Apr 19 10 9:28 PM

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Originally Posted by Joe Merola on November 18, 2009

I have been using VMWare to run Windows simultaneously with Snow Leopard and have had to bring up Windows to use Windows Journal and PDF Annotator. I have discovered a cross-platform (and free) alternative which is Jarnal. http://www.dklevine.com/general/software/tc1000/jarnal.htm

It is not as polished as the Windows software but it does the job using Mac OS X and it is free - two things that I look for all the time being a cheap academician.

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Reply by Pata on November 18, 2009 at 9:14am

Have you tried PDFpen [Pro]. Sure it costs a bit of money, but it's OS X Native and I've heard good things about it. Haven't tested it on a Modbook yet though...


Reply by EricN on November 18, 2009 at 8:17pm

I tried Jarnal a while back. I recall seeing this dialog box:

and being unable to contain my laughter --- not polished is a bit of an understatement. That said, none of these note taking programs have particularly well thought out user interfaces. I use Inkbook mostly for its integration of decent handwriting recognition even though it can make some basic tasks, like printing, irritatingly difficult.NoteLab is another Java based, cross platform application you may want to look at. It is still in beta, but appears to have potential.

Although all of these note taking applications may also be used to make freehand annotations of PDFs, I find it easier to use something designed specifically for PDF annotation (and reading): Skim. While PDFpen andPDFClerk provide some of that functionality, they are both really designed for editing PDFs, and are missing important features required of a PDF reader/annotator: a decent freehand tool, page cropping, and a full screen mode. Oh, by the way, Skim is free.

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Reply by Joe Merola on November 19, 2009 at 4:05am

Jarnal has a beta which is a Mac application interface and so it is a bit better than you might recall. I tried Skim and didn't like it but maybe I should give it another look. PDFPen is a bit too pricey. I still keep going to Windows Journal a lot because the handwriting recognition is still much better for cursive than anything I've tried on Mac. QuickScripts has potential but it is agonizingly slow.

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Reply by EricN on November 19, 2009 at 7:59pm

I hear you on cursive handwriting recognition. I'm so tired of "the" being recognized as "Re". I was hopeful that MyScript Stylus and MyScript Studio would come to the rescue, but then I read in Axiotron Forums a quote from Vison Objects, the developer of Quickscripts,

We are still working on a Snow Leopard compatible version of Stylus, but other workloads are preventing us from making it a priority task. We are still hoping to have it available before the end of the year.

Given that they originally promised to have this ready in 2008, "We are still hoping ..." likely translates as sometime next year. Have you tried MyScript Studio on Windows?

I was perhaps a touch harsh on Jarnal, but I find that dialog hilarious. I think the reason I like Skim is that I look at annotation as part of the reading process --- I have to be restrained around library books --- and since Skim is such a good PDF reader, and the others are such mediocre readers, I'm willing to overlook the lack of an erasure on the freehand annotation tool.