The Mashup App was designed to support all types of mobile users and all types of data including web, PDF, image, audio, video, time, and location data. More specifically, The Mashup App supports the unique requirements of legal professionals in the management of PDF content, report generation, and knowledge transfer.
To learn the mechanics of how-to save PDF content into your personal database, click here.
In previous blog posts, we discussed The Mashup App's support for new types of data such as time and location. In this blog post, we will look at The Mashup App's support for PDF data and the unique workflow requirements of legal professionals.
Understanding the Structure of PDF Data
As a data type, PDFs are unique. The PDF format was originally created in the early 1990s as an electronic substitute for the printed page and predates the public web. Unlike a web page which does not natively implement the concept of pages, a PDF document is divided into a sequence of pages. Many times when a user converts a printed document into a PDF, the printed page numbers do not match the electronic page numbers. In a corporate presentation, this impedes collaboration. In a court room, if your electronic documents do not reference the correct printed page numbers, you will be laughed out of court because the lingua franca is the printed document and the printed page number.
So even though courts in many jurisdictions require the electronic filing of PDF documents and even more courts will distribute their judgements as PDF documents, any inter-document references must be to the printed page number and not the electronic PDF page number.
To support this requirement, The Mashup App will automatically capture the electronic page number and to support legal documents, you can also identify the printed page number and The Mashup App will maintain this association.
Size And Shape
Another unique characteristic of PDFs and specifically PDFs used in legal proceedings, is that they can be very large. Even on constrained devices, such as the iPhone 3GS, The Mashup App allows you to load very large PDFs perhaps containing hundreds or thousands of pages.
Large PDFs can also be published by standards committees. For example, the 2006 PDF Reference manual is 1310 pages in length.
As PDFs are electronic representations of printed pages, in the United States they are 8 1/2 X 11 inches in size but may be different sizes in other parts of the world. The Mashup App supports many PDF page sizes.
Just the 'Highly Relevant' Parts: PDF Document vs. PDF Pages
As we previously discussed in the blog post entitled: "Just The Important Parts: Documents vs. Snippets" The Mashup App allows you to pierce the veil of the document file and directly access the actual data. As we also discussed, here, here, and here, the desktop metaphor of files, folders and windows is an unneeded barrier to data comprehension, memory, and sharing. Furthermore, this is the wrong metaphor for mobile devices. The Mashup App implements an alternative by allowing you to directly manipulate the PDF data at the page level. The Mashup App also stores a reference to the document/file name from which the page was extracted. And with the ability to group related PDF pages together perhaps with other relevant data such as web, audio, video data and other PDF data... The Mashup App empowers you to graduate from the chore of PDF file management to data management and from data management to knowledge management.
Annotating Time and Location Data to Your PDF Content
The Mashup App allows you to annotate time and location data to your PDF content. Because The Mashup App implements a spatio-temporal database, legal professionals can describe when and where a document was created, signed, destroyed, or any other time or location concept.
Previously, we discussed the details of The Mashup App's support for time and location and we will not repeat that information in this post but will illustrate how ease it is to add location data to PDF content:
Making Your PDF Content Accessible to the Print-Disabled
The Mashup App will automatically extract the text of a PDF page upon saving into your personal database. While the correctness of text extraction will vary from one PDF to another, you can edit the extracted text. This capability is important for the blind, low-vision, foreign language speakers, and power users who prefer audio to text:
You can then generate an audio file and save it with the PDF page. To further empower print-disabled users, you can email or generate a web page with the originial PDF page, the audio, and the text.
The Mashup App generates HTML5 web content including use of the AUDIO and VIDEO tags.
Publishing and Sharing Your PDF Content
The Mashup App provides you with the ability to cross-cut one or more PDF documents by allowing you to extract and group related pages while at the same time maintaining the relationship between electronic and printed page numbers as well as the association between the PDF page stored in your personal database and the source PDF file. When you export your PDF content, either as an email or a report, that information is preserved:
The Mashup App allows you to email the PDF content saved in your personal database:
In addition to emailing items from your personal database, The Mashup App also allows you to generate a report. You have two options for your content when generating a report:
- Embed the content directly in the body of the report. The benefit of embedded content is that the reader of your report will see both your description of the page and the PDF content. The Mashup App does its best to ensure that if the document is printed, both the description of the page and the PDF page itself will be print together on a single sheet of paper.
Depending on which browser you use to view the report generated by The Mashup App, you will be provide with different options:
- Link to the content from the main body of the report. The benefit of content links is that the main body of your report is much smaller in size but it is easier for your reader to skip an important PDF page as your reader may not click the link. Perhaps a more important benefit is that your reader will be able to read the previous pages and subsequent pages. This is often needed in PDF documents containing trial testimony.
If you plan to copy the PDF page links to a blog or Microsoft Word document, it is important to understand how The Mashup App encodes the links:
In Microsoft Word 2011 on the Mac and in Microsoft Word 2010 on Windows, you should use relative links and not the default of absolute links:
- How-to use PDF content with The Mashup App
- How-to use location data with The Mashup App
- How-to use time data with The Mashup App
- Blog posts about time and location capabilities in The Mashup App
The Mashup App provides PDF content management, reporting, and sharing. By harnessing the capabilities of The Mashup App, professional are now empowered to graduate from the chore of PDF file management to knowledge management and knowledge transfer.