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Sometimes you just need to view, edit, and markup a PDF on your phone or tablet. Whether you’re a student writing notes on your textbook or a businessperson electronically signing files, these apps can help you out.

These aren’t PDF readers meant for comic books 4 Android Apps For Reading Your PDF Comic Book Collection 4 Android Apps For Reading Your PDF Comic Book Collection Do you have comics saved in PDF format, or are you just looking for a good comic book reader? Check out these amazing Android apps. Read More or just simple readers – they’re made specifically for editing, highlighting, annotating, commenting, and signing. They’re much more than PDF viewers in that sense. For editing all kinds of office documents, you’ll want to check on these amazing office suites The 8 Best Office Suites On Android For Getting Work Done The 8 Best Office Suites On Android For Getting Work Done It is possible to get real work done on Android, but you've got a lot of options now when it comes to office suites. Let's examine the best of them. Read More .

So what are your options for a great PDF reader and editor? Read on to find out.

Adobe Reader (Free)

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Obviously, the biggest player in the room is Adobe, and their app certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s simple, and arguably the prettiest and most modern of the apps in this list. It isn’t exactly Material Design Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design? Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design? You may have heard about Android L and Material Design, but what exactly is this new design philosophy and how will it affect Android and other Google products? Read More , but it’s nice and gets the job done.

It opened our test document quickly, as seen below. A small ribbon along the top allows for editing, and once you tap on an option, you get further options for customizing it like pen size, color, etc.

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It’s relatively intuitive and easy to use. As a completely free and ad-free package, it’s a fantastic option for those on a budget. Add comments, text, signatures, and draw to your heart’s content.

For a simple, free, no-hassle experience, you can stop right here with Adobe Reader.

ezPDF Reader (Free / $3.99)

For an overload of features, you’ll want to go with ezPDF Reader. It has an older aesthetic, as you can see by the skeuomorphic bookcase view above. The action bar is also this odd red/orange color that just looks out of place.

Aside from the looks, though, it’s actually super useful. The top bar while viewing a PDF allows for making all sorts of annotations: adding text, commenting, drawing, creating shapes and so on. The controls are a bit less intuitive here, with some options having an undo button and some relying on an eraser. You can rearrange the top bar options with the X on the far right, which seems more like it should be an exit button.

The confusion doesn’t stop there – there’s also no clear way to Save or Save As. The Save As function is actually buried in the bottom of the menu accessed with the three dot button in the lower right, but no default Save option. The app just seems to save as you go along.

There is also a text reflow feature, a voice-reading function, automatic page-flipping, and the ability to export your annotations as an FDF. If there’s a feature you need, it’s probably here; it just might not be in the nicest packaging.

Unfortunately, ezPDF Reader is only free for 15 days before you’ll have to fork over $3.99. Still, that’s plenty of time to give it a try and see if it’s worth the money.

PDF Max (Free / $7.99)

In the looks department, PDF Max is right up there in the “nearly modern” category along with Adobe Reader. Once you get into the reading and annotating, though, things start looking a lot nicer.

A bar along the side has a bunch of options for editing your document. Tap on one, and some functions appear along the top: change the color, change the thickness or size, undo, redo, and many more options. It’s surprisingly intuitive, and we found it to have the easiest-to-use editing tools of any apps featured here.

It’s got all of the usual features – filling out forms, signing, commenting, drawing – as well as some nice extras like a text reflow view, text-to-speech reading, and cloud storage syncing.

The biggest downside is that the ad-free version is a whopping $7.99. The good news is that the free version is fully functional, but supported by advertisements. Despite having used the free version of PDF Max for a few weeks now on and off, we have yet to run into any intrusive ads.

The Winner Is…

The most complete and intuitive option here is easily PDF Max.

If you don’t need all the features of PDF Max, Adobe Reader is a solid free option without the frills.

ezPDF Reader could be worth a look only if you find that PDF Max doesn’t have a feature you desire, or you don’t want to shell out $7.99 for the ad-free version.

