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I have already reviewed a couple of useful PDF applications, including Apple’s Preview How To Use The New & Improved Tools In Mountain Lion's Preview App How To Use The New & Improved Tools In Mountain Lion's Preview App Getting on the paperless trail these days couldn't be easier (see Aaron's new guide on the subject), with so many excellent desktop and mobile apps. Well, with the latest Mountain Lion update, Apple must of... Read More  and iOS apps iAnnotate iAnnotate: The Best iPad App for Annotating PDFs and Word Documents iAnnotate: The Best iPad App for Annotating PDFs and Word Documents When it comes to annotating and reviewing PDF documents on the iPad, iAnnotate PDF ($9.99) is my go-to solution. If there's an option to download a .MOBI or .EPUB ebook or .PDF version of a... Read More  and iBooks Why Apple's iBooks Is The Best E-Reader For Making Annotations Why Apple's iBooks Is The Best E-Reader For Making Annotations Read More , but there’s always room for other PDF apps that offer a different approach to annotating and managing PDFs. The newest app in this genre is Easy Annotate ($5.99; $2.99 during launch offer).

When it comes to PDF apps, I consider (among other things) how easy it is to import documents into the app, how many taps it takes to access and use annotation tools, and what features are included for reviewing annotations. It’s time to see how Easy Annotate keeps up with the competition.

Importing Documents

Similar to other PDF apps, documents can be imported into Easy Annotate via iTunes File Sharing, Dropbox or the mobile Safari app. All added documents can be found in the app’s library.

Easy_Annotate_Library

To import from iTunes, select your iPad in iTunes, click on the Apps tab and scroll down to File Sharing. Click on Easy Annotate in the list of apps and then drag and drop documents you want to export to the app.

ITunes export

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To import from Dropbox, allow Easy Annotate to connect to your Dropbox account, and from there you can import documents from your cloud directory. By default Easy Annotate doesn’t make a copy of documents you import, but you can copy documents to the local directory so they can be annotated independently.

To import from Safari, download a PDF in the mobile web browser, tap anywhere on the page, and then tap on Open In… From there select Easy Annotate to have the document exported to the Easy Annotate library.

Open_in

Exporting Documents

Documents in Easy Annotate can be sent to a printer, exported to Dropbox or email, or opened in another supporting iOS app. Each of the exports, except to Dropbox, allows you to export the entire document or just selected pages, and you can choose to embed annotations so they remain editable in other PDF applications, flatten the document whereby annotations can’t be manipulated, or export and ignore the annotations altogether. It would be useful if the annotations – especially highlights – could be reviewed outside the document itself, as per rival app iAnnotate.

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Annotating Documents

In addition to the regular marking tools, Easy Annotate also includes a feature for creating links between documents and pages in the app library and also opening documents side-by-side.

2 Easy Annotate  Research

As for annotating text, Easy Annotate includes what I would refer to as “annotate mode”. Tap on the pen and paper button in the toolbar and then select the annotation tool you want to use. When a tool is enabled, you can keep applying it repeatedly without needing to re-tap buttons every time you want to annotate.

1 Easy Annotate  Annotating

While in annotation mode you can still navigate pages by tapping on the arrows in the toolbar or by swiping with two fingers. You will have to tap the annotation button again to change tools. If you prefer not to use the annotation button approach, you can simply select text and choose your tools from the pop-up menu. The annotation tools allow you to change the highlight and pen colors, adjust the opacity of the markings, and copy text and drawings you make.

Easy Annotate annotation

Create Document Links

To create document links between documents you will need to open both documents side by side, which is done with the iPad in landscape orientation. Select the text you want to link, and then tap on Link in the pop-up menu.

Easy_Annotate_1

In the other document, select a section of text and tap Match link. The linked text will be highlighted in an orange box, and the first link will be highlighted in blue. This feature is useful for quickly linking to and opening up related documents in the library.

Easy_Annotate_2

Great Study Tool

The unique features of Easy Annotate make the app very useful for study purposes. Documents can also be searched, managed into local folders, and there are buttons in the toolbar for undoing and redoing actions in the app. The tools in Easy Annotate may not be as expansive as the ones in iAnnotate, but the side-by-side document feature may be useful for many users.

Download: Easy Annotate ($5.99)

Let us know what you think of Easy Annotate and what features you would like to see added.

  1. Freek Sanders
    May 19, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    We just launched our newest update: 2.3. We added a web browser which can be used next to your pdf, and through which you can easily download pdfs. We hope you like it.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      May 19, 2015 at 6:37 pm

      Freek Sanders, thanks for letting us know about the update. I'll check it out.

    • Silas Rodrigues
      August 6, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Hi!

      The connection feature is not working on my iPad mini 2.
      I tried connecting to google drive and iCloud but I can't see any of my pdfs inside these clouds.

      I can't even browse into my google drive folders. When I tap on "Google Drive" It starts loading and the Library browser keeps blank forever...

      Can anyone help me here pleeeease? :(

  2. Freek Sanders
    March 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    UPDATE 2.0:
    * Greatly improved annotating menu
    * Greatly improved settings menu
    * Google Drive support
    * WebDAV support

    • Bakari Chavanu
      March 2, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      Freek, thanks for update. I'll definitely check it out.

  3. Freek Sanders
    March 27, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    UPDATE 1.7:
    * Splitscreen in portrait mode
    * Send linked PDFs with working links
    * Option to add new empty PDFs for notes
    * Resize the splitscreen (adjust the size of the two PDFs)
    * One-page view in landscape (auto-resize a page to use fullscreen)

    COMING SOON:
    * Google Drive support

    • Bakari Chavanu
      March 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks for letting us know about these updates. I look forward to checking them out.

  4. Freek Sanders
    January 9, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Today we launched update 1.4
    - we added an in-app list of annotations, so highlights, etc can be reviewed outside the PDF. Thanks for the suggestion Bakari!

  5. Robine
    November 29, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    The app works very well! The linking is innovative!
    Great for business professionals!
    My tip: With a (Bamboo) pen it's easy to highlight tekst and to make notes.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 30, 2013 at 12:44 am

      Robine, thanks for your feedback. Glad you found the app useful.

  6. Freek Sanders
    November 29, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Hello Bakari,
    Thanks for the review!

    More info and video can be found at http://www.easy-annotate.com

    We welcome any comments and feature requests :D

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 30, 2013 at 12:45 am

      You're welcome. Thanks again for letting me know about it.

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