iPad Pro iPad as pdf annotator and image editor

Discussion in 'iPad' started by AzazelCoH, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. AzazelCoH macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2008
    Guys and Gals,

    Really could do with your advice on set up of a new iPad Pro with how I want to work with files, mainly pdf files and image editing.

    I am commuting alot (around 3 hrs a day) on trains and have used my iPad 3 for a while watching Amazon etc, but I really should use the time more productively.

    With that in mind I went yesterday to look at the Surface 4 or a HP, I ended up coming away with a new iPad Pro, keyboard and pencil in the hope that I can do what I need to.

    Requirements wise:

    PDF Annotation offline and syncing

    I read and annotate a lot of scientific papers (predominantly pdf files) that I store in the cloud, usually Dropbox or Box. What I want to be able to do is read and annotate on the train (maybe connected over 4G but the coverage is poor) but have the files sync back with the edits. That means the files need to be available offline and sync when back on coverage/wifi. Box and Dropbox provide offline access, but not the annotation. I installed Foxit on the iPad which does but once a file moves from Box to FoxIt it just gets saved there. So I next paid for the Box cloud syncing in Foxit PDF and that syncs edits, but doesnt give options for offline availability...

    There is an app called Papers that you can create a library and edit/annotate pdfs in specifically aimed at researchers, but the big issue is the library will then be on the iPad and not sync'd to either my work or home machine were I have syncing with Dropbox/Box.

    Image Editing

    So the wife liked the idea of using the iPencil for retouching the tonnes of photos we have taken of our family etc, they are stored inhouse on a NAS. Naively I thought I could just run DS File (as its a Synology NAS) and get it to open in Photoshop Fix, and sync back. Nope. I cant use CloudStation as we have TB of images and that will not be possible to sync to the little ol'iPad. The aim was to open the file from the network, work on it and sync the changes back.

    Word document editing - works nicely, syncs nicely, am happy there :)

    If these things simply arent possible, then unfortunately the iPad will have to go back and I will return to the iPad 3 (ouch) as I need a machine to work on, maybe the Surface, but I hope you have some suggestions to make the iPad work :)

    Thanks for the advice :D
  2. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    For your .PDF needs, go with PDF Expert. You can fill forms, highlight, draw on, whatever you might want to do with/to a .PDF file.

    I'm not quite sure what you want to do with photos that would require the Pencil.
  3. AzazelCoH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2008
    Thanks for the reply and PDF Expert suggestion, appreciate it :)

    from what I can see from another thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/ipad-pro-pdf-annotate-app.1947208/) when using PDF Expert and others, they copy the file internally, add edits and save a second copy or dont save back to the original location (cloud storage). Although some might cope well with that, I have 1000s of PDFs in my library and I dont want to have to hunt down duplicates or manually copy back to cloud when I remember. The edits have to be sync'd across 3 devices, 2 computers and an ipad.

    As far as photo editing, other half enjoys retouching with a pen, shes used to a wacom. :)
  4. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    PDF should work fine for your needs.

    What you would do is link Dropbox to PDF expert and download all your files locally to PDF expert, which now acts as your file manager of sorts. You can then open and annotate on those PDF files locally, even when you have no internet access. Those changes will then sync back to Dropbox whenever you have an internet connection.

    This is based on my experience. There should not be any duplication of files unless you opt to open the file directly in PDF expert.

    PDF expert is also now available for the Mac (and is cool because it allows you to edit PDFs). I also find that PDF expert offers the best cross-compatibility with Preview for OS X.

    I am not familiar with editing images on iOS, and regret I have no useful information to offer in this regard.
  5. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Jun 6, 2015
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    That's not true. PDF Expert does directly edit files on iCloud Drive or other services, and it has an offline sync folder, confusingly called "iCloud"...

    The only negative I discovered is that, in addition to altering your cloud file, it creates a copy in a folder on iCloud Drive called "PDF Expert". But you can safely ignore or delete those files whenever you like.

    I don't know about editing photos with Apple Pencil.
  6. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

    Feb 6, 2014
    For image siting on the iPad Pro 9.7, I really like Leonardo and I have Pixelmator but don't use it much. Look up both of these apps in the App Store and see if they're compatible with the Apple Pencil - the app descriptions should be able to help with this.

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