How to take notes on iPad with PDF Expert

Need to draft a to-do list or capture your impressions while reading a book? You may have used the Notes app on your iPad, and if you want to unlock a wider range of capabilities and get a powerful note-taking app, consider the go-to PDF editor - PDF Expert. Besides note-taking, it provides an option to create a PDF from photos, scan a document, merge files, sync your files with the cloud storage, create your own digital library, and much more.

That’s not what you expect from a PDF editor, right? Let’s learn how to take notes on iPad with PDF Expert.

Create a new note

Tap the blue plus icon at the bottom right and select Note. PDF Expert offers eight different paper types including lined and grid pages. Whether you want to jot down ideas for your thesis or take notes for a Math class, you can select the best option. After choosing the paper type and color, tap Done.

A one-page file is ready for your notes! To add more pages, tap  at the top left. Here, you’ll see the layout of your document. Select  Insert at the top to add a new page. PDF Expert will offer you to Add Blank Page, Scan Page, or add Another File. Choose Blank page, then the paper type and color, and tap Done. You can easily reorder existing pages by using drag and drop.

Read a book and take notes at once

Imagine you have a textbook with a list of questions you need to answer. Or maybe you want to write a summary for a particular page or chapter. In PDF Expert, you can add a blank page for notes right to your book. For example, you can read a page on the left and take notes on the right. It helps you focus on your work instead of constantly jumping between a book and a note-taking app.

Open your book and tap  at the top right. Tap Two Pages and enable the First Page Alone.

Now, let’s add a blank page for writing notes on your iPad. Tap  at the top left and then choose  on the top toolbar. Select the page appearance and tap Done. If you need to move the inserted page, long-tap it and use drag and drop.

You can always extract the pages with your notes as a separate PDF file to review and store conveniently. Tap  and then Select at the top right. Tick the needed pages and tap Extract on the upper toolbar. In a pop-up message, name your file, choose where to save it, and tap Done. Now, you have your notes in one place!

Use Shapes, Sound notes, and Apple Pencil

Once you open your file, tap Annotate to access powerful annotation tools. When you need to write or draw, select the Pen tool on the toolbar and choose its color, line thickness, and tip sensitivity. You can create four different pen patterns and quickly switch between them while writing. To save the selected pen patterns, tap the Star icon. It will update your pen selection in the tool Pens available in the toolbar via the Plus button.

If you need to delete your writing, select the Eraser tool  and wipe the text out. Then, tap the Eraser once again to deactivate it.

To make taking notes on iPad with a stylus more natural, enable the wrist protection. It allows you to rest your palm on the screen while writing and prevents iPad from reacting to this touch. In PDF Expert, tap the Settings icon at the top left. Open PDF Viewer > Wrist protection and select one of the options.

One final tip: You can move the annotation toolbar to make writing more comfortable. Tap the bottom of the toolbar and move it to the right, left, or top of the screen. For example, if you’re left-handed, you can drag the toolbar to the right to manage tools with the right hand while writing.

If you’re not a fan of handwriting, just type your notes. Select the Text tool  on the toolbar and tap where you want to add text. You can select the text font size, color, font family, as well as advanced settings for border style, thickness, and color. When you’re finished, tap Done or tap the Text tool once again.

You can always tap text to edit or delete it as well as resize and move the text field.

If you love visualizations, you can build diagrams and schemes in your notes. Select the Shape tool , choose the shape you wish and its color. You can easily move, resize, and combine shapes to present the information in the most beautiful and convenient way.

Use sound annotations to capture sudden thoughts or emotions. If writing something down isn’t enough, just say it! Long tap on a page and select Sound. Say everything you wish and tap the stop button when you’re finished. A small sound annotation icon — easy to drag and drop — will appear on a page. Tap it to listen to your note. It’s a great way to comment on a document and literally say what you think.

All your notes are saved in PDF, making it easy to share and view them on multiple devices. You can keep your notes organized with PDF Expert’s built-in file manager. You are always backed up: PDF Expert works with all major cloud storage options, so you can access your files anywhere. Also, if you have PDF Expert on Mac, you can continue editing your notes there.

Bonus for all learners, PDF Expert provides a 50% educational discount for students and educators. 

Download PDF Expert and start taking notes on your iPad with ease.

Anastasiia Gryshchuk Anastasiia Gryshchuk

PDF Expert

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