User Manual

How to Edit PDF Files

Annotate, Highlight, Sign


PDF Annotations, Highlights, and Markups


You can view, create, edit, and delete various kinds of PDF notes, drawings, highlights, and markups. All annotations that you create or edit in GoodReader - notes, highlights, markups, and drawings - are saved in a PDF file so that you can see them later on a computer or in another copy of GoodReader on your colleague`s device.


First, transfer a file to GoodReader (see: How To Import Files & Folders), then tap a PDF file name to open it.


Two main gestures that you should use to work with annotations - quick single tap, and tap & hold. Depending on where you tap (on a text, on an existing annotation, or free space on a page), different popup menus presented to you.



iPad only: In addition to the popup menus, you can use the Side Menu that appears when the navigation menu is on. There`s the "pin" button on that menu. Use it to force this menu to be always on-screen for some massive annotating job, then close it when you`re done.


To edit or delete an existing annotation, tap it briefly, or tap and hold it for a while — two exceptional cases to note: text note popups and highlights/markups. When you tap a text note, a default action (opening a note) invoked right away. To access more options (deletion, color adjustment), tap and hold it for a while. On the contrary, when you tap and hold a highlight/markup, you activate a default action - text selection, which is more natural for an underlying text. To access unique options for a highlight (deletion, color adjustment), you have to tap it briefly.

Just memorize the following very simple rule: one of two gestures (quick tap or tap & hold) should always work. If one of them doesn`t, try another.



Besides self-explanatory text buttons, there are graphical buttons on the annotations menu:



The buttons:

  • Add Bookmark, Typewriter, Popup Note, Highlight, Underline, Squiggly Underline, Strikeout, Line, Arrow, Rectangle, Oval, Eraser, Freehand Drawing.


Pad only: Creating markups (highlights, underlines) works differently when done via the popup menus or via the Side Menu. While popup menus mark up a text that is already selected, using the Side Menu`s markup buttons activates a special "markup" mode, in which you draw over a text with your finger to mark it up.

While you can move a note or draw with a popup menu, there`s a more natural way to do it. Tap and hold a note or drawing for a while, then start moving it without releasing your finger.


You can see a summary of all annotations in a file by opening Locations window with this button:



Also, you can send this summary via email, or print it via AirPrint with the Actions button.



Enter your name in the Author field in application settings, PDF section, and all annotations that you create tagged with this name. This name appears in a summary list.



iPad only: Freehand drawing tool can work in two different modes - a "normal" mode, in which you draw with your finger over a PDF page, and a special drawing mode with the Handwriting Zoom Window, which allows to draw tiny details in a large zoomed window, while seeing an overview of an entire page.



Another helpful feature is the adjustable Palm Rest zone, where you can put your palm while drawing. Here are the buttons to control these features:



Buttons to adjust the position of the zoom window on a PDF page Undo and Redo buttons toggles between drawing modes - normal, and zoom mode toggles the adjustable Palm Rest zone on and off when dragged, adjusts the size of the Palm Rest zone, when tapped, toggles the entire combination of zoom window and palm rest zone on and off drag this arrow to adjust the size of the Auto Advance zone. When you`re drawing to the right of this arrow, the position of the zoom window on a PDF page is advanced to the right automatically Pinching with two fingers inside the zoom window scales its relative size on a PDF page. Palm Rest zone doesn`t work well with system-wide Multitasking Gestures (swipes with four fingers to reveal multitasking bar). When putting your wrist on the palm rest zone, the system will intercept this event and often confuse it with a four fingers swipe. If you plan to use the Plam Rest zone, it is recommended to switch Multitasking Gestures off in main device settings.



When doing a freehand draw in a normal mode, you can zoom or pan a page with two fingers. It can be useful when creating a long handwritten note that doesn`t fit on one screen. iPad only: The same gesture works in the "markup" mode that activated via the Side Menu`s markup buttons - Highlight, Underline.


All notes, highlights, markups, and drawings created outside GoodReader, and stored correctly in a PDF file, can be viewed or edited in GoodReader.


Many types of annotations, including drawings (lines, arrows, freehand drawings), can have a text comment associated with them. GoodReader allows you to view those comments and edit almost all of them.

Types of annotations that you can create and edit in GoodReader: popup ("sticky") notes with 7 different icons, text highlights, typewriter notes, text boxes with callouts, freehand drawings, lines, arrows, rectangles, ovals, "cloudy" shapes, text underlines (including "squiggly" ones), text deletion marks (strikeouts), text insertion marks, text replacement marks. You can freely adjust the color of all of the above.

The other types of annotations that you can view in GoodReader: polygons and polylines, rubber stamps, file attachments. All annotations that can be viewed can also be deleted. Also, polygons and polylines can be edited in a limited fashion (color, placement, size).

You can extract files from PDF file attachments.

Please note that PDF annotations are bound to a particular page. Therefore you are not able to draw across pages, even if you`re currently reading a PDF file in a double-page mode.



Note about the Mail app. You are not able to see your annotations in the iPhone/iPad`s standard Mail app. It doesn`t mean that annotations are missing, they`re there. It`s just a Mail app that is not capable of showing them. The mail app only shows you a basic preview of what`s inside a file. PDF Annotations is an advanced feature that is not a part of a "standard" PDF content. While it`s not a problem on a computer (most computer PDF viewers do support annotations, Adobe Acrobat Reader and Mac`s Preview are the most popular free ones), on iPad/iPhone/iPod, it is necessary to use an advanced PDF viewer with explicit support for PDF Annotations (like GoodReader app, or some other apps). Another solution is to flatten a file before sending it via email.

Note about the Preview app on Mac computers. While the Preview app shows most of the annotation types, it sometimes has trouble showing squiggly underlines, text insertion/replacement marks, and callouts. If you`re on a Mac, and you need to read a file with those annotation types, try Adobe Acrobat Reader app. Another solution is to flatten a file before sending it to a computer.


Related Questions


I have many pdf files - especially for technical and software subjects. I have never liked reading them on computers. However, reading them on my iPad, iPhone or Kindle Fire with Goodreader is an absolute pleasure. Easy to see text and images, bookmarking and the ability to organize all the books into categorized directories so I can quickly and easily find them has made Goodreader more efficient at maintaining and using large (and growing) libraries of books. There`s a lot in the interface and I`m learning more about it all the time. I no longer purchase paper tech manuals. Digital books are cheaper, I don`t have to go anywhere or wait for books to arrive in the mail. When I no longer need the books I don`t worry over their fate.

samash13, Review on the App Store

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