WaitState

Will technology ever catch up?

Working with PDF files under OSX

Posted by cascadehush on September 15, 2006

I have recently started keeping PDF copies of important web pages. I generally find bookmarks to be a waste of time because it usually ends up being a dumping ground of stuff that I never get around to re-visiting. (I almost always type urls and use the autocomplete feature to get to just about any website, and use google for the rest). Keeping a reference collection is part of the GTD philosophy. So if I see a page with useful info, I want to keep a copy.

For those of you who are Windows users or new to OSX, you can print directly to PDF from any application since it’s a built in feature of OSX.

Ironically it was my use of Quicksilver that caused me to have a second look at Spotlight, and to discover that any PDF files I have are indexed as well. This led me to find out if I could copy text from a PDF, and that search reveale Apple’s guide to PDF on Mac OS X.

Preview (the OSX PDF viewer) always annoyed me because it forces you to view one page at a time, and use the next/previous page buttons. But now I’ve found you can turn off this behavour and just scroll down through the document. Excellent if you have an Apple laptop with the 2 finger scrolling. Just select View->PDF Display->Continuous.

I wish the toolbar was down the side, instead of across the top, but at least you can minimise its size by going to View->Customise Toolbar and at the bottom select Icon Only and tick Small Size.

You can also add annotations to PDFs or draw little ovals around thing you want to draw attention to.

It just shows that spending 10 minutes getting to know a piece of software can be well worth it even when it’s such a basic utility.

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