5 Great PDF  Annotating and Reading Apps for Teachers

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There are tons of PDF apps out there but not all of them walk their talk. Only few provide really transformative user experience. When I talk about transformative experiences in the context of technology use in education I am primarily referring to SAMR model. The goal of integrating technology in our teaching, as I have repeated stated here in educatorstechnology.com, is to create radical transformative experiences where technology is not used as an add-on or a replacement of old traditional ways of teaching, but rather as a catalyst to drive deep and meaningful learning. 

The PDF apps I curated for you today, I believe, can be used in a transformative way to enhance your overall productivity. The original list published here 4 years ago contained 9 apps but upon revisiting it this month (November, 2021) I decided to omit some titles from this list cutting it down to only five apps. Some of the services provided by these apps include:  read and edit PDFs, sign and request signatures from others, fill out forms, annotate PDFs, add highlights and comments, and many more. 


9  Great PDF  Annotating and Reading Apps for Teachers

1- Adobe Acrobat Reader

A great app that lets you read, edit, and convert PDFs. Some of the main features it provides include:
  • "Open and view PDFs with the free Adobe PDF viewer app.
  • Search to find text fast in your PDF documents.
  • Share files for commenting or viewing.
  • Collect comments from multiple people in one file online.
  • Add PDF notes and comments, including sticky notes and highlights.
  • Write on PDF documents by adding text or drawings.
  • Subscribe to edit text and images directly in your PDF.
  • Fix a typo or add a paragraph with the paid PDF editor feature.
  • Easily fill in PDF forms with the form filler feature.
  • E-sign documents using your finger or stylus.
  • Sign in to your free account to store and access files across devices.
  • Access all your files by linking online storage accounts, like Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive
  • Access scanned PDFs that you’ve captured using the free Adobe Scan app.
  • Open your scans in Adobe Acrobat Reader to fill, sign, comment, and share."

2- Notability

This is another excellent app that you can use to " take notes, sketch ideas, annotate PDFs, mark-up photos, record lectures, provide audio feedback and more. Some of its features include:
  • Work with a variety of note-taking, journaling, and drawing tools like ink, highlighter, text, and audio.
  • Mark up imported textbooks, documents, lecture slides, class assignments, and images.
  • Instantly create notes from a selection of templates with customizable spacing and backgrounds.
  • Explore endless ideas with continuous page scroll.
  • Add photos, GIFs, web pages, and more.
  • Record and playback audio
  • Handwrite and sketch naturally
  • Present ideas in full screen without distracting toolbars when connected to an external display.
  • Work with two notes side-by-side.
  • Import PDFs, DOCs, PPTs, images, GIFs, and more.
  • Easily create searchable multi-page PDFs using the built-in Document Scanner."

3-PDFElement Lite

Use this app to " read, edit, annotate, convert and sign PDF files on the go. Some of its features include:
  • Font recognition
  • Change font, size, color, and more.
  • Single line or paragraph can be selected to move, cut, copy, paste or delete.
  • Add text box, text call-out, stamps, freehand drawing and eraser.
  • Highlight, underline or strike through context.
  • Directly edit your PDF forms with ease;
  • Sign your forms with handwriting signature
  • Combine different format files into a new PDF.
  • Import files from cloud storage including Dropbox,Google Drive,OneDrive,Box, or via WiFi wireless transfer.
  • Quickly snap a photo of anything into a PDF and share with others.

4- PDF Expert: Reader, Editor App

PDF Expert lets you read, annotate, edit, and fill out PDF forms. Some of its features include:
  • "Quickly open PDF documents from email, the web, or any app that supports “Open In…”
  • Enable full-text search, scroll, zoom in and out.
  • Mark important info in books or documents with the first class annotation tools: highlight, underline, strikethrough and others.
  • Insert predesigned stamps such as Approved, Not Approved, Confidential and more.
  • Add comments to the texts you read using sticky notes and drawing tools.
  • Fill out any PDF forms with interactive fields such as text fields, checkboxes and radio buttons.
  • Edit or modify existing text. The font, size, and opacity of the original text are automatically detected, so you can make edits easily.
  • Easily add, replace and resize images in your PDFs. Or change a logo or a graph. PDF Expert will handle those edits easily.
  • Use e-signatures to sign contracts and agreements on the go.
  • Sign documents with signatures synchronized across all your devices: Mac, iPhone, iPad."

5- iAnnotate 4

iAnnotate  allows you to read, annotate, and share PDFs, Microsoft Office files, images and web pages! Some of its features include:
  • "Annotate: Choose from the pen, highlighter, typewriter, stamp, straight-line, note, underline, strikeout, photo, voice recording, arrow, rectangle, circle, and date stamp tools.
  • Customize: Drag and drop tools to your custom toolbars. Swipe between toolbars, or open the Toolbox to access all your tools.
  • Access:  Connect with Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive (including OneDrive for Business) or open PDFs directly from email and other apps.
  • Search: Search documents in your local library and throughout your cloud storage.
  • Share: iAnnotate saves your markups directly to the PDF, so they can be viewed and edited in external PDF readers.
  • Web markup: Open a web capture tab and find the site you want to mark up. iAnnotate will convert it to a PDF for annotation.
  • Two documents: Work on two documents side-by-side, for even greater productivity.
  • Create: Create brand new PDFs with blank, lined, or graph-paper pages.
  • Secure: Full support for the iOS Data Protection and Keychain functions.
  • Modify: Add, delete, rotate, and rearrange pages in your documents."