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Liquidtext review

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Posted by Prion
Dec 10, 2018 at 02:37 PM

 

Not about outlining per se but Liquidtext has been mentioned here enough to merit posting a link to an unusually informative review of using the iPad app Liquidtext to read, annotate Pdfs and actually use the annotations elsewhere:

http://www.macdrifter.com/2018/12/taking-notes-on-an-ipad-with-liquidtext.html

 

 


Posted by Paul Korm
Dec 10, 2018 at 04:53 PM

 

Thank you for the link—it’s a good article.

I’ve used LiquidText since way back in alpha days, and enjoy it a lot.  The team behind LT is super helpful and responsive, and have built an interesting, solid, responsive app—that not only does a good job at its intended use, but is always fun to use. 

 


Posted by Prion
Dec 10, 2018 at 05:41 PM

 

After a first try with one of the first iPads I have abstained from trying to employ a tablet professionally. In preparation of a new project coming up with lots of new literature to read, I am giving it a new try with a 12.9 iPad, which should arrive sometime soon.

I’ll take a look a Liquidtext as well as Marginnote, the main focus is going to be using the annotations made while reading outside of the context of the PDFs themselves, e.g. in Devonthink, Tiddlywiki, Tinderbox…. It would be particularly good to be able to modify the annotations subsequently without compromising the functionality of the links.

If anyone has experience with LT or MN in this regard, I’d appreciate hearing about it.

 


Posted by Paul Korm
Dec 10, 2018 at 11:04 PM

 

If I understand the requirement, you want to do note taking against a body of documents, and cross-link or cross-reference the notes between documents?  As you know, both MN and LT can do this.  As a note taking tool, I think MarginNote is as good as it not a bit better than LiquidText.  For export, LiquidText is best.  MarginNote’s export on iPad is pretty bad, and just a bit better in the macOS version.

In MN you can principally export as .mmap (MindJet MindManager format) documents or a set of RTF files.  The .mmap that MN produces is useless for most purposes—it has incomplete data, there is something weirdly wrong with the developer’s understanding of the .mmap standard format.  The RTF files are ugly and always need reformatting.  MN still has a way to go before it is a good note taking companion for professional use.  The best thing about MN is that is available on macOS and iOS—and the developer has finally managed to get iCloud sync working reliably.

On the other hand, LT can also let you combine multiple documents into a package, take notes across all those files, and export the notes as a whole.  If you use DEVONthink to Go, which support iOS’s document provider service, then in LT you can quickly add a document from DEVONthink via the Files app.  (The document is copied—what you work with in LT has no link back to the original in DEVONthink to Go.)  You can also open a web page in LT’s internal browser and have LT convert the page to a PDF for you. 

There’s no way to work with Tinderbox in either app.  But you have a better export in LT and can download those notes for use in Tinderbox if you need.

 


Posted by Prion
Dec 11, 2018 at 09:30 AM

 

I much appreciate you taking the time to respond, Paul.

Paul Korm wrote:
If I understand the requirement, you want to do note taking against a
>body of documents, and cross-link or cross-reference the notes between
>documents? 

Yes, that is the most urgent requirement, reading loads of academic publications, most of them two column formatted, and annotating them.

There is a technical twist to it in that all of those exist in a folder that Devonthink indexes. I was hoping to find a way to do a roundtrip to Liquidtext and back to Devonthink (to go)each time that was needed but your answer makes it clear that goal will not be easily reached.

>As you know, both MN and LT can do this.  As a note taking
>tool, I think MarginNote is as good as it not a bit better than
>LiquidText.  For export, LiquidText is best.  MarginNote’s export on
>iPad is pretty bad, and just a bit better in the macOS version.

See above, exporting my notes and annotations are important to me. I’ll have to wait until I have that iPad and Pencil how natural the interaction feels. In theory, it seems that an iPad might finally come close to how we used to read and annotate back in the old days, only better, but we all know that not everything we envision materialises just because we want it to.

>
>In MN you can principally export as .mmap (MindJet MindManager format)
>documents or a set of RTF files.  The .mmap that MN produces is useless
>for most purposes—it has incomplete data, there is something weirdly
>wrong with the developer’s understanding of the .mmap standard format. 
>The RTF files are ugly and always need reformatting.  MN still has a
>way to go before it is a good note taking companion for professional
>use.  The best thing about MN is that is available on macOS and iOS—
>and the developer has finally managed to get iCloud sync working
>reliably.

Looks like MN has some ways to go to meet my needs but I’ll certainly take a look if anything is to be gained by adapting my expectations to the specific capabilities of MN.
> >On the other hand, LT can also let you combine multiple documents into a
>package, take notes across all those files, and export the notes as a
>whole.  If you use DEVONthink to Go, which support iOS’s document
>provider service, then in LT you can quickly add a document from
>DEVONthink via the Files app.  (The document is copied—what you work
>with in LT has no link back to the original in DEVONthink to Go.) 

Bummer.

>You can also open a web page in LT’s internal browser and have LT convert
>the page to a PDF for you. 


> >There’s no way to work with Tinderbox in either app.  But you have a
>better export in LT and can download those notes for use in Tinderbox if
>you need.

I am aware of that and expect Tinderbox to be the tool most detached from the original sources, so nothing much is lost here. I have some hope in using Devonthink as an intermediate because it does a reasonably good job at keeping track of things for me, at least that’s how I use it.

 


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