Lightweight portable image annotation software sought.
June 21, 2012 2:42 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for software (preferrably a portable app) which will allow me to embed an image or images into a file and allow me to add text to that file both above and below the image. I am not looking to edit the image. Word does the job perfectly well, but I don't have it on all of the computers which I switch between - annoyingly I switch machines a lot, but they are all windows machines. I would prefer not to use Open Office either and would prefer the software to be as light as possible. I would like to keep these files on my usb drive and keep the software application on there too if possible. This would allow me to plug in whenever I have a few spare minutes and acess to a computer.

I am preparing for an exam and have a number of images each of which is a sample question for the exam. I would like to store each of these images embedded in its own file/document and make notes on them as I work through them. I don't need to be able to format the text or as I say edit the image in any way. Just make notes above or below the file. Thanks in advance.

p.s. I have been Googling Portable Image Annotation Software which lead me to Portable Digital Notebook 1.2.28 which looked promising but is ultimately targetted at Biologists and when installed does not fit the bill - the images are too small and the interface far too complex!
posted by therubettes to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Hipster does this on your smart phone but it is fairly restrictive in terms of hoe much text you can add and what you can edit. If you dont have more than 1-2 lines of text each you should be fine. Also, you can link it dropbox and you can have a slideshow on your desktop automatically which you can flip through.
posted by london302 at 2:55 AM on June 21, 2012

Thanks for the smart phone tip but I am ideally looking for something that will work on windows computers. That said I download it and see if it could be of help to me for those times when I don't have access to a computer (other than my phone that is).
posted by therubettes at 3:05 AM on June 21, 2012

You want either ImageMagick or Inkscape depending on how complicated a layout you want for the annotations.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:13 AM on June 21, 2012

WordPad will get the job done.
posted by jmsta at 3:17 AM on June 21, 2012

jmsta - I can see how to insert bitmaps and 'microsoft word picture' but I can't see an option for jpegs. Am I missing something?

RonButNotStupid - Imagemagick seems to be commandline only if I am not mistaken.
Inkscape I have installed and is the winner so far. Probably a bit on the complicated side in terms of all the options I don't need but still a viable option.

Thanks to you both.
posted by therubettes at 3:31 AM on June 21, 2012

How about something in the cloud like Google Docs?
posted by MighstAllCruckingFighty at 3:36 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Try Balsamiq Mockups:

It does need AIR to be installed but that seems fairly reasonable to me, lots of machines have it already since it's a generic runtime. Could be a deal beaker though if you're looking to use locked down computers.

If that doesn't work out, do try adding stuff like "portable wireframe program" or "portable mockups" to our searches. These types of apps typically can do what you want.
posted by airways at 4:14 AM on June 21, 2012

How about using Evernote?
posted by gakiko at 4:38 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seems as if you could do this with HTML, displaying the result in any available browser.

The HTML could be entered manually using any available text editor.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:00 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can mildly abuse HTML to do this, so all you need is a text editor. For each image, create a file like:

<p>This is text above.

<p><img src="file.jpg">

<p>This is text below.

I think you'd have a tough job these days finding a computer that didn't have a text editor (Notepad, textedit, gedit) and a web browser these days.
posted by scruss at 5:01 AM on June 21, 2012

Some great suggestions so far. I am trying out a number of them. Really like the HTML suggestion! I will report back when I figure out which one suits me best..
posted by therubettes at 5:07 AM on June 21, 2012

To be able to browse your notes when not editing, you might like a free html editor with preview, such as HTML Kit or CoffeeCup.
posted by humph at 5:24 AM on June 21, 2012

(more suggestions here)
posted by humph at 5:26 AM on June 21, 2012

Hit this link and scroll down to Office Suites-- both OpenOffice and LibreOffice have USB-portable versions that may fit the bill.
posted by Sunburnt at 6:26 AM on June 21, 2012

I think tiddlywiki might fit your needs.
posted by luge at 6:27 AM on June 21, 2012

Atlantis is a very good solution.
posted by megatherium at 6:35 AM on June 21, 2012

Thanks for all the answers, I have tried out most of them, but in the end I am going to have to. go with Google Drive as it allows me to organize the images in folders, is obviously 100% portable (I can dispense with the USB drive). It has a beautiful clean interface particularly when I go full screen. I am going to use the description field to make my notes on each file. There is no apparent limit to the amount of text I can enter here as my notes - I really only want to make the simplest of notes. Also it allows me to tag the images which makes it unnecessary to place text at the top of the file. I am guessing that I will be able get an App for Drive for my Android phone which will make it even more suitable.

Thanks again!
posted by therubettes at 7:04 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

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