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The Best PDF Reader Apps for the iPad

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Reading is a great hobby to have with all the adventures you could go through by completing a novel, but as most libraries are still closed or not operating at total capacity, getting your hand on a hardcover book can be challenging. However, this can be solved as you can get most books on the internet and download them in a PDF format for easy access with cloud storage on the side.

Facing work situations can be challenging, and it can get trickier if you don’t have the right app to open a document. You could be stuck with wrong formats and incorrect messages if you use any app to get your work done. Hence, opening a PDF and reading the contents through a browser may be fine, but you could quickly improve your experience using a native PDF reader app for your iPad. We are here to provide you with a list of great apps that will make your lives easier. So, please stick with us through the end to get the best experience suited to your needs.

Why should you be using PDF Reader Apps?

PDF Reader Apps provide a particular set of use and benefits that will make your work a lot easier, and these are:

  • Format management
  • PDF editing
  • Compatibility with all PDF files
  • Encryption support for security
  • Sync across multiple devices

All these features make a compelling offering that makes PDF reader apps a no-brainer, and here are our tried and tested recommendations:

1. Adobe Acrobat Reader

Pricing: Free

Adobe Acrobat Reader works smoothly and supports all PDFs, including form-fillable and password-protected PDFs with various view modes. The classic vertical scroll mode to a two-page view works excellent in the landscape mode of the iPad. These are some features of Adobe Acrobat Reader that would be beneficial:

  • Annotate and highlight texts on PDFs with editing features from the drawing tools and sticky notes.
  • Views with a single page or continuous page scroll are also available to choose from according to your convenience.
  • Open and edit files from your iPad and various cloud services, including Adobe Cloud, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
  • A built-in scanner tool helps you convert any physical document into a PDF.

It brings some great features such as text reflow, contextual search, bookmark support, hyperlink support, annotation, and electronic signature support. You can also sync documents and use the adobe cloud by signing in to your account. Hence, Adobe Acrobat Reader is our go-to choice for the best PDF reader category.

2. Microsoft Word

Pricing: Free

Now seeing Microsoft Word in a PDF reader app might surprise you, but in reality, it works great. Word allows you to read all PDFs and convert them to a “.docx format” for editing, which is very useful if you have many work-related documents to work with. Here are some features for Microsoft Word:

  • Extensive font support with text search built-in
  • Allows you to include various shapes, tables, and pictures
  • Maintain a format with creative, powerful tools from Amazon

One big downside was that the conversion process took a little longer than the other apps, and some PDFs had format conversion issues. However, all these issues can be quickly fixed and substituted with all the features that Word provides. You get support for various fonts, quick fast lookup, plugin support, table support, and sync to OneDrive for all your excel needs.

3. Google Play Books

Pricing: Free

Google Play Books is another PDF reader worth considering for the easy cloud storage and the integrated e-books support. You can upload all your PDFs & EPUB books to the Google Play Books library, allowing cross-platform syncing and reading across all devices.

Some great features of Google Play Books:

  • Built-in dictionaries.
  • Cross-device and cross-platform syncing support.
  • Dark mode settings to adjust the background brightness for night reading.

However, if you ever have connectivity issues, Play Books stops working and doesn’t allow offline editing, which is the biggest downside. You can also use and download books from the Play Books marketplace and optimize the app for ease of use. It supports many features such as highlighting texts, built-in dictionaries, and cross-device syncing lets you save your PDFs across multiple devices.

4. WPS Office

Pricing: Free

We go to WPS Office, a multipurpose, versatile office suite that handles all records, bookmarking pages, and PDFs with equivalent assurance from views ranging from moderation to something somewhat more across the board. Here are some features that we enjoyed using:

  • Easy sync to multiple devices
  • Bookmark and “read where you left” support
  • Extensive editing tools
  • Multiple file support with excel, word, and presentation support

WPS Office PDF reader allows users to add and view bookmarks, leap to various page numbers, text search, and access PDFs from cloud storage. It’s not as stacked with PDF-driven features as different readers provide. However, this overall office suite highlights make it a decent inclusion to your application list if you’re searching for a free portable report manager that likewise can read and convert PDFs well. Also, the landscape view is just excellent and tailor-made for iPads.

