What I want to do is pretty simple: I have a PDF I'm reading on my mac and later on I want to pick up reading where I left off on an iPad or iPhone, then continue again on the mac.

Nearest I can get so far is to have the file in dropbox folder that all devices can see, but that means I need to either remember, or make note of, the page where I stopped reading.

Apparently bookmarks get stored in the PDF itself, so that might be part of the solution, except that the bookmarks I'm storing in 'Preview' on OS X don't show up in any IOS app that I've found so far, and vice versa for the IOS apps I've found ('Documents 5' and 'PDF Reader' (not acrobat))

I must have spent an hour googling for an answer with nothing straightforward as a solution yet (surely there's an app for this ?).

Any ideas ? Anything obvious I'm missing ?

  • Looks like kindles 'mail-to-kindle' is not a solution either, each device gets it's own private copy of whatever you mail it.
    – baob
    Jul 19, 2015 at 13:02
  • Tried iBooks? is build for this. You also need iCloud. Jul 19, 2015 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


I believe iBooks will load up and view PDFs and if you are signed into iCloud on all devices the last read page should sync between devices.

I stand corrected this does not seem to work, grrrr... I thought I remembered it working, sorry. I have no other suggestions other than to try other PDF readers on the app store. You might also want to ask the hive mind at macintouch.com. It often has solutions for seemingly insurmountable problems.

  • Already tried iBooks and it didn't appear to work, but I hadn't thought of the need to additionally activate the iCloud setup ... so I'll try again, thanks.
    – baob
    Jul 19, 2015 at 13:05
  • I don't think this works for PDFs. Wherever I open the PDF, it opens to the last page read on that device, not the last page read on another device. I'm logged into icloud on the IOS devices and I've logged into the Apple store on iBooks for Mac ... can't seen any iCloud logins in iBooks preferences on the mac to I assume it's the store I need to be logged into ?
    – baob
    Jul 19, 2015 at 13:21
  • If you compare the two apple support documents on this subject support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202759 support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204365 the one that's specifically about PDFs omits all mention of bookmarks. Leads me to suspect that 'current page' (which I'd guess is a bookmark of sorts) is not a feature of PDF support in iBooks.
    – baob
    Jul 19, 2015 at 13:25
  • When I use iBooks it just opens the PDFs in Preview.
    – vy32
    Jan 26, 2020 at 13:58

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