Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor  SOLVED

Forum for the PDF-XChange Editor - Free and Licensed Versions

Moderators: TrackerSupp-Daniel, Tracker Support, Vasyl-Tracker Dev Team, Sean - Tracker, Paul - Tracker Supp, Chris - Tracker Supp, Tracker Supp-Stefan, Ivan - Tracker Software

Post Reply
bcgirton
User
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:08 am

Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by bcgirton » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:10 am

I would like to use a digital stylus to sign my name on PDF documents (under Windows 10, with a touchscreen). Unfortunately, the pencil tool insists on rounding off all the edges of my signature as soon as I lift the pen, and the signature becomes unrecognizable. Is there a workaround for this?

User avatar
Tracker Supp-Stefan
Site Admin
Posts: 13787
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:07 am
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor  SOLVED

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:16 pm

Hello bcgirton,

Please take a look here:
https://www.tracker-software.com/forum3 ... ng#p113284
For a registry tweak that you can apply that will reduce the smoothing applied for the tool!

Regards,
Stefan

bcgirton
User
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:08 am

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by bcgirton » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:08 pm

That works. I set it to 0%, and my signature looks great, just a little shaky. This setting should definitely be exposed in your user interface. The need to sign PDFs without printing and scanning, and without some kind of crypto gymnastics, is so pervasive and obvious. MS Edge will do it, but not everyone discovers that, nor is it natural to use Edge when working on a PDF. Windows Apps that can write on PDFs are available, but the Windows Store is not very convenient; you have to dig through the apps one by one to find one that is good and free (or reasonably priced). Xodo looked like it might be pretty good, but I didn't get a chance to try it before your solution arrived. Thanks!

User avatar
Tracker Supp-Stefan
Site Admin
Posts: 13787
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:07 am
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:40 pm

Glad it worked!

I will pass your suggestions for consideration!

Cheers,
Stefan

RLM
User
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:10 pm

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by RLM » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:04 pm

After "upgrading" to the v 7 PDF-XChange Editor Pro, I had great hopes that the stylus issues would be fixed. Well, it looks like nothing was fixed, and in fact it's worse than before. To make matters even worse, the registry setting used to control line smoothing is no longer is used for the new version, and I can't find any setting to control it in the new version. Furthermore, the stylus and touch screen behavior is bizarre - it is not like mouse or stylus in an other application. Thus the stylus is essentially unusable in the editor, which means that I can't use the editor on my Surface Pro without a keyboard and mouse.

I strongly suggest that you try out the Foxit MobilePDF app for Win 10. The got it nearly perfect, making it a far better pdf editor for tablet and stylus users.

This has been a problem for several years - are you planning to fix it?

User avatar
Paul - Tracker Supp
Site Admin
Posts: 4978
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:37 pm
Location: Chemainus, Canada
Contact:

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:23 pm

Hi RLM,

thanks for the feedback, I am sorry to hear V7 is not an improvement. As I understand it we are planning to do significant work on this for the next release in about a month. I believe that 7.0.324 will give you a much better experience.

You have indeed been waiting some time for this, just a little longer and I hope you will like what you see.

hth
_________________
If posting files to this forum - you must archive the files to a ZIP, RAR or 7z file or they will not be uploaded - thank you.

Best regards

Paul O'Rorke
Tracker Support North America
http://www.tracker-software.com

User avatar
Vasyl-Tracker Dev Team
Site Admin
Posts: 1957
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:11 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by Vasyl-Tracker Dev Team » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:15 pm

Hi RLM.
Well, it looks like nothing was fixed, and in fact it's worse than before.
I tested this but I couldn't find any difference between V6 and V7 with the pencil. Also, I cannot see any significant difference between V7 and Foxit Phantom and Foxit MobilePDF in this regard either.

Can you provide the simple example pdf with two drawings: one - created in Editor V7 and second - in Foxit? That should help us see what is really wrong.

Additionally, I tested our registry option that controls the level of smoothing applied to the pencil tool and it works well for me. This reg file reduces the smoothing level from 100% to 30%:
PencilSmoothLevel30perc.zip
(345 Bytes) Downloaded 54 times
- note: close the Editor before applying the reg key.
Thus the stylus is essentially unusable in the editor, which means that I can't use the editor on my Surface Pro without a keyboard and mouse.
I do see one problem: the stylus cannot be used for dragging control-points of any shape-object. We will try to fix this issue.

Have you found any other issues? We are keen to know, we want to make using the Editor on such devices the best experience it can be. In light of that we are planning on spending significant time/resources on this in the near future so your feedback is highly valued.

