LiquidText for Windows and (soon) Mac

LiquidText is now available for Windows and, they say, Mac will be released by the end of June.

On Windows it is very useful already for me. The “pro” upgrade is $29.99. I did not by Pro yet – I do not know if the pro fee covers both Windows and Mac platforms – I’ve pinged the owner to find out. Pro features include working with multiple PDFs simultaneously.

If you have access to a Windows machine, check it out – available on the Microsoft Store.


Does this mean LiquidText is now an Electron app? I am super wary of cross-platform apps these days and it’s not because I inherently hate Electron apps, but rather because I hate using apps that don’t use native APIs.

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I’m told by an “insider” that the pricing answer is: $29.99 per platform – they are separate “products”. So $29.99 x 3 for anyone who needs to work in iPad / Windows / MacOS.

That’s not a lot of folks for all three, I assume, but $29.99 x 2 for iPad and MacOS seems challenging. Of course final cost for macOS has not been published so we’ll see what happens later.

Unfortunately the iPad version still does not import drawing annotations made in PDFExpert. This is a show stopper for me.


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I like Liquid Text but it hasn’t evolved much since introduction. I guess their focus has been on porting which, given the heavy reliance on user interface, must be quite daunting.

Hmmm, I think there’s been several significant features added in the past few years. The Pro version can handle multiple files simultaneously. The export has improved quite bit over the years. The integration with Apple Files is good and LT can either open a file “in place” (open from the storage location of a file in another app – e.g., DEVONthink) or by making a new copy. And the interface has steadily improved.

OTOH, I suppose the s-curve for this category of software flattens pretty quickly so there’s not much space for innovation after the first couple of releases.

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Right but, for example, have you tried doing anything useful with exported notes? It’s as if they’ve said “be happy you can take your notes with you”. (Obvious good extension would be some kind of Markdown output.)

Yes, it looks to be a bit of a work in progress.

There is a “Zoom Out” feature on the Workspace but no Zoom In.

Also there seems to be a bug preventing “Open With” to open a new file.

That said, it is a unique app with features not found anywhere else - if they can polish the edges this will be very nice.

Oops, I didn’t notice your post in this thread, so I posted the news on another thread…

I haven’t updated my MBP to Catalina, so I can’t use it. Very sad you had a bad experience. I hope they could fix the bugs and improve the user experience soon.

I’d echo the point that without the in-app purchase it’s just an unadorned PDF reader.

The better model would’ve been 14-day trial.

As it happens, I know what Liquid Text can do - because I’ve already got the iPad OS version. And because I have that I’ll probably forego the Mac OS one.

I don’t think LiquidText is designed for most people.

It really shines when dealing with very long and hard-to-read materials, like research papers, legal documents and textbooks. Its unique features make this type of active reading a really “better than paper” experience.

But if you just use it for everyday short PDF annotations and etc. The steeper learning curve and UX experience might just not appeal. I’d rather just get Skim/GoodReader for these cases.

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That is exactly its intent. Put another way, I think their market includes college students, professors/academic, physicians, attorneys, and others expected to have expert knowledge in a particular domain.

This interview/demo by the founder of LiquidText gives a terrific example of just such a use case


Biggest issue with LT is exporting notes. Looks terrible & non professional; reminds me of kids cutting & glueing clippings together. Dislike those odd shaped notes and diagrams :-1:. Bought LT but stopped using it. MN3 is much better but difficult to learn and iCloud sync is iffy.

Someone should design an app that combine LT, MN3 & Flexcil (Only available on ipad) :blush:

You can just use the mouse to define a rectangle and then click “Auto Excerpt” and you will get perfect right angles on your excerpts if that is what you prefer.

But it still looks bad compared to the others. Preference is to have it nice and neat which can be done on LT’s competitors. I store exported notes together and quite often go back to them for references and occasionally share with team as well. Formats of LT even on screen look messy. Always remind me of kindergarten kids cutting and pasting :unamused:

I am not sure there really are competitors - rather, it depends on your use case.

MarginNotes seems to me to be of most interest to students; it does a great job of presenting the information back to the student in multiple ways which facilitate learning and testing.

LiquidText seems optimized for detailed document review and organization of key text passages. It is likely of particular interest to professionals such as attorneys or expert consultants engaged to review documents on some topic.

Mate, up to you. Just stating my points here having paid for LT and MN. LT is the ugliest I’ve seen.

You’re welcome to buy and use it. Personally I think it’s overrated and ugly. Desktop version is laughable. My 2 cents. Good luck using LT.

Strangely I have exactly the opposite experience. MarginNote is so clunky and ugly while LiquidText, just like its name suggests, almost liquidifies the “texts”.

Of course shapes are personal thing. But the allowance of arbitrary connections between excerpts is much more flexible than MarginNote. If you just read a “linear” article, MarginNote might be just fine, or even better. But for research level articles with complex structures, MarginNote is just not up to the job.

Comparing MN and LT is also not quite fair. MN is clearly more targeted to typed texts while LT has great handwriting support.

I agree the export could be improved. But there’re tricks to manage the workspace to improve the results. For example, structure stuff in workspace according to the background patterns and export accordingly.

I think your hatred towards LT is unfair and unwarranted.

What is your use case?

If your goal is to sort through a huge pile of random printed, handwritten, and scanned documents and highlight pertinent key entries, there is nothing else which can perform that mission. I have wanted such an application for over 2 decades - for this use case, LIquidText has no equal.

If on the other hand you want to study for an exam by making flashcards, highlights, and mind maps that you share with others, then LiquidText would be the wrong tool in the toolbox. MarginNote might be much better in that case.

What is your personal use case?

I regret starting this thread and suggest that the moderators lock it.

There’s really no point in a holy war with LT on one side and MN on the other. Researchers all have their own approaches, uses for software, etc.

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