PDF Annotation Related Tools

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PDF Tools

After a long search (see session below), I came across this tool for PDF annotation. PDF Tools is a DocView replacement for pdf on steroids. It renders pdf files in memory on demand, thus allows much extended capabilities, such as annotation, search and lots more just like another org file. See it in action here or my screen cast.

  1. Install pdf-tools from pinguim06 branch.

    let-list-1.0.1 is needed for Arch Linux in my case. Download let-alist-1.0.1 from bottom of this link, and install it via M-x package-install-file.

    make produced the ELP file pdf-tools-${VERSION}.tar. This package contains all the necessary files for Emacs and may be installed by either using

  2. pdf-tools-org

    pdf-tools-org is an emacs package that provides integration between pdf-tools and org-mode. The main features are importing and exporting pdf annotations from/to org files.

  3. Modified annotation export function to include the link back to pdf.

    save the annotation as org file when pdf file is saved.


  4. Export pdf outline as org-headings and extracting images of square annotations and inlining them. see code myrjola. Not all pdfs have outlines.

  5. Note Taking with PDF-Tools

    yet another resource.


Original resource from here. This tool is a little gem which is useful to get a list of BibTeX references from a scholarly PDF article.

  1. install ruby if not already

    and, Before you use RubyGems, you should add $(ruby -e “print Gem.user_dir”)/bin to your $PATH. You can do this by adding the following line to ~/.bashrc:

  2. install pdf-extract

    NB:get the cloned pdf-extract (not the same as zip) for extract-bib option; gem install pdf-extract does NOT have it, otherwise will getting following error.

    if you met this error.

  3. Usage

    Extract references and a title from a PDF:

    Resolve references to DOIs and output related metadata as BibTeX:

    Enjoy and abuse it…

Extract annotation from PDF -my old notes

  1. updated doppler together with dependency
  2. method 1: Install leela from github or arch AUR site Note: man page not updated as in github, leela annots [NOT annotations]
  3. Method 2: Zotero, Mendeley, a tablet, et al. download C code and Makefile (papers/books/tmp/folder), make, run

  4. Method 1 with R retrieve lost of information needed to use xslt to format the data, xml attribute
  5. both method one page short, guess it is doppler thing, Method 2 do not tell whether it is highlights or links (does show the pages), method 1 DOES well.

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