Thanks for the report and
Cheers.
Vasyl Yaremyn
Tracker Software Products
Project Developer

Please archive any files posted to a ZIP, 7z or RAR file or they will be removed and not posted.

RLM
User
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:10 pm

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by RLM » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:06 am

The .reg file does not work for me in v7. It worked OK in v6, and it was easy to check the changes in the registry. My registry key is already set at 30%, which did work in the previous version, but not in V7. Apparently, the [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Tracker Software\PDFXEditor\3.0\Settings\Commenting] key is no used to retrieve the settings. I will try this again after I reboot, and will report back if anything has changed.

I compared the Foxit app regarding the usability of the stylus in reading and annotating pdf books. Here are some of the stylus and related issues that V7 should address, especially for the surface pro and the SP stylus:
--The pencil function produces many skips and causes far too much stroke rounding.
--Can't grab object handles with the stylus
--holding the stylus down for more than ~1 second pops up the R click menu. It should be a longer delay
--the pencil stroke often does not start at the tip of the stylus
--it is very annoying to scroll and highlight/underline etc w the stylus bc selecting text and highlighting are 2 completely different functions. I should be able t select text, and choose an annotation in any color or style from a small popup window.
--The stylus does not scroll in the thumbnail window. Instead, it moves pages around without warning. It should scroll by default, not drag. Dragging should require 1 1/2 clicks to activate.
--The stylus side button does nothing at all
--Can't erase with the stylus eraser (top of stylus)
--The line thickness options jump from@ 1 pixel (0) to too thick (0.5) in one step
--there is no scroll inertia with either stylus, touch screen or mouse.
--Nothing at all works in F11 full screen mode
--I should e able to select text in panning mode but using 1 1/2 clicks (click and drag over text)
--Selecting a new annotation often requires a triple click to select the new tool or color from the Comment Styles Palette
--it is nearly impossible to drag splitter bars with the stylus bc you have to dbl click and drag by hitting on the same tiny splitter bar twice.
--to scroll with the stylus, the tip needs to be dragged over the scroll bar. It will not scroll by moving the stylus in the scrolling window itself.

Your request for 2 drawings won't help anything, since it's impossible to duplicate the problem with the exact same image, and besides, these are all functionality issues unrelated to my non-existent artistic ability. It is impossible to demonstrate the problems in this way. Foxit is better because the stylus behaves normally. It has NONE of the above stylus issues. Unfortunately, it has nowhere near the feature set of PDF-XChange.

User avatar
Vasyl-Tracker Dev Team
Site Admin
Posts: 1957
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:11 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by Vasyl-Tracker Dev Team » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:23 am

Hi RLM.
--The pencil function produces many skips and causes far too much stroke rounding.
I hope to get some time to fix/improve that in the near future.
--Can't grab object handles with the stylus
That will be fixed in new 323.2 build (upcoming).
--holding the stylus down for more than ~1 second pops up the R click menu. It should be a longer delay
For first look it is very similar to system's interval (~1/2 sec in my system). But we will check more..
--The stylus does not scroll in the thumbnail window. Instead, it moves pages around without warning. It should scroll by default, not drag. Dragging should require 1 1/2 clicks to activate.
I checked other programs like MS Word/Powerpoint, Adobe Acrobat, Foxit etc - neither allowed the scroll by stylus in windows like Thumbnails view or other similar lists of objects. Some allowed scrolling by one/two fingers but no one - by stylus. We also allow scrolling by two fingers in such windows.
--The stylus side button does nothing at all
I have MS Surface Pro and I tried to get that side-button worked in Editor and other programs but couldn't. Can you explain how to get it worked and in what application?
--Can't erase with the stylus eraser (top of stylus)
We will try to implement that feature in the future.
--The line thickness options jump from@ 1 pixel (0) to too thick (0.5) in one step
Here we have only typical values of thickness. Many users will hate it when list of predefined thicknesses will be too long. Anyway, you are able to specify your own value as well.
--there is no scroll inertia with either stylus, touch screen or mouse.
Not sure what you mean. I can scroll by two fingers any window and if I made enough fast movement - the scroll may become inertial. The same if I use mouse/stylus inside Pages View when Hand tool is activated - it often starts inertial scroll for me as well. Please describe step-by-step how to reproduce your issue..
--Nothing at all works in F11 full screen mode
You need to turn off the "Presentation mode" option in Preferences/FullScreen tab.
--I should e able to select text in panning mode but using 1 1/2 clicks (click and drag over text)
Yes, we planning to add ability to select text in panning mode (when Hand tool is active), in the near future.
--Selecting a new annotation often requires a triple click to select the new tool or color from the Comment Styles Palette
Please details - what you mean? Because I'm able select any kind of comment (without activating of corresponding commenting-tool) and then choose from the Format tab (in Ribbon UI only) the necessary comment style and as result - it will be applied to my comment. In summary it takes 2-3 clicks for me:
1. click on the comment to select
2. switch to Format tab (if it is not active)
3. click on the necessary comment style to apply it to comment
I guess the 2 clicks (3 - just at beginning) - its quite short way to apply predefined comment-style to the comment..
--it is nearly impossible to drag splitter bars with the stylus bc you have to dbl click and drag by hitting on the same tiny splitter bar twice.
Yes, I see that something wrong here, when I used stylus to do it.

