How to: Hide Files on Any Phone or Computer

 

 

 

By David Nield of Gizmodo

If you’ve got something you want to hide away, then you’ve got plenty of options on Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS—options that we’ll run through here. Even if the kids or a stranger should get access to your devices somehow, these files will stay hidden from view and locked away.

Before we get started, though, we should note that while the solutions below will provide a measure of privacy from a casual user who nabs your device, they aren’t all necessarily going to protect your files from a hacker or someone else with expertise.

 

Android

When it comes to files on mobile devices, those files are usually photos or videos—your other files are likely to be stored in the cloud, not on your device. To hide an image in Google Photos for Android, long-press on it then tap the menu button (three vertical dots) and pick Archive. The photo can still be dug out of the archive, but it does give your sensitive photos some level of protection from the casual browser.

If you’re on a Samsung phone, the default gallery app does a bit of a better job at keeping any photos or videos you want private kept safe. Select the photos and videos you want to hide, tap the menu button (three vertical dots), then pick Move to Secure Folder—enter the folder PIN, and the content gets moved over. No one else can get into that Secure Folder without the PIN.

For something a bit more comprehensive, try Keepsafe: It creates a PIN-protected digital vault on your phone for those photos and videos that you really don’t want other people coming across. Getting files into the vault is easy, or you can take your photos and videos from inside Keepsafe instead.

Also worthy of a mention is Vaulty, which works in a similar way but makes the process of getting photos and videos in and out of your digital locker even easier. Remember that if you’re using Google Photos as your gallery, you’ll still need to delete the originals, otherwise they’ll just get shown from the cloud (which the likes of Keepsafe and Vaulty don’t touch).

File Hide Expert covers any type of file and is very straightforward to use—it simply gives you access to the file and folder structure on your phone, lets you select the content you want hidden, and then hides it. The interface is rather rudimentary, but if you want something basic that works for any type of file, it’s a good option.

There is actually another trick you can use on Android using a file manager like ES File Explorer: Put an empty text file called .nomedia inside any folder with images you don’t want to show up in the default gallery app (though they’ll still appear in the file manager). In fact Android will ignore any folder that starts with a period. It’s a rather fiddly solution, but it might suit some of you.

IOS

The iOS file system is even more locked down than Android of course, so you’re unlikely to have files floating around that you don’t want people to see that aren’t photos or videos. There is the new Files app, that shows your iCloud Drive files (if you’ve got any), but there are no options for hiding files here.

You can however hide photos and videos from the iOS Photos app to keep them away from prying eyes that aren’t yours: Open the file in question, tap the Share button (bottom left), then choose Hide. That removes the photo or video from Moments, Years, and Collections, though someone could still browse to the Hidden album in the Albums section of the app, so it’s not all that secure.

We’ve already spoken about hiding photos and videos in Google Photos, and the process is the same for Google Photos for iOS. Tap and hold on one or more files, tap the menu button (three horizontal dots), and choose Archive. This hides the pictures or clips from the front screen of the app, though they can still be found from the Archive entry in the menu (and still show up in albums and search).

One other option is to put photos inside Notes (though this doesn’t work for videos). First you need to set up a password in the Notes section of the iOS Settings app, then you can open any note, tap the Share button (top right) and choose Lock Note. You’ll also need to remove the photo you’ve added from the main Photos app.

If you need to hide files from specific apps, your best bet is looking inside that app to see what options are available. Dropbox, for example, can be passcode protected from its internal settings screen: Tap Account then the cog icon, and choose Passcode Lock to prevent anyone from getting into your files.

We’ve come across a number of handy third-party options too, including Private Photos Calculator and Private Photo Vault, which protect your sensitive snaps and clips with a PIN code. You can capture photos and videos inside the apps, or import them from the Camera Roll, but if you take the latter option you also need to them delete the pictures from the iOS Photos app.

Windows

Windows has a file hiding tool built right into it, as you might already know: Right-click on any file or folder, choose Properties, then tick the box marked Hidden and click OK. That’s it—your chosen file or folder is no longer visible in File Explorer.

