Handwriting on iPad - iAnnotate

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by benedge89, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. benedge89
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    benedge89 iPF Noob

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    Hi All - a new user here.

    I want to take handwritten notes on the iPad using iannotate for my university courses.

    My only concern is due to it being multi touch I have seen that most people have to hold their palm/wrist off the screen while wrtiting with the stylus.

    For me this would be very annoying and I fear my writing would become illegible and it would just be plain awkward and uncomfortable.

    Any users here that have had experience using iAnnotate?? Exactly how easy is it to write using a stylus? Are you always keeping your wrist off the screen? Making mistakes etc?
  2. nateccnn
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    nateccnn iPad Fan

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    Quick Note and Paper Desk are my favorites. IAnnote is nice for marking up PDFs but Goodreader does some stuff that iAnnote won't, and vice versa...I feel like I need both to get the job done.

    As for my wrist...it has never been an issue. If that is your biggest concern, don't fret over it.

    I never bought a stylus. I looked for them locally but all the stores were sold out. I think I am glad they were sold out. I find I don't really need one.

    Nate
  3. Diane B
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    Diane B iPad Junkie

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    I just found Note Taker HD from a comment about it on this forum. I have several others but Note Taker is the best I've found. A bit of a learning curve but once you get it, really fast, very good wrist protection or enlarged area to write, even with your finger there--2 edit options IOW. I've noticed its chosen by quite s few students.

    BTW, using the new Ipad forum app. Very nice.

    Diane B
  4. Caco
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    Caco iPF Noob

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    The only one I've found that really works to write is NatsNote but it's too basic, it does work but you can't highlight, put names on the notes....awful
  5. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    When you write or draw on an iPad screen you've got to be careful that only the tip of the stylus (forget about finger!) touches the screen. If not, you'll get extra unintended marks or other unwanted results like zooming/panning.

    So what do you do? Write with your hand floating above the screen? Boring, painful, untenable.

    Many note-taking apps have a feature called "wrist-protection" which, when activated within the app, supposedly allows you to rest your hand/palm/wrist/pinky/whatever on the screen without causing any problems.

    Here is a summary of what I have learned about wrist-protection over the last three weeks in four different apps: it is shite.

    The app Note Taker HD (which incidentally offers wrist-protection; I ignore it) circumvents this problem brilliantly by offering the input method that I describe above.

    From here: http://www.ipadforums.net/ipad-apps/2037-best-note-taking-app-ipad-9.html#post111251
  6. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    First, welcome to the forum! To answer your original question, iAnnotate has a guard so that you don't get [too many] stray marks. It works pretty good, actually - I tried it before I posted this. So, I would think that with a bit of practice, you'll be fine using iAnnotate. I know that I like iAnnotate because of the way you can open various PDFs in tab format. Very nice if you are switching between a lot of PDFs.

    However - and I have to say this. :D

    I don't use iAnnotate that much for taking notes (and I am also a full-time college student). I like GoodReader (for its filing system) and, now that you can import PDFs for annotation, I doubly like Note Taker HD - mainly for the reasons outlined by chowdown above; you can rest your hand on the bezel to write. That guarantees no stray marks. Note Taker HD = awesome (IMNSHO)!

    Good luck.

    Marilyn
  7. zrome
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    zrome iPF Noob

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    PDF Expert, Notes Plus are very good apps for your purpose.
  8. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Or you could start a fashion statement. Wear one glove with the thumb and first two figures cut off. ;)
  9. benedge89
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    benedge89 iPF Noob

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    Hi marilyn, thanks so much for your informative reply. So are you telling me this note taker HD app allows you to import pdf documents and then write on them using a specialized ipad stylus while offering excellent wrist protection so you only get the stylus making marks - not the rest of your hand?

    Are you then able to go back to these edited pdfs in your next lecture with all of your annotations still on them?

    Just looking at the app now - do you have to write in that box at the bottom of the page to appear on the pdf? this would not work for me.

    See I am a maths student and in my notes there are specific sections where i need to write down answers/equations etc... sometimes only one line sometimes 20 lines. so instead of writing in a box and then the writing appearing somewhere else on the screen... i want the option of being able to put my stylus where i want to write on the pdf (rest my wrist so i am comfortable) and then write where i want to...

    can you do this on note taker hd? on the imported pdfs?


    is there a file size limit? the pdfs i want to import and annotate are approx 30mb
  10. JohnMorris
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    JohnMorris iPF Novice

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    iAnnotate is a good app for annotation and writing documents in a PDF Format for university assignments. I hope you will find it useful.
  11. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes. The app was just updated so you can import PDFs and write on them. I use a Boxwave stylus and it is a very smooth writing experience. I use the zoom-in writing function primarily, which allows you to rest your hand on the bezel so no input is being sent to your iPad screen.

    Yes. You can save them as they are. You will get a thumbnail file list (that you can title your own way) and you select the document you wish.

    That's the beauty of this app. It has TWO note-taking options. With the regular option, you write on the full-size paper wherever you wish. Just write and it'll show up. Note Take HD does have a wrist guard function, so this option can be protected to stop most stray marks. I don't use this too much, because with option two, you can rest on the bezel.

