I suggest you ...

Enable the built-in PDF reader to recognize annotations (notes, highlights, etc.) made in external PDF readers (such as Acrobat and Evince).

The built-in PDF reader do not recognize annotations (notes, highlights, etc.) made in external PDF readers (such as Acrobat Reader and Evince). The problem is twofold:
(1) when I include notes on Mendeley, I must export the notes as a new PDF file, so they cannot e changed in another PDF reader; and
(2) when I include notes on my Android device (with any PDF reader), the notes are not recognized by Mendeley.

My suggestion is to enable the Mendeley's built-in PDF reader to recognize such annotations. So the changes made both on my tablet (external reader) or on my desktop (built-in) are compatible.

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Gabriel De Oliveira RamosGabriel De Oliveira Ramos shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
Pedro PereiraPedro Pereira shared a merged idea: Import highlights/notes from Adobe Reader  ·   · 
sitansitan shared a merged idea: Export pdf with annotation.  ·   · 
pshahpshah shared a merged idea: Annotations like Preview  ·   · 
Idan BarirIdan Barir shared a merged idea: Support importing existing Adobe Acrobat notes  ·   · 
richrich shared a merged idea: Notes from PDF annotations  ·   · 
MartinMartin shared a merged idea: Option to save my highlights and comments in the PDF documents themselves.  ·   · 
theunseen123theunseen123 shared a merged idea: make the highlighting and notes compatible with foxit reader's highlighting and notes  ·   · 
Bernd BrecherBernd Brecher shared a merged idea: compability to adobe reader and pdf xchange viewer annotations  ·   · 
Peter GallagherPeter Gallagher shared a merged idea: import and export Skim notes, highlights  ·   · 
GregorGregor shared a merged idea: sticky note generated in Mendeley recognized by Adobe  ·   · 
Brendan Johan LeeBrendan Johan Lee shared a merged idea: Latest version ( doesn't export annotated notes  ·   · 
Marcelo CarlosMarcelo Carlos shared a merged idea: PDF annotations should be compatible with other PDF readers  ·   · 
Anonymous shared a merged idea: Recognize sticky notes created by acrobat and other PDF utilities.  ·   · 
RWendlerRWendler shared a merged idea: Show comment annotations made in preview or allow pdfs to be opened from Mendeley in preview.  ·   · 
Mauricio AndresMauricio Andres shared a merged idea: Import annotations from PDF  ·   · 
drewfrankdrewfrank shared a merged idea: Integration with external note-taking apps  ·   · 


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  • saira khansaira khan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

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  • Kevin PacettiKevin Pacetti commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    For users who have a PDF annotation tool preference and wish to have their annotations embedded in the PDF, Mendeley should provide an option to use any external PDF annotation software the user chooses (e.g. PDFAnnotator) if the user does not want to use the built-in annotation tools. The workflow for using an external annotation tool would be:
    1. Add reference record
    2. Attach PDF
    3. Choose to annotate PDF using an external annotation tool (e.g. PDFAnnotator)
    4. The PDF file attached to Mendeley would open in the external annotation tool, the user would make their annotations and save the PDF file (the PDF file is still linked to the reference record in Mendeley)
    5. The user can choose to view the PDF from within Mendeley using the built-in PDF viewer

  • OBrendelOBrendel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    So how comes that I read and edit annotations made with Acrobat, Xchange viewer and Foxit ! They way they do annotations must be similar in some way !

  • Anh Tu NguyenAnh Tu Nguyen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is hard and nearly impossible, because different pdf reader uses different library to make and show annotation, and we don't know how they store/process metadata (document properties) for those annotations.

  • Alan BesterAlan Bester commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It's this missing feature that prevents me from subscribing to the Mendeley service. I really do prefer the layout and office integration of Mendeley over Zotero, but the latter syncs all my annotations made in an external markup program. Will pay for that feature.

  • Frank RuttenFrank Rutten commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I fully support introducing more compatibility with pdf notes made using other software (Adobe Reader) - or even better an Android version of Mendeley for tablets, with full note taking and highlighting capability so that I can stick to a single piece of software across all platforms.
    Am starting to use Mendeley and mostly really like it, but if neither of these facilities appears soon will just need to switch software. Have far too little time to read papers as is and can't afford to waste it on cumbersome software solutions!

  • OBrendelOBrendel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    answer to Steve Dennis : it is great that you want to add annotation features that are not (yet) a pdf standard; however the annotation features that are (simple highlighting, simple notes) should be completely compatible and it should be left to the user to decide if s/he wants to use advance Mendeley only features, or compatible features; for many people (looking at the votes for this), Mendeley will probably never be the only pdf annotation tool, and the problem that Mendeley canno search/screen/show standard annotations in pdf files or that annotations done in mendeley can be (by option) saved with the pdf (as well as stored in the internal database) is such a handicap, that it will very probably discourage many users.

  • João PazJoão Paz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Making annotations in Mendeley and saving a new file everytime is unviable
    I always use an external reader to annotate and internal bookmark pdfs so i can acess them everywhere. But the (high) price i pay is that I cannot search them in Mendeley. I use tags but have to look for the annotation the tag reffered to in the text.
    What would be FANTASTIC: in text tagging, like QDA software does.

  • Greg DesGreg Des commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    My suggestion is to enable the Mendeley's built-in PDF reader to recognize such annotations. So the changes made both on my tablet (external reader) or on my desktop (built-in) are compatible.


  • OBrendelOBrendel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I can see why "synchronization" is on the bottom of the list. I think what would be very necessary in the moment, is a) import of notes, b) export of notes in a format that can be edited by standard pdf readers (in the moment, for an exported note, you get not only the note itself, which can be edited and removed, but also a nardcoded "number, date, by:author" icon on the left border of the page, as well as a hardcoded speaking bubble in the text. Both cannot be edited or removed by a pdf reader. ALso highlightin seems to be hardcoded and cannot be edited by a pdf reader (such as pdf XChange). Such a situaiton should clearly be avoided.
    c) bulk export of annotated pdf, e.g. of all pdf of a search result.
    i'm really looking forward to testing these new features
    Thanks in advance for listening to your users

  • Steve DennisSteve Dennis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Note: By 'lossy', we won't remove annotations from the PDF that we don't support, but rather just won't display them. Any we do support will be converted to and from our format (stored separately from the PDF, for quicker syncing).

  • Steve DennisSteve Dennis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    "Even better would be if the notes kept in the Mendeley database could be automatically be kept in synch (if one wishes so) with the notes in the pdf"

    I see why you'd want this, but this won't be what we're aiming for. The minimum I'm expecting at this stage will be an (unfortunately lossy) import/export of highlights, sticky text notes, the colours of these things. Hopefully line-drawing will follow shortly after. For largely technical reasons, we won't be making the import or export a continuous sync, as we want to be adding annotation features that don't exist in the standard PDF specs, and it will add all kinds of headaches and edge-cases that will chew up our time.

    I hope we can get started on it soon, I'm still in sales-pitch mode.

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