i'm trying to insert a rather large, handwrittenly annotated pdf. It was created using Drawboard PDF. pdfpages inserts the pages fine, but removes all annotations from every page, leaving them empty. This is what a page originally looks like (viewed using any pdf viewer, including the overleaf preview): Original image

But after inserting it with \includepdf, all the pages look like this: Inserted page using includepdf

Does anyone know what's causing this problem to occur? Any possible fixes?

I'm adding it the following way:


And i'm using the following packages, if it's of any importance:

  • Does Drawboard has any option like "print as pdf"?
    – book
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 17:10
  • @book it saves everything as pdf by default. I tried using the save as function (which removes internal data and such), with no success. I also tried to print it in chrome using "save as pdf", which didn't help either...
    – Chester
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 17:12

2 Answers 2


I solved it using the print function in Drawboard PDF and then using "Microsoft print to PDF". Printing to PDF from Chrome did not do the trick.

  • This bears no relation to TeX and friends...
    – user4686
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 18:36

Your handwritten annotations are probably stored in the PDF file as a PDF annotation, and pdfpages is not able to include annotations. "Flattening" the annotations into the PDF file, as you have done by printing to PDF, is one possibility to resolve this problem. Another is to use the pax package, which allows you to extract annotations using a helper application then reinclude them from LaTeX.

  • The pax package seems outdated :( Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 19:16
  • Also the pdfannotextractor does not know of annotations of type 'Ink', which at least in my case leads to not extracting the handwritten notes.
    – Jaleks
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 12:16
  • If you are using luatex, you could try the newpax package, which extracts the annotations using some Lua code then reinserts them in the final PDF file. Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 9:31

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