I reviewed PDF Expert 5 around a year ago, and I was really impressed with it. The Readdle team have released a new major update for it, PDF Expert 6, which boasts a new design, better search, and the ability to edit PDF text, images and links as if they were a Word document – something that I haven’t found on any other program, whether that is on desktop or mobile.
The major feature of PDF Expert 6 is something that I haven’t found on any platform or program, and is a great selling point of PDF Expert 6. You can edit and modify the text in PDFs, add and replace images, and add links to text and pictures. One reason that people may not like PDFs is the inability to edit them – however, PDF Expert has some magic worked into it that allows you to edit that PDF. If the PDF you got sent has sensitive information, you’ll be able to hide that to prevent other people from seeing it. I’m really impressed by this, and it certainly is a great new feature of PDF Expert 6, and will be a major selling point for the app. The PDF editing feature does come as a £10 in app purchase, but it is for people with a very specific use case, and not all people would need this ability.
PDF Expert 6 has an all new interface, which allows you to do more complex actions such as batch moving files, creating .zip files, tagging, and syncing files in fewer taps. I found that moving multiple files in the old PDF Expert 5 was quite cumbersome, however in the updated version, I can easily move 100 PDFs into a new folder. I can also zip these 100 PDFs into a file that I can easily email or share to other people.
Unzipping can also be done in PDF Expert – simple import a .zip file, and when you tap on it all the individual documents in that file are extracted into the folder with the zip. I work with zip files a lot, and found that whilst Workflow offered a good but clumsy solution, it was still pretty difficult to work with PDFs on iPad. However, now I can simply import the zip into PDF Expert, tap on it, and it’s extracted. Great!
Another change that I quite like is the larger file preview thumbnails. These allow you to see the contents of a file such as a PDF or a spreadsheet. The Readdle team has made the icons bigger, and this lets you quickly glance at the contents of a file. I have found that it does take a while for the spreadsheet or PowerPoint preview to come up.
Readdle has added great support for working with documents that are stored in the cloud. If you use Dropbox, Google Drive, Box or OneDrive to store your files, you can allow PDF Expert 6 to access those cloud storage providers, and you can edit your documents in there without downloading the document, saving both time and data usage. There is also a noticeable improvement in the cloud sync speed, which is also a great improvement.
If you work with sensitive data, you’ll be glad to know that you can password protect individual PDFs. Note that there is no way of recovering the password if you forget it, so you need to be careful and not forget it. The individual document protection does also not work with Touch ID, and it would be great if it did. You can also protect the whole of the app by setting a password, and this does work with Touch ID.
Search has also been enhanced with the new update. You can search through different file types, and you can also select whether you want to search the file content, or just the file titles.
Another change that the Readdle team has added to PDF Expert 6 is the ability to edit outlines. Outlines are like a table of contents in a large document – they let you easily move around the document, and find where certain things are. You can now change where the landing page of an outline is, as well as the name, and the order of outlines. Whilst this feature may not appeal to everyone, it’s very useful if you work on large documents.
I’m really impressed with the new update, and I think that PDF Expert 6 is now the best PDF and file manager that you’ll find for iOS. It’s got a simple interface, and it’s very easy to learn how to use it. However, it has the power of a desktop class application. If you want a way to manage your files on iOS, you won’t find a better app that PDF Expert.
PDF Expert is available on the App Store at £9.99.
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