| Read and Organize your PDFs better

Invert your PDF colors for a stress-free reading


In academia, we have to study a lot of portable document formats, or PDFs, as normal people say it. Digital transition to note taking can be benefitial to some to keep things organized in one place and be accessible whenever we need. This takes a toll on our eyes as prolonged exposure to screen is bad. Here is what I usually do.

  1. Always set the theme to dark. This way the contrasts help reduce the stress on your eyes. In addition, I would keep the monitor/screen settings to slightly warm.

  2. Google Chrome extensions help to invert the colors of all the websites that you visit. One of the extensions I like to use is called DarkReader which automatically inverts colors for all the sites I visit. Selectively, I can uninvert colors back to normal when needed or toggle light/dark modes for specific websites.

  3. [In Adobe Acrobat] Now, coming back to the topic at hand. How to invert the colors of PDFs. If you like to use a PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat, you can find this setting here: Menu > Preferences > Accessibility > Replace Document Colors
    I like to keep my settings to White text on Black.
    Additionally in Adobe Acrobat, my personal preference is to have two pages displayed at once. Perhaps because, in a sense, it gives a better approximation to handling an open book. This can be done from here: Menu > View > Page Display > Two-page View

  4. [In Google Chrome] If you often open PDFs in Google Chrome (using some pdf extension) directly and start reading there. Here is one thing you can do, Press Ctrl+Shift+I. Go to the Console tab, and paste the following code.

    var cover = document.createElement("div");
    let css = `
    position: fixed;
    pointer-events: none;
    top: 0;
    left: 0;
    width: 100vw;
    height: 100vh;
    background-color: white;
    mix-blend-mode: difference;
    z-index: 1;
    cover.setAttribute("style", css);

    This temporarily inverts the colors of the PDF in the open PDF document. This unfortunately needs to be repeated everytime you open a PDF in a chrome tab.

Manage you papers through this naming scheme

When you download papers either from arxiv or online digital libraries like ACM or IEEE (in my case). It is simply overwhelming to keep a track of where those papers are and how they can be searched for.

The online google chrome extension called arxiv-utils makes life much easier. It allows you to define this format in it’s settings, and adds a separate PDF download button called Direct Download on every arxiv.org/abs page which renames the PDF automatically in this format and downloads it for you. This is very useful.

	|ISCA 2021
	|   |yyyymmdd_<paper title>_<research group>_<univesity>.pdf
	|   |...
	|ISSCC 2021
	|   |yyyymmdd_<paper title>_<research group>_<univesity>.pdf
	|   |...
	.   .
	.   .

Another way to organize could be through topic categories. This I feel is not the best organization. Having the papers sorted according to conferences, already gives you enough information to know the types/topic category of papers you can find in that conference.

If you found this post useful, share it with your peers. You may also leave a comment and let me know. Happy Reading!

[ Posted by Amitabh Yadav ]

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