We’ve posted plenty about how much we love Celtx (did we mention yet that 1.0 is available?). It’s a great tool for collaborating on scripts online and organizing projects.
Sometimes though, Celtx has its problems. One such problem is the easy ability to overwrite a project while you and your screenwriter are working on the script and decide to upload at the same time. When you’ve just written up a slew of notes on the latest draft of your script, it can be a pain to have to type them all in again. As you might expect, Joel and I ran into this issue while working on our script. We needed another alternative for sharing notes on drafts of the script.
The solution came from Preview, the PDF and image viewer that’s built into Mac OS X. Apple has built annotation features right into Preview, so you can easily write and draw basic shapes on your PDF. With a PDF generated from Celtx’s TypeSet tool, I easily was able to start adding in my notes. When done, I just sent it off as an email to Joel.
PDF Annotations in Preview (click to enlarge)
It’s very clear and readable what my notes are, and additional features like highlighting. strike-thru and underline (not shown) make it even easier to communicate about the script. You’re even able to change what colors and icons you want by opening the Inspector (Command+I).
Hopefully this can help you get an idea of one way collaboration is possible. It’s easy, fast, efficient, and there’s no risk of overwriting someone else’s material! Best of all, it’s still cross platform, meaning you don’t have to worry who’s on the other end. Any platform using Adobe Reader (and other third-party PDF reader) can easily access the annotations.
Are you a Windows or Linux user? We’ve shown how Mac users can easily annotate PDFs, share how you do it on your platform! Are you making use of PDF annotations? Show us how and where. We’re always curious to hear the cool ways that collaborative technology is being used in media production.
The script featured in the screenshot is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada license.