Nicole’s Nook: Read, Markup & Share PDFs with iAnnotate

sc552x414iAnnotate is one of my long-standing favorite apps used for reading, annotating and sharing PDFs. Recently Apple has made some fantastic upgrades and changes, which are definitely worth blogging about.

One new streamlining feature to note, is the option to take and import pictures. This feature now allows you to take a picture and import documents directly with the iAnnotate app. This eliminates the need for a second scanning app, which was previously a two-step, often confusing, process.

Other great features include:

  • Annotate and comment on PDFs: using pen, highlighter, typewriter, or pop-up comments
  • Works with many file types: DOC, XLS, PPT, images and web
  • Access and convert files to PDF
  • Several ways to share: share the annotated file, a flattened file, or just send a summary of your annotations.
  • Works on all apple devices
  • Customize your own toolbars

iAnnotate can be a very overwhelminsc552x414-2g app as it offers so many options and features.  However, this can be a very powerful tool, especially for the older student with NF.  Completing worksheets with this app can drastically minimize fine motor demands.  Students can also use the app with study guides or presentations, marking them up and adding their own notes.  The possibilities are endless!

For detailed information on specific functions, and features, please click on the titles below:

Importing Pictures:

  • Select the LIBRARY TAB
  • Select ADD, then IMPORT IMAGE
    • You can choose to take a picture using the camera or select an image from your Camera Roll. (Hint: The app does not allow you to crop the image.  You may want to take the picture in your camera app vs. iAnnotate, so you can use the editing/cropping tools in the photos app.)
  • Once imported, you will need to name the image and then select it. You can now modify the document using a variety of annotation tools.

Creating a Custom Toolbar:

  • Click the + sign at the top right corner
  • Then select ADD TOOLBAR/+ at the top right corner
  • Select NEW CUSTOM TOOLBAR
  • Press the icon you want to use and drag to right side of screen
  • Repeat this for each icon, up to 11 icons per toolbar
  • Toolbars can include multiple colors of same tool (i.e. many colored pencils, colored highlighters)
  • Press DONE when finished
  • Multiple custom toolbars can be created
  • To edit a toolbar (adding or removing tools):
    • Click the box at the right bottom corner
    • Once it expands, select the toolbar you want to edit
    • To remove tools, press icon and drag to left
    • To add tools, select icon and drag to right
  • To remove a toolbar:
    • Click the box at the right bottom corner
    • Once it expands, select the toolbar you want to remove
    • Then press the + sign at the top right corner
    • Select the trashcan icon at the lower right corner
    • Select REMOVE TOOLBAR
  • Choose from a variety of toolbars
    • Click the box at the right bottom corner to display all toolbars available

Annotation tools available:

  • Caption: creates notes on page
  • Pen/Marker: use finger to write, color editing available
  • Highlighter, underline, & strikeout: works only with text in a document, not a PDF
  • Stamp: choose from a variety of graphics, including your own photos
  • Custom Stamp: create a custom stamp(s) to save time, especially if stamp is used repeatedly
    • Add the icon STAMP WITH A SPECIFIC IMAGE to your toolbar
    • Select graphic or image you would like to designate to that stamp
    • Press DONE
  • Custom Stamp with Signature/Name:
    • For signature, add the Feather icon to your toolbar, press DONE
    • For text name, add the Typewriter icon to your toolbar, press DONE
    • Select Feather, tap on area and sign name, press DONE, OR
    • Select Typewriter, tap on area and type name, press DONE
    • Tap on signature/name until it blinks, in the upper right, press STAMP
    • Enter a Stamp Name and press CHECKMARK
    • Press DONE
    • Now go back and edit toolbar and add a new icon (STAMP WITH A SPECIFIC IMAGE)
    • Find your signature/text and SELECT
    • Press DONE
  • Typewriter: creates text boxes, change font/color
    • Dictate answers, if built-in dictation is available
  • Wrist guard: available for pencil/straight-line, highlight, underline and strikeout annotations
    • Provides an annotation ribbon that allows wrist stability when using select tools and prevents touch screen registration
  • Camera: insert photo or take photo
  • Microphone: record a sound annotation
    • If sharing the annotated version, the recipient will get sound/audio, but only if opened in iAnnotate (sound will not play in any other app)
  • Print or email
    • Send original or flattened version (viewable, but not editable) or annotated version (viewable and editable)
  • Additional sharing options: export to other apps such as Dropbox or Google Drive
    • Must add OPEN IN EXTERNAL APPLICATION icon on toolbar
    • Send “flattened” version so mark ups can be viewed, when exporting to other apps
  • Create folders to help with organization

 

– Nicole Weckherlin, OTR/L, St. Louis Children’s Hospital Occupational Therapist