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Hein Online embraces QR Codes, mobile technology

Hein Online has announced a new way for patrons to use their mobile devices to view and share pdfs. Documents on Hein now include a QR code that link straight to that document, and shows up in your tablet's internet browser.

I tested this out by searching for a Wisconsin Law Review article from 2013 on my desktop. Once I found it, I clicked on the download/print button that I normally would use to either save it to my computer or print. On the download/print page, there is now a QR code that can be scanned by any reader, and the document will open on your device. Very simple, very helpful!

There are a few caveats with the QR Codes. Not all the documents have a QR code associated with them, but that may change in the future. In addition, there isn't a really easy way to save the documents to your device. You are essentially getting the ability to view the document 'on-the-fly', but there isn't yet an easy way to put the document into offline mode. However, it is great that there isn't a need to enter a password once the QR code is scanned!

Below are step-by-step directions on how to use the QR codes in Hein Online:

1. Find your article as usual in Hein.

2. Click on the "Print/Download" button (the button with a printer on it)

3. Once on the print/download screen, you will see a QR Code.

4. Scan this QR code with your device (most devices have a QR scanner already installed, but you can find many for free in App Stores).

5. That's it! You now have the PDF displayed on your device's screen. You can share, save or read as you like.

QR codes are a great way to get information across in either digital or physical space. It's great that Hein is making their material that much more easier to access in the digital age.