Give PDF markup tools a big fat Blrt

PDFs have been around for more than 20 years now, so you’ve probably come across one or two (or 17,369) in the course of doing business. As the name suggests, they’re documents in a highly portable format, meaning they can be opened in many applications, making them extremely useful for sending people information.
The @Blrt app makes notating PDFs easy and compelling Click To Tweet PDFs can’t, however, be edited in most PDF readers, hence the proliferation of PDF markup tools and PDF annotation tools, especially as apps for iPad. Tools that allow you to annotate or mark up PDFs on iPad generally come in basic free varieties (such as Adobe Reader, PDF-Notes Free, AnnotDoc Lite, PDF Review Free, UPAD Lite, PDF Max and DocAD Lite) and a bit of cash will allow you to upgrade to the more complex versions of these applications (which sometimes also require a second degree in systems engineering to operate).

So let’s run through a few scenarios here where someone wants you to comment on a PDF. Say they want you to review a contract, or approve an image, or give feedback on a design, or offer your thoughts on some plans. They send you a PDF file. What do you do usually do next?

  • You could struggle through a phone call; “See that red thing above that blue shape…?”. Hmmm.
  • You could print it out, write on it and fax it to them. Oh wait – the last fax machine sank on the ark?
  • You could be very modern and install the free version of some PDF markup app, then spend the next six hours figuring out how it works and painstakingly typing notes into little boxes.

Or, you could download Blrt, and in just a few moments, be able to talk, point and draw over PDF files with your finger – explaining what you think verbally as well as visually to either one person or a whole bunch of ’em. No – you haven’t stumbled across some sort of futurist blog where people are wandering around in space suits, circa 2025. This is 2014 and Blrt is available on the App Store right now. You could be using it quicker than I can type ‘hovercrafts are fun’.

You mean I never have to deal with PDF markup again?

Yes, we promise. And it really is as simple as uploading your PDF to Blrt from your iPad, pressing record and then talking, zooming and drawing over the PDF, even flipping pages as you need to. Blrt’s operation is instinctual, and your multi-touch gestures are captured perfectly in sync with your voice, leaving no-one in any doubt about exactly what you mean.  Why would you bother with fiddly PDF markup when you can just talk.

What’s more, you can send your Blrt to anyone. Recipients will see and hear exactly what you recorded. They can continue the dialogue and reply with their own audio-visual feedback or they can just type a comment. The back and forth dialogue is saved, giving you a chronologically sequenced and permanently available thread of what has been agreed between all parties.

Blrts can be created from websites, images or multi-page PDFs straight from your photo gallery, camera, email or Dropbox. And while they feel like videos, they’re not, so they use a fraction of the bandwidth, enabling them to be saved to the cloud, so that they can be accessed from any device.

So what are you waiting for? If you have a PDF markup task in which you need to highlight or underline some text, add your signature electronically, strikethrough copy, write over, draw upon or zoom into detail without losing quality – go and download Blrt free from the app store, right now.

You can thank us for changing your life later.

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