Unless the person who’s gained access to your computer is clever enough to display hidden files, that is. The setting can be toggled right from the View tab of the ribbon menu—the Hidden items entry on the right. You can set files and folders to be hidden from this menu too, via the Hide selected items button.

If you think that’s enough protection to foil any would-be lurkers—that they won’t know Windows well enough to display hidden files—then you’re already all set. On the other hand, if you want to take your hiding file techniques to the next level, you’ll need some help from a third-party app, and there are quite a few to pick from.

Of the ones we’ve tested, Wise Folder Hider Free impressed us the most with its ease-of-use and feature set. You can just drag and drop folders on top of the program interface, and they disappear from File Explorer as if by magic. A password is then required to get into the application. If you want encryption as well, you can upgrade to the Pro version for $19.95.

We were also impressed by My Lockbox, which is also available in free and Pro versions (the latter lets you protect an unlimited number of folders). Again, one password protects access to the program, and it’s perfect for just hiding a single folder away rather than a bunch of files or folders.

Another option is to wrap up all the files you want to hide away in a compressed archive, and then put a password on that archive that blocks unauthorized access. 7-Zip is one free tool that can do this for you, though someone else could still see and delete the archive unless you added one of the hiding options we mentioned above.

MacOS

When it comes to Mac computers, the cleanest and simplest native option is to use the Terminal app, which you can launch from Spotlight (Cmd+Space). Type “chflags hidden file-or-folder-path” then Enter to hide something, and “chflags nohidden file-or-folder-path” and Enter to bring it back. If you like you can type out the command then drag and drop a file or folder into the Terminal window before hitting Enter (just remember the path so you can bring it back).

Various third-party options will take care of the task for you as well. Hide Folders does exactly what it says on the tin, and you simply drag and drop in files and folders from Finder and then click the Hide button. Anyone who launches Hide Folders can see what you’ve hidden though, so you might want to add password protection, which is a $20 upgrade for the Pro version.

Secret Folder does almost exactly the same job, though the interface is a little cleaner and easier on the eyes. Again, you can simply drag and drop folders into the program window to hide them, then toggle the Invisible/Visible switch accordingly. The application costs $20, but a free trial is available.

Hider is a more comprehensive solution that’s again is priced at $20 and again lets you give the software a trial run for free. In addition to hiding selected files and folders, your data is also encrypted, and you’ve got some useful extras thrown in as well (like support for external hard drives). Files can be shown or hidden using simple toggle switches, with everything protected by a master password.

If it’s particular apps that you want to block, then Cisdem AppCrypt might fit the bill for you. You can specify apps (or websites) to password protect, so anyone who gains access to your Mac won’t be able to run programs containing information you don’t want seen. It costs $20 a year, with a free trial available.

Going back to photos, if all you want to do is hide images and video clips, you can use the same options (with the same caveats) as we talked about for iOS. From the Photos app, right-click on an image and choose Hide Photo. This removes it from the main photo stream, but considering the Hidden album is only a click away on the left-hand navigation pane, it’s not the most effective solution.

 

How do keep your private stuff private on your device(s)? Tell us in the comments below!

App of the Week: One Drive

OneDrive for iOS Updated With Redesigned Interface, Drag and Drop, and FilesApp Support

 

By Tim Hardwick of MacRumors

Microsoft released an update to its OneDrive app on Tuesday that adds support for the Files app in iOS 11 and brings a host of other new features many of which are responses to user feedback.

To begin with, the interface has been overhauled to make better use of screen space and make filenames easier to read, while an ellipsis button next to each item brings up a new contextual options menu, so users no longer need to long-press a file to take actions.

 

More generally, thumbnail images have been made larger, shared files are now easier to spot, and the multi-column list view on iPad has been redesigned to be less cluttered and give items and filenames more room to breathe. Another welcome enhancement in version 10.1 is expanded preview support for over 130 file types, including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, RAW, 3D objects, high-precision DICOM, TIFF files, iWork Files, Java/C/Swift, and many more.

