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I have a folder in my Dropbox that I keep my eBooks in it. I want to find an app for the iPad that can do these to me:

  • Let me open a PDFs file from my Dropbox
  • Let me annotate on that file
  • Annotation getting applied to the Dropbox version of my file, instead of creating a local copy that its changes does not affect the Dropbox version

In my PC, when I open a PDFs file from my Dropbox and make Some highlights, when I press the save button in acrobat reader, the Dropbox version is instantly gets updated and whenever I open my Dropbox folder I have the latest version of the file. I need similar functionality in my iPad.

What iPad app has this functionality?

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migrated from Oct 25 '12 at 7:26

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

Unfortunately I don't think what you ask for is possible. Dropbox uses a REST api, so any Read/Write operation requires making a local copy. – john Oct 22 '12 at 16:42
So is there a chance after making that local copy, that app silently replaces the original version? – Farshid Oct 22 '12 at 19:27
Yes. It's unfortunate that the GoodReader app does not automatically sync because that would be probably the closest you can get to what you are looking for. – john Oct 22 '12 at 20:01
Actually I'm using GoodReader for two years and I know it can't handle this. – Farshid Oct 22 '12 at 20:03
I was looking for a free program that could do this and I found [Documents by Readdle] (…). Others could add a Dropbox account just to download the file. This one can upload it too. So, after making a local copy and the annotations, you hit the upload button and put the pdf in the same folder, overwritting the old version. But the annotation tool is pretty limited. – StackUnder Jan 14 '14 at 19:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

A few days ago Dropbox introduced a collaboration with Adobe that allows to annotate files and synchronise changes back to Dropbox automatically:

With the latest versions of the Dropbox and Acrobat Reader iOS apps, you’ll be able to annotate and comment on PDFs stored in Dropbox, right from your iPhone or iPad. Just open a PDF from the Dropbox app and tap the ‘Edit’ icon, then edit or electronically sign the PDF in the Acrobat Reader app. All your changes will save back to Dropbox, so you and any collaborators will have the latest version.


To try out the Adobe integration on your iPhone or iPad, download the latest versions of the Dropbox iOS app and the Acrobat Reader iOS app. The same integration will be available for Android devices next year, so stay tuned!

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I am using PDF Expert for exactly this. You can choose to sync folders from Dropbox (and other sharing services). Those folders will keep a local copy and will automatically sync back as well.

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PDF Max Pro does that:

Work on your PDF documents stored on iCloud or Dropbox just like your local files. Search or browse any file you need, annotate or fill in, then all your changes are automatically pushed back to the cloud without any manual step required.

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What about iAnnotate PDF? It has Dropbox sync support.

I don't have my iPad with me to test if it automatically saves the changes back to DropBox though.

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Dear sir, unless you are sure it can exactly solve the problem desribed in the above question , please do not suggest only base on this fact that it has dropbox support because they are not free programs and just if you are sue it can do what was asked please confirm it. – Farshid Oct 25 '12 at 22:30

Notability and Remarks both have dropbox sync, theres a great article comparing the two here.

Also Wondershare, who make some pretty rad PDF editing software, recently wrote an article on how PDF annotation on the iPad an recommended a couple of different apps, may be worth a read.

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None of the answers do what he asks for. Syncing is a passable substitute unless you have a deeply nested batch of folders with gigabytes of PDF. Try that in dropbox and it eats a big chunk of your iPad's space and takes over hour (from experience). What is needed is something that uses the dropbox API to allow direct editing of individual docs. It is possible because UXWrite does exactly this.

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our app, Xodo, has all these features from annotating PDF documents to syncing with Dropbox. You can manage and organize all your documents from within the app. Also it is completely free.

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Welcome to Ask Different! Please see the help center regarding self-promotion. – grgarside Jul 28 '14 at 19:25

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