5. Apple Books

Pricing: Free

Apple Books is the general native option equipped with all iPads as the software is built by Apple tailored to their devices. Everything works flawlessly, and it also supports all PDFs and e-books that you can directly purchase through the marketplace. We enjoyed using it to read all the files, but the main drawback is that it doesn’t allow editing, which is a deal-breaker for most people.

Some unique features of Apple Books:

  • Allows you to download a wide variety of books from the marketplace.
  • You can also add bookmarks, sticky notes, and highlight texts in the PDF for better management.
  • Dark theme support to make reading easy during the nighttime.
  • PDFs can also be quickly printed using Apple’s AirPrint.

If you’re an offline user, you’re out of luck as you won’t be able to get any new e-books or PDFs imported and stuck with the previously added files. However, the auto-sync with all Apple devices is an excellent feature as it allows you to stop on one device and pick up where you left off on another device without any issues.

6. Markup – Annotation Expert

Pricing: Free, Pro – $10
Markup – Annotation Expert is a beefier, proficient situated rendition with a PDF reader’s comparison and is best for iPads. As the name suggests, the application incorporates markup and annotation support for all PDFs and a highlighter to help with the backing for sound notes and comments. It has excellent editing and reading capabilities making it another great choice that you could use. Here are some key benefits of using Markup:

  • Easy and near unlimited cloud storage
  • Impressive annotation and editing tools
  • Landscape mode for better viewing angles and a clean UI to boot

Markup’s cloud storage allows a lot of capacity and with the support for other choices, like Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud. Limits on the number of e-books and the number of documents stored are eliminated on the $9.99 Pro version. A paid membership to Kdan’s Creativity 365 office suite of devices incorporates superior features and works flawlessly with all the PDF files you have.

7. iAnnotate 4

Pricing: $10

iAnnotate is a smooth PDF reader and annotator that accompanies many decent features and customizations for your PDF perusing and altering accommodation. You can use any PDF file in this PDF reader, look for terms, words and catchphrases and explore through bookmarks or a constant scroll mode. The program’s real sign of beauty is the fantastic arrangement of annotation features that permit you to add notes, draw, feature, underline throughout the document. You can likewise add custom signatures to personalize it.

Here are some notable features that iAnnotate 4 provides:

  • Web supported downloads and cloud integration
  • Full offline mode
  • Extensive editing options with format management

A Web capture mode allows you to change web pages into PDFs for various annotation edits and simple sharing across multiple devices. You could also import documents straight off the internet and save them locally on your device for offline reading.

8. PDFpen 6

Pricing: $7

PDFpen 6 is another one of the best PDF readers and editors for iOS devices and, more specifically, for the iPad. This versatile application permits you to open and edit PDF documents, alter, annotate, apply bookmarks, pictures, and search through texts. These features make it amazingly simple to deal with seamless structure throughout essential documents.

Here are some important features to note:

  • You can also “smooth” out the format for the documents for simpler similarity across the file and set passwords to secure files.
  • Save or store documents across a wide assortment of cloud services like iCloud, Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive.

It might cost you a little more than a portion of the other free PDF readers. However, PDFpen 6 gives a great set of features for altering PDFs on your iPad, and it’s justified in case you’re a professional who needs to manage many PDFs quickly. It also brings a clean UI with a dark mode that can be great for night owls that read in the night.

9. Foxit PDF Reader

Pricing: Free

Foxit PDF Reader is another PDF reader that worked great and provided us an enjoyable experience. The UI is simple and has a seamless experience importing multiple PDFs and e-Books at once through the cloud or your local storage. Here are some features of Foxit PDF Reader:

  • Multiple viewing options, including a single page and continuous scrolling mode for landscape devices such as an iPad.
  • You can also insert a digital signature to any PDF.
  • There is also a “Speak” feature that allows the app to read out documents, essentially making them work as a Podcast.
  • There is also password support to encrypt documents.

You can use multiple features to edit and read PDF files with support for password-protected files and encryption support. You could also use annotations and text search to bookmark and edit all your PDF files.

10. Documents By Readdle

Pricing: Free

Documents by Readdle is an undeniable good PDF editor and a PDF reader. You can import pdf files from the cloud, PC or even download them straight from the web and save them for use later. Some of the features that Documents by Readdle provide are:

  • Read and annotate pdf documents with convenient use across multiple devices.
  • Wi-Fi transfers also permit you to move documents from across your iPhone or iPad to a Mac or PC and the other way around.
  • You could also use text search and other editing options to customize the PDF all you want.
  • Documents also support various other file formats and allow encryption and password-locked files.

