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PowerNotes Usage Guide: Adding Sources

A step-by-step guide to the main functionality of PowerNotes for students and researchers.

Sources in Powernotes

Because PowerNotes runs as an extension in your internet browser, it works best with electronic research sources. PowerNotes can add sources from most web pages and online PDFs. It can work with PDFs you have previously downloaded if you open them using your browser rather than a program like Adobe Acrobat. You can also manually add source entries to your PowerNotes project if you are using research in physical formats.

Adding Sources to a PowerNotes Project

You can visit with the PowerNotes browser extension turned on to practice adding sources to a project. When you highlight text on the page, PowerNotes will bring up a window prompting you to add it as a note to one of your topics or background. You can also create new topics from this window.

When you add a source, PowerNotes will save the quoted text as well as the address of the website or online article it was copied from. PowerNotes will also attempt to automatically create a citation for the source in the style that was selected when the project was created. This citation should be double-checked to confirm that it’s accurate; click on the quotation symbol at the bottom of the PowerNotes window when adding a source to view the citation and change it if necessary.

Citations can also be edited after a source has been added by clicking the symbol below the source’s link in the PowerNotes browser extension. Not all sources can have citations generated automatically, and some might need to be entered manually.

Using PowerNotes in Downloaded PDFs

If you want to use PowerNotes with a source that you have downloaded in PDF format, you can open the PDF using your web browser. If necessary, right-click on the PDF file and select "Open With", and then choose your internet browser. PowerNotes won't work in a PDF reader program such as Adobe Acrobat.

The first time you use PowerNotes to view a downloaded file in the web browser, you will be prompted to activate a setting giving it permission to do so. Right-click on the PowerNotes icon in the extensions section at the top right of the browser window and select "Manage extension".

In the extension settings, scroll down until you see an option for "Allow access to file URLs" and turn it on.

You can now use PowerNotes with downloaded PDFs in your web browser.

Creating Sources Manually

If you want to add a source that is not available online or cannot be opened in a web browser, you can manually create an entry for it in PowerNotes. Choose which topic you want the note to be in, and then click the "Add freeform note" icon to the far right of the topic heading.

A blank note will be created for you to enter your source's information.