Going Paperless III: Mark up PDF documents


PDF annotating tools are a great step forward in working paperless. Whether you are editing your own work, marking up a research article, or grading student papers, PDF annotators have a wide variety of mark-up tools.

To get started, you need to save and gain access to your PDF documents (see previous post). Simply open the document you wish to work on and begin highlighting text, adding call-outs (shapes like squares, cirlcles and arrows), editing text using strike-through and pen tools, and commenting in the margins. Here are few tools we like:

For mobile devices:

  • GoodReader ($4.99; iOS): Access and sync a variety of document types from Google Drive (and many more cloud storage options). You can use GoodReader to simply view files, but you also have extensive mark-up tools. After marking up a document, you can save it back to Google Drive, automatically sync the document to avoid multiple versions, or email the document with a summary of your changes and additions.
  • PDF Reader (Free; iOS): Not quite as robust as GoodReader, PDF Reader is straight forward and easy to use. Connect to Google Drive or other cloud storage to access documents. The free version only syncs documents to iCloud, not to Google Drive (although you can upload documents back to Google Drive).
  • iAnnotate ($9.99; iOS & Android): Another popular annotating tool, it has many of the same features as GoodReader. In our experience, the interface and syncing is easier than GoodReader, but comes with a bigger price tag.

For your laptop/desktop:

  • Preview on the Mac does have some PDF annotating tools, including highlighting and adding notes. Macworld has a good article on how to use these tools.
  • There is nothing native to the PC that includes PDF annotating tools, but you can find software to do this. A lifehacker article mentions PDF-Xchange Viewer and FoxitReader.

Are there other tools you use and would recommend? Let us know in the comments!

Image credit: Wesley Fryer. Document editing on an iPad using iAnnotate PDF. From http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/6281755151/


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