PDF service manuals, reading & annotating in print or on screen


Robin Whittle
 

The thread "File space increased to 2GB" turned into a discussion of the
merits of viewing and potentially annotating service manual, schematics
and the like on screens, including on very high resolution display
tablets and cellphones.

Damien (cheater00) wrote, in part:

Waiting for A4 and A3 sized tablets at these or higher resolutions,
which will make work with schematics quite fun.
Dave from ArtekManuals wrote:

Yeah , I really enjoy being able to look at a 11x17 schematic 1
transistor at a time....:-(
It would drive me bananas trying to work with service manuals on a
screen, no matter how big. Firstly I would need multiple such screens
because I frequently want to look at several pages at once.

I have multiple laser printers, including some cheap second-hand Brother
HL-4040CN colour printers (which can print to Legal paper) which people
sell when they find out the cost of four replacement toner carts. The
carts typically have toner in them and resetting the flag gear in each
cart makes the printer think it is a fresh cart, and gets them running
again for typically thousands of copies. (The printer tells the user it
is time to replace the toner after X copies, even if there is toner left
in the starter cart. Also, I put aluminium adhesive tape over the
window by which the printer used light to determine if the toner is
depleted.) Now I buy the printers primarily to get these toner carts.
Here are my notes on doing this, including for HL-5250DN mono printers:

http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=5448
http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=5449
http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=5505

I also have a GBC comb binder. So I can print and bind manuals with A4
pages. At a pinch I could inkjet print to A3 or A2, but in fact I have
not done so yet.

To me, this is a very worthwhile investment for numerous reasons,
including printing and binding Tek service manuals.

Then I can hand-annotate them in pencil and pen of different colours. I
can put Post-It notes on various pages so I can find them quickly. I
can also print out photos and other material and bind them into it.

Nonetheless, having an electronic version of the manual, such as from:

http://artekmanuals.com

is helpful when searching for particular words, since these are not just
scans, but fully OCRed scans - the PDF has a graphic layer which we see
and a text layer which can be searched and copied to the clipboard.

I was fortunate that my 7L14 1.8GHz spectrum analyzer came with a
beautifully photocopied manual, comb-bound with numerous double-sided A3
pages. It is about an inch thick in the parts where the A3 pages are
folded twice.

I have about 50 yellow Post-It notes for the various sections and pages
of particular interest. On the right are magenta Post-It notes flagging
the pages which concern calibration adjustments I need to remember.
There are numerous pencil annotations and Post-It notes inside the
manual and a new page with a hand-annotated image reversed (light for
dark) picture of the screen of a scope with the 7L14 running, to remind
me how to calibrate it from a test signal and to remind me what some of
the birdies (spurious signals which are always there) are.

Electronic documents and displays are all very well for storage, backing
up and travelling lightly, but the only way I can make the necessarily
intense use of documents such as service manuals is to print, bind and
hand-annotate them.

- Robin


Michael A. Terrell
 

Robin Whittle wrote:

The thread "File space increased to 2GB" turned into a discussion of the
merits of viewing and potentially annotating service manual, schematics
and the like on screens, including on very high resolution display
tablets and cellphones.

Damien (cheater00) wrote, in part:

Waiting for A4 and A3 sized tablets at these or higher resolutions,
which will make work with schematics quite fun.
Dave from ArtekManuals wrote:

Yeah , I really enjoy being able to look at a 11x17 schematic 1
transistor at a time....:-(
It would drive me bananas trying to work with service manuals on a
screen, no matter how big. Firstly I would need multiple such screens
because I frequently want to look at several pages at once.
Try using paper for 70+ D size pages of schematics, and you'll beg for them in PDF. It's not difficult to have multiple pages open, and just switch between pages. I covered two 4' * 8' tables with them, and still ran out of room.

Size 'D' = 24" x 36" (609.6mm x 914.4mm)


Dave / NR1DX
 

ArtekManuals comments interspersed below

On 9/26/2013 10:17 PM, Robin Whittle wrote:
 



It would drive me bananas trying to work with service manuals on a
screen, no matter how big. Firstly I would need multiple such screens
because I frequently want to look at several pages at once

The ability to open multiple pages in the same document simultaneously would be a useful benefit. Being able to open the theory of operation section and the schematic at the same time for example. Adobe unfortunately only allows you open one copy of the file at a time (Foxit and other PDF Reader users please weigh in here). There is a work around simply make a 2nd copy of the file and then rename it ( as an example : 7633-osm.pdf and 7633-osm-1.pdf)   both files can be open simultaneously and if your monitor is big enough, they can be run side by side , but tiling also works for flipping back and forth.

