Annotating PDF

Is there a way to annotate PDFs in the Scivener iPad app? In the macOS version, I can highlight PDFs within Scrivener, and I can also easily move between a PDF in Scrivener and a separate PDF reader (using the curled arrow button in the lower right corner).

Are there similar capabilities in iOS? If not, is there a good workflow I can use to move a PDF back and forth between Scrivener and a separate PDF reader on my iPad?

  1. I don’t think there is any pdf annotation facility that ios Scriv provides — just like there is none such in desktop scriv. As you know, what you are doing on your desktop is opening the embedded pdf in an external app and marking it up.

  2. iOS was built with the idea of an OS without an open file system — meaning there is no structure of files/folders that apps have general all-access to. Each app is its own fiefdom and has native access only to its own created or imported files. On that model, the only way to “share” a file is not to hold it in common but to generate a copy of it that another app can call its own. Though things have developed from there (the Files app reveals a place files can be stowed in common), it is still largely functionally true that ios works as described above. In particular, the pdf embedded in your Scriv project is “owned by” (is within the fiefdom” of the Scriv app). No other app can touch it. Period.

  3. Which brings us to the third question: what is a good workflow for copying pdfs out of ios scriv into a pdf markup app and then copying the result back in (with replacement) into Scriv. I am not sure I know an optimal answer to this, but here is one way: Pull up the pdf in Scriv. Tap the share button and choose Open in Another App. Open the pdf in your chosen pdf markup app. I chose GoodReader. Markup the result in that app. Then export the result to the Files area somewhere you find sensible. Now, get back in Scriv and hit the import button at the bottom of the Binder. Choose Browse. Navigate in the Files area presented and tap the modified pdf file. This will import the annotated pdf into the same place you left standing in Scriv, namely right after the original pdf in Scriv. Verify you have what you want and then send the original unmarked pdf to the scriv Trash. I don’t think it gets any easier than this, but maybe some iOS maven will drop in and have a genius way to share with us. One downside here is the residual clean up: Since there is no real “sharing” going on here, there are now three copies of the markedup pdf floating around — two of which yu want to get rid of. There is one held by your pdf reader (probably), e.g GoodReader. There is the one you exported to the Files area. Finally, there is the one you want to keep that is now embedded in your scriv project. The other two are a cleanup job for you.

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