In addition, OneDrive now supports drag and drop, enabling users to drag files to emails and move them between open tabs on iPhone and iPad. Several iPhone X UI fixes are also in evidence, with the interface now displaying properly in landscape orientation, while a number of annoying bugs have been fixed, including one that made search results vanish whenever a file was opened.

OneDrive is a free download for iPhone and iPad available from the App Store.

How do you feel about running Microsoft Apps on iOS? Sound off in the comments below!

Weekly Round Up 1/19/18

 

 


I love my Nook and my iPad for reading, nothing will ever beat the smell of a new book.

How Technology Is (and Isn’t) Changing Our Reading Habits

 


White Collar Automation for the win!!

7 Technology Trends That Will Dominate 2018

 


They can’t stop the Government from deporting people who’ve been here for 30 years, but the Tech industry wants to focus on the spouses of the dreamers?

Tech Industry Urges U.S. to Keep Work Permits for H-1B Spouses.

 

Wait, what?
Microsoft tops Thomson Reuters top 100 global tech leaders list.

 

They’re gonna cure us of our iPhone addiction too…

‘Time well spent’ is shaping up to be tech’s next big debate.

 

They can’t agree on a budget and our kids are eating Tide Pods, but yeah, Washington is gonna close the digital divide.
Washington’s next big tech battle: closing the country’s digital divide.

 

 

Preach!!
Sundar Pichai Google CEO Sundar Pichai: Digital technology must empower workers, not alienate them.

 

 

A nice idea but, I draw the line at having to but my dog an iPhone.
Pet tech can entertain some 4-legged family members.

App of the Week: OmniGraffle

 

A refresh of the long-time Mac drawing app from the Omni Group now pulls in images and text from other apps.

By Mike Wuerthele and William Gallagher of Apple Insider

Like its fellow Omni Group apps OmniFocus and OmniPlan, the drawing and charting software OmniGraffle 3.2 has been updated for iOS 11. All three now take advantage of the new operating system’s drag and drop features to change and improve how you work with the apps.

If you’re an AppleInsider reader, you’re already aware that The Omni Group’s software dates back to the dawn of the PowerPC era. More than 20 years later, the company is still updating its suite of software, with OmniGraffle getting a new iOS version for iOS 11.

It’s a drawing application but not for art or sketching. Rather, it’s for making illustrations specifically to explain things. So OmniGraffle is often used for organization charts or for floor plans. You can get very elaborate and detailed, so much so that app designers can mock up in OmniGraffle how their software will look.

OmniGraffle is also meant for just explaining things quickly so it has tools and features to make drawing fast. It’s also got an extremely dedicated following among its users who share and sell collections of templates called Stencils.

If you’ve used MacDraw II, or LucidChart, you’ve got a pretty good handle on what OmniGraffle can do for you. What it can do for you now with iOS 11 is speed up how you can compile a drawing from other people’s Stencils or your own previous documents.

 

This is done by iOS 11’s drag and drop. It’s the same new drag and drop that has been added to the OmniFocus To Do app where it’s made a significant improvement. It’s the same feature that’s been added to OmniPlan and fixed an issue there that’s been dogging that project management software from the start.

Drag and drop doesn’t make as big a change to OmniGraffle, though. It’s a nice addition and one that when you’ve tried it, you won’t want to go back yet it doesn’t dramatically transform the app.

There are three aspects to how OmniGraffle exploits this new feature. You can now drag items in to your drawing, for instance, and you can drag elements between your drawings. Say you’ve got a floor plan for your house and are now doing one for your office: that sofa shape you spent ages drawing would work fine as a couch in the office plan so you just drag it over.

Similarly, if you’re planning out a bigger office with lots of cubicles then you can just draw one and duplicate it.