 


Then I can hand-annotate them in pencil and pen of different colours. I
can put Post-It notes on various pages so I can find them quickly. I
can also print out photos and other material and bind them into it.



The newer releases of Adobe Reader will allow you to add "Electronic Post-it Notes". Even though ArtekManuals files  are secured to some degree to discourage piracy most all ArtekManuals scans done in the last couple of years allow electronic notes to be added. If you have an earlier scan that you cant add a electronic note to in a later version of Adobe reader, drop us an email and we will update your file to allow this feature



Nonetheless, having an electronic version of the manual, such as from:

http://artekmanuals.com


Thank you for the "plug" :-)


is helpful when searching for particular words, since these are not just
scans, but fully OCRed scans - the PDF has a graphic layer which we see
and a text layer which can be searched and copied to the clipboard.

One caution and an ugly truth about OCR and text searching, they are seldom 100% accurate and while one could go back word by word and edit the OCR results the time to do this is more than 10 times the effort than to do the scan in the first place. One of the biggest problems with OCR that unlike the miraculous computer sitting behind your eyeballs that OCR engines available ( to us mere mortals and non NSA/FBI/CIA types) are incapable of doing OCR in context. So "l" and "1" are often mistaken for each other. R111 to the OCR engine might look like Rlll .  8 and B are a problem as are 5 and S..you get the idea. Our manuals are full of RlBS or is that R185  :-) . The other big problem with OCR engines is things like schematics drive them nuts as they prefer to see text as in a typed page/ column format rather than scattered within a bunch of lines and squiggles



Electronic documents and displays are all very well for storage, backing
up and travelling lightly, but the only way I can make the necessarily
intense use of documents such as service manuals is to print, bind and
hand-annotate them.


My own bench approach rather than spend a fortune on INK and paper is to print out the few pages I need at the moment rather than print out a whole manual. The day is coming however and 36 and 48" LED screens are closing in on  becoming quite reasonably priced, that I sit at my bench an ponder how I am going to integrate one in a useful way to the next service bench I build! !!

Dave
ArtekManuals.com

__.


-- 
Dave
Manuals@...
www.ArtekManuals.com


Michael A. Terrell
 

Artek Manuals wrote:

/My own bench approach rather than spend a fortune on INK and paper is to print out the few pages I need at the moment rather than print out a whole manual. The day is coming however and 36 and 48" LED screens are closing in on becoming quite reasonably priced, that I sit at my bench an ponder how I am going to integrate one in a useful way to the next service bench I build//! !!/

Put one on a cart with the computer & keyboard. I did this with size 'D' prints and a home brew easel. I had several carts set up for jobs that came up fairly often, and multiple benches to maximize my productivity. One cart was a stereo microsope & multiple soldering irons to make it easy to do my own rework on the test floor. Even then, I kept PDFs of all the IC data sheets on the computer at my bench to wind out why a new design failed first build. Some so called 'engineers' forgot everything, once a design was completed amd even denied that it was their signatures on the drawings. :(

In other cases, an item hadn't been built for years and a long time customer wanted more of the same old design. That's the downside of an engineer to order business.


David Holland
 



On Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 12:21 AM, Artek Manuals <manuals@...> wrote:


ArtekManuals comments interspersed below

On 9/26/2013 10:17 PM, Robin Whittle wrote:
 



It would drive me bananas trying to work with service manuals on a
screen, no matter how big. Firstly I would need multiple such screens
because I frequently want to look at several pages at once

The ability to open multiple pages in the same document simultaneously would be a useful benefit. Being able to open the theory of operation section and the schematic at the same time for example. Adobe unfortunately only allows you open one copy of the file at a time (Foxit and other PDF Reader users please weigh in here). There is a work around simply make a 2nd copy of the file and then rename it ( as an example : 7633-osm.pdf and 7633-osm-1.pdf)   both files can be open simultaneously and if your monitor is big enough, they can be run side by side , but tiling also works for flipping back and forth.

 


That's not entirely accurate Dave..... :-)

You can have the same document opened multiple times without duplicating the file, in Adobe, however, its not done via the File menu.

Open the document, w/ Adobe, as usual.     Then go to the "Window" menu, and select "New Window".   You get a 2nd window w/ the same document.

