Easy Reading/Notating App

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by jazzer15, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. jazzer15 macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    I am looking for a good app to use as follows: I am going to be traveling and need to read/review and mark up (sometimes large) pdf and word docs. I would prefer to be able to do this on the iPad rather than carrying large stacks of paper, but I want something that will allow me to highlight and add comments (with a stylus and keyboard -- not sure which I prefer yet) easily without a lot of steps. Pen and paper is old school, but it's easy!

    I assume this is pretty basic stuff, but I have looked at all kinds of apps (Goodreader, iAnnotate, PDF Expert, Notability (which I bought, but doesn't seem to be working as I would like for the docs I am using) and now I am probably more confused than when I started.

    Experiences with these kinds of apps would be appreciated (and yes, I did search, but much of what I find deals more with note taking rather than reading and marking up documents for use on the iPad).

  2. mrrish macrumors regular


    Feb 14, 2008
    For PDFs, I strongly recommend PDF Expert 1) because it is superior in user interface and quality of its features and 2) because iAnnotate says the current version will not be undergoing any further updates until they release a completely new version of their software (iAnnotate 2). Their user interface never quite jived with me and it look like a preschool toy with all their strange colors and the strange folder system.

    For word docs, you have a challenge. It would be easy to convert it to PDF and then annotate (with a PDF printer app), but then you obviously lose the ability to go back and make changes to the actual text. If you are looking to make reviewer's comments, I personally do not know how to do this on an iPad while maintaining the word document's integrity :(
  3. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010

    thank you for taking the time to reply. Actually, all I need to do with the word documents on the go is to mark them up with comments for myself. I will be attending meetings where these documents are discussed and I will need to remember issues and/or concerns I may have. So, perhaps conversion to pdf isn't a problem.

    At the meetings I may need to add some comments, again for myself, so that when the documents are edited I can recall what changes needed to be made and compare the final with my notes. Pen and paper may be faster for this part.

    Does Goodreader allow annotations to be made to word docs or only to pdfs?
  4. mrrish macrumors regular


    Feb 14, 2008
    None of the three apps you mentioned do conversion. You will have to search the app store for a pdf converter / printer. I personally use an app called 'PDF Converter.'
  5. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    I am a graduate student / lecturer / researcher who reads PDFs on the iPad and annotates regularly (student papers, journal articles, etc.).

    1. PDF PROvider will convert just about anything you use into PDF.
    2. PDF Expert is what I use for typed annotations.
    3. iAnnotate is what I use to read PDFs.
    4. GoodReader doesn't get used so much anymore.
    5. NoteTaker HD is great for extensive writing with the stylus.

    PDF Expert lacks a lot of functionality, but one thing it does well is remember the font size and color I use for annotations. This means that if I am typing text into a note (as opposed to the stickies) I don't have to resize it each and every time. This is a huge help. The stylus writing is nice too.

    iAnnotate has lots of options with the annotations, but as far as I can tell, doesn't remember anything, so it is a pain in the butt to resize each and every annotation. It does OK with the stylus, so I sometimes annotate that way. iAnnotate is the only PDF reader I know of that can do a global search of all files. That is a big deal.

    GoodReader is one of my favorite interfaces, but with iOS5 I seem to have lost the ability to take files in other apps like Safari or Evernote and "open in" GoodReader. Now it is pretty much useless. Too bad.

    NoteTaker HD will allow you to import a PDF and write on it with the stylus (typing also possible). The good thing about this is that the app is made for note taking, so you can do a really clean and detailed markup of a text.

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