Learn how to use PDF Expert, get $10 off, or win a free copy! [sponsor]


As the school year starts and I’m getting PDFs sent to me–schedules, readings, book scans, & more–I’ve been using one of my favorite apps, PDF Expert (for iOS & for Mac), far more than normal. I simply love how easy it makes annotating PDFs no matter where I am. Because the apps are simply fantastic and I have often recommend them, I reached out to Readdle to see if they would offer MDM Deal fans a discount and they graciously agreed! The great folks at Readdle are providing the sponsored content below, offering MDM Deals fans a special discount, and are sponsoring a giveaway of PDF Expert for Mac! Read on to learn about PDF Expert and how to enter the giveaway!

How to get the most out of scientific books, journals and articles [sponsor]

Reading academic articles is a part of the everyday routine for students, teachers, scientists and professionals like medical workers who want to keep up with their industry. This kind of reading is often extremely challenging.

Things get worse when you have to print an article. It’s easy to get lost in numerous pages, especially when you work with multiple papers. There is no search function to instantly find a term or the chapter you need. Of course, it takes time and money to print the papers you want to read.

The good news is you don’t need to suffer in the 21st century. You can use PDF editors to manage your scientific library on your tablet or laptop. Our planet will be grateful too.

Let’s dive in and explore one of the best PDF editors for Mac: PDF Expert. PDF Expert is an award-winning PDF editor, winning the Apple Editors’ Choice award, App of the Year in 2015 and placing as the Top 1 Paid App in the Mac App Store. 

Students who use PDF Expert have shared some exclusive tricks on how to get the most out of scientific papers using the app. Here they are:

Skim the article

Look through the paper and get acquainted with its structure. Most articles use the IMRaD format where an abstract is followed by Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Focus on headings and subheadings; look at the figures and graphics, and try to interpret them.

PDF Expert offers ‘Outlines’ or ‘Table of Contents’ which allows you to explore a document’s structure and jump to different sections quickly. Click PDF-Expert01 and select the ‘Outline’ tab to see the document’s sections.


If your document lacks a built-in outline, you can create it with PDF Expert. Choose the area of the text that leads to the current page. Right-click and select ‘Add Outline Item’. Now you can easily find it on the left sidebar. Or you can press ‘Add item’ at the bottom of the ‘Outline’ tab. You can also group your ‘Outline Items’ using drag and drop.

While skimming the article, you can underline the terms and concepts you don’t understand. Select the ‘Annotate’ tab PDF-Expert03 and choose the ‘Underline’ tool PDF-Expert04. You can return to these words later.

Read the whole article and take notes

Now it’s time to dive deep into the subject! Read the article and pay attention to what is interesting to you. It’s a good idea to annotate the text for a more in-depth understanding of it and to enhance your reading experience. Annotations help you read actively and stay focused.

With PDF Expert’s annotation tools you won’t miss anything important. Select the ‘Annotate’ tab PDF-Expert05 and choose the ‘Highlight’ PDF-Expert06 or ‘Underline’ PDF-Expert07 tools. Now you can mark up everything that impresses or interests you.


It’s a powerful tool; use it carefully. Do you know the feeling when you highlight too many things and it doesn’t make sense anymore because you get lost? Use color! It helps you systematize your annotations and quickly find what you need.

If you are reading an article on psychological distress among medical students, you can use different colors to highlight the results relating to different categories of students: yellow for female students, blue for married students, etc. There are more options: green for consequences of student distress, red for controversial moments and so on. You can choose different colors on the right sidebar with the ‘Highlight’ tool chosen. Try to experiment and invent your own color-coding system!

Another tip for effective reading is taking notes with your questions, ideas, and interpretations. It’s a good way to understand an article better and remember its key points.

Go to the ‘Annotate’ tab and choose the ‘Note’ tool PDF-Expert09. Click where you want to leave a note and type your text.


If you want to get more out of the article, combine the ‘Highlight’ and ‘Note’ tools. It’s handy when you want to interact with a particular part of the text and express your opinion on what is written there. Highlight a sentence or paragraph you find important and then use the ‘Note’ tool to leave your thoughts. It’s like having a conversation with the author.


When you jump to the left sidebar PDF-Expert12 and choose the ‘Annotations’ tab, you can see both what you highlighted and what you thought about it.


Another useful tool for annotating is the ‘Text’ tool PDF-Expert14. Select it and click wherever you want to add your own text. You can change the font, text and background color from the right sidebar.

This tool is helpful when you want to comment on the whole page or an entire section instead of a particular sentence or paragraph. Write down your thoughts on the margins! You can also type a short summary somewhere at the end of the article. Text comments are searchable; you can find them later.


Don’t limit yourself. You can doodle on a scientific paper! Select the ‘Pen’ tool in the ‘Annotate’ tab. You can definitely enjoy this feature if you use PDF Expert on iPad with the Apple Pencil. Draw on the margins, express your reactions and have fun with your academic artistry!


Reflect on what you’ve read

When you’re done with the article take some time to think about it. It’s not a bad idea to answer these questions: 

  • Do you understand this article? 
  • Do you agree with the authors? 
  • How can this article be useful for your work or research?

Look through your annotations. You can find and scroll them all on the left sidebar. Click PDF-Expert17 and choose ‘Annotations’ PDF-Expert18. This tab allows you to navigate all your annotations. You can easily find the parts of an article you considered important.


PDF Expert allows you to export all your annotations as a separate file by clicking ‘Export Annotations’ at the bottom of the ‘Annotations’ tab. Choose one of three extensions: HTML, TXT or Markdown. Now, you can quickly recollect your thoughts about the article without opening it!

Gift time!

We hope PDF Expert helps improve your reading experience and get the most out of every paper read! Now you know how to read scientific articles effectively. Moreover, Readdle–the company behind PDF Expert–is giving some fantastic gifts to MDM Deal fans:

The above article, with minor edits and additions, was provided by Readdle as sponsored content. My thanks to Readdle, and PDF Expert, for sponsoring MDM Deals.

Want to double or triple your odds of winning this and other app giveaways? Support MDM Deals as a Patron and unlock great rewards like custom emails, bonus giveaway entries, exclusive Patron-only giveaways, & more. Join today!


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