Thanks for your detailed feedback. It helping us to improve our product as well.

Best
Regards.
Vasyl Yaremyn
Tracker Software Products
Project Developer

Please archive any files posted to a ZIP, 7z or RAR file or they will be removed and not posted.

RLM
User
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:10 pm

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by RLM » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:33 am

----Wow, thanks for your detailed responses. Much appreciated! (My responses will have "----" in front of them)

--The pencil function produces many skips and causes far too much stroke rounding.
I hope to get some time to fix/improve that in the near future.
----Thx., (In the meantime, allowing the smoothing adjustment in the registry would help somewhat - the registry key is currently ignored.)

--Can't grab object handles with the stylus
That will be fixed in new 323.2 build (upcoming).
----Thx!

--holding the stylus down for more than ~1 second pops up the R click menu. It should be a longer delay
For first look it is very similar to system's interval (~1/2 sec in my system). But we will check more
----In pencil mode, you should not get a pop-up window at all - unless you lift the stylus off the screen, then press an hold in the same location for > 1 sec.

--The stylus does not scroll in the thumbnail window. Instead, it moves pages around without warning. It should scroll by default, not drag. Dragging should require 1 1/2 clicks to activate.
I checked other programs like MS Word/Powerpoint, Adobe Acrobat, Foxit etc - neither allowed the scroll by stylus in windows like Thumbnails view or other similar lists of objects. Some allowed scrolling by one/two fingers but no one - by stylus. We also allow scrolling by two fingers in such windows.
----Nevertheless, it's dangerous to have the stylus reorder the pages. The stylus should not drag pages by default. It should scroll, regardless of what other apps do. Here's a compromise - dragging over a blank area (e.g., R margin) should scroll.

--The stylus side button does nothing at all
I have MS Surface Pro and I tried to get that side-button worked in Editor and other programs but couldn't. Can you explain how to get it worked and in what application?
----Normally, it's supposed to give you a R click menu, e.g. in MS Office.

--Can't erase with the stylus eraser (top of stylus)
We will try to implement that feature in the future.
----that would be great!

--The line thickness options jump from@ 1 pixel (0) to too thick (0.5) in one step
Here we have only typical values of thickness. Many users will hate it when list of predefined thicknesses will be too long. Anyway, you are able to specify your own value as well.
----I guess I can make that work with custom styles

--there is no scroll inertia with either stylus, touch screen or mouse.
Not sure what you mean. I can scroll by two fingers any window and if I made enough fast movement - the scroll may become inertial. The same if I use mouse/stylus inside Pages View when Hand tool is activated - it often starts inertial scroll for me as well. Please describe step-by-step how to reproduce your issue..
----There is some inertia, but very little. I get MUCH more inertia with a mouse. Sometimes I want to scroll a few pages at a time. Can this be controlled w a setting? You may want to look at MS Word as an example for stylus inertia.

--Nothing at all works in F11 full screen mode
You need to turn off the "Presentation mode" option in Preferences/FullScreen tab.
----It's not on. It works fine with the trackpad or mouse, but it does not work at all w the stylus.

--I should e able to select text in panning mode but using 1 1/2 clicks (click and drag over text)
Yes, we planning to add ability to select text in panning mode (when Hand tool is active), in the near future.
----thanks- that would be a huge improvement in usability. It would be nice if the stylus would scroll if used in the margins, or off the page, but select/highlight etc when over the text. When selecting text, it would be great to have a small horizontal popup menu, right above the cursor, that allows us to apply highlights, underlines, change color, delete, copy/paste, and any other cool PDF-XChange options that might be applicable.