    The cool part about option 2 is that yes, while you write at the bottom of the screen in a zoom mode, you can place the text input box wherever you wish. And you can resize the text input box. So, you can place it in the space you wish. Then, when you write in the zoom box at the bottom of the screen ('cause this'll also work in portrati), you can be very precise and neat. You don't have to "aim" and hope your writing fits where you wish. You just place the box where you want and then you are able to write big. The app will take your writing and fit it in small where you need it.

    Yep!

    This one I don't know about - mainly because I've never looked at a file size. But, I should think it'd work fine. Tell you what, let me scrounge around and see if I can find a big PDF file and test it out for you. 'Kay? More on that later...

    Hope this helped.

    Marilyn
  12. benedge89
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    benedge89 iPF Noob

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    Thankyou so much for all of your help with this one!! hope to hear from you soon!
  13. benedge89
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    benedge89 iPF Noob

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    Sorry one more question as well!

    I managed to find a youtube video of someone showing off these capabilities - looks great!!

    How do you transfer pdf's between your computer and ipad? Can you only access pdf's online? Is it through itunes with special software?

    an example of the kind of pdf files i'll be annotating:

    MATH2000 Resources

    and click on the student workbook...

    once again thanks so much!!
  14. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    OK. That was one big file you have there. It's 1.3 mb (232 pages!). But, Note Taker HD had ZERO trouble loading it in. None.

    I went to the web page you posted above and I opened the PDF file on my iPad (just selected the link and Safari opened the PDF in the browser). In the upper right hand corner, there was an "Open In…" button. I pressed it and then selected "Open in Note Taker HD." The app opened and I selected the "Create Page" button (as there is another option to make the PDF a background image - but that's not what you want).

    Took about 30 seconds for the app to load the 232 (!) pages. I then made the annotations to the file as you see in the linked pictures. I didn't write on many pages but I did scroll all the way to the end of the file. Not a hiccup from NT-HD.

    Oh, and one other thing. I initially put the PDF into my Dropbox file (via my computer). On the iPad, I opened my Dropbox icon, selected the PDF and then selected "Open in NT-HD." Took a bit of download time, but, really no problem there. So, if you get stuff into Dropbox, even big files like this one, there's no trouble getting it onto the iPad.

    Then, I went to get it off the iPad. And, I discovered something new (or something I didn't think about before). No Dropbox (or any cloud) support right now with Note Taker HD. Huh. But then, I've never done anything with my notes in the app before except study from them on the iPad. Hopefully, it's one of the things the developer is working on.

    Anyway, you can e-mail the file, so that's good. Takes a bit for the file to go through, but it went with no issues (I have gmail … worked fine). When I opened the file on my desktop (running Windows 7 Professional), I was able to see my annotations just fine, both in Google's web viewer (Google Docs) online and in Adobe Reader (after saving the document to my desktop). So, it works there.

    I also think there is a way to just selectively pick various pages to e-mail. I didn't look too closely, but it looks like it. If I'm wrong, sorry 'bout that…

    You can also access the file via iTunes (from within the Apps tab when your iPad is hooked up). Just scroll to the bottom and you'll see where NT-HD has a file-sharing section. It's a little hard to understand how to do it, but I was able to get the file out via iTunes. There is a very extensive Help section in the app, so if I can follow it … :D

    I've got some pictures linked here: NoteTaker HD Examples pictures by Mickey330 - Photobucket. Let me know if you can't see them.

    So, there you go. After looking at your workbook, I can only wish you luck, both in DOING the maths and in working it with the iPad. I don't know if you'll be happy writing in such a small area on the iPad (the stylii that work with the iPad aren't as precise as a well-sharpened pencil) but - if you want to use your iPad to annotate on this worksheet, or others like it - IMNSHO, Note Taker HD is the app to do it with.

    Good luck.

    Marilyn
  15. Hasty
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    Hasty iPad Ninja

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    Nice job there Marilyn. Well done.
  16. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Benedge
    Note Taker HD may as well have been invented for doing mathematics. I use it with a projector to teach mathematics and use it as a notebook to do maths. The edit2 feature, when fully understood and utilized, is great.

    One fly in the ointment though, and it may not affect you. Scanned PDFs seem to be imported upside-down! The developer has posted some unsatisfactory-looking workarounds at his support site and there may be steps one can take during the actual scanning process that will help. I've got lots of scanned PDFs which I will use Noterize with, not a bad app at all, but no edit2 and bezel capability.

    So remember, with Note Taker just because you rest on the bezel doesn't mean you can't put your equations anywhere you want.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  17. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    Note Taker HD + GoodReader + DropBox = iTunes unnecessary.
  18. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Unless you want to do backups or install iOS upgrades. Or are there workarounds for those too?
  19. chowdown
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    chowdown iPad Fan

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    No. I just meant that you can get PDFs into NTHD without iTunes if you want to.
  20. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Ah, too bad. I know some people who would love to drop iTunes all together. Not me. I've got too much invested in my music collection.

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