Libertexto is a Mozilla Firefox extension that allows the user to perform typical text comprehension tasks on electronic documents in the same way they’re performed on printed documents. Such tasks include highlighting, annotation, tagging, multimedia content linking, organization and exporting. The extension comes in two flavours: a lightweight version that only supports HTML pages and a full version that also supports PDF documents.
There aren’t many open source tools able to annotate PDF documents out there, so I’m convinced that Libertexto will satisfy a growing demand for this feature. To accomplish the goal, some customizations have been developed on top of Evince 2.28.0 to make it able to communicate with the Firefox extension and to manage the document annotations both in Windows and in GNU/Linux. Evince is embedded into Firefox by a custom plugin that is responsible for launching it and preparing the environment for the window embedding. For the curious readers, more technical details about the embedding process can be found in a previous post about Libertexto.
With this contribution, we expect all the reader community in the Spanish speaking world (the only language available by now) to have a new and powerful tool for text comprehension and commenting. Enjoy it!
At some point all the code sould be put together for proper download, but by now it’s scattered among different locations: The source code of the Firefox extension itself can be got by unzipping the XPI file. The source code of the modifications done over Evince can be got from gitorious and the source code of the PDF plugin can be got from here.
The new Libertexto 1.1 version is ready for download at libertexto.org. It corrects some compatibility problems with Firefox 4 in Linux, WinXP, Vista and Win7. If it seems that the install doesn’t work directly from the link, just download the file to the desktop and then drag&drop it to Firefox. An experimental version newer than 1.1 is also available in http://people.igalia.com/eocanha/dev/libertexto/libertexto.xpi. It fixes a bug that prevents the extension to work when the user account name had more than 8 characters, due to a path length limitation in Firefox on Windows.