OneNote for Windows Store (Metro) Updated

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The OneNote team(s) have had a big release day. In addition to the OneNote for Android updates for tablets and handwriting, OneNote was also updated for Windows Store (aka Metro app). Microsoft’s OneNote team announced this update on their blog on August 19.

Printing

The OneNote team claims the ability to print pages was the number one requested feature. This feature has been added in this update and it allows printing your notes. In addition, this update allows print previews, allowing portrait and landscape orientations, and the usual printing options like multiple copies and two-sided printing.

In a subtle move away from strictly using Charms for peripherals, printing is supported via Charms, App Bar as well as the conventional Ctrl+P keyboard shortcut.

 

OneNote for Windows Metro Print Charms
OneNote for Windows Metro Print Charms

 

OneNote for Windows Metro Print App Bar
OneNote for Windows Metro Print App Bar

File attachments

Another highly requested feature added was the ability to insert files into notes. If you have an external document you want to add to your notes, you can now insert the document via the radial menu’s insert command. This adds the document into the note and makes it available as-is, and when opened, it opens as a read-only version of the document.

OneNote for Windows Metro Insert File
OneNote for Windows Metro Insert File

PDF printout

Unlike inserting files directly, inserting them as a PDF printout “prints” the file out to OneNote as a PDF. This way, the entire document shows up inside OneNote and then can be annotated inside the note. Both the file attachment and PDF printout were added recently to the iPad and Mac versions of OneNote recently.

OneNote for Windows Metro Insert PDF printout
OneNote for Windows Metro Insert PDF printout

Highlighting with ink

Much like the Android and iOS updates, this feature allows ink highlighting. This can be done via a stylus/pen or a finger. The radial menu now shows multiple colors of “pens” for highlighting and inking.

OneNote for Windows Metro Highlight Pens
OneNote for Windows Metro Highlight Pens

The update is now available in the Store. Let us know how you like it.

Firefox 14 to Come with Built-in PDF Support

With all the recent changes in the web technology stack and the advancements in web-browsers, third-party plugins are becoming a thing of the past. A decade ago, Adobe thrived on a business, which was based around providing an extra layer on top of the web. Adobe provided us with PDF readers and flash for web. However, with HTML 5, videos do no need a flash container to run inside a browser. When it comes to PDF files, Google Chrome has already devised a way to display PDF files in a web browser and now, Firefox has deployed its own solution to display PDF files in the browser.
firefox-logo

PDF.js is a well-known script that renders PDF files with HTML and JavaScript successfully. It can be installed as an extension. However, the good news is that the latest nightly version of Firefox 14 ships with PDF.js built in. This is a major improvement as it adds a default PDF support in Firefox. Although the PDF rendering from Pdf.js is not as smooth as Adobe Reader, it is worth the freedom.

Dr. Andreas Gal, the Director of research t Mozilla writes about the benefits of the PDF.js extension, saying,

The traditional approach to rendering PDFs in a browser is to use a native-code plugin, either Adobe’s own PDF Reader or other commercial renderers, or some open source alternative (e.g. poppler). From a security perspective, this enlarges the trusted code base, and because of that, Google’s Chrome browser goes through quite some pain to sandbox the PDF renderer to avoid code injection attacks. An HTML5-based implementation is completely immune to this class of problems.

Adobe plugin have attracted security vulnerabilities for too long, and with Flash losing ground, finally, we are moving towards a truly open web without any proprietary layers on top of it. The PDF.js project is developed openly and can be found on Github.

How To Convert ePub files to PDF, MOBI, HTML

ePub files are an open publishing format to publish books and allow them to be read on multiple devices and platforms. ePub formats are popular on mobile devices, tablets and dedicated eBook readers like the Nook and Amazon Kindle. In fact, you can also read ePub books on your PC or Mac.

However, if you don’t have a compatible device to read ePub files, you can always convert ePub books to PDF format or MOBI format or HTML format and read them on any device.

One of the most famous software and you can use to convert ePub files on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux is called Calibre eBook management (Download). This software not just allows you to manage your eBooks on a computer but also supports multiple formats along with the ability to convert eBooks among different formats.

In order to convert and ePub file to PDF, MOBI or HTML format, you will first have to add the books to the Calibre library using the "Add books" button. Once you have done that, click on the book and then click on the "Convert books" button in the top menu.

Convert ePub to PDF

Once you have clicked that button, you will be shown several formats to convert the book to. Choose the format you want to convert the book to from the "Output Format" dropdown. You can make several other changes to the output using the left hand side menu. Once you have selected all the options, click on the "OK" button and Calibre will start a job to convert the book into the desired format.

The conversion process for ePub format to PDF, MOBI or HTML make take some time. Once the conversion is finished you will find the book in the same folder as the original book.

Google Docs Can Open Password Protected PDF

Since Google started out with , they have been adding a lot of new interesting features to the service to compete with the likes of Microsoft Office. Of late, the competition is really steaming up and Microsoft is battling to win back the online documents supremacy. However, Google’s integration of Google Docs with and their other services offers users an option to open and view documents, images and PSD files in their email without having to download them locally.

Open Password Protected PDF Files with Google Docs

I have been using the option to open documents and PDF files in Google Docs for quite sometime now. However, one feature I found missing was the ability to open password protected PDF files in Google Docs.

Also Read: Remove Password from PDF Files | Unlock Password Protected PDF Files

It looks like that the Google Docs viewer just got smarter (or that it was already but I noticed it now) and allows you to open password protected PDF files without having to download them to your local computer.

