GoodReader – Manage files and annotate PDFs

GoodReader – Manage files and annotate PDFs

Download GoodReader $4.99

Today’s app is GoodReader, which was famously christened the “swiss army knife” app for managing files on your iPad and more specifically viewing and annotating PDF files.

GoodReader is $4.99; available for both the iPad and the iPhone; and requires iOS 6.0.

GoodReader is my “digital manila folder” because it’s how I carry documents with me when I leave the office. The file management tools are fantastic for moving, copying and re-naming files, although the interface for managing files is a bit busy.

GoodReader boasts an extensive help file, and a crazy number of settings, including security options for setting passwords and enabling TouchID for restricting access to certain files and folders.

GoodReader renders large PDF files quickly, and lets you jump around to whatever page you need.

GoodReader is ideal for annotating PDF files. I can highlight text and use the “freehand” drawing tool to circle important sections. I also use text comment boxes to place searchable notes on the document.

GoodReader compiles an “Annotation Summary” which can be e-mailed or exported. This is a brilliant way to summarize key points of a court opinion or law review article.

GoodReader is the best 5 bucks that any iPad-using attorney can spend in the App Store for managing and annotating PDF files.

Download GoodReader $4.99



  1. Serena - June 1, 2016 5:33 pm

    I LOVE this app; it’s my go-to for editing all my pdf’s, for having clients sign forms, highlighting cases for materials, filling out forms, you name it.

    The only criticisms I have, and I’m not sure if any similar app does it, is that everything is not automatically saved into the cloud, and the file management leaves a little to be desired (search for a term, then highlight all, then delete is sadly not an option)

    • Brett Burney - June 1, 2016 7:57 pm

      Hi Serena and thanks for your comment! I’m a big fan of GoodReader too.

      I feel your pain on the file management side – it’s always been a bit too busy and confusing.

      But for the auto-save to the cloud, GoodReader does actually offer a “Sync” option that I use regularly. You should go into the Help section and read through the instructions, but basically if you use Dropbox (what I use) or OneDrive or similar, you can actually have GoodReader sync back your files complete with annotations, etc.

      You still have to manually tap the Sync button to initiate the sync, but it works pretty well. I only choose a few folders from Dropbox to do this but it’s worth looking into for what you need.

      Thanks again!