Review documents with ease using iAnnotate PDF

Review documents with ease using iAnnotate PDF

A pile of documents on my desk waiting for me to read them or having several dozen emails with resumes or proposals I need to go over usually gets me depressed… to be honest I don’t enjoy printing lots of pages and then sitting down to go over them.
But, someone did put a lot of work into them… it’s my job… I do need to find the best candidate for the job or pick the most attractive proposal… and sometimes when it’s something I am particularly interested in – I enjoy reading a technical guide or a professional book.
Unlike leisure type reading, the particular type of documents I am talking about often require me to make comment, mark issues I will need to address later or particular ideas I may want to remember and reference in the future. With PDF being a common format for “Soft copy” document sharing, there are several ways to do that:
  • You can print the file and do it offline where ever is most comfortable for you (can be messy with large documents and certainly not friendly to the environment).
  • You can take the notes separately in your notebook for example.
  • You could find a desktop application that will allow you to take notes on the file itself – forcing you to sit at your desk or carry your laptop at least when you do it.
  • OR you could do it on your iPad…
(Video demo included towards the end of the post)
iAnnotate seems to be the richest, most comprehensive app available for reviewing PDF files in the app store at the moment(9.99$), It is super friendly and flexible (almost too flexible maybe as it could get a bit confusing at first when you dive deeper into customization options). You can save the PDF files directly on the iPad or access them from web storage services such as DropBox and when you are done you can share the reviewed document with anyone.
Once you choose your document (you can have up to 6 open documents at a time as tabs in the app), you have several toolbars to work with and lots of options to review:
  • Navigate the document quickly.
  • Use a “magic marker” to highlight text in any color you choose.
  • Add comment with text.
  • Draw directly on the document with your finger.
  • Underline text or cross over it to emphasize.
  • Copy text for use outside the app or in one of the notes
  • Add bookmarks to sections for future reference.
Nielsen
Executive summary for Nilsen’s praliminary review on iPad – I have many comments!
The app has some problem in search and copy paste for “right to left” languages such as Hebrew, the developers are aware of the problem and promise to take care of it in the future (I don’t find it a deal breaker personally).
iAnnotate belongs to a unique family of apps I think that will shape how the iPad is integrated in our life. It would be perfect for students who need to cover lengthy articles and text books for a paper they need to turn over, for a teacher who needs to grade papers or for lawyers & business man reviewing contracts and proposals.

My Video overview (Hebrew caption…)

For full and fair disclosure, the developer gave me a pomocode for the purpose of this review.
On the AppStore:

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