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If you want to move beyond dry pens and yellow markers for reading and studying purposes, the iPad is perfectly designed for reading, highlighting, and annotating ebooks, PDFs, and other documents.
When you take the time to highlight text as you read, you’re able to review and make use of what you read more efficiently. The apps featured here make it easy to markup, review and export annotations from eBooks and PDFs, and are particularly useful on the larger, full sized iPad.
PDF Highlighter ($4.99)
We have reviewed a couple of PDF reader apps for the iPad, including iAnnotate ($9.99, reviewed here) and Easy Annotate ($4.99), but the reader I most use now is the simple PDF Highlighter ($4.99), thanks to its unique highlighter review feature.
PDFs can be imported into Highlighter via iTunes or preferably Dropbox. To highlight text, tap and hold where you want to start the highlight and release when the blue handles appear. You can then slide the bottom handle across the text you want to highlight. From there you get the option to apply a color highlight, the underliner or the strikeout tool. You can tap on an existing highlight to change one to four other colors: yellow, green, blue, and pink.
At the top of the app, in an opened document, you can tap the pencil icon to use the sketch tool, or create a text note or voice memo.
Highlighter’s review feature makes it most useful for study purposes. Tap on the review icon on the left side, and all your highlights and annotations appear for easy reading. Tapping a highlight links you to its corresponding page.
Annotations can also be emailed as a formatted version, plain text, or as an attachment.
If you need or want to highlight and review webpages, Diigo Browser (Free) for the iPad is good option.
Diigo contains features similar to other web browsers for the iPad, but its highlighter feature makes it the only iOS app of its kind that allows you to bookmark webpages and save highlights to your Diigo library account, where they can be reviewed later in the app or any web browser.
I use an IFTTT recipe that automatically bookmarks all articles to Diigo that I save to Pocket. This allows allow me to open selected documents in the Diigo app and highlight them, as is done on the web version of Diigo.
Other Highlighter Options
The Amazon Kindle app also contains improved highlighter and review features, so does Apple’s latest version of iBooks and the DRM-averse Marvin e-reader – which you choose will depend on where you get your books from.
If you’re a Evernote user, you probably should know that its latest version includes a highlighter, located in the toolbar of its built-in keyboard. The highlights made in the iPad naturally get synced to all your other devices, making Evernote an even more robust study tool.
Finally, our recently reviewed Voice Dreams ($9.99) is an iOS voice reader app that also allows users to add and save highlights and notes, which can be read back to you by the app. The app’s bookmarking tool is unique in that users can tap and bookmark paragraphs in a document as it is voice-read.
These highlighter and annotation tools make the iPad the perfect device for paperless reading and studying.
What apps and tools do you use your iPad for annotating, highlighting and studying? Let us know in the comments below.
Image Credits: John Karakatsanis Via Flickr