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E textbook compatibility?

Tigergrrrl

New Member
I've ordered the Surface Pro 4 for college, should have it in another week or so. I've got permission from the Department head to have e textbooks rather than lugging heavy science books.

Will I be able to highlight and mark in my e textbooks?



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hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Welcome

I just converted all of my digital textbooks into PDF files and then opened them with drawboard pdf and annotated and highlighted through that software. I would also occasionally import them into onenote for the ability to have space on the side of the book for more in-depth notes.

However, I imagine it will depend on the format or delivery method of the textbooks (e.g do they have DRM etc allowing them to only be opened via a specific type/piece of software.
 

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
[How To] prefix removed, as this is for proven tutorials, not questions.

The Kindle app allows some textbook formats, which works well, especially figures, maps, diagrams.
 

herbertlemons

New Member
As a blind person I'm dependent on electronic copies of books so that my screen reading software can read the text aloud for me. Obviously visual highlights etc aren't something I use, but I do want to be able to mark and annotate as and when needed.

As hughlle mentions, Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a real pain in the arse! I usually save a PDF file out as a plain text file, at which point I can add zzz at every chapter heading, so I can quickly navigate through the book by heading by searching for zzz. If I'm reading a novel then I'll add a zzz at the point I finish reading it for the day, so I can jump to the end of the text file and search for zzz with the direction set to up.

If PDF files are not DRM restricted but still have security enabled, then I run it through optical character recognition (OCR) to convert it to a plain text file or Word doc.

Obviously you can use other 'bookmark' combinations as you need, such as xxx as an important revision section or yyy for case studies that you need to know for examinations. The only thing you want to make sure of is to use character combinations that won't be found in regular words, else you'll spend your life trying to track down the point you intended to mark!

I'm hoping to return to university to study for a Masters next year, so I'll probably be doing a lot of this myself! :)

Hope that helps,

Giles
 
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Tigergrrrl

New Member
[How To] prefix removed, as this is for proven tutorials, not questions.

The Kindle app allows some textbook formats, which works well, especially figures, maps, diagrams.
Thank you. Totally new to this forum/format.

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Tigergrrrl

New Member
As a blind person I'm dependent on electronic copies of books so that my screen reading software can read the text aloud for me. Obviously visual highlights etc aren't something I use, but I do want to be able to mark and annotate as and when needed.

As hughlle mentions, Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a real pain in the arse! I usually save a PDF file out as a plain text file, at which point I can add zzz at every chapter heading, so I can quickly navigate through the book by heading by searching for zzz. If I'm reading a novel then I'll add a zzz at the point I finish reading it for the day, so I can jump to the end of the text file and search for zzz with the direction set to up.

If PDF files are not DRM restricted but still have security enabled, then I run it through optical character recognition (OCR) to convert it to a plain text file or Word doc.

Obviously you can use other 'bookmark' combinations as you need, such as xxx as an important revision section or yyy for case studies that you need to know for examinations. The only thing you want to make sure of is to use character combinations that won't be found in regular words, else you'll spend your life trying to track down the point you intended to mark!

I'm hoping to return to university to study for a Masters next year, so I'll probably be doing a lot of this myself! :)

Hope that helps,

Giles
I have congenital cataracts, and my books had to be specially formatted for me while I was in elementary school. Fortunately I've had surgery to repair my vision, a couple dozen implants, lasers, stitches, shunts.

The "high tech" concept of formatting textbooks with lower case letters nearly a half inch high was a godsend in the early 1970s.

Best of luck in grad school! What's your field of study?

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herbertlemons

New Member
*smile* yes, assistive technology has come a long way since the 1970s. Field of study: English / Creative Writing / Poetry. I need to do this as much for my mobility skills as a blind person as I do for the benefit to my written work. I usually have to ask publishers directly for PDF coppies of their books, and most are happy to oblige :) I was last at uni in the early 1990s, when I studied BSc chemistry :)
 
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Tigergrrrl

New Member
*smile* yes, assistive technology has come a long way since the 1970s. Field of study: English / Creative Writing / Poetry. I need to do this as much for my mobility skills as a blind person as I do for the benefit to my written work. I usually have to ask publishers directly for PDF coppies of their books, and most are happy to oblige :) I was last at uni in the early 1990s, when I studied BSc chemistry :)
Very cool!

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