reading and annotating on iPad

I am mulling the possibility ofmoving to iPad for use in reading, marking up, and filing PDF articles. For the past few years I’ve used a tabletlaptop which lets me write comments on the PDF and save the comments without printing out. I would like to be able to do that on the iPad. Does anyone out there in scatterland use an iPad for this purpose? Any recommendations fr best apps for this purpose?

Author: andrewperrin

Johns Hopkins University - Sociology and SNF Agora Institute

13 thoughts on “reading and annotating on iPad”

  1. I do this, though I find that actual handwritten annotations are not great (even with a stylus — though perhaps I just have a poor stylus). Typed annotations, highlighting, circling, etc. with the stylus are all easy and can be saved directly to the PDF. I use GoodReader, which was $9.99 last I checked. It syncs with Dropbox, Sugarsync, any WebDAV, and other remote storage solutions.


  2. iAnnotate is another option I’ve used, and it’s been updated a lot lately. For hand-written notes, especially on papers I’m sharing with others or at conferences, I’ve used NoteTaker HD with reasonable success.


  3. iTunes Canada apps dude says iBooks, GoodReader, and iAnnotate are all great. Although I think he would swallow his chewing gum if he saw trey1 using a stylus on the iPad.


    1. It’s possible, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I love my Kindle, but any notes/annotations are stored in a separate file. The Kindle, and Kindle software, can reassemble the document/notes files so that you see the notes while reading the original document, but there’s no way to write annotations or notes straight into the .pdf. Amazon is really cagey on that point, but if you call them up and harass them long enough they eventually cop to it. The Kindle is a really nice e-reader but it’s not ideal for any other purpose.


    2. I use ezPDF (worth the $2.99, I think) to annotate and then save the files to Dropbox for use on my laptop. I can’t remember if you need to root the Fire to get ezPDF or not, though. But I rooted just to get swype.

      I use ezPDf and URLtoPDF to annotate everything. I’m not a student any more, so a lot of what I need to annotate isn’t already PDF. I use URLtoPDF to convert whatever I need (usually blog posts)to PDF and then annotate with ezPDF.


  4. It appears to be possible with the Kindle APP, so I’m guessing it would be. (Since I refuse to buy a specialty product that would prevent me buying 20-30 books, I cannot swear to that, though.)


  5. neu.Annotate is free and I love it – you can draw, highlight and type comments. I generally just email the files to myself or to the student whose work I am annotating, but I believe it also exports to iTunes.


  6. @Drek – I beg to differ. I’ve just examined a thesis using my kindle: marking up the PDF of the test to create a file which I thne used as the basis for my examiner’s report. I also use the kindle to carry round, read and mark up all the PDF articles I know I should be reading. I am not a gadget boy at all but think the kindle is great for academi work (I barely use it to read books – that’s what my University and Public libraries are for….)


  7. If you use a Mac as your PC of choice, I use is Papers. I can highlight, note, export notes and highlights, and store all my papers in once place. It’s kind of like iTunes for academic papers and books. Apparently, it now functions in a Windows environment as well.

    I also use iAnnotate and GoodReader, but for different purposes.

    Good luck!


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