Friday, June 24, 2011

Making My Way In The Technology World Today Takes Everything I've Got

There is no One Way Here!

I am enjoying Dear Myrtle's series of "21st century" blog posts as she drags us kicking and screaming into the "now" world of technology. I say now, because times they are a changin'. Minute by minute. I have a lot of opinions regarding technology with regard to photograph and document organization. I am working on a series of articles in which I discuss my research, findings, and opinions. Maven has nothing if not opinions.

But Dear Myrtle's, 21st Century genealogists: how websites are failing us post struck a chord. This is something I'm working on now. My series is Making My Way In The World Today Takes Everything I've Got Series and this will give you a taste of my direction. Yes, on your toes genealogists. We do get it. And we want more and we want it now.

This is the section of Dear Myrtle's article that caught my attention:
Where websites fail is that in printing a typical scanned images from a website, we are left with nothing more than our operating system's default to print the URL across the bottom of the page. That doesn't bode well for researchers who look for complete citations. In a recent Second Life genealogy voice chat, several researchers shared how they get around the problem:

* If one is printing out a document from a website, put the paper back in the printer, and using a word processing program, insert a proper source citation to print along the margin of the document print-out.

* If keeping the scanned image in digital format, open it immediately in photo editing software to add a border across the bottom, and then insert several lines of text that comprise the citation."
Document From A Website:

I handle this another way, and it works for me. I think it is a great time saver and is useful if you print to paper as well. Maybe it would work for you. If you know all this - Good for you! You're working technology.

Here's my example - I want to print "The Overstuffed Baby Comes Full Circle!" article from Shades Of The Departed.

I am on a Mac using the Firefox browser (the same process for Safari). I open the article in my browser window and go to the Firefox Menu > File > Print. The print menu appears and I set my Header and Footer preferences and whether I wish to print all pages or only certain pages. See Below.

Select Image For Full Size

As you can see, I want only the Title in the Header leaving plenty of white space to the right. The reason will become apparent later in this article. I select PDF > Save As PDF.

I select the PDF Button and select Save As PDF. Here I title the document and add Keywords. I have created a new folder for Photo Connections and the Pdf document is printed to that folder.

Naming & Keywords
Select Image For Full Size

Yes, I know, this is a wonderful feature of Macs, printing to PDF, but what about Windows centric people? A very quick Google search returned several Pdf Print Plug-Ins for Windows. As I do not have a Windows machine and my husband became increasingly frustrated as I tried to talk him through it over the phone at work, I will rely on my Windows readers to tell me how well it works.

Now the magic! Open your file in Acrobat Reader X (10.1). If you do not have X (10.1) you can download it here. It's WORTH it!. Wait, it's free. It's really worth it. Any PDF document whether Windows or Mac will work for the following.

Acrobat Reader X lets you add Sticky Notes and Highlight text in a PDF. You can comment on ANY PDF as long as the author hasn’t restricted it via security or it is a dynamic PDF form. How fantastic is that? We don't have to buy Acrobat Pro.

Open your PDF document in Acrobat Reader X. Now set the preferences. Go To Adobe Reader > Preferences. Be sure to select Print Notes & Pops Ups so that should you ever wish to print the file to paper the notes will be included. Click OK.

Acrobat Reader Preferences
Select Image For Full Size

Next, select Comments > Annotation > Sticky Notes. You will get a comment bubble attached to your cursor. Place the bubble anywhere you like on the page and click. The comment window opens and you can type the citation for this document in the box. I left all that white space at the top of my document next to the title to place my comment bubble. It is purple and can be seen below to the left of the Citation Comment Window.

Comment in PDF
Select Image For Full Size

Next, I set General and Appearance Properties for the comment bubble. Set anything you like. These are my preferences.

Comment General & Appearance Properties
Select Image For Full Size

You have sufficient space across the top of your document to add more comments and color code them as to their purpose.

The magic doesn't end here. Acrobat Reader X allows you to highlight parts of the document. So I highlighted the name of the baby in the portrait and the person who emailed me. I can instantly find what was important in the document as it pertained to my research. This could have so many uses for genealogical research.

Select Image For Full Size

Scanned Image In Digital Format:

"* If keeping the scanned image in digital format, open it immediately in photo editing software to add a border across the bottom, and then insert several lines of text that comprise the citation."
I embed the citation information in the document itself. I selected the photograph of The Overstuffed Baby online, right clicked and copied. I then opened my image editing program Photoshop CS4 and pasted it. Yes, you may "Save As" and open as well.

Next, I selected File > File Info > Categories, named it Cit for Citation and added the citation for the website where I acquired the photograph and the citation for the photograph itself.

It doesn't end here. The best in organization is yet to be posted. I am working on an article that will discuss Photographs, Images, Documents, PDFs and the most brilliant tool for organizing them all. I am taking a class, researching information, and writing the next installment. It's better than sliced bread.

Good Luck!


Blogger Celia Lewis said...

Whew! I followed along on your great directions very carefully, and felt rather overwhelmed, I must admit. Much more practice is needed, obviously! And a better printer, and then more time, and/or maybe I can just use Snagit with a stickynote citation...? Cheers - thanks so much for your topical notes! - Celia

June 24, 2011 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

I worried this might be overwhelming because the instructions were very detailed.

But as a dance, this is the quick step. Really nothing to it, and it can be accomplished in no time. - fM

June 24, 2011 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Family Curator said...

Ok, I'm game! This is a real challenge for family historians. Without a good method to ID material we will be creating the digital equal to the orphan photos in the drawer.

I look forward to your next installment.

June 25, 2011 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger Tonia said...

Good tips! I've been putting all my citations in the metadata for anything I save in an image format. I like your idea about pdfs, though. I will try that out the next time.

June 30, 2011 at 6:03 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home