PDF Read Annotate iPad Apps

One of the best things about electronic books and textbooks is that you can mark them up. Rather than a physical book that you rent or buy and want to sell later, with books on your iPad, you can make notes and highlight important points. Plus, you can read wherever you go with your device.

Here are the best apps to read and annotate PDF books on iPad.

Criteria and features

Here are just a couple of things we looked for when creating this list of apps to read and annotate PDFs on iPad.

  • Multiple markup options: Everyone has a different way of marking up their books and documents. Some like highlighting while others like drawing. Apps that give you a variety of annotation options give you flexibility.
  • Intuitive interface: The last thing you need to do is spend time trying to figure out just how to mark your books and PDFs. Apps that have an easy-to-use interface let you get right to work without a complicated way to do it.
  • Different reading modes: Since these apps are for reading as well as annotating, various reading modes and options give you a better experience.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader on iPad

Adobe Acrobat Reader gives you a variety of annotation tools and reading options. Open documents and books from your iPad, Document Cloud, or Dropbox.

Adobe Acrobat Reader notable features:

  • Use annotation tools like highlight, underline, strikethrough, and drawing.
  • Add comments to any place in the book or document.
  • Read with modes including continuous, single page, or reading mode plus a night mode.
  • Save, print, and share your marked-up items easily.

If you want an app that gives you flexible features for both annotating and reading books and other PDF documents on your iPad, then check out Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  • Availability: iPhone, iPad, Android, and the web
  • Cost: Free with in-app purchases for plans that let you export, combine, and do more with PDFs.

PDF Viewer Pro

PDF Viewer Pro on iPad

PDF Viewer Pro is another easy-to-use reading and annotation tool that offers an array of features for both. Browse for books and documents from your device, Dropbox, or iCloud Drive to get started.

PDF Viewer Pro notable features:

  • Use annotation tools like highlight, underline, and strikethrough.
  • Include comments, insert text, or add an image in any spot in the book or document.
  • Add bookmarks and skip to sections for bookmarked and annotated pages or use the search.
  • For reading, select your page mode, transition, and fitting along with theme, appearance, and brightness.

PDF Viewer Pro is a really nice reader and annotator with the types of features you’d want in an app like this. And, you can share all pages, some pages, annotations, and a summary.

  • Availability: iPhone, iPad, iMessage, and Android
  • Cost: Free with in-app purchases for subscription plans that let you combine documents, use password-protection, and annotate images.

Foxit MobilePDF

Foxit Mobile PDF on iPad

Foxit MobilePDF also offers a nice set of features for reading and annotating PDFs. The interface is clean and simple, and you can pull in books and PDFs from iCloud Drive and with a subscription, SharePoint.

Foxit MobilePDF notable features:

  • Use annotation tools like highlight, underline, and strikethrough.
  • Include comments as notes, text, or callouts anywhere in the book or document.
  • Add bookmarks and jump to sections with the thumbnail view.
  • Select from reading modes like single, continuous, or facing, choose from different color themes, and use night mode.

With Foxit MobilePDF, you can easily save, share, or print your annotated documents. And, the various reading modes give you flexibility.

  • Availability: iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, and the web
  • Cost: Free with an in-app subscription option for additional features like document protection, PDF creation, and verified digital signatures.

Xodo PDF Pro

Xodo PDF Pro on iPad

One more reader and annotation tool to look at is Xodo PDF Pro. Open a local document or head to the location containing one and select Copy to Xodo to open it with the app.

Xodo PDF Pro notable features:

  • Use annotation tools like highlight, underline, and strikethrough.
  • Add comments or text to any location in the book or document.
  • Use drawing tools like shapes, connectors, and arrows.
  • Choose from page modes including continuous, single page, facing, and cover facing. You can also rotate pages and use night mode.

Xodo PDF Pro lets you email or print your documents, use bookmarks and outlines, has a text search, and is available on multiple platforms.

  • Availability: iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, Chrome extensions, and the web
  • Cost: Free

Wrapping it up

Reading and marking up your PDF reference books or textbooks on iPad is easy with any of these free apps. Let us know if you decide to give one a try or if you have a better one you’d like to recommend that doesn’t cost a fortune.

For doing with more with PDFs on iPhone and iPad, check out our tutorials on signing PDF documents, saving emails as PDFs, and saving photos as PDFs too.