Round trip: iOS Bookends to PDF Expert and back

As the title says, haven’t found a smooth way to do this without saving back to PDF expert’s iCloud folder, then copying back to Bookends’ folder on my Mac.

#PDFExpert #Academic #Annotation #ios

1 Like

The hitch here is that Bookends doesn’t use the Document Provider API (e.g., doesn’t show up as a Location in the Files app). This means that there is no way for you to select a file stored by Bookends from within PDF Expert (or any other application). Bookends is sandboxed and, lacking any tie-ins with Files, its contents cannot be seen at all from the outside.

Your best bet is just to use the Copy To share sheet action from PDF Expert when you’re done annotating so you don’t have to wait for syncing and access to your Mac.
If Bookends adds support for the Files app things could be eased, but I’m not sure I’d count on that since Sonny Software seems like a pretty small shop.

My workflow is to open the PDF on the Bookends IOS, then “Open in” PDF expert for reading/annotating. Then I save a copy back to Bookends, and it replaces the file. Works pretty smoothly for me.
See here:
…But maybe I am misunderstanding what you are trying to do?

Maybe then Bookends is not the right tool?

I use Papers for Mac and Papers for iOS. They synchronize and Papers allows you to mark and comment PDFs from within the app. I currently have more than 6000 fully indexed PDFs in my Papers library.

The downside is that this app hasn´t been updated but a new version is in the works:

Switching to Papers would likely be a lateral move, as far as I can tell (having used Papers in the past).
Like Papers, Bookends also allows for annotation and other file management tasks. I think the OP wants toe more advanced/different annotation features that PDF Expert offers. Papers for iOS would create the same issues as Bookends because it does not expose its files to the Files app/Document Provider API.

When I asked about moving from Bookends to Papers in a Papers forum they said not too, as most people were moving from Papers to Bookends.

Thanks for the reply.

Strange. In Bookends, I can Copy to PDF Expert, edit, then my only option is to Copy to Bookends. I have to select the correct ref, then I wind up with two attachments.
It seems like this worked differently at some point, and the original would be replaced.
I’m on iOS 11.4.1, so my prompts, etc. are different from those shown on the Bookends site.

Are you using the share sheet, then “copy to Bookends”? It ought to to give you the original choice when you round trip it back (if you opened it up originally from the bookends side), which then replaces the original.
(EDIT: sorry, it does look like that’s what you are doing. Have you followed up on the Bookends forum? The developer is really quick to respond and offer help. Also, my sense is that they are in the process of improving the annotation tools in BE for IOS, so hopefully such exporting won’t be necessary for much longer.)