If you are working in a multinational firm, you, no doubt, know the problem of sharing documents and images of new projects with the staff of the other branches of your company. Working with notepad is not feasible as you cannot include pictures with the text, and you also have no control over the formatting. It is the same with word processing documents as well.
If the recipient has an older version of Microsoft Word, they will not be able to open documents created on the latest version. The problem increases when other staff members use computers running on different operating systems such as Windows and Macintosh.
In such a scenario, your best option is to opt for a note-taking application, such as portable document files (PDF), which works fine on both platforms.
What Makes for A Good PDF Note-Taking Application?
A good PDF note-taking application should support both Desktop and Mobile devices (iOS and Android-based operating systems) so that you can also open and edit the files while on the move. However, some other PDF note-takers do well on whatever platform(s) they support (only Desktops, only Windows or only Macs) as the case may be.
The choice to make also depends on what you need. For instance, you may want to have a PDF note-taking software just for your Windows Desktop alone or one that can function on both Mac & Windows operating systems.
In addition to the above, a good PDF note-taking application should have the following qualities:
- It should be able to work on documents of various types (invoices, books, magazines, recipes, contracts, business cards and more)
- It should be compatible with various scanners (HP, Canon, and others)
- It should be able to modify and convert documents to other types of file formats
- It should be equipped with all the necessary PDF tools to split, delete, re-arrange, combine, merge, compress, correct texts, extract images and texts, bookmark, sign and secure any PDF document
- It should have easy and fast file retrieval process
- It should support many languages
- You should be able to share and access your documents from SharePoint, Evernote, Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and more
- Of course, you should be able to read all your PDFs, books, and magazines with their in-built e-readers.
Quickly Navigate to:
- PDF App to Take Notes (Android, iPhone, Mac & Windows)
- PDF App to Take Notes (iPad, iPhone & Mac)
- PDF App to Take Notes (Mac & Windows)
About This PDF Annotator Review
In this review, I shall be discussing some of the best PDF note-taking apps. It will help you figure out which is the best PDF annotation app for Android, iPad, Mac, and Windows. You require an annotator to be able to comment or to add text or diagrams to an existing document.
I shall review certain note-taking software as well as document markup software using parameters like their ability to join two PDFs, duplicate PDF files, export, and import PDF files, delete notes, study notes, edit and manipulate PDFs, and much more.
You will learn more about great Mac PDF Annotators, including those that allow you to annotate PDF on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, etc.
Although you can easily find many PDF readers and writers available online, not all of them have robust functionalities. I shall only include the best notes apps and the leading toolkits to annotate images and texts.
After going through this review, you will also be able to easily determine which of the following is suitable for mobile users. For instance, the app that allows you to perform iPad PDF annotations quickly and efficiently. During the review, I shall point out which tool you should opt for when you are searching for the best PDF notes app for iPad.
Best PDF Note-Taking App for Android
(Android, iPhone, Mac & Windows)
If you are searching for a professional-level Windows 10 PDF editor, check this application from Wondershare. While you can find other feature-rich Windows PDF editors, most of them are complicated to use. On the contrary, PDFelement is the easiest program to edit PDF.
Converts PDFs to Word (And Vice Versa)
The editor converts PDFs to text, RTF, HTML pages, PPT, EPUB, Word, and Excel formats as well as creates them from text files, HTML, and image formats.
Extract Data from PDFs And Others
It also supports permission-based restrictions, password encryption, data extraction, form creation, text editing, and annotation.
You will be pleasantly surprised by its uncluttered and easy to navigate interface. It allows you to gain control of your PDF files like never before.
Easily Create, Analyze & Distribute PDF Forms
I loved its ability to create and distribute PDF forms reliably. Use it to create and distribute forms easily, combine the collected forms for analysis, and then export the collected data in a spreadsheet.
Support for All Devices
You can use this software to edit PDF on Windows as well as on Apple-based operating systems. It is, in fact, the best PDF annotator for Android too. You can depend on this app to combine, make notes on PDF, and much more.
The vendor offers a trial version, which allows you to download, install, and evaluate the software before purchasing it. I have tried several other PDF applications and have concluded that PDFelement is among the best PDF editing software you'll ever come across.
The company has different plans on offer for both home users and businesses. They've got cheap plans on the standard and pro versions for both the Windows and Mac. The vendor offers special discounts ever so often on their home page. I recommend the pro version as it has many additional features such as:
• Add Bates numbering
• Extract data from PDF forms
• Create and edit form fields
• Optimize and compress documents
• Convert scanned paper into editable PDFs
• Optical character recognition
• Add digital signature
• Archive with PDF/A format
• Redact sensitive information
• Batch process documents
These are in addition to other features available on the standard version such as:
• Convert PDF files
• Secure and sign PDF files
• Fill out PDF forms
• Create PDF files
• Edit text and images in PDF files
• Export PDFs to PowerPoint, Excel, or Word
• Annotate and comment on PDF files
The vendor also offers a “Team” plan, which gives you the flexibility to provision, track, as well as manage licensing across groups and teams.
