You spoke and we listened! PDF annotation is one of our most requested features. Well, it’s here now, along with a new way of working with PDFs! We’re proud to announce the new Scrible PDF Viewer/Annotator.
Wait. PDFs? Does anyone read PDFs anymore? It’s 2016. Isn’t everything on websites these days?
You’d think so. So much of the world’s knowledge has moved to webpages, but Phil Ydens, VP of Engineering at Adobe, reports 1.6 billion PDFs are on the Web and 73M new PDFs are saved to Google Drive/Gmail daily. Obviously, you’re not reading news in PDFs, but research studies, business reports and white papers, academic and scholarly articles and the like are all still published, shared and consumed in PDF… And that’s just the new stuff. There’s a treasure trove of legacy PDFs. Altogether, Phil estimates 2.5 trillion PDFs in the world. That’s with a t. Whoa.
OK, but a PDF app? Isn’t that retro? Haven’t there been a million PDF viewers since the 90s?
Yeah, but times have changed. We spend way more time in browsers and using cloud-based apps like Google Apps these days. Legacy PDF viewers were built for the Desktop Era. It’s time to go back to the future with a modern way to work with a legacy file format. Our new PDF Viewer/Annotator is browser-based, auto-saves your PDFs and annotations to the cloud, enables real-time collaboration, fits seamlessly into your Web browsing experience and integrates with Google Drive. Welcome to the future.
Enough with the prologue. Let’s show you the new hotness… Oh, but first… If you’re new to Scrible, sign up and add our Chrome Extension (strongly recommended) or Bookmarklet first.
Opening a PDF in your Scrible Library now opens it in our new PDF Viewer/Annotator. That’s in Chrome, Firefox and Safari (Sorry IE/Edge users). Here’s an example, showing brilliant comments by Elon Tusk on a NASA paper about Mars missions:
Menu of Options/Tools
The menu of options/tools shown atop the PDF is magnified here:
Each option/tool should be self-evident. If not, hover over each one to display a tooltip that’ll clarify its purpose.
The right-most button toggles a Sidebar on/off with separate tabs for various useful tools/info about the PDF.
Thumbnails Tab in Sidebar Citations Tab in Sidebar
You can annotate PDFs using different colored highlights and comments right in your browser. Awesomeness.
If you’re annotating a shared PDF, your highlights can overlap with others’ highlights without impacting them. So, highlight to your heart’s content. You won’t mess up anyone else’s work.
In PDF Land, comments replace the notes you see in our webpage annotation tools. Don’t worry… We’ll update the Web annotation approach in the future and restore balance to the Force. Comments appear in the Comments Bar and are anchored to text in the PDF so it’s clear what’s being discussed.
We’ll be bringing more annotation tools to PDFs. A few of the Web annotation features loved by our Pro users – like Underline and Legends – aren’t yet in PDF Land, but they’re coming. Hang tight.
PDFs and all annotations made to them are auto-saved to your Scrible Library. (Mic drop)
…(Um. Picking mic back up) When auto-saving is underway, you’ll see a yellow icon spinning next to the Highlight Button. Otherwise, you’ll see a green check mark there like you see above.
In PDF Land, you can reply to someone else’s comment on a shared PDF. Know what that means? You can have discussions right in the margin of the PDF. You comment. Elon replies. You reply. He replies and shuts you down. Well, better luck next time.
We built this Google Docs-style. What’s that mean? You know how multiple people can edit the same Google Doc at the same time? Same deal here. Elon and his team can see each other’s annotations on a shared PDFin real-time as they’re made. So, no waiting for Gwynne to send you her comments before you add yours and then send them to Tom. You can all just access, comment and reply whenever you’re free and everyone else can see your comments immediately. You’re welcome.
WEB BROWSING INTEGRATION
Let’s say you’re researching on the Web. You find a golden PDF and you’re viewing it in the browser. Just click our Chrome Extension or Bookmarklet* to load the PDF in the Scrible PDF Viewer/Annotator. It’s autosaved and ready to annotate. In 1 click, the file is yours and ready to work with without leaving your Web browsing or online research flow. Nice.
GOOGLE DRIVE INTEGRATION
Right click on a PDF file in your Google Drive and select Open with > scrible to open the PDF in the Scrible PDF Viewer/Annotator, which auto-saves the file to your Scrible Library and lets you to annotate it. Easy peasy.
To enable this, authorize us to connect the Scrible PDF Viewer/Annotator to your Google Drive by clicking the Authorize Button next to Annotate PDFs from Google Drive under Settings > Connected Apps when you’re signed into your Scrible account.
This is all new! So, please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions or hit any problems! Thanks!
–The Scrible Team
* – Some folks might need to re-add our Bookmarklet for this to work. If that’s you, right click on the Scrible Toolbar Bookmarklet in your browser’s bookmarks bar, choose Delete and then re-add the Bookmarklet from our Tools Page.