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Show HN: Record Heat Maps of your PDF document usage
29 points by wsieroci on Jan 6, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments

I have created tool (https://www.helprange.com) to record usage of your PDF documents to display heat maps of this usage consisting of exact clicks and position of mouse inside the document.

It works as follows:

1. You are uploading your PDF Document

2. You are getting a secure link to your document

3. You share this link with some group of people

4. When someone opens the link then it can view your document inside special PDF viewer inside the browser

5. We are recording how people are engaging with your document and we can show you the heat map

What do you think?

This post is a follow up to my previous "Show HN" here (I did not provide a heat map back then).

Best, Wiktor

Interesting idea, and the implementation looks good. However, is a document heatmap actually an effective indicator of where my attention is? My mouse does not usually follow my eyes but stays in place as I use the scroll ring.

Am I the only one who just leaves my mouse in place?

On webpages I often highlight text as I read it. It helps to keep track in case I get distracted for a second.

But I almost never do for PDFs as selection is frequently quite wonky or impossible, so it has never become a habit.

Also, I'm curious why one would want to know the attention heatmap of a PDF? Like what's the use-cases? I looked at the webpage but I still don't get it. Then again I'm not in sales so...

> On webpages I often highlight text as I read it.

I do that too, and it's really annoying to read medium.com because it thinks I'm trying to leave a comment every time I highlight and double click a region of text.

>My mouse does not usually follow my eyes

I can't wait until websites starts requesting camera permissions so they can perform eye tracking on visitors.

It may be indicative at the page level at least. Cool idea.

I find it kind of humorous that your testimonial appears to be written by you.

I'm pretty sure it's a quote from the co-founder, Wiktor. There's a picture of him with his name just below the quote.

Yeah, I get that; it’s just that testimonials are usually written by users of the software, right?

Yeah I agree it's a bit idiosyncratic.


IANAL, but this image you have is probably dicey when it comes to trademark use. At the very least there should be a disclaimer saying that they're not clients and they do not endorse your product.

Probably would use it. However, I'm just a student and definitely cannot afford $45/month. Looks like I'll just have to hope many people look at my Arxiv papers :).

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