Students and faculty can take advantage of the “Education” plan, which provides a discount of 50% on the “Standard” and “Pro” version.
Remember, the prices include the leasing of the software. Opt for the “Perpetual” license if you want to own this amazing app to write on PDF, which is also the best PDF annotation app for Android.
Best PDF Note Taking Software for iPad
(Mac, iPad & iPhone)
If you are the owner of a Mac and are wondering how to annotate a PDF, try PDF Expert today. This application is also available for the iPad and the iPhone and is the best PDF app for iPad.
PDF Expert's main focus on only Apple devices is, basically, what differentiates it from PDFelement (which also extends its support to Android & Windows devices)
Developed by Readdle, this software was first debuted on the iPad in 2010. It is, without any doubt, the best PDF annotation app for iPad, which allows you to mark up PDF files professionally.
Great for All Apple Devices
The best part is that the latest version (7) is available free of cost for the iPhone and the iPad. You can use it as a PDF annotator on the Mac operating system as well as annotate PDF on iOS.
The vendor offers a trial version, but you cannot use it to extract, delete or add pages, merge documents, password protect your PDF documents, or be able to sign them. You will need the paid version to be able to do all these. The vendor charges $79.99 for the pro version of PDF Expert, which gives you one license for three Macs. You can avail of a special offer if you are a student or a professor.
As there is a free download of this software, you can put it to the test by trying this iPad textbook app for taking notes and making iOS PDF annotations
Convert Texts And Image Documents to PDF
I was delighted by the capability of the program to annotate PDF on iPad. Version 7 allows you to convert PowerPoint, Excel, and Word (or Apple Slides, Sheets, and Pages) documents to PDF format.
You can also use this software to convert images into PDF documents, be they imported from local storage, Photos library, or even connected cloud service. This feature is quite handy when you take a screenshot and want to insert them into a document.
The “reduce file size” feature allows you to shrink large PDF documents into lossless, high, medium, or low quality before sharing them.
Select Your Frequently Used Tools And Make Them Readily Available
When you purchase the Pro subscription, you get the option to customize which group of tools will show up across the top of the screen on the toolbar.
As this application is only available for the Mac and iOS platforms, you need another document annotation software if your computer has the Windows operating system installed. However, if you are looking for an excellent PDF annotator for iPad, go for PDF Expert.
Best PDF Note-Taking App for Mac
Movavi PDF Editor
(Mac & Windows)
If you are still using the free version of Adobe PDF reader, you might be well aware of its limitations. The PDF editor from Movavi is a worthwhile option if you are searching for a note-taking app for the Mac platform. It offers you all the features needed for managing and processing PDF documents.
You can use it to create PDF documents from scratch. It is one of the few PDF viewer and editor that offers three different PDF editing modes (object editing, text editing, as well as 4-in-1 page arrangement).
It comes with electronic signature solutions and ready to use legal-size form templates. It boasts of a single click file export as well as print output. You can depend on this easy-to-use application to create individual elements for presenting finished materials.
You need not worry about security as this software keeps the personal information of the user safe at all times.
Extract And Rearrange PDF Pages
Its powerful editing mode permits you to rotate, remove, and rearrange individual pages within a PDF file. Use this application to extract individual pages from PDF documents or to convert images to PDF files.
The cheap subscription charges for a yearly or lifetime license makes it one of the most affordable note-taking apps for the Macintosh platform. The vendor also offers a Windows version of this software.
It is so easy to use that you can master it in a couple of hours.
Convert ‘from PDF' And ‘to PDF'
The latest version of this application can convert a PDF file into HTML, PNG/JPEG image, TXT, and EPUB eBook format, as well as into a DOC file. It can also convert Microsoft Office files (PPTX, XSLX, and DOCX) and bitmap images into PDF format.
Free to Try
Why don't you download the trial version and install it to check its awesome features? I am sure you will go for the paid application after having played with the trial version. This PDF annotator for Mac and Windows allows you to annotate PDF files quickly and effortlessly.
The app costs $29.95 per year for a one-year subscription for a single PC, $39.95 for a lifetime license for a single PC, and $99.95 for a lifetime license for three PCs. The price is the same for both Mac and Windows-based PCs.
Consider this software if you are looking for the best PDF annotator for Mac or Windows. Once you try Movavi, you will agree that it is best for taking notes in PDF on both Mac and Windows devices. You will never have to purchase another software to share notes. You can use this app to markup PDF as well.
Cisdem PDF Manager Ultimate
It is the ultimate tool for those searching for a comprehensive PDF solution. It allows users to view/organize PDF files, annotate and edit them, split, merge, extract and compress images and text.
Draw, Comment, Underline, Highlight, And More
Any PDF annotator review would be incomplete without mentioning this Mac note taker. This app allows you to add signatures, add notes, comments, text, as well as shapes. Underline, cross-out, or highlight text as well as draw a line or an arrow for more effective collaboration.
Convert And Extract Images from PDFs
Use this tool to batch convert PDF files to formats such as HTML, eBook, EPUB, Pages, text, Microsoft PPT, Excel, and Word. You can use it for the extraction of images too. The OCR technology of this app permits you to convert scanned images and PDFs to the formats mentioned above, as well as to Keynote and PPT.
