It’s that wonderful time of year when the air gets crisp, your readings start to pile up faster than the falling leaves, and you’re thinking about how to ration your instant noodles to afford costumes for Halloween.
Wherever you are in the world, whether you’ve just started the new school year or are approaching the final stretch, the Xodo Team feels your pain.
We can’t do much about your food stocks (or your Halloween costumes), but we can make your studies easier!
To help you out, I asked our Development and Support team about their favorite Xodo tips and tricks.
Whether you’re working alone or interacting in a group, here are a few things you might not know you could do to make school just a little more tolerable with Xodo…
Xodo tips for when you’re working with others
Quickly share your work with classmates or instructors anywhere on the web without using email
Made comments on a PDF that you’d like to run by your classmates in your Facebook study group? Want to share class notes with a friend on Twitter? Need to quickly link a PDF article in an online class forum and can’t find the original URL?
Xodo makes it easy to do all these things, and that gets Vikki excited.
“My favorite thing about Xodo is that I can easily share documents on the web.”
Forget email. Forget uploading or attaching documents. Just get a link and share it.
Then head to Xodo’s browsing menu – clicking on the logo at the top left should work – and select the Xodo Connect tab. Find the document you just shared, press and hold (or right-click), and select Get Link.
This will copy a URL you can paste anywhere to open a read-only copy of your document.
Bonus tip: You can use Xodo Connect to deliver a remote presentation without the need for any installed tools or services. Just grab the link, share it with your audience any way you like, and then annotate the document while they’re viewing it.
Share, review, and discuss whiteboards or lecture notes using just your camera and Connect
Most classrooms have whiteboards. Whiteboards are great. They’re big, they’re bold, and they come with all kinds of colorful markers. (And who doesn’t like colorful markers?)
Unfortunately, all whiteboards eventually get cleaned. The important information disappears. And it’s really difficult for a group of people to add notes or comments to that information once the board has been erased.
What would be ideal is if there was some simple way to capture the information on the board in a central place where people can easily comment on it or even annotate it.
Kevin loves Xodo because it lets him do exactly that.
“After a meeting where we’ve scribbled a bunch of stuff on a whiteboard, I use Xodo to create a PDF from my iPad camera, and then I use Xodo Connect to share it with all the meeting participants. I like it because it lets everyone review and take notes on the document even after the meeting is done.”
Of course, you don’t have to confine yourself to whiteboards. Xodo will also let you do this with projectors, screens, and anything else you can take a photo of.
To convert a photo to a PDF you can use with Xodo, all you need to do is open the photo on your device the way you normally would, share it, and select Xodo from your sharing options.
Now, when you open Xodo, you’ll find the image at the top of your Recent Files list. Open the document and share it with your study group or other classmates by sending them an email invitation from Xodo Connect.
For easy instructions and more information about how to use Connect, check out this blog post.
Download the annotated PDF to preserve a snapshot of your work in Connect
It’s one thing to be able to collaborate on the fly without the need for email or having to install an annotator. But did you know that anyone in your group can save “hard copies” of the work you’ve done at any point?
It’s simple, says Matt.
“You just need to press the download button from inside Xodo Connect and then you’ll have a snapshot of all the comments for reference and offline viewing.”
To do that, open the document with Connect. On a desktop, simply click the download icon in the toolbar. On a mobile device, open your Settings menu (top right of the toolbar on most devices), and tap or click Download as PDF.
Xodo tips for when you’re working alone
When doing research online, save any PDF from your browser directly to Xodo using “Open With” (iPad/iPhone)
Xodo is a lot more powerful than your browser’s default viewer, and you can do a lot more with it.
For example, while you can annotate in Xodo, you can’t annotate PDFs if you open them directly through your browser. (Not unless you’re using Xodo Connect, that is!)
If you use your iPad to do a lot of your browsing and research, you’ll enjoy Ryan‘s tip:
“When I am surfing the web, and I find a PDF I want to read offline, I just tap the document, and select ‘Open With’ and then ‘Xodo’, and now I have it offline whenever I want in my Xodo inbox. I can then organize documents and folders later on.”
This is a quick and simple way to save PDFs to your device, and it works with just about any browser.
Instantly zoom into an important block of text
When you double tap on a section of text, Xodo zooms into that block, with the borders of the text becoming the borders of the screen.
Anatoly likes this because it helps him maintain his focus.
“While reading a large document it allows me to quickly zoom into the paragraph of text I am interested in.”
For people with poor eyesight, this is a simple way to reduce eye strain. It’s also useful for annotating parts of formulas or diagrams in physics and chemistry readings.
“Lock” the annotation toolbar while making lots of edits to save time
Sometimes you just want to read and maybe underline a couple of things here and there. But when you’re really buckling down to study, there’s a good chance any black-and-white page will soon look like a graffiti wall of colored highlights and squiggly lines.
Wouldn’t it be perfect if you could have the annotation toolbar in front of you the whole time?
Well, you can! In fact, this is Tomas‘s favorite trick.
“I change the settings to turn continuous annotation edit on when I have to make a lot of notes on one page and turn it off when I mostly read and only take occasional notes.”
To “lock” the toolbar, go to your app’s Settings menu and find Continuous Annotation Edit under the General heading. Make sure the box next to it is checked, then navigate back to your document.
This is one way to speed up your annotating. But there are others. For example…
Annotate on the fly by scrolling with two fingers and editing with one
If you value efficiency even half as much as Shirley does, then this is the tip for you:
“My favorite trick is how you can use two fingers to scroll the page while highlighting or creating shapes such as lines, arrows, rectangles, and ovals with just one finger. This is especially useful when you’re reading a textbook and just want to highlight important keywords.”
If you’re only using one annotation tool – for example, if you plan to do nothing but highlight for long periods of time – you can save yourself lots of time by “locking” the toolbar the way Tomas suggested, selecting the Highlight tool, and then using two-finger scrolling to read and highlight on the fly.
Yup, it’s that simple. Scroll with two fingers. Annotate with one finger. No need to find the select or pan tools.
Easily resize any highlight, underline, or strikeout after you made it
Did your finger slip before you were done highlighting a sentence? Realized while reviewing your notes that you should have underlined the entire paragraph instead of just a few words?
Relax! You don’t have to delete and start over. As James points out, there’s an easy way to fix it in Xodo.
“If you make a highlight, and then tap to select it, you can use the text selection handles to resize it. Cool!”
The text selection handles – also sometimes called cursors – are the dots that appear at the far ends of an annotation when you select it. Hold and drag them to resize any highlight, underline, or strikeout.
I hope these tips help make your life just a little bit easier. School doesn’t have to be a total drag!
How about you? Do you have any Xodo tips of your own? Still unsure about how some of these tips and tricks work?
Tweet us or comment on this post to share your thoughts!
Xodo is the ultimate cross-platform PDF viewer and annotator.
Xodo | Transforming how the world works with PDFs