My printer is out of toner, and I’m supposed to print out manuscripts to critique for writer’s group on Monday. And then it occurred to me–I have an iPad, for heaven’s sake. Why am I even using paper?
(It’s true that I could use the comment function in Word. However, it’s clunky and slow. I can scribble on a paper manuscript with a pen much more quickly, and in any case, I dislike editing on a monitor. An iPad mimicks paper quite nicely, however.)
A few minutes’ searching turned up the Notability app, which for a mere $1.99 will import PDFs and let me scribble on them with my finger or a stylus. Well, splendid! A few more minutes hooked the app to my Dropbox account, where I had stored the manuscripts I needed to critique. I did have to take a side jaunt to my word processing program to convert said manuscripts to PDFs, but that only took a few mouse clicks. Importing the new PDFs into Noteworthy was easy. In seconds I had a screenful of text I could scribble on just like paper, only it didn’t involve any dead trees.
I happily went through the manuscripts. Notability added my handwritten comments to the PDFs and saved them to Dropbox, though the files are also still on the iPad. At the writers group meeting, I can call up the manuscript with my comments on it, use it to give the oral critique, and then email the PDF to my colleague afterward. Notability even allows me to record comments vocally, if I want. Delightful!
Oh, you modern times. What will you think of next?
Update:An earlier version of this blog incorrectly referred to the app as Noteworthy instead of Notability.
–Steven Harper Piziks
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