In theory you can also drag cubicles or pot plants in your drawings out of OmniGraffle and into other apps but currently that’s limited by how many other apps support this feature. This has long been an issue with OmniGraffle and really all such drawing apps like Lucidchart and Microsoft Visio: the way they play with other apps. You can get drawings from any of them into the rest but typically with some difficulty and actually OmniGraffle’s drag and drop may ultimately improve that. Once other apps are also updated to accept dragged and dropped items.

These most common uses for OmniGraffle —the floor plans, charts and app design —all tend to be jobs where you will reuse elements over and over again. So while everyone will be different, the odds are that you’re most likely to drag elements from one OmniGraffle drawing to another and we can see you building up a library of often-used elements.

Dragging these around is quick and handy, but only once you know how. You could spend the next week stabbing wildly at buttons and options without discovering how to drag an item across multiple documents. That’s really an aspect of iOS 11, however: OmniGraffle uses the same multi-finger approach that the system does.

 

Press and hold on an item you want to drag and then with a different finger, tap at the button to take you out of the current OmniGraffle document. That’s a Library icon which needs finding: rather than to the top left of the screen, OmniGraffle places it in the middle and just to the left the document title.

When you’re back in the Document Picker, as the Omni Group calls it, you can tap to open any other drawing. So long as you’re still holding that element you’ve dragged from the first document, you can now drop it anywhere in the new.

Once it’s in that new drawing, though, you can use exactly the same technique to drag it between different layers of the document.

We keep saying that you’re dragging elements of a drawing around but those elements can be text as well as shapes or re-used templates. You can drag text in from OmniFocus or OmniPlan, for instance. That’s not going to save you a lot of time unless you’re dragging a lot of text but it could be a way to make sure you’re consistent across many documents.

It’s the same process for dragging text or graphics out of OmniGraffle into other apps. We had most success doing it with the app’s stablemates OmniPlan and OmniFocus but even that success was limited.

When we drag to OmniPlan, any text in the item we’re dragging goes into that project management app’s list of tasks and a bar appears representing it in the Gantt chart. When we dragged the same item into OmniFocus, it was entered as a new task called “PDF document.pdf” with an attachment of that name which has the graphic item in it.

You’re not going to do that. Maybe you’d drag the elements from an org chart over to OmniPlan so that you had every member of staff listed but that’s a stretch. Project plans tend to start with what needs to be done rather than who you’ve got to give work to. So really the dragging out of OmniGraffle won’t become hugely useful until other drawing apps adopt iOS 11’s new features too.

OmniGraffle aims to be a complete drawing package. It also aims to make it quick for you to create detailed and technical drawings. So the ability to quickly re-use elements fits in perfectly with that.

It’s not the kind of update that you go wow at or that you know you will rush to use. What is, though, is the kind of update you’ll become so accustomed to that previous versions will seem slow. OmniGraffle is all about making clear, professional drawings with speed and without fuss, however. So this is an update that makes good use of the new iOS 11 features.

OmniGraffle 3.2 for iOS has a free trial version on the App Store and then costs $49.99 for the Standard version. A Pro version is a further $4.99 upgrade or you can go straight from the trial to Pro for $99.99.

 

Do you have a favorite technical drawing rule? Tell us about it in the comments below!

App of the Week: WALTR2

This wireless app helps avoid the mess of transferring data with iTunes.

 

 

By Cult of Mac Deals

Usually when want to move a file from your computer to your iPhone, you’ve got to deal with iTunes. That means dealing with its often unintuitive interface and sync settings. Let’s be honest, iTunes isn’t exactly user friendly.

That makes WALTR 2 a welcome alternative. It’s a app that lets you to wirelessly transfer content between devices, skipping iTunes, converters and other headaches. And right now, you can get WALTR 2 for just $19.95 at Cult of Mac Deals.

Basically, WALTR 2 is a straightforward file manager that spans between devices. Once your device is connected, just drag and drop music, ringtones, videos, PDFs, ePUBs, and more into any Apple device. That includes the entire lineup of Apple iPods, all the way back to 2001’s original iPod Classic. Additionally, WALTR automatically converts audio and video formats as needed, retaining metadata, removing a key stress point from the process of moving content. Plus, the whole process works over WiFi. So forgetting your USB cable isn’t a problem.

