Have you ever had a digital file and wondered how to append it with the source information?
Let’s say a fellow researcher sent you a document by email. Or you scanned a bunch of pages at the library or archives. Maybe you downloaded an e-book from one of many digital libraries online.
Now what do you do? Do you print it out and write the source information on it? Do you create a Word document with the same name, but add “source info” on it and save it in the same digital folder on your computer? Do you try to squeeze the source name into the file name? Do you skip recording the source thinking “I’ll remember!”
It’s a conundrum.
We know as good genealogists we should document where we got every record, but then it gets frustrating when you have a PDF format file, and you don’t know where to “stick” the source information.
Ah Ha Moment!
I was delighted today, while at the library, I had an insight of digital proportions! Fair warning this only works with PDF files (those you can read with Adobe Acrobat Reader and the file ends in “.pdf”). I have another idea for photo files, but that will have to wait for another day.
Here’s the trick. When you are in your file at the top of the screen if you are using Adobe Acrobat Reader X (or later), there is an icon that looks like a yellow bubble. Click on it. It opens up a window or text field on top of your document that you can write in. It’s a comment-type notation.
You may be familiar with similar notations in Word or Excel. You can write your source – and repository – information in that comment field. You can make the source information as detailed and complete as you like with virtually no limits on space. You can even come back later and edit the source information as needed.
Further, you won’t mark, overwrite, or damage the digital document in any way. When the window is open so you can read the source you can drag the window anywhere on the document and still read the document’s information. When you are done writing or reading the source information, you can close the window, and it appears as a yellow bubble on the page. When you see the yellow bubble, you’ll know in the future to look there for source information.
And the best part is that the source is ALWAYS with the document. Save it. Email it. And the source record will follow along with the record itself. Fabulous!
Try it yourself. I bet you’ll be amazed as your new found freedom and confidence in recording sources with your digital images.