2017-10-30 Pdf-tools and follow mode

Today I discovered an extremely cool feature of pdf-tools. Assume that you have a pdf file with annotations (that is, those funny yellow sticky-note-like thingies which show some text when hovered or clicked). Assume that they are done by the editor of a journal you work for, and you have to modify the source LaTeX file accordingly. (This is a rather specialized use, but I think the feature may have more applications.) My previous workflow involved using a mouse (actually, a touchpad, but I hate both with a passion). But there’s a much better way. Open the pdf in pdf-tools, press C-c C-a l (pdf-annot-list-annotations), and two new windows appear. One of them contains the list of annotations, and the other the text of the annotation the point is on. Cool!

But wait, there’s more! If you press C-c C-f in the annotation list (pdf-annot-list-follow-minor-mode), moving point in that buffer not only shows the text of the current one, but also highlights it in the pdf view! How. Cool. Is. That?

And by the way, editing of such things should be done from end to the beginning, since that way you won’t change the layout of the pages you are going to edit in a moment, and it is much easier to visually compare the pdf with annotations with what you are working on. You’re welcome.

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