Why is there no perfect PDF annotation app??!

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by Han Solo 1, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Han Solo 1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2013
    This is getting ridiculous. All I need is a stinking PDF app that:

    1. Allows you to highlight in straight lines (shape recognition) without it deleting the lines above or below your selection (looking at you, PDF Expert)

    2. Allows you to add a sticky note to your PDF.

    3. Doesn’t lag on rendering PDF pages with images or highlights on them.

    4. Has a decent bookshelf UI, not some horrid, depressing garbage (I’m looking at you, Notes Plus and PDF Expert).

    5. Allows seamless, horizontal scrolling.

    6. Allows true full-screen reading ability without pesky tools in the corners.

    7. Doesn’t store huge caches of each PDF in your library, taking up 4GB of data on the iPad (I’m looking at you, pdf-notes for iPad).

    8. Lets you choose the highlight color BEFORE actually highlighting and not have to go back and choose the color after you've highlighted (again, looking at you, PDF Expert, you sucky app).

    Why the heck is it so hard to do this? It seems like every stinking PDF app has 4 or even 5 of these features, but then leaves out the other 2. Ugh.
  2. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I generally prefer iAnnotate. What I'm missing, though, is a zoom box for hand writing and reliable annotation export.
  3. Scrub175 macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2012
    Port St Lucie FL
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    [MOD NOTE]
    Stay on topic and stop with the bickering.
  5. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
  6. Readdlemate Suspended


    Jan 26, 2009
    Given the negative tone of your post, I want to clarify a few things here.
    -highlighting depends on a PDF file, it not virtually possible to have 100% accuracy for every single PDF out there.
    -if you like bookshelf UI, you can switch to thumbnail preview mode. It's still important to have a column on the left to have quick access to recent files, online services and settings. This proved to be the best concept out there.
    -adding options for color highlights will mess up the clean UI layout we have.

    And yes, it is very hard to build a perfect PDF annotation app.
    A big update will be coming soon

  7. Luis2004 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2012
    I searched for Papers2 in the App Store and can't find anything by that name.

    Do you mean Papers by mekentosj? The $15 app?
  8. TheDavinHarris macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2013
    because you didn't develop it

    Maybe if you made a PDF SDK it would be your ideal App.:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool:
  9. Han Solo 1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2013
    Yeah, I get that you believe I shouldn't be critical if I don't do the work. But by your logic, you also can't be a critic of the government if you're not a bureaucrat, you can't criticize a restaurant if you're not a chef, you can't criticize a movie if you're not a director.... See where I'm going with this?

    If an app is no good, it's no good.
  10. printz macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2012
    Dude, he can't develop his own iPad app without paying tribute to Apple. It's not like with computer open-source development.
  11. Tknull macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2011
    San Diego
    I just shelled out the moola for this app (pdf expert) a few days ago. Haven't had a chance as of yet to really dive into it yet and learn the ins and outs. but perhaps you can answer one question for me. I downloaded a fillable pdf into the app, and tried to copy/paste to add multiple of the same pages. It told me that this is not supported in the current version. You mentioned an update coming soon... any chance this feature made it in?
  12. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    Yes. Papers2 by mekentosj in particular. You import and manage all you pdf's in this app - works great and uses little system resources. I have ~2,000 pdf's in mine and it stores only one real copy but has virtual folders where one pdf can be accessed in different "collections". You can put notes and highlight sections with ease and read in full screen or tabs of multiple pdf's. There are several ways to use it as a reference manager and database search engine too. They offer student discounts and have a great (also paid) iphone/ipad app that allows you to bidirectionally sync with your mac library.
  13. Readdlemate Suspended


    Jan 26, 2009
    The best way would be to contact our support team, who will gladly assist you. If you attach your document/ PDF and shoot us an e-mail at rdsupport@readdle.com we'll help.
  14. TheDavinHarris macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2013
    Your search is for perfection, and with your standards, you will never get the perfect app unless you make it yourself.:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool:
  15. gxtoast macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2013
    Well, the OP has got a point - and there are a whole lot more desirable things missing from reading apps on not only IOS, but Windows and Android.

    All of the reading apps available across all platforms are suitable only for passive reading and very simple annotations. Certainly no apps allow an active reader to create comprehensive notes that are aligned with hand written annotations and the pages they are written on.

    See this excellent article that articulates very well the intuitive requirements for active reading:

    The tablet space is very new and reading apps will take a while to mature. Certainly, on the iPad there still is no way to capture handwriting accurately. For that you need at a Wacom digitizer and fine-tipped stylus that supports accurate writing reproduction.

    For me, the ideal solution for active reading is a tablet with enough screen resolution and screen size to view an entire page from a technical PDF next to a note-taking page. In other words, a two page spread to allow reading and writing at the same time. So, two iPads side-by-side.

    The minimum diagonal measurement would be 15 inches. Better still would be a tablet that is 17 inches in a 16:10 aspect ratio, with a Wacom active digitizer and comfortable stylus on a matte surface with very little glare or reflection.

    But, I digress...
  16. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing.

    Yes. Papers2 is the Mac app, Papers is the iOS app. You can try out the free 30-day trial on Mac first.

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