Mac Preview vs Adobe Reader

I recently discovered the superiority of the free Preview.app on Macintosh systems over the free Adobe Reader.

A lot has been said elsewhere why that should be the case, e.g. here and here. I am going to keep this short and highlight two key features that stand out for me personally, that might or might hot have been covered elsewhere.

First, bookmarking. Even the latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support bookmarking, and if you have a bunch of PDFs (EBooks or papers) like I do and read multiple books at the same time, you are out of luck properly keeping track of where you are in a given knowledge resource. There are JavaScript solutions, or you have to use the paid Acrobat, or you have to do something else like making Reader remember the last read location – which is not quite the same as bookmarking.

Enter Preview.app – a simple Cmd-D and voilà, the page in that PDF is bookmarked. Then you can close that particular PDF, open another one, and the bookmark will stay there. So the bookmark will stay with you as long as Preview is still open. Then if you want to bring it back, all you have to do is select that bookmark from the Preview menu, and lo and behold, it will open that other PDF at the page where you bookmarked it.

How neat is that? I wish I discovered this functionality ages ago.

In addition Preview supports retina displays, unlike the Adobe Reader. You can underline text in Preview, not just highlight. It’s an all around winner. And it’s so much more lightweight in comparison too.

Kudos to Preview and the team behind it for changing my reading experience for the better.

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Bookmark-plugin for Adobe Reader

Ever tried reading a long e-book in Adobe Reader, say one that is more than a 100 pages long? Ever wanted to take a break in between? [Duh!] Ever wished there was a way you could store the current page as a bookmark in Reader itself and not have to write it down somewhere else? Funny Adobe Reader doesn’t have this basic functionality.

Now, using the Javascript file offered at this site, you can do it! On Windows 7, I had to store it under Program Files\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\Javascripts

Now when you open your Reader, go to the page you would like to bookmark, select Tools – Bookmark – Bookmark this page. Then you can happily close the program. Next day when you get the urge to read further, open the file in Reader, go to Tools – Bookmark – Go to bookmark, and voilá – you’re there!