Buy now: Get WALTR 2 for $19.95. That’s half off the usual price.

 

What do you use to manage music on your iPhone? Tell us about it in the comments below!

How to: Password Protect a Folder in a Mac

 

 

 

By Henry T. Casey of LaptopMag.com

Not all of your files are meant to be seen by everyone. Your friends and family may not appreciate this truth, but that’s just the way it is sometimes. Luckily, MacBook owners can protect their sensitive files from prying eyes by password protecting specific folders.

Many paid programs offer similar functionality, but we prefer this free method built into Apple that allows folders to be turned into protected disk images. We tested this on a MacBook Pro running macOS Sierra version 10.12.6 but research shows it works the same way going as far back as Mac OS X 10.6, Snow Leopard.

1. Click Command + Shift + A to open the Applications folder.

 


2. Open the Utilities folder within Applications.

 

3. Open Disk Utility.

 

4. Click File.

 

5. Select New Image.

 

6. Select Image from Folder.

 

7. Select the folder you wish to protect and click Open.

8. Click on the Image Format option menu and select read/write.

 

9. Click on the Encryption menu and click 128-bit AES encryption.

10. Enter the password for this folder twice, and click Choose.

 

11. Name the locked disk image and click Save.

 

12. Click Done.

 

You’ve turned your folder into a locked disk image! You can delete the original folder now, if you’d like. Just don’t delete that .DMG file!

 

And just like a folder, you can add items to your password-protected disk image before ejecting it.

 

What are you’re best practices for securing your files? Tell us in the comments below!

App of the Week: Yoink

Yoink is the macOS Shelf Utility I Want on iOS Too

 

 

 

BY JOHN VOORHEES of MacStories

At WWDC, I was disappointed that the iOS 11 announcements didn’t include a shelf where content can be temporarily parked. When Federico and Sam Beckett made an iOS 11 concept video earlier this year they included a shelf, which felt like a natural way to make touch-based drag and drop simpler. I found the omission in the iOS 11 beta somewhat surprising. On the Mac, people use the Desktop as a temporary place to stash items all the time, and without a Desktop on iOS, a shelf that slides in from the edge of the screen seemed like a natural solution. In fact, it’s a solution that has an even more direct analog than the Desktop on macOS that makes a solid case for implementing something similar on iOS: Yoink, from Eternal Storms Software.

Yoink, is one of my favorite macOS utilities that sits just out of sight until I start to drag something. There are many days when I have a bunch of apps open across at least a few different Spaces. If I need to send a file1 to someone in Slack or attach it to an email message, those apps may be buried under several layers of windows, in a different Space, or may not be open at all. Instead of starting a drag and using Alt+Tab to find the app to drop a file into if it’s even open, I can drop it onto Yoink as a temporary resting spot until I find the destination for which I’m looking. This is especially useful when I’m using an email client and haven’t begun composing a new message yet.

As soon as I start dragging a file, Yoink fades into view. I have it docked to the middle of the right edge of my screen, but it can be anchored to the left edge too. You can also customize when Yoink appears. Instead of showing up as soon as a drag starts, you can set Yoink to wait until your drag approaches the side of the screen where it’s docked. You can even have a little Yoink window show up near your cursor as soon as the drag starts to minimize how far you need to move the file. As soon as you drop the file on the Yoink drop point, it re-attaches itself to the side of your screen.

Once a file is sitting on Yoink’s shelf, you can pin it there. I’ve begun doing this with a few files I need throughout the day when I’m working with MacStories and AppStories sponsors. After I pin the file, I can drag it out of Yoink and into an email message as many times as I want, which is faster than digging back through layers of folders in the Finder. If I don’t want to see it sitting there in Yoink on the edge of my screen all day, I press F5, which hides the Yoink window until I toggle it again.

