Documentum, Alfresco or Hadoop Annotations : Feature Updates for OpenAnnotate 2.5

Over the last six years, OpenAnnotate has evolved from supporting only simple annotations to gradually supporting all XFDF features as well as additional collaboration capabilities.  Driven by our clients, OpenAnnotate has added a variety of different functionality including collaboration, highlighting, indexing, and redaction.  With a modern approach, OpenAnnotate has successfully replaced numerous legacy annotation tools including Documentum’s PDF Annotation Services and AnnoDocs. This post will present all of the new features that are available in OpenAnnotate 2.5.

OpenAnnotate 2.5 – Annotation Types for XFDF

OpenAnnotate was initially conceived as a lightweight web/browser based alternative to Documentum’s PDF Annotation Services (PAS)  (See our post from 2011) Initially, OpenAnnotate only supported simple annotations such as sticky notes, lines, circles, and rectangles. Over the last few years, clients have added multiple new features including text highlighting, strikethrough and, more recently, the ability to add a “text-box” and type text as an annotations. OpenAnnotate 2.5 supports creating the following annotation types:

  • Sticky Note
  • Highlight
  • Strikethrough
  • Insert Text at Placeholder
  • Text Box
  • Line
  • Arrow
  • Circle
  • Rectangle
  • Stamps (Approved, Reviewed, Checkmark, Rejected)

For annotations that are supported in Adobe Acrobat (like the “polygon” tool, or the free-form pencil drawing annotation type) but not supported on OpenAnnotate, OpenAnnotate includes two options:

  • turn the annotation into a sticky note and update the content of the note with some details on what was “migrated”
  • work with the client on developing and adding that annotation type as core functionality into OpenAnnotate

OpenAnnotate 2.5 Capabilities

OpenAnnotate 2.5 also includes added functionality for document viewing. Many clients use OpenAnnotate as their default PDF viewer within the TSG High Performance Interface.  The advantages of using OpenAnnotate as a viewer include:

  • users will always see the annotated version when viewing a document the first time, rather than having to click and launch a separate tool.
  • print capabilities can be disabled/controlled as the PDF document is never sent “whole” to the client.
  • heads-up indexing allows for viewing the document with OpenAnnotate and capturing values from the document as part of the indexing effort

Other features that clients have added over the years:

  • Zooming (including pre-defined buttons for “fit-width” and “fit-height”)
  • Color selector to change colors of annotations
  • Infinite scrolling with the scrollwheel to go between pages of the PDF
  • Select Text (for copying document text to the clipboard)
  • PDF Bookmarks
    • Left bar that has hierarchical view of the bookmarks
    • Clickable bookmarks directly in the text of the document (either internal bookmarks or external URL links)
  • Annotation Summary with:
    • filtering by status, author, or annotation content
    • export summary to excel
    • export summary to printable table
  • Search – integrated with keyboard shortcut to quickly search
  • Collaboration
  • Redaction
  • Heads-Up Indexing – see our post with video for how to index documents and capture index fields from values on the PDF.
  • Document Comparison using Workshare Compare – stay tuned for the blog for a detailed review of our new Document Compare feature integrated into OpenAnnotate for quickly reviewing the changed parts of a document.

We are looking forward to many more years of enhancements to OpenAnnotate. If there is something additional you would like to see OpenAnnotate do, let us know about it in the comments below.

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