Submitting the Engineering Notebook for Worlds

I was wondering whether a Drive link to a scanned PDF of our engineering notebook would be acceptable to submit to the Digital Engineering link for Worlds.

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I believe that is allowed, based on what I can see in the guidelines


That is the best. Make sure the link is directly to the pdf and not to a folder containing the pdf.


We used a google drive link to submit our notebook. But I recently may have noticed a potential problem. Our notebook is moderately long at over 200 pages. This means that when the google drive link is pressed you are shown this window.

I am suspecting that this would go against the ‘no download’ rule. The only place I find this rule is here: Remote Judging Guidelines and Processes - REC Foundation, where it says:

IMPORTANT! The DEN link must allow a judge volunteer to access the DEN without having to load external software, use special devices, download or request permission to access the document. Please ensure that permissions are set such that anyone outside the team’s organization can access the notebook at any time. Suggestion: Have a non-contributor to your team test the link to assure it will work, prior to uploading it to

I only came across this rule this morning when I was preparing for our judges interview which is later today.

Like suggested, we tested the link, and it works if you download it. We did not test the ‘Open with Google Docs’ as we did not think it was necessary. One can attempt to hit ‘Open with Google Docs’ but it opens a new loading tab, that seems to perpetually load, not opening an actual document. This is a problem for two reasons. One, I do not know of another service where a link could be provided to a PDF. Additionally, because it is a large document would it be even possible to have a service preview the document in the web browser? By downloading the PDF, and using a PDF reader it would be possible to easily view the PDF.
Second, the deadline for our submission has already passed, so even if we had another way to submit it we could not. Does anyone know if this actually goes against the rules? On the submission page on robot events, and on the page specifying the directions for submitting a notebook the ‘no download’ rule can not be found. That page is the directions that are team followed, however, I now fear that we may be ineligible due to this. This would be very disappointing as we won the Design Award at the Michigan State Championships, and were hoping to continue to challenge for awards at Worlds. We were not aware of the ‘no download’ specifications until now.

Does anyone have any input on this? Would it be against the rules?

Edit: formatting and clarification


I mean, a good way to circumvent this problem would be to copy every single image that is in the PDF into the Google Doc and then send a sharable link to the Google Doc.
If this is past the deadline, I don’t know how that would work.

I am sorry if I do not understand properly, but what we did was use Adobe Scan to scan the entire notebook. We then merged the several scans we had using Notability (basically a fancy PDF editor) and saved a PDF from Notability to Google Drive. The link directs you directly to the PDF. Was there a better way to do it?

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Yes, but it would be very roundabout and would take more time.
First you would scan all the pages, convert them to images, and then drag and drop into the Google Doc.
Then you would click “Share” and press “Share with Anyone with the Link” and “Viewer”, and then copy the link and add it into the engineering notebook link.

Wouldn’t adding the scan as images just create a larger document? The sharing procedure you described is the exact same as what we did. Also, when clicking download, it simply loads the document in a new tab in the web browser. It does not appear to actually download the PDF to the computer. Hopefully that is okay? I think the problem stems from the fact that the document is fairly large for a PDF.

This is exactly what my team did for our regional championship. It’s great to see other teams using notability!

If you wanted to convert the pdf to images, I believe notability is able to export pdfs as png or jpeg files. If the file is too big, I think it exports it as a zipped file and you would have to unzip it to see and download them.

I believe that having the judges open a zipped file would be a lot more work then just simply clicking ‘Download.’ I do not know if it would really solve the problem. As far as I know a PDF is as compressed as one can make a file without having to .zip it. If whoever was looking at the notebook had to unzip the file I believe they may have to actually download the file to their computer. Thus going against the rules. I think that when you hit ‘Download’ on the google drive page I showed above it is just downloading the file from Google’s servers so you can view it in your web browser. I hope that is in the rules but it is hard to tell.

I’d reach out to and ask if that was acceptable. Regarding the interview - at this stage of the process, the notebook judges and the interview judges are different groups. The judges doing the standard remote interview do not have access to your notebook and have not looked at it.


Alright, thanks for the advice, I will definitely do that.

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No, the thing I’m suggesting is adding the images into a Google Doc, which will never ask you to download to view…
It dynamically loads the images so there won’t ever be a need to download.

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