I just verified it with Adobe Reader 9, and the latest Adobe Reader 11.


 
As for paper vs electronic. Personally I prefer both. The electronic for portability.  Paper for actual perusal.  Even with multiple windows, and large screens, flipping back and forth just "seems" more difficult.

David


Dave / NR1DX
 

On 9/27/2013 7:58 AM, David Holland wrote:
 


On Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 12:21 AM, Artek Manuals <manuals@...> wrote:


ArtekManuals comments interspersed below

On 9/26/2013 10:17 PM, Robin Whittle wrote:
 



It would drive me bananas trying to work with service manuals on a
screen, no matter how big. Firstly I would need multiple such screens
because I frequently want to look at several pages at once
The ability to open multiple pages in the same document simultaneously would be a useful benefit. Being able to open the theory of operation section and the schematic at the same time for example. Adobe unfortunately only allows you open one copy of the file at a time (Foxit and other PDF Reader users please weigh in here). There is a work around simply make a 2nd copy of the file and then rename it ( as an example : 7633-osm.pdf and 7633-osm-1.pdf)   both files can be open simultaneously and if your monitor is big enough, they can be run side by side , but tiling also works for flipping back and forth.

 


That's not entirely accurate Dave..... :-)

You can have the same document opened multiple times without duplicating the file, in Adobe, however, its not done via the File menu.

Open the document, w/ Adobe, as usual.     Then go to the "Window" menu, and select "New Window".   You get a 2nd window w/ the same document.

I just verified it with Adobe Reader 9, and the latest Adobe Reader 11.


 
As for paper vs electronic. Personally I prefer both. The electronic for portability.  Paper for actual perusal.  Even with multiple windows, and large screens, flipping back and forth just "seems" more difficult.

David


-- 
Dave
Manuals@...
www.ArtekManuals.com


Dave / NR1DX
 

On 9/27/2013 7:58 AM, David Holland wrote:
 


On Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 12:21 AM, Artek Manuals <manuals@...> wrote:


ArtekManuals comments interspersed below

On 9/26/2013 10:17 PM, Robin Whittle wrote:
 



It would drive me bananas trying to work with service manuals on a
screen, no matter how big. Firstly I would need multiple such screens
because I frequently want to look at several pages at once
The ability to open multiple pages in the same document simultaneously would be a useful benefit. Being able to open the theory of operation section and the schematic at the same time for example. Adobe unfortunately only allows you open one copy of the file at a time (Foxit and other PDF Reader users please weigh in here). There is a work around simply make a 2nd copy of the file and then rename it ( as an example : 7633-osm.pdf and 7633-osm-1.pdf)   both files can be open simultaneously and if your monitor is big enough, they can be run side by side , but tiling also works for flipping back and forth.

 


That's not entirely accurate Dave..... :-)

You can have the same document opened multiple times without duplicating the file, in Adobe, however, its not done via the File menu.

Open the document, w/ Adobe, as usual.     Then go to the "Window" menu, and select "New Window".   You get a 2nd window w/ the same document.

I just verified it with Adobe Reader 9, and the latest Adobe Reader 11.


 
As for paper vs electronic. Personally I prefer both. The electronic for portability.  Paper for actual perusal.  Even with multiple windows, and large screens, flipping back and forth just "seems" more difficult.

David





( just sent this but something in the new Y!/neo cut the text ...try again)

Cool on the "New Window" learn something every day ......thanks for the tip !!!

As a side note you apparently can only add a "Sticky Note" in the parent window. The added sticky note appears in the slave window immediately however.

Dave
ArtekManuals
-- 
Dave
Manuals@...
www.ArtekManuals.com


Don Black <donald_black@...>
 

I have Adobe Acrobat 7 and Foxit 2.2 . I can only open one copy of a document at a time as described with Acrobat but can have multiple copies open with Foxit (I have three open at the moment).

Don Black.

On 27-Sep-13 10:58 PM, David Holland wrote:
 


On Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 12:21 AM, Artek Manuals <manuals@...> wrote:


ArtekManuals comments interspersed below

On 9/26/2013 10:17 PM, Robin Whittle wrote:
 



It would drive me bananas trying to work with service manuals on a
screen, no matter how big. Firstly I would need multiple such screens
because I frequently want to look at several pages at once
The ability to open multiple pages in the same document simultaneously would be a useful benefit. Being able to open the theory of operation section and the schematic at the same time for example. Adobe unfortunately only allows you open one copy of the file at a time (Foxit and other PDF Reader users please weigh in here). There is a work around simply make a 2nd copy of the file and then rename it ( as an example : 7633-osm.pdf and 7633-osm-1.pdf)   both files can be open simultaneously and if your monitor is big enough, they can be run side by side , but tiling also works for flipping back and forth.

