Question about highlighting

A place to discuss Bookends for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.
perplexed
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:35 am

Question about highlighting

Post by perplexed »

I've switched to using Bookends for macOS and have recently got an iPad and so am trying out the iOS version too. The support for the Apple Pencil and the ability to highlight text and make notes on the iPad is very useful, especially if synced between devices.

When highlighting, it looks as though I first have to highlight text, then copy it, and then paste the text into a note. Am I doing this correctly or is there a way of automatically noting/saving the highlighted text, reducing the number of steps?

Serge
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:09 pm

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by Serge »

I think these operations are independent as you copy without highlighting, and highlight without copying.

perplexed
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by perplexed »

Hello Serge and thanks for getting back to me. It's good to know I'm doing things correctly and not missing anything.

My aim is to find a way to highlight important parts of papers and then make my highlights searchable within Bookends. I could highlight the text, copy it, and paste it to a note. Out of interest, is it likely that searchable highlighting might be a feature in the future, or does PDFKit not work that way?

Thanks again.

perplexed
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by perplexed »

Hello Serge,

After a bit more searching, I found something similar to what I’d like to do. In the macOS version of Bookends, it is possible to highlight text and add it to a “notecard.” The notecards appears to be searchable, so this is exactly what I’d like to do, rather than adding notes (annotations) to a PDF itself.

Is there a way to highlight and add to notecards in the iOS version? I’ve not found a way yet, so the closest thing for me is to highlight, copy, come out of the PDF, paste the text into a note(card), and go back into the PDF. So I’m hoping there is a way I’m just not familiar with yet.

Thanks for your help!

Serge
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:09 pm

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by Serge »

Note stream with pdf annotations is not currently available in Bookends for iOS, but it's planned.

perplexed
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by perplexed »

That's great to hear, Serge, thanks. Sorry about the late reply, things have been busy!

As this feature could completely change how I use Bookends, is there any news on when it is likely to arrive in the iOS version? Thanks.

Serge
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:09 pm

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by Serge »

I'm sorry, I can't give you an estimate, but it's planned.

perplexed
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by perplexed »

I thought I'd follow up to see if there was any further news since my original enquiry a little while back. I appreciate that there will always be a long "To Do" list, though, and the many users will of course have different ideas of priorities. ;)

The reason I'm keen on this potential feature is because I often read papers on a desktop or laptop, but I prefer to make annotations with an Apple Pencil on an iPad. So I'm not normally creating "notecards" using macOS, but think having searchable notecards within Bookends is an excellent way of capturing key information from many (thousands...) of papers in a reference library. Using Bookends on an iPad, the reading of papers is very convenient, but the highlighting, then copying, then coming out of the PDF view and pasting into a notecard, and then going back into the PDF is a little cumbersome, and this prevents me using the features more regularly (I know, you can blame me for being lazy! :D).

So you can see there is a gap for me, where neither the Mac nor iPad versions individually do quite what I'm after, but put together they do. I'd love to read papers on my iPad and capture key points/concepts/points easily using the Apple Pencil, and then have these notes synchronize so they are accessible and searchable when making more advanced usage of Bookends using a Mac version. That combination would be powerful for me and really change how I use Bookends, especially when travelling.

I feel that an option for highlighting text on an iPad and then automatically or optionally capturing the highlighted text, making it searchable within Bookends, would open up possibilities... Maybe it's just useful for me, but I suspect adding a seemingly minor feature on the iOS version could actually change some people's usage across the platforms rather significantly. :)

aroddick
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by aroddick »

I agree. My current workaround for this - which may be quicker than your current approach - is to do all my highlighting on the Ipad, then export the bookends annotations to Drafts (using a simple shortcut), where I clean up the highlights, give them headers, etc., then copy and paste all them back to a notecard (which become multiple notecards with headers). It is frustrating though, particularly as the now-dead Sente for ios had this feature years ago. Hoping that this can be resolved in 2020!

kseggleton
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:47 am

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by kseggleton »

I also agree that having the ability to highlight on the iPad and turn the highlights into Notecards, like on the Mac, would be ideal. It is one of the major reasons why I don’t use the iOS version of Bookends extensively.

Serge
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:09 pm

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by Serge »

We are working on it.

perplexed
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by perplexed »

Aha, I see there are indeed others out there with the same thinking. That's good to confirm.

aroddick: Thanks for the suggestion of another approach to this. It does sound like a lot of work too, though. And I know what you mean, I'm an ex-Sente user too!

kseggleton: I'm in a similar situation. I mostly use Bookends on an iPhone to quickly look up a PDF and show someone, but do any serious work in the Mac version. I've dabbled a little with Bookends on the iPad, mostly investigating the PDF editing/note-taking features. I agree with you that the ability to quickly create notecards from highlights would radically change my usage. I would then use my iPad preferentially to read papers and take notes, also making it easier to read papers whilst travelling a lot, and use the Mac version as my main database and when writing documents.

An update from another thread on the same subject: Serge has said this is the next feature they are working on. I'm very pleased to hear this! Fingers crossed... Thanks, Serge! :D

aroddick
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by aroddick »

Really happy to see this introduced today. Is there any chance on the next iteration that page numbers can be included on the note-cards on Ios? That is pretty critical for me, and would speed things up.
Thanks again for moving forward on this!

Serge
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:09 pm

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by Serge »

Are you talking about the “Make Bookends Notecard From Selection and Page #” feature used in Bookends for Mac?

aroddick
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Question about highlighting

Post by aroddick »

Yes, I suppose I am. I need to have the page number for the citations, and it would be a great help to have the page number in the Ios version. Currently, I can highlight in Bookend on Ios and export to another program and it brings along the page numbers (although often not the correct pages, as it doesn't draw in the bibliographic info). It would be really useful to have this information added to the notes on Ios automatically.

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