Update: New Privacy Features in Notable PDF

Today we’re launching new privacy controls and the ability to share comments with different groups of people.

Tracked Copies Switcher

When you open documents, you’ll see a icon at the top right, which allows you to switch between different tracked copies of the document. Annotations made within each copy are only visible within that copy, and can be shared separately.

There are two kinds of copies: Google Drive copies and Local File copies.

  • Google Drive copies are created when you open a file from Google Drive. Comments made within this copy are automatically shared with people who you have shared the file with on Google Drive – People who get the file from somewhere else won’t be able to see your comments. You can identify a Google Drive copy by the Drive logo displayed next to it’s name.
  • Local File copies are created when you open a file from the web or a local drive. Comments made within this copy are kept private by default – you also have the option to share your comments with people who have the same file, by checking the box in the Tracked Copies window. This means you can create  comments which are available to people you send the file to via email or by sharing the document within Notable.

You can share documents with various different groups by creating copies of the document on Google Drive – comments made within each copy will be kept separate.

How do I use this?

  • For Teachers: Create a new copy on Google Drive for each group you send the file to. Annotations the students make will be kept in each individual copy. For individual student annotation, you can create a different copy of the file for each student.
  • Sharing within organizations: Upload the file to Google Drive, and share the file within your organization using Google Drive. Annotations made to the file in Notable will be visible to the people you shared the file with. To make a private annotation, you can switch to the  Local File copy and make the annotation there – it’ll be private unless you tick the sharing box.
    Sharing Option

    Sharing Option

  • Via Email: Make annotations on the Local File copy, and tick the sharing box. You can then send the file out via email (either as an attachment or by getting a link through the share function), and the recipients will be able to see the annotations when they open it up in Notable. Keep in mind that other people who have the file will also see your annotations if they open the file in Notable – we recommend using Google Drive if more privacy control is needed.
  • Private Annotations: To make private annotations, either open a private copy of a  file from Google Drive, or use the Local File copy. Make sure that you don’t tick the sharing checkbox.

More advanced privacy controls are an ongoing focus for us – we welcome your feedback and  and we have further features coming soon. Feel free to email us at hello@notablepdf.com if you have questions or suggestions.


Jordan Thoms

Jordan Thoms

Co-founder, CTO at Kami
Kami Co-founder and CTO.
Jordan Thoms
  • Olivia Brewer

    how do you delete a tracked copy from your notable? everytime i open a new document to edit the old notations from a previous work pop up. also when i try to save a new document, it saves as a different document every time.

  • Christine Bergdoll

    I was using this program offline and It appears that I have lost all of my annotations when opening the document up. Is there any way to retrieve these notes? Thank You

  • Nick Fahey

    Before this change, I could post one link in my LMS to one “view only” pdf from my google drive and students would each get their own copy in notable/Kami. That was great! Now, when students access the file they are all collaborators on the same doc, that’s not good, it’s disastrous! If I’m reading this post right, it means that the only correction would be to make a copy of the pdf file for each and every student in my drive? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Jordan Thoms

      I replied to your email, but yes there does need to be a separate copy of the file for each student. This is something that most LMS systems can handle creating the files. We are considering handling view only links better though which would include getting the students to create their own copy.

      • Nick Fahey

        Thank you so much for the help and I appreciate the speedy response. You guys have created a wonderful tool!