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Organizing/Managing PDF files


mballai
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I'm trying to get organized to do some serious seminary level bible study and I've noticed that there are gobs of mp3/pdf files. I read somewhere that you can use iTunes to manage pdf files. Anyone do that, with/without mp3s? I assume one uses a separate iTunes library file for such an endeavor.

 

Any other idea at managing a variety files would certainly be helpful. I've heard of Devonthink, Yojimbo, and OneNote, but I don't have any experience with them.

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I tried Devonthink, but I couldn't get my head around it.

 

I use Journler, and have been very happy with it. It can handle both mp3s and pdfs, among many other file types.

 

Searching for info on another pdf manager I remember hearing about, I found this Productive Scholar blog post. It includes a link to an article on using iTunes for pdfs. I think the program I was remembering was Papers.

 

Lorinda Hoover

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Using Bookends is a helpful way of organizing PDF's, especially if they're mostly articles, book sections, or other easily categorized qualities.

 

With spotlight, enhanced with keywords, how to organize can become something you can choose to completely ignore. Just search organically, find and go.

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I wonder how much time one spends organizing versus the actual time saved payback.

 

I use a homemade tabbed menu html page combo with pulldown menus on the main html sheet for one of my hobbies. It's great for that, but I use it for a mostly finite set of web pages and other documents--additions and changes can be done on the fly in BBEdit.

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I find that Journler makes it easy to find stuff with a minimum of time spent organizing initially.

 

Spotlight searches on my iBook G4 running Tiger take longer than I like, and pull up too many false positives. But I've heard that Leopard is a different story when it comes to Spotlight, and I may just not know enough tricks to speed up Spotlight.

 

I do have to say, though, that my need for organizing pdfs, etc. is not as intense as what it sounds like you need.

 

Lorinda

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I've used Bookends for some time and have been very happy with it. They recently upgraded their PDF support, so I think it would be worth a look.

 

P

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I recently added Bookends, but haven't gone through the tutorial just yet. One thing I have discovered that seems to be very handy is how Safari handles PDFs--you can tab open a bunch of PDF files and open any into Preview if desired. I rely on Firefox for my web work so I would just dedicate Safari to PDF files. If I bookmark each of them, that could suffice as a simple file system--separate them by course/subject folders whether or not the files reside in the same PDF file folder. The price is right, the learning curve is flat. Any downside I might be missing?

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I see DEVONThink as the Accordance of information management... it is VERY powerful, but you kinda need to understand the tool to use it well. Some of the high points for PDF management:

1. It converts "image" pdfs into text-based pdfs via built in OCR software (DT Pro Office only)

2. Content shows up in spotlight searches (indexes the text in pdfs and makes it available to spotlight)

3. VERY flexible views and organizing opportunities

 

What I have found it does better then ANYTHING else (PC or Mac) is capture of web pages and selected web page content. Also handles links nicely, webarchives, etc....

 

What it likely does NOT do as well as bookends (I bought it with Mellel recently in a deal, but just haven't used them yet) is export in formats for creating bibliographies, etc.. With that said, you can script just about anything in AppleScript with DT and someone may have a solution already in place.

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My roommate chemist uses an app called Papers. Its designed for the scientific community, to manage gobs of journal articles, but it seems like it may work for what you are hoping for in a pdf manager. I can't personally attest to it, but my roommate is very pleased. Another bonus is its a very 'Mac like' application. Papers for OS X

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I see DEVONThink as the Accordance of information management... it is VERY powerful, but you kinda need to understand the tool to use it well. Some of the high points for PDF management:

1. It converts "image" pdfs into text-based pdfs via built in OCR software (DT Pro Office only)

2. Content shows up in spotlight searches (indexes the text in pdfs and makes it available to spotlight)

3. VERY flexible views and organizing opportunities

 

DEVONThink Office also has one distinct advantage over Adobe Acrobat Pro (version 8, at least).

It can OCR images that are at a lower resolution than the minimum required by Acrobat.

This feature has helped me to OCR low-res scans of books/documents that were rejected by Acrobat Pro.

This is a great way to turn a book or a series of scans into an e-text.

It is of course the checking of the OCR that consumes the most time :(

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I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Yep or Leap (http://www.yepthat.com/), both excellent utilities for visual organisation and searching of files.

 

Yep is for PDFs only while Leap can handle dozens of file types.

 

I recommend them both.

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I am beginning to consider DevonThink Office might be something worthy. I've started to use DevonAgent and it's pretty cool. I'm probably going to have to wait a bit though since my G4 developed CPU issues. A new Mac Mini took more than discretionary funds :(

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DEVON are really generous towards charities (if you can match their own charitable interests), as well as students and educators.

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