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Recommendation of free PDF software for Windows and Mac aiming to highlight/markup content

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Posted by Carlos
Oct 6, 2020 at 03:15 PM


It is the first time I post in this forum. As an academic from Brazil, I have found the forum’s discussions very resourceful, high-level.
You may help me by recommending free PDF software for Windows and Mac aiming to highlight/markup content.
Software having OCR capability would be a big plus.
Free software (or at least freemium) is needed.

Use case:
We are teaching reference management to students at the university.
Basically: Zotero (http://www.zotero.org) + a PDF highlighter/markup companion software.
For now, Foxit Reader is being considered the PDF highlighter/markup tool because it is available for Windows and Mac (easier/simpler to teach a unique PDF tool to an audience using Windows and Mac computers) and seemed more powerful than the free Adobe Acrobat.
For Windows, we also tried the free PDF-XChange Editor (https://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-editor), and is outstanding. Much better than Foxit Reader and it also provides OCR for free.
Then, why not adopting PDF-XChange Editor? Because it is only for Windows.

Our scenario:
(a) Keep Foxit Reader for the sake of cross-platform compatibility, also facilitating the teaching process.
(b) Find out another free PDF tool better than Foxit Reader and that is also cross-platform.
(c) Find out a free PDF tool for Mac that somehow rivals PDF-XChange Editor. In that case, we would make the teaching process more complex by exploring different PDF programs for Windows and Mac, but knowing that they are better for the students because they provide better functionality than our choice up to now (Foxit Reader).

Thank you very much,


Posted by Dr Andus
Oct 6, 2020 at 11:48 PM


Have you looked at Kami?

While it might look a bit too simpe (it’s a Chrome extension), it gets the basic jobs done and it saves your annotations in your account, so it’s cross-platform, as you can open the same PDF on any computer (as long you are using Chrome as your browser), and Kami adds on the annotation layer.


Posted by Cyganet
Oct 7, 2020 at 05:20 PM


Perhaps Xodo? http://www.xodo.com  It has a web app rather than a desktop program. I find the Android app very easy to use.


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