 


That's not entirely accurate Dave..... :-)

You can have the same document opened multiple times without duplicating the file, in Adobe, however, its not done via the File menu.

Open the document, w/ Adobe, as usual.     Then go to the "Window" menu, and select "New Window".   You get a 2nd window w/ the same document.

I just verified it with Adobe Reader 9, and the latest Adobe Reader 11.


 
As for paper vs electronic. Personally I prefer both. The electronic for portability.  Paper for actual perusal.  Even with multiple windows, and large screens, flipping back and forth just "seems" more difficult.

David


Garey Barrell <k4oah@...>
 

Don -

I have Acrobat 8 and Reader XI, and both open multiple copies using the 'newly learned' [New Window] trick. Cool!

73, Garey - K4OAH
Glen Allen, VA

Don Black wrote:



I have Adobe Acrobat 7 and Foxit 2.2 . I can only open one copy of a document at a time as described with Acrobat but can have multiple copies open with Foxit (I have three open at the moment).

Don Black.

On 27-Sep-13 10:58 PM, David Holland wrote:
<Comments below>

On Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 12:21 AM, Artek Manuals <manuals@artekmanuals.com <mailto:manuals@artekmanuals.com>> wrote:



ArtekManuals comments interspersed below

On 9/26/2013 10:17 PM, Robin Whittle wrote:

<SNIP>



It would drive me bananas trying to work with service manuals on a
screen, no matter how big. Firstly I would need multiple such screens
because I frequently want to look at several pages at once
/The ability to open multiple pages in the same document simultaneously would be a useful benefit. Being able to
open the theory of operation section and the schematic at the same time for example. Adobe unfortunately only
allows you open one copy of the file at a time (Foxit and other PDF Reader users please weigh in here). There is
a work around simply make a 2nd copy of the file and then rename it ( as an example : 7633-osm.pdf and
7633-osm-1.pdf) both files can be open simultaneously and if your monitor is big enough, they can be run side
by side , but tiling also works for flipping back and forth./

<SNIP>


That's not entirely accurate Dave..... :-)

You can have the same document opened multiple times without duplicating the file, in Adobe, however, its not done via the File menu.

Open the document, w/ Adobe, as usual. Then go to the "Window" menu, and select "New Window". You get a 2nd window w/ the same document.

I just verified it with Adobe Reader 9, and the latest Adobe Reader 11.

<All that being said, I don't disagree Adobe is kind of a piggy PDF reader, especially with 50+Mb files, on a tablet>

As for paper vs electronic. Personally I prefer both. The electronic for portability. Paper for actual perusal. Even with multiple windows, and large screens, flipping back and forth just "seems" more difficult.

David


Don Black <donald_black@...>
 

My comments were about the same window, different tabs.

Don Black.

On 28-Sep-13 2:06 AM, Garey Barrell wrote:
 

Don -

I have Acrobat 8 and Reader XI, and both open multiple copies using the 'newly learned' [New Window] trick. Cool!

73, Garey - K4OAH
Glen Allen, VA

Don Black wrote:
>
>
> I have Adobe Acrobat 7 and Foxit 2.2 . I can only open one copy of a document at a time as described with Acrobat but
> can have multiple copies open with Foxit (I have three open at the moment).
>
> Don Black.
>
> On 27-Sep-13 10:58 PM, David Holland wrote:
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 12:21 AM, Artek Manuals <manuals@... > wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>> ArtekManuals comments interspersed below
>>
>> On 9/26/2013 10:17 PM, Robin Whittle wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> It would drive me bananas trying to work with service manuals on a
>>> screen, no matter how big. Firstly I would need multiple such screens
>>> because I frequently want to look at several pages at once
>> /The ability to open multiple pages in the same document simultaneously would be a useful benefit. Being able to
>> open the theory of operation section and the schematic at the same time for example. Adobe unfortunately only
>> allows you open one copy of the file at a time (Foxit and other PDF Reader users please weigh in here). There is
>> a work around simply make a 2nd copy of the file and then rename it ( as an example : 7633-osm.pdf and
>> 7633-osm-1.pdf) both files can be open simultaneously and if your monitor is big enough, they can be run side
>> by side , but tiling also works for flipping back and forth./
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> That's not entirely accurate Dave..... :-)
>>
>> You can have the same document opened multiple times without duplicating the file, in Adobe, however, its not done
>> via the File menu.
>>
>> Open the document, w/ Adobe, as usual. Then go to the "Window" menu, and select "New Window". You get a 2nd
>> window w/ the same document.
>>
>> I just verified it with Adobe Reader 9, and the latest Adobe Reader 11.
>>
>>
>>
>> As for paper vs electronic. Personally I prefer both. The electronic for portability. Paper for actual perusal.
>> Even with multiple windows, and large screens, flipping back and forth just "seems" more difficult.
>>
>> David
>



