Alfresco Document Annotations (Export to PDF)

It’s time to truly collaborate. With interactive annotations, employees work together on projects and managers provide clear feedback. Everything stays online in the same workspace. This is teamwork.

The Alfresco Document Annotations addon is a productivity module focused on increasing teamwork amongst staff. It allows users to make commentary and visual editing suggestions that are saved directly on files in the web-based Document Library. The system records the annotations and allows other users to view, respond to, and edit files based on the feedback.

Editing company projects online has just gotten easier. Implement this module and your project managers will be thanking you.

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What are Alfresco Document Annotations?

The Alfresco Document Annotations addon is aimed at enhanced communication between staff and managers at all levels. It is essentially a toolbar that gives users in the Document Library the ability to make comments, point out mistakes, offer suggestions, and do editing in the web-based workspace. The system records the commentary for viewing by other users working on the project. Staffers can respond and work together on the project simultaneously without missing a beat. Defying limitations, the annotations made with this module can be taken offline by migrating them into the corresponding properties of a PDF document outside the system.

Why are Alfresco Document Annotations so important?

  • Save time – no need to download files out of the repository before making comments, convert Alfresco annotation to PDF
  • Dynamic functions – GUI gives users a variety of options to record feedback
  • Enhance internal communication – increases teamwork by enabling users to interact online
  • Online collaboration – easy-to-read visual and text comments are preserved in the workspace
  • Mobile device support – facility on devices that work primarily without a keyboard

The Benefits of Alfresco Document Annotations

Skytizens has developed Alfresco Document Annotations so that your company’s employees can stay online in the workspace while they collaborate. Truly interactive, the annotations are saved to the document in real time and can be seen by other users within seconds. This module cuts down on duplicate work and wasted company time. Since the work is maintained online, it also cuts down on paper. Staff members are able to cooperate successfully. Managers and remote workers love this module, as it allows them to communicate easily and offer editing feedback despite geographic distance. The annotations work especially well on mobile devices such as tablets, iPads, and smartphones due to their facility of use with touch screen technology.

How Does It Work?

The Alfresco Document Annotations toolbar is located in the Document Library. It appears along the lower edge of the document when a user opens a file in Preview Mode. The annotation options are expandable buttons with a drop-down menu of functions that a user can select. Once selected, the user can make markings directly on the document using that specific function.

Comments have the advantage of allowing other users to respond or make further comments within the same text field.

There are also visual functions that allow users to draw on the document. You can make arrows for positioning suggestions, circle important information, highlight text, and use other color-coded markings for clear and precise communication amongst staff members.

Main Features 

HTML5 Standard – Annotation functions work based on HTML5 markup language so the toolbar includes all of the most updated standards in annotations.

Functions – Make notes on a document using a dynamic menu of options for succinct communication.

  1. Highlight – add a color-coded background to a text area in yellow, orange, green, or blue
  2. Create Note – leave a text note as feedback
    • Point – a text comment based on a single point in the document (e.g. SIGN HERE)
    • Area – highlight an area of the document—not necessarily a text block
    • Text – general text attached to an area of text on the document or a blank area in line with the text
  3. Strikeout – apply a strikethrough to communicate deleting text while still allowing the editor to read the content
  4. Draw – make free-hand drawings in black, red, blue, or green
  5. Delete – remove previous annotations
  6. View Annotations – use this button as a switch to show or hide the annotations on the document

Administrative Controls – Users have access to certain functions based on assigned role (see below). This allows for project managers to control document editing and avoid data loss.

  1. Document Owner/Collaborator – can delete, edit, add, move annotations
  2. Administrator – same abilities as owner
  3. User – is limited to open or close annotations in order to preserve integrity
  4. WRITE – only users with the permission to “WRITE” is able to save annotations on a document

Activity Log – Each annotation is recorded with the unique Alfresco username and the date of the last change. Annotation activity can be reviewed by project managers.

Annotation Search – Alfresco allows users to search content in annotations by username, date range, and text content so that collaborators can find important comments with ease.

PDF Conversion Feature – This addon also allows for PDF conversions that maintain the annotations in full for offline sharing or for collaboration with folks outside of the Document Library. Since Annotations and Markups are a native function of Adobe PDF documents, Alfresco converts the document annotations commentary made in the system into parallel PDF properties that remain with the document, even when downloaded outside of the system. These annotations can be viewed in Adobe Reader or other PDF Readers under the Annotations or Markup toolbars.

Integration with a PDF converter that can reproduce DMS commentary in a PDF document is a rare function for this kind of system.

Activation – The annotations toolbar can be enabled/disabled so that it only appears in authorized staff members’ systems.

Permissions Control – Access to the Alfresco Document Annotations feature is managed by Group and Role.

  1. Group Access – Permission to use the feature is given by the client’s administrator by designating members of a group.
  2. Role Access – Permission to use this feature on certain files is given by file managers based on role access in the Alfresco system.

Conclusions

It’s time to truly collaborate. With interactive annotations, employees work together on projects and managers provide clear feedback. Everything stays online in the same workspace. This is teamwork.

The Alfresco Document Annotations addon is a productivity module focused on increasing teamwork amongst staff. It allows users to make commentary and visual editing suggestions that are saved directly on files in the web-based Document Library. The system records the annotations and allows other users to view, respond to, and edit files based on the feedback.

Editing company projects online has just gotten easier. Implement this module and your project managers will be thanking you.

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