is Acrobat Reader’s big brother. Where Reader has a limited set of features, the Pro version has full editing function. Unfortunately, weighting at 4.5 GB, Acrobat Pro is a humongous piece of software which comes with a hefty price tag: $180 a year with Adobe’s new subscription model.
Annotate PDF Documents with the #1 App
This is why the Acrobat suite is a difficult one to recommend. Instead, Terea Marcum clued us in on Kami, a new PDF app which she uses daily. In her words: “we are virtually paperless and textbook free”.
Kami features a comprehensive set of tools to highlight and annotate PDF files. But her favorite feature, is the ability to collaborate. Students are able to work on the same document together to complete annotation. In the following image, you will see an example of work edited with Kami. The poem is annotated according to a rubric provided by Terea.
Our Own Kami Hero
Terea is not just a fan of Kami. As a power user, she was recognized by the company as a Kami Hero. You can find out more about her experience with Kami by reading the article she wrote on Ms. Marcum’s Mission.
Are you a Kami convert or do you use other ways to annotate PDF documents? Let us know in writing below!
I use Notability on my IPad to manipulate, highlight, annotate, cut, paste, or just doodle on my PDF files. I used it to get through my Masters degree. I love that it is a tactile interface and also allows me to organize my files. I was introduced to this app in 2014 and I still use it and love it.
Thanks for the recommendation Mike! It looks pack with useful features. We’ll definitely install that app on our iPads to test it out.