PDF Annotation (over and over and over again)

I work with construction plans, 24" x 36" PDF pages. Normally, there are 10 - 20 pages in a single PDF file. My new iPad Pro (baby size) will be here Friday with Apple Pencil 2. I want to markup the drawings as construction proceeds. Make notes, draw lines, hand write notes, and highlight areas. I want to be able to open the PDF a week later after making an annotation and erasing a previous markup. i.e. I want this to be just like paper.

Any idea what I can use on the iPad to get this done? I am not sure if PDFPen would or not.


I do this A LOT! I would use PDF expert along with documents by reedle works great.


PDF Expert is a great option. Really solid annotation options, and there is an easily accessed mechanism to clear all annotations.

Other options you might consider (I wouldn’t rank these better or worse than PDF Expert, just different options to consider!)
Notability or GoodNotes. Both of these have the option of creating “Stationary”. So if you are using the same plan over and over, you could use that as stationary. Rather than deleting annotations and re-drawing, you can just create a new document using that stationary/template and you’ve got a fresh… well, stationary!

A free option that is very similar with respect to the quality and variety of annotations is PDF Viewer from PSPDF. They have a pro subscription that might offer options that are useful, but most of them are geared towards collaboration and some enterprise stuff that you may not find necessary.

So some food for thought!

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Thanks! I will give it a look. I just want to erase select markups (not all of them) in the future. More or less creating an As-Built as I go.

Appreciate the endorsement. I’ll report back.

Amen to PDF Expert. It is excellent.


If you are doing this with construction drawings, check out Bluebeam Revu. It was made for the AEC industry for exactly what you want to do.


Thank you. Revu gets some very harsh reviews in the App store. I may give it a try none-the-less after PDF Expert.

Ok. I don’t have an iPad, but I used one with Revu once a long time ago. I love Bluebeam Revu on the Mac and Windows so I was hopeful that it would be good on the iPad.

Bluebeam is working on a new iOS app called Drawings. I am signed up for the beta. I’ll try it on my iPhone. Maybe I can find someone with an iPad so I can try it out.

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Many thanks!! I look forward to your review if you can make it happen.

How about LiquidText?

I’m not sure it’s aimed at what I need. I’ll givw it a thorough look.

I know Preview on the Mac does but what built0in app are you referring too?

Recently, I’ve gone back to using the Files app. They’ve dramatically improved the number of options for pen/ink type and it is now enough for my needs. It also speeds up my workflow because I don’t have to keep moving files to/from iCloud and I still have PDF Expert on my MacBook for any editing needs.

If you need more than annotating though PDF Expert is a great app.

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But can I erase just the “i”? On the Mac the answer is now. The each group of markups is erased. Still, I am going to give this another go. My iPad came today so tonight I will be testing. Will report back.

Update: PDF Expert is the solution. Or appears to be after a night of testing. Thanks everyone!