Language Text Detection
The OCR engine recognizes text documents in 49 different languages, which include English, Italian, German, and French.
Protect PDF Documents with Password
Password protect your PDF files to prevent others from opening the file. Use the “owner password” option to prevent copying, editing, and printing of generated PDF files.
You can also use this tool to merge, split, compress, as well as extract PDF files. Use this awesome program to write on PDF files.
Priced at $69.99 per piece, you can also download a trial version of this PDF writing software from the website of the vendor.
Best PDF Note-Taking App for Windows
Offered by Soft Xpansions, this tool allows you to edit, create, as well as manage portable document files and other electronic documents. It is ideal for small to mid-sized businesses as well as for use at home.
Use this document markup software to edit your PDF documents professionally as well as annotate PDF files.
The main features of this software include signing PDFs, creating complex forms, as well as designing documents.
Easily Create And Edit the Contents of PDF Pages
Perfect PDF is a powerful yet, easy-to-use page editor, which allows you to edit all the contents of a page, not just the images and text. Apart from this, you can also create completely new documents.
Use its powerful features to create PDF files, PDF documents, make a detailed comparison between two pages, and convert your PDF files to PDF/A-1, A-2, and A-3.
Add Free-Hand Drawings And Annotations to PDFs
It boasts of batch processing, allows you to add comments on your documents, including text marking, free-handed drawing, stamp, annotations, appendixes, and bookmarks. The PC note-taking tool also can split PDF files and create interactive form fields.
There are 4 packages to choose from:
• Customized pack (single-user license)
• Family pack (three user licenses)
• Office pack (ten user licenses)
• Company pack starts from 10 users, and the prices are quoted on request
It is the ideal software for taking PDF notes and annotating PDFs. Go through the instructions to understand how to take notes on a PDF and how to study notes. This tool is in my list of the best PDF markup apps.
I have already discussed applications that you can use to create and edit eBooks. Most of them support editing and converting PDF files too. However, WordMate is a standalone eBook writer and editor.
Take PDF Notes in MS Word
As all of you know, creating and formatting an eBook is a laborious and time-consuming task. However, you can easily create professional eBooks with the help of this application if you know how to use Microsoft Word.
This tool is an add-on for MS Word, which allows you to create professional eBooks from within Word. You can convert a Word data file into eBook templates in PDF, MOBI, and EPUB formats and then post them on Google Play, Kobo, Nook, Apple iBooks, and Amazon Kindle.
Great for Creating And Editing eBooks
Additionally, this eBook editor and writer allows you to create new eBooks as well as modify them from other file formats. There is a wide range of supported files, either created or imported.
You can also use this add-on for reading eBooks. As an eBook reader, this nifty tool reads many formats such as HTML, TXT, PRC, MOBI, EPUB, AWZ3, and AZW.
This software incorporates enhancing and editing eBooks, publishing them, developing, and reading eBooks. Unfortunately, it is only available for the Windows operating system.
Using Epubor is Simple
Using this plug-in is quite simple. Compose and format your document in MS Word and then add eBook metadata such as ISBN, cover, author, and title with WordMate and then click “Publish,” “Build PDF,” or “Build Mobi” to get a professional AZW, PDF, or MOBI format eBook.
The output quality is awesome without any loss in formatting and retains images and fonts you had edited through Word. It is very easy to use, and anybody who has working knowledge about Microsoft Word can quickly create a stunning and professional eBook with WordMate.
You can rest assured that you will find a suitable Windows PDF writer on the list. You can either download and evaluate a trial version or make a purchase. Get hold of this studying tool today, which is better than the online quick notes for books.
(Windows & Mac)
Why waste time searching for PDF notes editor for the PC when you can depend on Readiris? It provides you with one of the best ways to edit PDF and allows you to sign, protect, annotate, split, highlight PDF, as well as aggregate your PDFs.
Transform Physical Documents to Electronic
It also allows you to edit, convert, merge PDF, and transform your physical documents into a wide variety of digital formats.
It is available for Mac and Windows operating systems.
You can download the trial version from the vendor's website or buy this PDF software for PC. It is among the best PDF note-takers and document mark-up software. You can use it to annotate PDFs too.
The price of this program is:
• $49 for Rediris PDF 17
• $99 for Rediris Pro 17
• $199 for Rediris Corporate 17
All of the above programs come with comprehensive tutorials that teach you (depending on their supported operating system):
• How to write on PDFs
• How to draw on PDF files
• How to add notes and markup a PDF
• And More
You can also draw on PDF online. However, the quality of the resultant file is nowhere near the quality of the files the abovementioned programs generate.
Now that you have read this PDF reader and writer review, you can easily determine which is the appropriate PDF program to manage and manipulate PDF files, based on your needs.
Remember, writing on PDF is simple when done with the perfect PDF editor app. Read the above review to find out the best PDF markup tool for note-taking. Most of them work on the tablet too. Start taking notes with your PDF software of choice.