PDF Powerhouse Apps

There are two must-have apps from Readdle on my iPad that make working with PDFs a dream. They are:

  • Documents [free] – serves as both a file manager and a reader/viewer/media player for PDF, MS Office, ePub, images and videos.
  • PDF Office [$4.99/mo – $39.99/yr] – create PDF documents and fillable forms from scratch or from a scanned form, scan documents and receipts, annotate, edit and even sign PDF documents.

Here’s a quick look at the business side of PDF Office . . .

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/119929726]

PDF Office is also a powerhouse app for research. Here are some examples:

  • The built-in scanner can capture pages from books, documents and other research ephemera. Use the annotation tools to highlight interesting information and add notes. You could even use a note to create a source citation that stays with these research snippets.
  • Create your own fillable PDF forms with PDF Office and then use it to fill them in while you are researching. If you prefer a form that already exists, scan it using PDF Office and turn it into a fillable PDF form in seconds.
  • Edit text in existing PDF files.
  • Use these features to download your favorite research worksheets and forms, customize them and turn them into forms you can fill in right on your iPad, then send the completed form to Evernote, your research notes folder or even a research cousin.
PDF Office will find and create form fields for you.

How does Documents fit into the workflow? Although PDF Office has a PDF reader built into it, Documents can read all kinds of files. If someone emails you a Word file, you can open and read it in Documents. It also has an impressive file management system giving you access to your online storage (iCloud, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, OneDrive and more) and even your desktop if you wish. It also has  annotation capabilities, can fill in PDF forms and it handles large files with grace.

Documents File Manager
  • Keep you forms, reference guides, user manuals and other frequently-needed research material in Dropbox folders so you can get to them from just about anywhere without overloading your iPad. With Documents, these materials are always within easy reach and it’s just as quick to return them to their online “shelf” once you have finished using them.
  • It will also manage your growing collection of PDF forms. Use it to retrieve a copy of a blank form, fill it in and then forward the completed form to the appropriate folder and/or Evernote.
  • Documents file management features make it easy to keep things organized between multiple online storage accounts. It copies/moves multiple files with ease.

These two apps add some amazing capabilities to my iPad. Not only are they useful when researching on the road, they make life a lot easier when working at home too.


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