Being paperless is the core of a whole universe of reasons why PDF Expert is perfect for today's student and I can see that now as I look back on the student I was.
It's been seven years and I still remember the crumpled papers and leaky markers at the bottom of my bag. A bag that was always heavy from the sheer number of books and printouts, leaving me a nagging pain in my shoulder. And here I am, running for my classes through the long, confusing corridors amongst similarly running and noisy students. If I had known then that all the copies from the theoretical grammar book and the exercises for the phonetics lessons together with the Old English translation tasks and the text fragments for the literature seminar could fit into one app on a tablet, I would not have tripped on the stairs dropping my unzipped bag, and then all my leaves would not have fallen under the feet of the other students.
But it's not just about having less to carry. Every student has had to write a research paper at least once, and for humanitarians, writing is their whole life. Nothing exists but text.
I can still hear the teacher’s voice in my head, “Vita, research is a journey full of twists, turns and dead-ends. You’ll eventually find a great idea and reach your destination, but it's important to remember how you got there by leaving markers for others to follow”.
What did he mean by this, well in practical terms I see there are so many words yet the idea lies in finding sources, evaluating these sources, and using these sources as evidence? Using sources is important to show that writing is more than my regular opinion and there are strong facts and evidence that support my point of view. Without question, the list of sources is huge — both mine and everyone else's who is working on researching a particular topic.
You can’t be skilled in literature research if you don’t spend enough time in the library. Researchers spend as much time in the library as ballet dancers do in rehearsal . . . a lifetime.
When you're ready to gather information, it’s vital to be as accurate and efficient as possible to have more time to spend on actual research and writing. The prerequisites for breaking out of the sea of delusion are silence, time, and sorting information.
With PDF Expert, you can subject yourself to an unlimited flow of information. The approach can be pretty structured, or to be more precise, more mathematical. You have to create a formula that you can understand and follow. If you are not a stickler for rigid frameworks and believe in (organized) chaos, you can use colorful markers and stickers to work with information.
If you are into the logical approach, tracking with Stamps is for you. One brilliant-minded person, who is Ph.D. in biological sciences, has created a system she applied to the materials she is working with. The secret is marking up the information with stamps, where each stamp answers the following questions:
- Where does it come from?
- Why did I save it?
- What did I think when I downloaded it?
- The status of the paper: read or unread
- The main points: what are they, and where in this document?
Yellow, blue, green, or red
Your eyes see the color before anything else. Imagine yourself reading a paper for your research, and then all of a sudden, you see the highlighted line which cuts through all the noise of information.
It works, why?
The use of markers makes it easy for you to keep important facts in memory because as you read a certain book or term paper, you can easily highlight parts you need. Also, you can go straight back to the important part without having to turn back hundreds of pages. With Apple Pencil or one of your fingers, you can color parts of information within PDF Expert; highlighting will help to identify the most pertinent information during quick scrolling of pages.
…and is also perfect for reading
PDF Expert lets me create virtual bookmarks for marking the pages I need to cite during seminars; with one click, I can move instantly through hundreds of pages to the desired location page.
Having surrounded myself with books and open tabs on my laptop screen in the university library, I often spent my evenings scribbling down what I had read into a notebook and photographing something, as some books could not be taken outside the university. However, simply taking a photo is not the best solution, as the resulting JPG file is rather awkward for students to work with. I could not copy text from the image or search for content.
PDF Expert allows converting images into a PDF file.
List of references
You can make a simple list, or you can go a little further and expand the list. It will be a kind of symbiosis between images and text. The approach is simple, what you need to do is to create a PDF file with three columns. The first is for the images, the second is for the information, which are text or/and title, author, and website, and the third column is for noting facts, quotes, data, information, and details pulled from the research.
Picture a book that you want to read on a single topic, and photocopy the covers of these books. After reading the text, tape the photocopied cover of the book to the anchor chart with the text reference by the photocopied cover. Recall the facts and information and list them on the side.
You will visually see how the information is adjacent to its source: The source of information is a book cover, and the information from the source is the listed details to the right. You might draw lines on it or use different coloured markers for each source. This will help you differentiate the information.
Did I mention the process of gathering information?
Any browser lets you quickly save a web page as a PDF just in a few taps on mobile devices or by simply pressing Ctrl + P on your desktop. Yet, the file will definitely need polishing. PDF Expert for Mac allows you to crop the edges with the page URL, social media buttons, delete that weird pop-up with smiling people promoting hair vitamins and other unnecessary elements.
It lets you quickly crop all the pages in your file in just a few clicks. For this, open your file, navigate to the Annotate tab and tap on the Content Selection tool on the toolbar. Then, you can select the area you’d like to crop and apply changes to all the pages.
For literature seminars it is very important to have texts at hand with various notes: highlighted passages, stylistic devices, comments taken from critical materials. This is how the text is handled, and this is how analysis is done. PDF Expert helps to cope with this, letting you annotate your files. Here are some things you can do with PDF Expert:
- Write and draw with the Apple Pencil
- Highlight, underline, and strikeout text
- Type the text comments
- Paste different shapes
PDF Expert is perfect for learning phonetics
The ability to add voice notes to PDFs is great in so many ways. It lets you read the theory about speech and tone formation before practicing the correct way to make the pronunciations so you can listen back whenever you want. But this feature isn’t just useful for students of languages. I can think of many friends who could use this feature to quickly take notes without stressing about spelling errors. Plus there is nothing more powerful than hearing your own voice when trying to recall important study notes or guides.
Let’s go back 10 years to when I was a first year student, with PDF Expert I wouldn’t have tripped on the stairs dropping my bundles of books and notes everywhere. Instead I’d have one of the most simple yet powerful tools available to any student right there in the palm of my hand.
To help all students, we offer a 50% discount on a universal subscription that makes it possible to work on PDFs across iPhone, iPad and Mac. Take advantage and tell your fellow students too.