I want to find an iPad app that allows me to annotate a PDF with an Apple Pemcil while all the app’s toolbars and navigation menus etc. are hidden.

Ideally, I would like to select an annotation tool (say a highlighter or pencil), hide the toolbars, and then just go through the document (a lecture that I am recording) occasionally highlighting or writing a few words here and there. I don’t want the mostly-unused toolbars to clutter up each and every slide.

Apps like Notability and PDF Expert hide their toolbars while in “presentation mode”, but ONLY when the content is being mirrored by HDMI or AirPlay, and not when connected to the Mac (doing the recording) by cable.

Basically, I want an PDF annotation app with a “presentation mode” equivalent that the user can choose to enter when they want, regardless of how the iPad is connected externally.

  • Do you want the notes to become part of the PDF or only while displayed.
    – Natsfan
    Jul 13, 2020 at 14:38
  • @jmh I would prefer they become part of the document but i could live with them only appearing on the recording, Jul 13, 2020 at 23:13
  • Have you considered a 3rd party app that will let you write on the screen? Then you can write your notes on the screen while the chart is shown?
    – Natsfan
    Jul 13, 2020 at 23:16
  • Are there such apps? I think an app can not write over a screen area being managed by another app.. Jul 13, 2020 at 23:52
  • One I know of is Presentify . its free and you can read about it here: presentify.compzets.com
    – Natsfan
    Jul 14, 2020 at 0:56

1 Answer 1


Just found an app that somewhat does this after looking for quite a while: PDF Reader & Annotator by Xodo. It allows using the Apple Pencil as “ink” when the toolbar is hidden.

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