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Ink annotations in Acrobat Reader


I read lots of pdf files that I find on the web on my Tablet PC (Compaq TC 1000). Acrobat Reader (5.1 and 6.0) has some annotation and commenting features but apparently (Planet PDF, TabletPCBuzz) you need a *very* expensive server software to activate this feature on pdf files.
I can understand that they want to control their enterprise market and make money out of it, but as an end-user, I really feel I should be able to put Ink on my pdf. Maybe a solution would be that the Ink doesn't get saved in the original pdf, but in a separate file, this way you don't need the file's creator's permission to take notes on a pdf.

Printing to the Journal application seems to be the "best" available solution, but then you lose benefits of having a pdf (text search, zoom in/out, index,...).

Although the recently released version 6 is otherwise nice, I think the current state of annotation in Acrobat Reader is sad as there are't that many applications that I wish were Ink-enabled and the Reader was one of the main ones... :-(

I'm looking at the Acrobat Control for ActiveX, to build my own pdf viewer with an Ink control layered on top of the pdf. The OCX control can be added very easily to a winforms application in Visual Studio.Net, and it displays a pdf just fine. But the existing API is unsupported/undocumented and there is even some mentions on the web that the APIs were left voluntarily incomplete... which makes hooking difficult past the initial "LoadFile" call :-(
I'll post updates if I manage to get more control on this component.

In terms of adding the ActiveX component to a winform, really makes it easy. The "Customize Toolbox..." context menu of the Toolbox allows you to import COM components. You can then drag and drop it from the Toolbox onto the form designer and voila ! silently generated some proxy classes so that the component looks like a regular .NET object to you.

Update: I found mention on some forum that the full version of Adobe Acrobat might be enough to get access to the commenting features. Anyone can confirm?

Update: I got confirmation that Adobe Acrobat allows to annotate documents even when their "use rights" don't include commenting. I wish the Reader would have this feature though, or that Acrobat would be cheaper than 300$.


hi - if you are running office (2000 or higher) you can download solidconverter which embeds itself and allows you to open pdf's as word files. Then simply open the annotation feature and voila! If need be these files can be re-saved as pdf.


Posted by: marcus (November 29, 2004 08:10 AM)
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