My pdf and epub workflow

I have been evolving my workflow on working with highlights and comments in pdfs and epubs

1. Adding documents to the library

  • If I want the pdf document to actually reside within the library, I left mouse click drag and drop from Windows File Explorer into the vault folder where I want the pdf or into a note, which will result in;
    • The file will be added to the defined attachments folder
    • A link to the file in the vault being added to the note
  • If I want the pdf to reside outside of the vault AND be observable in the vault file browser (folder/file structure), I use symbolic links to add the file(s) to the vault;
    • Junction - for folders
    • Symbolic Link - for individual files
    • The use of symbolic links does not add to the size of the vault
  • If I want the pdf to be shown as an external file link, Cntrl + left mouse click drop the file into a note and it will create a link [filename](file:///Drive:.../filename.pdf)

2. Working with the documents

  • Pdfs in the vault: clicking will open pdfs in the native pdf viewer for reading and copying text, epubs will open in the default app
  • In the folder view right + mouse click and Open in dfault app will open the pdf or epub in the external default reader. I use;
    • pdfs: Adobe Acrobat
    • epub: Calibe ePub viewer
  • Highlight and make notes using the external default app

3. Bringing highlights and notes back into the vault

  • Pdfs: open the pdf in the in-built pdf reader then use the PDF Highlights community addin. This will extract to a new note;
    • All the highlights and notes and the page number where the highlight/note was extracted from
    • A link at the end of the note to the pdf file [[FileName.pdf]]
  • Manually create a link below each highlight text or comment by adding the page number, [[FileNam.pdf#page=4]]
  • ePubs: the Calibre viewer can export highlights and notes to Markdown (clipboard or file) which can then be added to a literature note. This will create;
    • The highlighted text
    • A links to the highlighted text, e.g. [06-Sep-21 4:24 PM](calibre://view-book/_hex_-43616c696272655f4c696272617279/3948/EPUB?open_at=epubcfi%28/4/2/4/2/1%3A0%29)
    • Comments made on the highlighted text
    • Clicking on the link will take you to the position in the book where the highlight or comment was made, using the external Calibre reader.