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Simple Steps for Performing Nolij Conversions with Annotations

Nolij conversions can be a bit tricky, especially when annotations are involved. Annotations are extra metadata on the documents, such as highlights, stamps, check marks, circles, etc. They are tricky because of all the sheer number of annotations and their varying dimensions. Furthermore, there are document types (PDF, TIF, JPEG, etc.) that have different dimensions, DPIs, and compression, which makes it almost impossible to perfectly convert documents with annotations. Here are some simple methods to make converting documents with annotations easier:

Method 1: Using the Nolij API to grab documents with burnt in annotations and importing them to Perceptive Content

Nolij comes with API calls that uses REST web service calls. This web service allow outside programs to get data in XML format and the documents itself. Documents with annotations can be retrieved only page by page in JPEG form. The only settings for annotations are to apply redaction and/or apply all annotations. There is also the option to scale and rotate the page itself but there are no options to scale or rotate any annotations. These pages can then be streamed directly to Perceptive Content. Pros:

  • Easy to use once authentication is figured out

  • No calculations are needed

  • New annotations can be applied to JPEG documents


  • All applied annotations are not editable

  • Text annotations might have text cut off and wrap around to different lines

  • Other annotations may not be the correct size, color, or location

  • Heavily dependent on another software – so if Nolij fails, the API calls fail

Text annotation issues can be resolved by applying sticky notes to each page and have all text annotations in the sticky note so no data will be lost.

Method 2: Using Nolij database to get annotations information and applying annotations directly to clean documents in Perceptive Content

The database contains where documents without annotations are located. These files can be directly imported into Perceptive Content. The issue with this is that we have to convert the documents into TIF format to be able to annotate them, and not all document types can be converted. We can also use the Nolij API mentioned before to import a document without annotations in JPEG form, which is the preferred method as it allows us to annotate a wider range of document types. The database also has data about annotations like color, scale, location, angle, etc. Such data can be directly applied to the documents imported into Perceptive Content. If Nolij itself cannot apply annotations perfectly onto their own documents, these annotations will be off too. Pros:

  • Annotations applied to these documents can be changed manually

  • Text annotations will not be cut off

  • New annotations can be applied to JPEG documents


  • Immense calculations are needed to find the difference between the scaling, location, and angle for every document

  • Lines in Nolij are based off of x, y, w, and h coordinates + angle. Perceptive Content is only based off of x, y, w, and h coordinates. As they do not have a one-to-one conversion, the angle and size will be off.

  • Text annotations will have different sizes and be text-wrapped differently

  • Image stamps cannot be applied in Perceptive Content

  • If documents are imported without the Nolij API, some cannot be converted into annotatable document types

Converting documents with annotations to Perceptive Content is possible, but it will not be perfect. Method one is the preferred approach because it’s the easiest to use and all documents imported by this method can be annotated in Perceptive Content once they’re imported. Want more tips for Nolij and/or Perceptive Content? Then let me know which topic you’d like me to tackle next by leaving a comment below.  

Katherine Wu, Developer



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