I have a very wide PDF and I would like to find a PDF viewer which would allow me to split the screen vertically so I can keep the left side the same while scrolling the right side back and forth.

I found the application http://skim-app.sourceforge.net/, but it only allows one to split the screen horizontally.

Is anyone aware of such a PDF viewer on the Mac?

  • I don't know a special app. You can open two instances of your pdf viewer and tile them vertically on the screen ;-)
    – fardjad
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 20:41
  • While true, it's also a PIA.
    – ericg
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 22:36
  • Open the same PDF using Preview and Skim and arrange them side-by-side.
    – adib
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 6:55
  • @adib No need to open two separate applications. You can open the same PDF in two different instances of Preview
    – chb
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 23:37

5 Answers 5


A quick look suggests that this feature does not exist in any PDF reader.

One responder on this forum [ http://is.gd/i0R12 ] believes that there are no such readers.

Most of the links in this Google search [ http://is.gd/i0QQy ] are requesting such a feature be implemented in some reader, any reader.


You can take a snapshot in Skim (File -> Take Snapshot), then using the wonderful ShiftIt move the snapshot and the main view of the pdf to the opposite sides of the screen (vertically) with just a few keystrokes. Or horizontally. Or to all four corners if you want.

  • Neat! This fulfills my need for vertical split. I already use BetterTouchTool for window moving and resizing, it's wonderful. So thanks for the snapshot tip!
    – Erika
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 7:36

PDFpen 11 seems to support vertical split view of the same pdf. https://smilesoftware.com/pdfpen/entry/new-pdfpen-11-split-view-font-bar-and-for-pro-users-enhancements-to-interactive-form-creation-and-editing

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Here is a decent workaround streamlined from the hints in the comments to this question. In this example I use the PDF viewer Skim, but it should work the same with any other app.

Open Apple's Script Editor that is in the Applications/Utilities folder, and copy the following code.

on run
    do shell script "open -n /Applications/Skim.app"
    tell application "Skim" to activate
end run

on open theFiles
    repeat with theFile in theFiles
        do shell script "open -na /Applications/Skim.app " & quote & (POSIX path of theFile) & quote
    end repeat
    tell application "Skim" to activate
end open

Save it as an application. Now every time you drag a PDF into the icon, a new instance of Skim will open. I like to use OSX's native split-full-screen view.

I found this script online a long time ago and I don't remember where. If anyone knows I'd be happy to give credit.


PDFexpert seems to be able to do just that.

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