Edit manuscripts, like in the pencil days. On a Mac
August 8, 2012 2:40 PM   Subscribe

Remember editing text (I mean, writing) with a pencil? Like you would as a teacher or senior editor correcting somebody else's manuscript?Can I do something like that on my Mac (10.5.8)? I've been using Preview to add highlights, notes and simple graphic elements, but what I want is...

...to be able to add little re-writes, right on the existing text, not by highlighting and then adding a note off to the side. Like, to move a word, I want to circle it and add an arrow to the new place it should go, or strike out a short phrase and add the correction right on top, in the triple-spaced area I created when I formated the text and saved it to a new pdf. I'd prefer if it's all done with built-in shapes and typing, rather than hand-writing/drawing, like an iPad notetaker. Willing to spend very little, but that really depends mostly on features and slickness. TIA!
posted by dpcoffin to Writing & Language (3 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Adobe Acrobat (the full version) offers some of what you're looking for. (In a far less direct way, so does Snagit.) I have only used each of them once or twice for in-document edits, and I found them both a bit unwieldy. Impressionistically, they seemed more suited to one-off editing (particularly Snagit) than sustained editing, but it may well be there are techniques I've yet to master, particularly in the full-form version of Adobe Acrobat, which I still don't know that well, but which I've once or twice seen referenced for use by professional editors.

If I remember correctly, my niece also has a PC laptop with a pivoting screen (can't remember the brand), which allows for writing directly on the screen with a stylus. I don't know the limitations of that, either.

If you find one of these--or some other--program really excels, post your results here! In a lackadaisical way, I've been on the look-out for something better than MS Word's tracking tool for a while now.
posted by Violet Blue at 5:15 PM on August 8, 2012

PDFPen might work.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:22 PM on August 8, 2012

Response by poster: PDF Editor looks similar to PDFPen, as well; thanks! Both seem to have lots of good tools.

I wound up squeaking by today with Acrobat Pro, and if I didn't already have that, I'd definitely go for one of the above.

More suggestions welcome; I won't mark this resolved for a few more days—thanks again!
posted by dpcoffin at 6:59 PM on August 8, 2012

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