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Mellon College of Science: 38-302: PROPEL: Science and Society: PDF Reading & Annotation

This guide provides information and resources that will be useful for the group projects.

Read, search and annotate your documents

Now that there are some PDF files in your library, you can start using Mendeley as a PDF reader and make annotations. 

Read the illustrated instructions here to learn more. 


  1. Text select tool 
  2. Pan tool
  3. Note tool 
  4. Highlight tool
  5. Color selection
  6. Zoom
  7. Sync
  8. General notes
  9. Tabs
  10. Highlighted text
  11. Note
  12. Note list 


A few important highlights: 

  • If a PDF is associated with a reference record in your library, double click to open the PDF in reader mode.
  • Use the top row tool bar (1-7) to switch among "Text selection tool", "Pan tool", "Note tool", and "Highlight tool".
  • Alternatively, if text is selected in "Text selection tool" mode, an pop-up bar will give you options to highlight, add notes, or copy text.
  • Don't forget to Sync to allow annotations to be seen on other devices and shared with your group.
  • On the right-hand side panel, when the "Notes" tab is selected, you can take "general notes" in the top box (8), and the note is searchable. 
  • A list of annotated notes (those labeled in PDF) are displayed as "private annotations" (12), below "general notes".