beta PDF reader: any plans for a "text tool" ?

When annotating papers in e.g. PDFexpert, I mostly use 2 tools: highlighting and the text tool (i.e. writing text directly on the paper, same as I would do with a pen on a printed paper). On iOS I can use my Apple pencil — however while the annotation tool on macOS currently allows to write text in a PDF, I find it less useful since I have to click on every note to see the text that was entered.

Is there any plan for a text tool in the new beta PDF reader?
  • while the annotation tool on macOS currently allows to write text in a PDF, I find it less useful since I have to click on every note to see the text that was entered
    You're aware that you can view all annotations in the left-hand sidebar? That'll show the first few lines of note annotations. You still have to click to expand, but we could conceivably offer a way to expand all annotations boxes.
  • You’re right — as long as the paper isn’t published in two columns, in which case the notes won’t appear in the reading order. About half the papers in my field are in the two-columns format.

    Besides, from a purely cognitive point of view I find it quite distractive to switch from looking at the text in the paper to looking at the sidebar. I often annotate the main takeaway of each paragraph in a paper, which means I can have multiple notes on every page. Constantly glancing at the sidebar won’t do it.
  • @alexcr87 One advice if you want notes to appear in reading order - position note on top or next to the text where it belongs. Notes order is determined by the closest text offset in a page.
  • edited December 13, 2021
    @martynas_b thanks, but without a text tool I’ll go back to pdfExpert for annotations

    as I said constantly going back and forth between the sidebar and the text isn’t optimal at all if I’m annotating each paragraph in a paper

    besides, *every* pdf reader I know at least has a typewriter/text tool

    so @dstillman, I assume there’s thus no plan for this yet?
  • I second this feature request. I often like to write directly on figures to add information that is somewhere in the main text, but can’t be easily connected to the figure through highlight and line drawing annotations.
  • Just to give an example, I’m reading a paper with 8 experiments that does not mention experiment number in the figure legend, and due to the layout the text and figure are not perfectly aligned. I’d like to write the experiment number above each figure to be able to cross reference quickly.
  • That would indeed be very helpful ; let’s hope this gets implemented, it’s a pretty basic requirement
  • edited October 28, 2022
    I totally agree that it's a good idea to show directly in place of text annotations, almost all pdf readers provide this basic tool. It is strongly recommended to pay attention to this function need, i will be very grateful as I amazed the developers' passion
  • I tried making notes in Okular (using the free-hand drawing and text tool) but they are not rendered in Zotero PDF viewer? It would be super awesome to be able to just add text to the pdf. :) Thanks for your work!
  • I'd like to second this feature request — I too, like to write text on the figures.
  • @nopx
    As a work around on windows, you can try to edit zotero saved pdf files with edge (or xodo or drawboard or any other similar pdf editor with pen and text annotations abilities) and the annotations will appear instantly in zotero pdf editor after saving in edge and refreshing the file view in zotero (you can choose duplicate or reopen file in zotero).
    Having pen and text annotation options directly in zotero will be great of course but again zotero provides many unique features already.
  • Please consider adding this feature. It would be super useful to many people. Thanks for considering this request!
  • +1, need this text tool. Then I won't need to jump between Zotero and PDFexpert. It's the only reason I still use PDFexpert.
  • +1, If this typewriter/text feature gets added, Zotero will become my universal app for book reading and research work.
  • Please add this tool. Then I wont have to need the Foxit reader anymore!
  • (my understanding is that this is very likely to happen -- both as planned by Zotero and because the underlying pdf reader has added that functionality recently -- though as usual, without an ETA)
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