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Feature Request: Enhanced Surface Pen Functionality in Annotaion Editor
Thank you very much for your explanation! So I'll just go with jeffn1 and the others and look forward to the annotation-rework. Nice to know, though, that you are already working on these things.  Smile
(03-20-2017, 08:37 AM)Zuberman Wrote: So I've added what I can in terms of surface pen support. Microsoft did not expose any way to handle the eraser button - the OS handles that and no application can detect it.   Microsoft also did not provide any way to handle the right-click button unless the pen is actually touching the screen. This severely limits what it can be used for.  What I've done for now is that, if the right click button is held and you tap the screen, it will enter the annotations editor. Likewise, if you hold the button and tap the screen in the annotations editor it will save the changes and immediately exit. I think this provides more value than being able to pan while holding the button.  If you guys disagree, let me know. I'd rather not make it customizable unless there are tons of different ideas for how to use it, because it creates a lot of work (business logic, UI changes, translations into all the languages, manual updates, etc). I also added code so that if you switch to the eraser, it will activate the eraser tool while you drag the box, erase the annotations when you let go, and then switch back to whatever tool you were previously using.  It works pretty well. When I update the annotations to also support the more traditional eraser (one you can scribble with instead of drawing a box), I will update the eraser to use that.

This is really helpful, Mike. Thank you so much for your responsiveness to your users :-). I was so excited to try out these pen functions and love the ease of use this creates.
(04-21-2018, 01:56 AM)Zuberman Wrote: Yes, that is part of the annotations rework that is coming. I plan on integrating the annotation capability on the main display and adding a radial menu for switching tools, loading favorites, configuring the tools, etc.


Glad I found this thread.  Annotation support has always felt half-baked, like it was designed for Android (where most use fingers or a passive/capacitive pen), compared with rich stylus-first Windows apps like OneNote and StaffPad.

Getting rid of the modal switch will be a huge step forward!  Is that far away?  If so, would you consider some short term mitigations?  Such as:
  • Allowing page navigation in Annotation Mode via the usual gestures, not just the toolbar buttons (assuming Stylus Mode is checked)
  • Making it so that the Save button leaves you on the same page you were looking at, rather than switching back to the page where you initially entered Annotation Mode
As you work on the big rewrite, might I also suggest:
  • Pressure sensitivity = line width and/or color saturation
  • Hold pen button = rectangle select (like in OneNote)
  • Having brushes scale with zoom, i.e. zooming in automatically implies smaller effective width (same # of display pixels @ new scale factor)
Curious to see how much you can fit into a radial popup.  As a counterpoint, the way ForScore does it (full-width floating toolbar) works well, even on tablets w/o a pen -- it combines the always-on convenience of a standard toolbar, while avoiding the need to resize the page image (slow), since you can quickly shove it out of the way of whatever you need to see.  I suspect the best compromise would use both: toolbar for high level features like Undo/Redo, radial popup for customizing brush heads.  But I will wait & see what you come up with!

I've made the changes so that you can swipe to turn pages if stylus mode is enabled and the editor will change the main display to the same page you were last viewing in the annotations editor. I'll see what I can do about the other things, but pressure sensitivity may be difficult to implement as I don't know if that's supported in the PDF specifications, so I'm not sure how you join segments of a path with different line widths. It would be inefficient to convert freeform drawings into bitmaps to embed in the PDF, so I'd rather not do that either.

(04-20-2018, 07:56 AM)chuckles Wrote: It'd be nice not to have to switch into annotation mode at all while using the surface pen. Should be able to annotate anytime with the pen. This saves time as well as dealing with the issue of accidental marks if your hand touches the screen. There
If you switch into stylus mode your hand won't make marks on the screen.  You can move and zoom with your fingers and write with the pen. You do still have to open the editor to edit though. Although there's a setting that allows you to pen it by hitting with 3 fingers so it doesn't take all that long to open.
(04-14-2019, 02:35 AM)Zuberman Wrote: I've made the changes so that you can swipe to turn pages if stylus mode is enabled and the editor will change the main display to the same page you were last viewing in the annotations editor. I'll see what I can do about the other things...

Thank you for implementing this, this really comes in very useful. I experienced that I often got the wrong page into annotation mode if I wanted to annotate the bottom of the page (I'm mostly scrolling vertically, so in these situations the most part of the screen often already shows the following page). Now I can change the page with a fast gesture, great!  Smile

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