Are annotations simply drawings on an image or document?

Ok, so we have this cool annotation feature built-in into Mac OS X's Preview utility that comes bundled with the operative system. And, there are loads of other programs that allow you to draw annotations - more or less - easily onto an image or a document. The problem is that a majority of these applications are drawing programs destroying the original document by placing annotations directly on the image. The data entered into the annotations are not stored as separate, searchable meta-information, but rather it turns into pixels only.

The main reason why we launched the Annotate Expert program was to have an application that is not destroying the original image, makes it possible to search in the annotations made (actually it automatically creates keywords of the annotations as well) and to have the annotations stored into the image itself, without the need of an additional file holding the data.

We further wanted an application that is super-easy to use, that is not requiring you to draw much of anything at all, that would automatically provide me with different layouts that I could switch between without the need to manually draw the annotations. We believe we have achieved some of our objectives with the new release 1.30, but we continue to improve the software.

We see possibilities to connect the annotations with automatic face recognition and we want to have voice annotations as well. Yes, it is possible to store voice annotations, even very long ones, into e.g. a simple jpeg image. Of course it can also be done into RAW, PSD, PDF or TIFF. That is what we think is one of the really usable features of Annotate Expert: You get a single, self explanatory file, with annotations and comments stored inside it. When you then send it to someone else, or store it on the cloud/web, you have an image that is directly containing all annotations inside. No additional files, no lost emails. Since the data is stored as standard XMP meta information, it is kept untouched by other viewers.

So, annotations are - we believe - definitely not simply drawings on an image :-)

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