Don Black <donald_black@...>
 

I also just tried it with PDF-XChange Viewer and it's the same as Acrobat. Only one view in the same window.

Don Black.

On 28-Sep-13 2:06 AM, Garey Barrell wrote:
 

Don -

I have Acrobat 8 and Reader XI, and both open multiple copies using the 'newly learned' [New Window] trick. Cool!

73, Garey - K4OAH
Glen Allen, VA

Don Black wrote:
>
>
> I have Adobe Acrobat 7 and Foxit 2.2 . I can only open one copy of a document at a time as described with Acrobat but
> can have multiple copies open with Foxit (I have three open at the moment).
>
> Don Black.
>
> On 27-Sep-13 10:58 PM, David Holland wrote:
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 12:21 AM, Artek Manuals <manuals@... > wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>> ArtekManuals comments interspersed below
>>
>> On 9/26/2013 10:17 PM, Robin Whittle wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> It would drive me bananas trying to work with service manuals on a
>>> screen, no matter how big. Firstly I would need multiple such screens
>>> because I frequently want to look at several pages at once
>> /The ability to open multiple pages in the same document simultaneously would be a useful benefit. Being able to
>> open the theory of operation section and the schematic at the same time for example. Adobe unfortunately only
>> allows you open one copy of the file at a time (Foxit and other PDF Reader users please weigh in here). There is
>> a work around simply make a 2nd copy of the file and then rename it ( as an example : 7633-osm.pdf and
>> 7633-osm-1.pdf) both files can be open simultaneously and if your monitor is big enough, they can be run side
>> by side , but tiling also works for flipping back and forth./
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> That's not entirely accurate Dave..... :-)
>>
>> You can have the same document opened multiple times without duplicating the file, in Adobe, however, its not done
>> via the File menu.
>>
>> Open the document, w/ Adobe, as usual. Then go to the "Window" menu, and select "New Window". You get a 2nd
>> window w/ the same document.
>>
>> I just verified it with Adobe Reader 9, and the latest Adobe Reader 11.
>>
>>
>>
>> As for paper vs electronic. Personally I prefer both. The electronic for portability. Paper for actual perusal.
>> Even with multiple windows, and large screens, flipping back and forth just "seems" more difficult.
>>
>> David
>



stefan_trethan
 

With Foxit (and I suppose other readers) you can also set bookmarks and make annotations (which can be saved with the pdf file).

Personally, I use paper only as a temporary medium, sometimes I just need to make marks with a pencil, helps me think.
I stack and store those pieces of scratch paper for a period, just in case.

Apart from that, it is just so much easier to store and find stuff in digital form.
A number of large screens in several locations make that data conveniently available.
You really need to have a screen right there where you are working, otherwise paperless doesn't work.

I don't know if those modern portable touchscreen devices would help, the screen size seems too small to me compared to a real monitor.


ST


Dave / NR1DX
 

On 9/27/2013 11:27 AM, Stefan Trethan wrote:
 

With Foxit (and I suppose other readers) you can also set bookmarks and make annotations (which can be saved with the pdf file).

Personally, I use paper only as a temporary medium, sometimes I just need to make marks with a pencil, helps me think.
I stack and store those pieces of scratch paper for a period, just in case.

Apart from that, it is just so much easier to store and find stuff in digital form.
A number of large screens in several locations make that data conveniently available.
You really need to have a screen right there where you are working, otherwise paperless doesn't work.

I don't know if those modern portable touchscreen devices would help, the screen size seems too small to me compared to a real monitor.


ST


23"-24" touch screen monitors ( will display a 11x17 original full size) exist today for under $250. I have seen a 55" touch screen (not cheap) but it is just a matter of time...

Dave
ArtekManuals.com
-- 
Dave
Manuals@...
www.ArtekManuals.com