Over the past couple of years, businessmen and women have been able to replace their netbooks and other portable computers with tablets and smartphones to satisfy their entire mobile needs. However, the somewhat constrained software environments require a new perspective when it comes to creating user interfaces to offer full personal computer multitasking capabilities. One of the recent apps to overcome some of these boundaries is Readdle’s PDF Expert for iPad. The latest version provides additional annotations, cross-document page swapping, expanded document editing options, page extraction, and more.

PDF Expert version 3.0 (iPad) - Edit Mode

Rearrange, copy, paste, delete, and extract pages

The best place to begin is with the revamped toolbar. Even though v3.0 adds a number of new features, the redesigned toolbar has everything within quick access. Following from left to right, you’ll see a return to your full document list button, a recently viewed documents list button, document editing button; and farther to the right is the annotations show and hide button, search button, action button, bookmarks button, and add new bookmark button.

Shown by default, the annotations toolbar is now split into four categories: shape and line adding, text modifying, text and signature insertion, plus freehand marking. Combining the previous and new annotations, you can concentrate focus on areas using rectangles, lines, arrows, text highlighting, or text underlining; clarify using text strikethrough and any of the new semi-transparent stamps; add a signature, or simply do some freehand writing and drawing. The freehand options now includes marker and pen presets in the most popular colors, which can still be modified.

Those frequently handling multiple and extra large documents will really appreciate this next feature. The document editing area allows for extracting pages, moving pages around, plus copying pages amongst different documents. To begin, tap on the document editing button to the right of the recent documents list button in the main toolbar. PDF Expert will now display all of the document pages in grid form.

PDF Expert version 3.0 (iPad) - Actions Menu

New brightness control and pen presets

When you first enter edit mode, the initial ability is to change the page order by performing a tap and hold, then drag on any page. Tapping on the Edit button in the top-right will reveal further options. In this expanded edit mode, single tap pages to select them, then tap any one of the options at the top of the screen. For example, Extract will take only those pages you selected and create an entirely new PDF and tapping Mail will do the same extraction plus insert the new PDF into a fresh email message.

The copy and paste functionality seems to work quite fluently. Select the pages and tap Copy using the edit mode I just described. Now, close out of the edit mode in the current document and open the document you wish to insert the selected pages into. Enter the edit mode in this second document, then tap Edit, and finally tap Paste. The copied pages will be inserted between pages in the middle of the screen, but you can use the formerly mentioned tap, hold, and drag to rearrange the order.

Further additions to PDF Expert for iPad v3.0 include a brightness control within the actions menu, a clear all option in the list of all annotations within the bookmarks area, WebDAV improvements, and FTP/SFTP storage sync.

PDF Expert is compatible with iPad running iOS 4.0 or later, and available in the App Store for $9.99.