There is a preview button next to each item on Yoink’s shelf that can be used to take a quick look at its contents. You can also share and open items using a variety of apps on your Mac by right clicking on any file stored in Yoink. If you decide you no longer need the files sitting in Yoink, click the ‘x’ button next to individual items or the broom icon to remove all of them at once. Right-clicking on Yoink or clicking its gear icon also gives you the option to bring back the last removed files if you clear out any by accident.

 

 

Multiple items dragged onto Yoink become a separate stack of files. Instead of a preview button, a split icon appears next to a stack, which unpacks the stack into separate items when clicked. Yoink also supports a customizable Force Touch gesture that can be set to select all the files in Yoink, reveal a file in Finder, pin and unpin the file in Yoink, or trigger the preview/stack-split button.

One final trick I like to use with Yoink is an Alfred workflow. It’s a simple workflow that deposits files found via Alfred onto Yoink’s shelf without having to take my hands off the keyboard. After triggering Alfred’s text field, I type a space, which triggers a file search. When I’ve located the file I want, I tap the right arrow key to reveal the available file actions. I pick Yoink, and the file magically appears on its shelf. The workflow is perfect for finding multiple files quickly.

 

Like a lot of utilities, Yoink isn’t something you need, but if you try it, you may find it’s something you want. Everything Yoink can do can also be done another way with the Finder, but it makes working with files on your Mac easier and faster. It’s a shortcut that saves seconds over and over, which adds up to real time over the course of weeks and months.

Yoink is also why I’m disappointed there’s no shelf in iOS 11. Dragging files around iOS 11 is a two-handed operation not unlike grabbing a file on macOS and maintaining the drag until you find the destination you want. As a result, it’s not surprising that iOS drag and drop works the way it does, but iOS 11 is an opportunity for a fresh look at how files are moved across the OS and to improve the way it’s accomplished. It doesn’t look like that will happen this year, but I’d love to see Apple take a cue from Yoink and implement an iOS shelf someday. Until that happens, I’m optimistic that we’ll see third-party developers tackle the problem.

Yoink is available on the Mac App Store. If you want to try the app first, you can download a trial version from Eternal Storms’ website.

Do you have any suggestions for features to add to iOS? Tell us about them in the comments below!

How to: Password Protect a Folder in a Mac

 

 

 

By Henry T. Casey of Laptop Mag.com

Not all of your files are meant to be seen by everyone. Your friends and family may not appreciate this truth, but that’s just the way it is sometimes. Luckily, MacBook owners can protect their sensitive files from prying eyes by password protecting specific folders.

Many paid programs offer similar functionality, but we prefer this free method built into Apple that allows folders to be turned into protected disk images. We tested this on a MacBook Pro running macOS Sierra version 10.12.6 but research shows it works the same way going as far back as Mac OS X 10.6, Snow Leopard.

1. Click Command + Shift + A to open the Applications folder.

 

2. Open the Utilities folder within Applications.

 

3. Open Disk Utility.

4. Click File.

 

5. Select New Image.

6. Select Image from Folder.

7. Select the folder you wish to protect and click Open.

8. Click on the Image Format option menu and select read/write.

9. Click on the Encryption menu and click 128-bit AES encryption.

10. Enter the password for this folder twice, and click Choose.

11. Name the locked disk image and click Save.

12. Click Done.

You’ve turned your folder into a locked disk image! You can delete the original folder now, if you’d like. Just don’t delete that .DMG file!

And just like a folder, you can add items to your password-protected disk image before ejecting it.

 

Do you have any tips for protecting your data? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Weekly Round Up 8/11

 

 

I’m gonna file this under “Doh!”
How to get fired in the tech industry


And the backlash continues…

Tech leaders must stop treating humanity like computer code

 


I’m ashamed to admit to owning most of the items on this list.

9 tech crazes that made us lose our minds in the ’90s

 


Everything old is new again.

3 Things Women in Tech Must Do to Get Ahead

 


Why didn’t they just buy Netflix?

Disney bought baseball’s tech team to take on Netflix

 


Shouldn’t this guy be in jail already?
Martin Shkreli’s ‘stealthy’ tech start-up has a website and says it’s starting to test products

 


What the WHAT?!

