For a while now, I’ve been asking my students to submit their work as PDFs online using moodle (or email). I always use open source tools to annotate and grade these documents. There are several apps out there for this, I happen to use Xournal. The problem was that my preferences in Xournal were never saved. So I figured if I had the problem, maybe others do to. Here’s how to fix it:
First find where the preferences are stored. In Linux, these are found in a text file in my Home folder. I assume it will be similar in Windows. I edited this text file to automatically start with good grading tools already selected: ie. Red text with a Serif font.
$ gedit ~/.xournal/config
Then Ctrl+F and find “startup_tool” set this to “text”
Then Ctrl+F for “pen_color”and change this to “red”
Finally Ctrl+F for “default_font” and set this to “Serif”.
Save the file and you are done. Now every time you open Xournal, these settings will be loaded and you can just start commenting and grading without having to do any additional tool selections.
UPDATE: In Windows, Xournal configurations are hard to find. You must first set it up so you can view hidden folders and files (Go to Start menu–> Control panel –> Appearances and Optimizations –> Folder Options –> Show hidden files and Folders. Look for the radio buttons and select “Show hidden files, folders, or drives”. While I’m in here I usually also uncheck “Hide extensions of known filetypes” which lets me rename files including their filetype and see what types of files they are directly.
Once you do this, you can run Xournal and “Save Preferences” once as Ken mentioned in the comments below. Close Xournal first, then go to the path “C:Users\<username>\.xournal (Notice the dot in “.xournal”!!!) Open the “Config” file in a text editor (like notepad or notepad++ or Sublime text editor) Now you can make the changes above, and save.
A note of caution, edit a PDF with text, export it, then open it in another PDF reader to make sure it does not mess up. Sometimes when editing the config file, the Font doesn’t work correctly and I end up with garbage text and random characters on my exported copy which isn’t useful for students. If this happens to you, simply delete the config file and start over.