12 Posts of Christmas. An image of an iPad surrounded by presents. Text on the iPad says 5 gold things.

12 Posts of Christmas. An image of an iPad surrounded by presents. Text on the iPad says 5 gold things.

2 apps instead of 1? You lucky people! I’ve decided to have a good look at some PDF Readers. The reason behind this is because we all need to read PDFs at some point or another and normally you do this for research. The problem in the past was highlighting any important or interesting information that you found in these documents as well as annotating on the fly and generally making the document look a little messier (ed: doodling in the corner of the page). In the past, this was as easy as putting pen to paper, literally. But now we live in a world of responsibility, we need to reduce the amount of paper being used. What’s better than being able to view any document on your tablet/mobile/desktop?

PDF means Portable Document Format, it was created around the 90s to allow documents to be shared regardless of the operating system. This idea of cross-OS compatibility lasted for a while until technology became such a big industry that different versions of PDF generators were created and now there are compatibility issues again. So much for PDF, more like PDEffort.

So we need a PDF reader that can read any type of PDF, is easy to use and also has a few extra features. We will also only be looking at the app versions available for mobile devices, desktops have far too many choices. One of these apps might be good for you if you feel like being mobile.

Adobe PDF logo or icon.

Impact on wallet:
PDF Expert – £7.99
Adobe Acrobat Pro (DC) – FREE (for University users) $14.99/month (for everyone else)

Where to find it:
The usual places for mobile devices, on your choice of app store.

Key features:
Adobe Acrobat Pro (DC) – Of course you are able to read PDFs but you are also able to sign documents (using digital IDs), draw on documents, highlight sentences. Overall this app is pretty good for general PDF use, yet the UI is a little clunky. I saw myself spending a little too much time finding options and moving between documents.

PDF Expert – View PDFs, add signatures, highlight sentences, add notes and diagrams, everything but converting documents to PDF formats. It might seem that this app is initially worse than AAP (DC) but to be honest it’s the usability of the app that really makes a difference. Fast and easy to use, quick selection of documents is easy to do with the selection list. It also allows for sharing between devices to enhance your productivity on-the-go.

What can I do with it?:
It really is as simple as reading PDFs and editing. A lot of documents online are easy to find in PDF formats, I would also suggest using this file format rather than EPUB or other reading formats as it allows you to write notes and generally interact with your documents rather than using pen and paper.

It’s not a lot but it does make a difference. Give it a try and you might even start using this app for general reading.

by Daryl Peel

All of the posts in this series

1 On the first day… a Post-it in a Plus app
2 What is Articulate Storyline?
3 Podcasting: Voice recorder Pro 7, Bossjock jr, Opinion
4 Padlet walls
5 AppBonanza
Office 365
PDF Expert and Adobe Acrobat Pro
Dropbox, Google Drive, etc
Alfred and Wox
6 Active learning using Panopto recordings
7 7 easy post-processing steps to get your photos to stand out
8 Wirecast play for live streaming
9 Panopto for student presentations and assessment
10 On the 10th day, get organised to keep all your lords a-leaping
11 Hear those pipers piping!
12 TikiTokis

The 12 days of Christmas – AppBonanza – 3. PDF Expert and Adobe Acrobat Pro

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