Sunday, May 8, 2011

Interactive chemistry ebooks: highlight and annotate

iPad

In a previous post I argued that the best way to get started on making interactive chemistry ebooks is to do it on the web with straight HTML, rather than wait for the epub technology to catch up.  But how would one highlight text and scribble notes in such a book?

One solution is to use Diigo, which is a free add-on to your browser as well as a free iPad app.  The picture above show a screenshot of annotation I added to the web page mock-up I talked about earlier.  Notice the "Web Highlighter" in the bookmarks bar, which, when clicked, gives you the blue tool bar you see.  The highlights and annotations are stored in the cloud, so they can be seen and modified from any browser where you have installed Diigo.  It also appears possible, though I haven't tried it myself, to share your notes with a group of people you define, which sounds like a very interesting study tool.

The computer version of the Diigo browser plug-in also has a "read it later" option, where the web page is saved and can be read in the Diigo app off-line.  For some reason this option is not there when using the iPad browser.  It also not possible to annotate in the Diigo app.  But I wouldn't be surprised if both options would appear in future releases.

Related blog-posts:
Interactive chemistry ebooks: interactive figures
Interactive chemistry ebooks: let us start now!
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