PDF Guru is like Chrome for PDF readers

This is a quick post to highlight an excellent new PDF reader on macOS call PDF Guru (iTunes store). It is a recently revamped version of PDF Reader X.

I’ve only used it for a week, but it’s the best PDF reader I’ve experienced for reading academic articles. It’s snappy and reminds me of Chrome when it first came out. Draggable tabs. Split view. Plays well with Zotero. Can easily add native PDF annotation and search through the existing ones. (And it saves annotations fast when you close the file.Competitors either do this slowly or, like Skim, use a non-native annotation format that can’t be read by other PDF readers.a  ) The UI for “find” displays a lot of info intuitively. Everything is just nicely designed. I haven’t yet run into a limitation on the free version, but it’s worth upgrading to Pro to support the developer (only $20).



Beware that this is the first version following a big re-write of PDF Reader X, and it’s not completely stable. I’ve gotten it to crash a few times, but the developer has been very responsive to feedback and I’d wager on the stability improving soon.

I’m advertising Guru because I think the current selection of PDF readers for academic reading is pretty bad.I have no connection to the developer.b   I strongly prefer Guru (instability and all) over these other PDF readers on maxOS that I have tried: FoxIt, Preview, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Skim. I would love to see the in-PDF commenting functionality provided by the Librarian Chrome plugin extended to desktop PDF readers, and PDF Guru strikes me as a great place to start if it ever grabs marketshare among researchers.

Alas, it’s not available for Windows or Linux.

Footnotes

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  1. Competitors either do this slowly or, like Skim, use a non-native annotation format that can’t be read by other PDF readers.
  2. I have no connection to the developer.
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