[pdftex] By default, pdfLaTaX removes some right to the pdf file.

Mick McQuaid mick at mickmcquaid.com
Mon Aug 23 15:05:57 CEST 2004

It isn't so much that they won't give it to you as
that they won't give it to you free of restriction. 
You google on keywords add comment pdf and find that
there are products, such as jawspdf, offering the
ability to add comments to a pdf file.  Evidently,
Adobe has licensed an API to these people.

The same googling will also lead you to someone who is
aggravated about how it's too easy to add comments if
you have Acrobat Standard or Professional.  It seems
that this person has had to train users to say what
they mean in comments so that each comment isn't
followed by an email asking for clarification about
whether something is to be deleted or rewritten.

I feel that Adobe has struck a good balance between
free and paid functionality in pdf so that they have
incentive to keep producing Reader and making it
convenient.  The feature set they've chosen to charge
for makes intuitive sense to newbies.  Whenever
students ask me about features of Adobe Reader vs
Standard or Professional, all I have to say is that
reading the files is free, being able to modify them
in any meaningful way costs money.

When Graham, Knuth, and Patashnik wanted to permit
students to add comments to the book Concrete
Mathematics, they simply circulated the plain TeX
file.  The results make for an enjoyable read.  That's
an interesting solution to the commenting problem. 
One feature of that solution is that the commenters
seem to feel a sense of authorship in the book and are
perhaps more conscientious about their comments than
someone might be upon using a metaphorical post-it

--- Martin Schröder <ms at artcom-gmbh.de> wrote:

> On 2004-08-23 00:58:40 +0200, Loïc Joly wrote:
> > I would like to create a pdf document where
> readers would be able to add 
> > comments. Does someone have an idea how to do it ?
> (I have been told a 
> > way using some post-processing tool, but I would
> prefer something 
> > integrated into pdfTeX if is was possible.
> It's not. Unless you show us the documentation for
> it, which
> Adobe won't give you.
> Best regards
>         Martin
> -- 
>                Martin Schröder, ms at artcom-gmbh.de
>      ArtCom GmbH, Lise-Meitner-Str 5, 28359 Bremen,
> Germany
>           Voice +49 421 20419-44 / Fax +49 421
> 20419-10
>                     http://www.artcom-gmbh.de
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