If you’re going to be working with a lot of PDFs, don’t miss these incredible free online tools 7 Free Online PDF Tools That Could Save You A Lot Of Work 7 Free Online PDF Tools That Could Save You A Lot Of Work The Web is full of awesome little tools that can help you alter PDF files without breaking a sweat. Let's look at lesser known PDF tasks that may come in handy for you. Read More that could save you a lot of work.

What’s Your Favorite PDF Editor?

There are lots of other PDF readers and editors out there. We looked at SmartQ Reader, Foxit MobilePDF, and iAnnotate (which has a great iOS version 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 ), but they didn’t quite stack up to those on this list.

What is your favorite PDF reader, editor, or annotator? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credits: Using stylus pen Via Shutterstock

  1. maggie
    July 19, 2016 at 6:09 am

    Thank you for recommendation. I use PDF Editor frequently, home, office and on the way to visit my client. So i need cross-platform software to help me edit PDF file. I use #PDFelement software to edit PDF document on Mac, Windows & iOS. It's very helpful. Now Android is really what i need. I will try it. Thank you.

  2. David C.
    July 14, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    That is, PDF Max is doing that to me - telling me the PDF files are invalid.

  3. David C.
    July 14, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Keeps telling me my PDF's are an "invalid file".
    They open fine with other PDF viewing and annotating apps.

  4. Kayla
    May 16, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    While Adobe is free to download, it is worth noting that it is not at all free to create and edit PDF's. You can view PDF's for free, but in order to edit or create you have to subscribe for $9.99/month.

  5. Kirsten Weymar
    November 9, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you very much! I am looking for an app that my music students can use to do homework (in pdf form). Sometimes, this requires writing words and other times it requires writing notes and other musical notation. One of my students uses Notability to do this, but at least half of my students have Windows or Android tablets. Will PDF Max do this? Thank you again!

  6. DOMONIQUE COLSON
    October 2, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Nice commentary ! I Appreciate the information . Does someone know if my business would be able to grab a fillable a form form to work with ?

  7. zupcsics
    June 15, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Are there any of Android PDF editing apps that edit files directly on Google Drive?

    Neither Xodo or PDF Max do this - both make local copies, and the re upload the results (with a new / different file name).

    • Scott Thomas
      August 4, 2015 at 2:19 am

      To get around this I use Autosync for Google Drive. With the free version you can auto sync any local folder with Drive. The paid ($5 I think) version gives you all the sync functionality of the desktop Drive app.

  8. Derek Everette
    May 28, 2015 at 4:20 am

    Great article. Just tried PDF Max and it's the best. It can annotate easily and has One Drive support (opens the pdf and re-saves to cloud when done). Just what I needed!

  9. Mohamed
    May 25, 2015 at 4:09 am

    I have an application forms pdf
    what is the best Android APP to use

  10. sarah
    May 2, 2015 at 8:00 am

    my pdf reader (on my tablet) was working like a dream...until i updated it! its now lost all its functions and seems to be pretty much useless? so strange and incredibly infuriating.

  11. Anonymous
    April 24, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    What about pdfannotator?

  12. James
    February 3, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Too bad you did not review Xodo. It is a great editor and is free and without ads. Better than any reviewed here.

    • Justin Dennis
      February 17, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      i'll have to check it out, thanks for the recommendation!

    • Giovanna
      April 23, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      I confirm. And it is the only one with which you can fill editable pdf, save them and, most important of all, make them visible and printable by every printer

      With the others, some text doesn't appear in the phase of printing

    • GOPESH
      September 2, 2016 at 9:09 am

      I agree with you. Xodo docs is the best.

  13. alan
    February 1, 2015 at 2:39 am

    Foxit?

    The latest version of Adobe Reader often hangs while making annotations.

    • Justin Dennis
      February 17, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      I tried Foxit out, as I said in the conclusion, but it didn't really work for me. Haven't had Adobe Reader hang for me (yet) though.

  14. frotaadriano
    January 30, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Do you know Mantano?
    It's better than those ones.

    • Justin Dennis
      February 17, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      thanks for the recommendation! I'll be sure to check it out.

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