4 Best PDF Annotator and Markup Apps for All Platforms

There are PDF editors available for every platform, but not all of us are looking for a PDF editor. Sometimes, all we need is a PDF annotator and markup tool that allows us to highlight important parts or add comments and thoughts. This is especially useful when we need to revisit a PDF at a later point and don’t want to waste time going through the entire document again.

Instead of using paid PDF editors that offer advanced features we don’t really need, it’s better to opt for a PDF annotator and markup tool that focuses on marking, annotating, and commenting. Whether you are using an Android, iPad, Windows, or Mac, there is an app for each platform that can help you with these tasks.

1. PDF Annotator and Marker for Android

One of the highest-rated and free PDF annotator and marker apps on the Play Store is Xodo PDF Reader and Editor. What sets Xodo apart is its functional user interface and cool features. Annotating and adding comments is as easy as long-tapping anywhere on the page. A small box will pop up with options to add comments, draw shapes like squares, circles, and lines, highlight text using colors, underline or strikeout, or simply type your thoughts. The best part is that all these presets are customizable, allowing you to change color, font type and size, thickness, and even opacity while using the annotating tools.

Xodo also offers the ability to add signatures to documents or fill-in forms right on your Android smartphone. It even allows you to add custom images to pages and stamp them if necessary. Additionally, Xodo provides a translation feature using Google Translate and a built-in dictionary to find the meaning of selected text. It also has a speech-to-text feature that reads selected words out loud, which is helpful when you’re unsure about the pronunciation.

Xodo can connect with cloud storage service providers like Dropbox and Google Drive, enabling real-time collaboration on annotating and marking PDFs, making it useful for students working on projects.

2. Best PDF Annotation App for iPad

While Xodo is available on Android, it is also available on iTunes and remains one of the best PDF annotator and marker apps for iPad. Another notable PDF annotator for iPad is PDF Expert by Readdle. PDF Expert offers features like adding notes and comments, choosing font type and color, highlighting, filling and signing forms, and even custom stamps for annotating and giving feedback. It fully utilizes the Apple Pencil and allows you to draw on pages and images using either the pencil or your fingers.

PDF Expert also supports syncing data from popular cloud storage platforms and offers security features like password protection and file encryption using Apple’s Data Protection.

PDF Expert is available for $9.99, and subscribing to the in-app purchase provides additional features such as full text and image editing, redacting sensitive text, changing opacity, and adding links.

3. PDF Annotator and Marker for Windows

Acrobat’s PDF reader is not only free but also powerful. It allows you to add notes, comments, change font types, sizes, and colors. You can easily add stamps or create and upload your own customized ones. Signing documents and filling forms is also made easy and accurate.

While highlighting notes, attaching files, and recording audio are free, advanced editing features like creating and editing PDF files require a subscription to the DC Pro plan, which can be expensive at $15/month. Under Annotations, you can insert various shapes, but adding your own custom shapes is not possible. However, you can customize the properties of these shapes, such as size and color, by right-clicking on them.

Adobe Acrobat DC Reader also offers a built-in converter to convert PDF files to popular MS Office formats like Word and Excel.

4. PDF Annotator and Marker for macOS

For macOS, Adobe Reader DC is the default way to read and annotate PDF files. It offers similar features to its Windows counterpart. However, if you’re willing to pay for advanced features, PDFelement 6 Pro is a great option. It not only allows you to read and annotate PDFs but also serves as a full-fledged PDF editor. You can easily add and edit text and images, sign documents using images or hand gestures, and perform regular font and text functions like type, size, color, and adding notes and comments. PDFelement 6 Pro also includes OCR functionality, which allows you to convert scanned images into editable PDF files.

If you prefer a free option, Preview comes pre-installed on all MacBooks. It allows you to manage font type, size, and color, fill forms, add speech bubbles for comments or notes, sign documents, and add/remove pages. However, if you need more features and a user-friendly interface, there are better options available.

In conclusion, there are several PDF annotator and markup apps available for different platforms, and many of them offer similar features. You can choose the one that best suits your personal use case and preferences.

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