--Selecting a new annotation often requires a triple click to select the new tool or color from the Comment Styles Palette
Please details - what you mean? Because I'm able select any kind of comment (without activating of corresponding commenting-tool) and then choose from the Format tab (in Ribbon UI only) the necessary comment style and as result - it will be applied to my comment. In summary it takes 2-3 clicks for me:
1. click on the comment to select
2. switch to Format tab (if it is not active)
3. click on the necessary comment style to apply it to comment
I guess the 2 clicks (3 - just at beginning) - its quite short way to apply predefined comment-style to the comment..
----if I'm in selection mode and click on a highlight icon in the palette, it takes 2 clicks (not usually 3) on the icon before it registers as highlight mode (the icon color changes). It should take one click, as it does (correctly) in the ribbon icons (e.g., the Format menu)

--it is nearly impossible to drag splitter bars with the stylus bc you have to dbl click and drag by hitting on the same tiny splitter bar twice.
Yes, I see that something wrong here, when I used stylus to do it.
----The floating palette splitter bars are the main problem; other splitters sometimes work with a single click - it's inconsistent, and seems to depend on which pixels you click on.

----Thanks very much for your help!

John - Tracker Supp
Site Admin
Posts: 8203
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:34 am
Location: Vancouver Island - Canada
Contact:

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by John - Tracker Supp » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:48 am

:) Pleasure.
If posting files to this forum - you must archive the files to a ZIP, RAR or 7z file or they will not be uploaded - thank you.

Best regards
Tracker Support
http://www.tracker-software.com

RLM
User
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:10 pm

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by RLM » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:10 pm

In the latest update 323.2, the stylus writing has improved, but only after I reset curve smoothing from 9240 to 9250 (hex) via registry editing. It is still flaky when starting numbers with an up-right curve like 2 or 3, and occasionally pops up an unwanted R click menu. However, it is now mostly usable.

I would like to add another request to my previous comments. I think that the pen needs to be recognized independently of fingers on the screen. This should allow the fingers to be used for 1-finger scrolling, and the pen to be used for editing functions like highlighting. The latest updates in Word 365 demonstrate how this could work, although it could be improved there as well. Basically, it is not acceptable to scroll with 2 fingers when editing. One finger scrolling with a finger on the screen would be far better for the most common use case of annotating while scrolling. The same idea could work for selection mode. In Word, there is an icon to press when you want to use your fingers for annotating vs scrolling, which toggles the behavior I just described.

Thanks again.

User avatar
Tracker Supp-Stefan
Site Admin
Posts: 13787
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:07 am
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:06 pm

Hello RLM,

Are there any settings for your device's touch interfaces that allow you to set one finger touch there to be used for scrolling? I believe we would take the settings from there, so if only two finger scrolling is set - we won't be able to recognize single hinger input as scrolling.

Regards,
Stefan

RLM
User
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:10 pm

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by RLM » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:59 pm

In the Surface Pro, in general, each application manages the stylus as it wants. There are a few system-wide settings for finger touch, mouse and stylus ("flicks"), but these are overridden/unsupported by many apps. There is no setting in Windows AFAIK to use 2 finger on-screen scrolling - that's a PDF-XChange thing. When taking notes in a PDF doc, it's critical to be able to edit and scroll intuitively, without unnecessary icon presses, mode switches, etc. 2-finger scrolling never works well for on-screen editing, and it's not great for trackpads either. It's hard to use 2 fingers when a stylus is between your fingers.

OneNote has done an excellent job of allowing separate actions for finger vs stylus, and these are configurable with ribbon icons in the program. OneNote has none of the problems I listed earlier, and MS Word is catching up slowly. In particular, I can scroll with 1 finger while editing with the stylus - it knows the difference between finger and stylus.

User avatar
Paul - Tracker Supp
Site Admin
Posts: 4978
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:37 pm
Location: Chemainus, Canada
Contact:

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by Paul - Tracker Supp » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:09 pm

Thanks RLM,

I've passed this on to the appropriate developer for consideration. Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.
_________________
If posting files to this forum - you must archive the files to a ZIP, RAR or 7z file or they will not be uploaded - thank you.

Best regards

Paul O'Rorke
Tracker Support North America
http://www.tracker-software.com

User avatar
Tracker Supp-Stefan
Site Admin
Posts: 13787
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:07 am
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:11 pm

Hello RLM,

Our colleague that is investigating your case is asking for the exact version of the surface pro you have. So can you please post that?

Thanks,
Stefan

RLM
User
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:10 pm

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by RLM » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:23 pm

2017 version, i7

User avatar
Tracker Supp-Stefan
Site Admin
Posts: 13787
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:07 am
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Pencil tool in PDFX-CHange Editor

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:12 pm

Hello RLM,

Can you please try to install the Wintab drivers from this page?
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downloa ... x?id=49498

They are originally for SP4 - but should work on the 2017 model as well.
Let us know of the result after this.

p.s. My colleagues told me that we plan to add native Surface Pen support in one of the next builds but for the moment we are only working with the Wintab driver.

Cheers,
Stefan

Post Reply