The new feature is currently available for PDF files only and I wasn’t able to test it with a regular word document which was password protected. Hopefully, Google should add a feature for other password documents soon.

Google Chrome Beta Updated To Chrome 8, Adds Inline PDF Viewer

A few months back I had reported that had started to display PDF Files inline. Google Chrome beta users will now be able to get the inline PDF viewer in the latest update v8.0.552.28.

Google Chrome PDF Inline

The feature which was first spotted by me in version 6.0.495.0 dev took longer than expected to make it to the beta channel. Chrome’s new PDF viewer makes it easier to open PDF Files in the browser itself, eliminating need for external PDF readers. Google Chrome 8.0.552.28 has been updated for all platforms. You should be able to view PDF files inline in Chrome once you have updated to the beta version.

Also Read: 18 Handy and Unique PDF Tools | PDF Tools and Services you should definitely use

Freepdfcard: Make Business Cards Online

If you are planning to get a business card for yourself, and you have no idea how to design it, here is a quick and easy way. Free PDF Card is an online service that can create a free business card for you.

free pdf card website

Go to the Free PDF Card website and you will see a form. Each of the form fields represents a line in the preview business card (to the left) in a vertical order. Beside every text field of the form there are basic formatting options like bold, italics and font size. If you wish to show your company logo, upload it using the “Upload Logo” button. You can also show your image if it’s for a personal purpose.

Start filling the form with the info you wish to show on your business card. Do the necessary formatting until you are satisfied with its look. Every time you wish to preview the changes you have made, press the Preview button below. Following is a demo PDF card that I created for myself using Free PDF Card.

free pdf card example

Once you have completed editing your free business card, press the Download button just below the card preview section. The card will be downloaded as a PDF file which you can print.

Google Chrome Opens PDF Files Inline

Google has for long been able to read PDF files using , their browser though did not have the feature to open PDF files inline and unless you used an   to open the PDF files with Google Docs, you would have to download the file to your PC before you could view it.

Google Chrome PDF Inline

However, it looks like the latest dev version of Chrome (6.0.495.0 dev) now supports opening PDF files inline in the browser. This means that you can view any PDF documents you want in your browser without needing to download it. If you do need to download a document, just right click the webpage and click "Save as…" from the available options.

This feature is definitely a good one since users would not have to rely on a offline PDF reader to view files and can do so from within the browser itself. I tested this with several documents, out of the 10 I tested, Google Chrome was able to display all the 10 documents inline.

Adobe Planning to Introduce Sandboxing Technologies in Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader and Microsoft Internet explorer have become a top favorite with hackers. Internet Explorer with its innumerable vulnerabilities forms an excellent learning ground for crackers. Another hot favorite with them is Adobe Reader.

adobe-reader

Both Adobe and its users are fed up by continuous release of updates and follow up hack attempts in spite of these updates. In a recent announcement, Adobe has announced that it will release its next Reader software as a sandboxed application.

Sandboxing prevents an application from accessing the underlying data and creates a virtual environment for the application to run. This keeps the processes within the application free from each other and prevents them from accessing data from the computer.

Brad Arkin, Adobe’s director of security and privacy says,

With sandboxing, anyone who encounters a malicious PDF will find that a successful exploit is kept within the sandbox.

The sandboxing approach however, cannot ensure complete safety, as the sandbox itself has to be powerful enough. However, it will need two levels of breach before any actual data is compromised.

(Source)

Adobe Reader Now On Android, Simply Scares Users Towards Other Alternatives

The Adobe Reader has been released for Android and is available at Android market officially. Although, the release of this app went un-noticed and has not gained popularity due to Google IO conference, it has already been downloaded for over 250,000 times now and that number is on a rise.

adobe-reader-android

The Adobe Reader app is in version 0.9.0.0 and has serious lack of features.  To start with, it has no search to look up a word or text. It has no bookmark feature to quick access and bookmark pages for later reading. It has no usable feature of a document reader. The only thing it has, is great looks and a good User Interface (UI).

The app fetches the next four pages in advance and this can help in scrolling. Though, some argue that if we want to jump to a page (far away), re-loading the next four pages from this new page takes some time and this makes the app a resource hog. However, it works nicely if you are a slow reader.

The app also supports multi-touch actions like pinch-zoom. Again, here the rendering is extremely slow and once you start moving out of zoom, the rendering takes some time giving ugly blocks on the screen in that process.

adobe-reader-android

Other options include an open file dialog and switching to text mode which shows the document as text.

Verdict

This is the first version of this product and it is too hard to judge the product from this. The guys at Adobe are clearly confused and they need more time to figure out what basic features a PDF app must contain. I would install this software for its UI and on the hope that a better next version is coming soon. Though, using it something I would not do or recommend at all.

Rating: 2/5

PDFmyURL: Generates PDFs From Any Web Address

We have covered some pretty unique and handy web based PDF utilities so far. To add-on to the list, here is a simple web based utility, PDFmyURL – which provides you with PDF files when you enter a web address. It also provides you with a handy bookmarklet for quick access.

With advanced options, you can learn how to use PDFmyURL on your own site and even how to run PDFmyURL from your own server.

To use PDFmyURL on your web site, just link the text or image you want visitors to use for downloading a specific URL like,

http://pdfmyurl.com?url=www.techie-buzz.com

You can easily create text link(s) like this: Download this web page as PDF.

This service also provides you with further options to customize the output PDF document according to your needs. If you would like to get a PDF document out of a given web address then, PDFmyURL is a hassle free web based utility worth giving a try!