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Sort Comments by Visual Order

Hi!

Need to use different color highlights on REALLY long PDF documents to illustrate different things I need to do with the read text.  For example:

Green for Established, Red for Historic, Orange for Theoretical.

Now, easy to do!

But...it is the SORTING in the comments pane and easily jumping to next comment that's the issue, because none of the PDF applications I've tried offer an option for sorting comments by their actual PHYSICAL location on the page.

Here's an example of what I mean.

Imagine if I read this line:

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.
- Aristotle

and, dimwit that I am, highlighted ONLY

The roots of education are bitter

having missed the the punchline there - but the fruit is sweet.

Now, having plowed through another 300 pages or so of the text, imagine I went back in review and saw it.

Ah!  PROFOUND insight had!  I highlight the second piece in the same color.

But, since the best I can do is date sorting that would leave the two pieces separated in the comments summary.

The roots of education are bitter
another highlight
another highlight
another highlight...
but the fruit is sweet.

Worse, still, if I was able to create a keyboard shortcut for jumping ahead to each next same-color comment, I'd be jumping ahead 300 pages before I saw

but the fruit is sweet.

part.

Now, PDF X-Change Editor calls this type of sorting - where things are ordered by their physical location on a page, top to bottom - "Visual Order".

And!  It is used in several places.  Notably when a user exports comments to Excel, they are organized by Visual Order, despite the date.

However, not in the actual READING any document IN the application itself.

Thus, my question:  can ABBYY sort colored highlights by color AND order them by their actual physical location on the page?  This as opposed to ordering by creation date.

And, if so, is there any way to set up a keyboard shortcut so that I could jump through comments thus arranged?

Sincerely,

OT

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Comments

8 comments

  • Avatar
    Yuriy Korotkevych

    Hi OT, in FineReader PDF you can sort the comments by page, and it's a default sorting order btw. Although not really sorting by visual order, it at least groups all the comments made for the same page together regardless on actual order in which the comments were added. However, in FineReader PDF there's no sorting by comment color, unfortunately.

    Regards,

    Yuriy

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  • Avatar
    seeker

    Hi Yuriy,

    Thanks for your detailed reply.

    You’re right - sorting by page is the default!

    And, I’ve just tested.  Even if I waited minutes later and highlighted the first page after highlighting on the 5th page, that first page highlight is collected in the Comments pane at the top of the list.

    Similarly, too, with highlights placed in the middle of the book, or at the end: they all show up in the pane in the same physical position as the pages.

    Put another way - whatever page a highlight is on, you’ll find it in the same relative PAGE position in the Comments Pane.

    However, I found an anomaly: WITHIN any one page, highlights are ordered by date.

    So that, for example, if reading this quote on page 15 of a text:

    The description of right lines and circles, upon which geometry is founded, belongs to mechanics. Geometry does not teach us to draw these lines, but requires them to be drawn.

    - Isaac Newton

    and first highlighting ONLY

    but requires them to be drawn

    Then later adding

    Geometry does not teach us

    and

    to mechanics

    In the comments pane jumping forward upon review I would be presented with

    requires them to be drawn Geometry does not teach us to mechanics

    You can see an example of this on pages 39 and 186 of the attached document.

    https://xfl.jp/aokEV3 (good for seven days)

    My question, thus, is two-fold: is this the default behavior?  And, is there any type of sorting I can apply so that advancing to the next highlight would advance based on the next location, going from top to bottom, without regard to date?

    Sincerely,

    Seeker

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  • Avatar
    seeker

    Comment above still pending approval?

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  • Avatar
    Victoria Dvornikova

    Hello seeker,

    Sorry for the inconvenience, your comment has been just published (the issue was in the external link you used)

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  • Avatar
    Yuriy Korotkevych

    Hi OT,

    All available sorting options are indicated in the product as shown in the screenshot that you made. There's no other, hidden ones. And you're right, in the "Page" sorting mode, within a page the sorting is done by time/date of adding. 

    Best regards,

    Yuriy

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  • Avatar
    seeker

    Hi Yuriy,

    Ah!  I follow.

    Encourage the development of Advance to Next Highlight by visual order.

    In an 800-page document with lots of theoretical ideas, being able to jump ahead to the phrases as they are laid out in the page seems more valuable for review.

    It is also appears to be much closer to how readers used highlights in books.  For example, if I turned a page in a physical book and there was a highlight at the top of the page, one in the center and one at the end, it seems unlikely that most readers would go:

    center, bottom, top

    Similarly, using the Advance to Next Highlight feature seems more powerfully useful if it moves along from top to bottom as the eye would do on a printed page.

    Sincerely,

    OT

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  • Avatar
    seeker

    Hi Yuriy,

    For what it's worth, I've dug a little deeper on this, it seems like the sorting could be achieved by concentrating on the "Y" values in an x-y coordinate system of each highlight.

    Seems like it may be possible in Revu.  Of course, Revu is...US$349!  So, I'd prefer to have it available with ABBYY.

    Sincerely,

    OT

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  • Avatar
    Yuriy Korotkevych

    Hi OT, thank you! We'll take such type of sorting into consideration for future product development. Best, Yuriy

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