The UI brings unique and straightforward features that make it an absolute necessity to have “Documents” as the PDF reader application of choice for all iPads and iPhones. Not just will it help you in editing PDFs, it will likewise also assist you in keeping all your documents sorted.

11. PDF Expert

Pricing: Free, Premium – $5

If you are looking for an offline feature-rich PDF editor and reader app for your iPad, then PDF Expert is only the way to go. This app allows you to edit, read and annotate all PDF documents. You can also highlight different texts, add comments to various locations, embed shapes, and draw figures with support for audio files.

Some great features from PDF Expert:

  • Excellent tools for sorting and grouping files and texts.
  • The dark mode supports a low strain to your eyes.
  • Support for encrypted and password-protected PDFs and text search on the entire PDF library.

PDF Expert has excellent features but is not unique at any cost as all the features it provides are already available through other apps. The only saving grace is if you want more features, you can download the premium version of the app for a small amount of fee.

12. PDFElement

Pricing: Free

PDFElement is a decent PDF editor and reader designed to boost productivity with all the features it brings. This jack of all trades app allows you to read, edit, convert, annotate and sign any PDF files. It also supports accessing files from cloud storage such as iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and DropBox. These are some features of PDFElement that we thought were worth mentioning:

  • Sync files and documents across devices.
  • Add texts, stamps, pictures, highlight, and underline text with all the editing tools it provides.
  • Convert PDFs into different file formats, including Word, PPT, HTML, etc.

PDFElement becomes one of the best free PDF editor apps out of advanced features that can rival higher-tier expensive options.

13. PDF Reader – Document Expert

Pricing: Free

PDF Reader – Document Expert is another PDF reader recommended by various users due to its features and the clean PDF viewing interface. The app supports password-protected files and provides a scanning tool that allows you to scan physical documents and convert them into PDF files on the go. Here are some features of PDF Reader- Document Expert that will make your experience wonderful:

  • You can quickly view, scan and edit all PDF files.
  • Text Search and support for landscape format enhance the reader’s experience.

PDF Reader is an ideal PDF reader and editor that provides capabilities for managing and transferring all PDF files. However, the app’s paid nature hinders its features, and the purchase can seem to be a problem for budget consumers.

14. Xodo PDF Pro

Pricing: Free

Xodo PDF Pro is a PDF reader app for the iPad, which allows you to view, edit, and annotate various PDFs. This app is perfect for professionals with a lot of editing work with PDFs, and with cross-platform support, you can rest easy that it would work on all devices, which makes it worth downloading the app.

Here are some features of Xodo PDF Pro:

  • Seamlessly render and edit complex PDFs and encrypted documents and files.
  • Scan images to turn them into PDF format.
  • Easily sync and convert PDF files.
  • You can also allow multiple users to access and collaborate on a document

Xodo PDF Pro is a free PDF editor for all iPads, which provides you with the option of collaboration on a document with other users.

15. KyBook 3 Ebook Reader

Pricing: Free

KyBook 3 is a full-fledged app that can manage many PDFs and other e-books for the iPad, making the experience an enjoyable one. It is also free and can be downloaded from the App Store, allowing you to manage all your PDF files.

Some impressive features of KyBook 3 Ebook Reader:

  • Save books to iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive
  • Manage the content, add bookmarks and sticky notes for a cleaner reading experience.

This app for the iPad supports many e-book formats such as EPUB, FB2, RTF, PDF, MOBI, CBR, CBZ, CBT. You can also use it to mark annotations and convert the text to audio for a great listening experience that allows you to take the most advantage of e-books.

General FAQs

Are PDF Readers safe to use?

Yes, PDF Readers are entirely safe to use, and the Apple store also scans through all files so you can rest easy and download any of the above recommendations without any worries. You could also block access to specific permissions making your device extra secure.

Which PDF reader is best?

There is no one best PDF reader as every one of the apps will have cons depending on the situation. Still, some top recommendations are Google Play Books, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Apple Books, as they provide some of the fastest processing times and an entirely cost-free experience.

Is there a better PDF reader than Adobe?

Yes and No as many PDF readers provide their cons, but if you would like a fast PDF reader, then Google Play Books and Apple Books are some excellent options, and some offline options can be Windows Word and WPS office which can be of use without any data connection.

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