Wild new microchip tech could grow brain cells on your skin

App of the Week: LiquidText 3.0.11 changes how you annotate documents on the iPad

It’s hard to go back to an more ordinary PDF annotator after using LiquidText, but it is not the ultimate PDF tool for the iPad.

 

By Mike Wuerthele and William Gallagher of Apple Insider

We’d be doing you and LiquidText a disservice if we just called it a PDF editor but at its heart, that is what it is. It’s so much more than that, though, that the PDF element seems almost incidental. LiquidText 3.0.11 for iOS is about gathering ideas and making something useful out of them.

You can do regular PDF work in it. Just as you might with Adobe Acrobat or PDFpen, you can create PDFs and edit them to at least some degree. You can annotate them, too, and that’s where LiquidText starts to show its muscle.

It handles PDFs of course but also Word and PowerPoint files. Open one of these in LiquidText on your iPad and it first turns it into a PDF. So if you just wanted to convert that Word document into one, you’ve just done it.

By far the app’s most striking feature, though, is how you can pinch to collapse parts of your document. It makes a PDF act like an outline except rather than levels that you elect to see or hide, you pinch your fingers together and it squishes up everything in between.

 

Say you’re writing a screenplay and you feel a character isn’t working out. Find their first scene, excerpt that by just dragging the text to the work space, and keep referring to it as you read through their other scenes.

That workspace can as big as you want it to, and it shrinks as much as you care to pinch it. Collate lots of elements on it or just the one: whatever you need to get your ideas moving around in your head.

This pinching, this squeezing of lines is a little startling at first: it looks like there’s a problem with your iPad’s screen. Yet once you’ve found and used it, you keep coming back to it.

 

If you’re more of a corporate type and have to deal with pie charts, excerpt one the same way. Circle it, drag it out to the workspace and keep it there. Annotate it with handwritten notes. It’s easier to scribble a line over your document and then handwrite on the workspace but you can also choose to create text boxes that you then drag around.

Drag together two elements on your workspace and they connect. Drag three, four or as many as you like and they all connect into one blob-like element.

It’s like you’ve got a messy desk with notes strewn and random lines doodled between them —except it’s a regulated mess and the lines are never random. LiquidText makes you feel like you’ve got a paper document that you can crumple, tear bits out, doodle all over and in every other way fold, spindle, and mangle it while you work to make the best thing you can.

Yes, Adobe Acrobat and PDFpen can do the boring stuff but LiquidText can be engrossing. There’s just this irony that an exquisitely gorgeous app lets you make such horrible messes of your documents in the interest of data access and editing.

But, what you do with that document afterwards? LiquidText files are really intended just for you, and to be a working document rather than something you prepare to send on to other people. You can share your LiquidText work over email and what your recipient gets depends on whether they’ve got LiquidText too.

If they have, then they get your scribbles in all their glory. If they haven’t, they get a PDF with a range of options regarding how much get to see or your working notes.

Means to an end, not the end itself

 

It’d be good to see LiquidText accept more types of documents and it’d be handy to at least refer to them on your iPhone.

LiquidText is not meant to be a PDF editor per se, you won’t use it to create much. It’s really for reading and doing intensive annotations and edits. Nonetheless, the way it does that makes you wish every PDF reader app with annotation features worked the same way.

We talked about sharing documents. It may not be a major hassle, as the app as it’s free to download. If you’re only ever going to read someone else’s LiquidText documents, it’s all you need.

But, to work on documents of more than a single page, you can buy the $4.99 multi-document in-app purchase. To get that plus all of the editing features, there’s the Pro version which is a $19.99 in-app purchase.

Try out the free version but skip the multi-document edition and go straight to the full version of LiquidText 3.0.11.

It’s an iPad-only app and though it doesn’t require an Apple Pencil, you’ll want one to get the most out of LiquidText.

What’s your favorite App for PDF editing and annotation? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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