how to hide or move the thumbnail sidebar in PDF files on iPad
July 23, 2020 1:43 AM   Subscribe

I have just begun using an iPad Pro (OS 13) to annotate PDF files with an Apple pencil. Because I am right-handed, I find that my fingers keep touching the thumbnail sidebar and causing the page to change, which is really annoying. Is there any way to move the thumbnail sidebar to the left, or to hide it completely?
posted by mydonkeybenjamin to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Also, I am finding that writing with the Apple pencil is causing pain in my fingers. Any tips on how to hold it so as to avoid/minimize this would be greatly appreciated.
posted by mydonkeybenjamin at 2:58 AM on July 23, 2020

What app are you using for annotating?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:51 AM on July 23, 2020

Response by poster: That's a good question; I'm not sure. All I did was open a PDF I had saved in iCloud Drive on the iPad; I didn't select a specific app to do so. I checked the file just now but I can't work out how to identify what app it was opened in. I believe the native PDF reader on an iPad is Books, but I can't see a way to open this particular file from inside Books, so I don't think that is the app.

This is my first time to use the iPad for anything more complicated than using a web browser, and I must admit I am finding it a bit confusing despite a lot of Googling ...
posted by mydonkeybenjamin at 4:45 AM on July 23, 2020

Best answer: Understood. It can take a while to get the hang of it.

If you press the main/home/big button twice it will show you all the apps that are running. The one in the upper right is the current one. Press the button once to return to the app.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:33 AM on July 23, 2020

Best answer: I would suggest getting an app that is designed for PDF annotation. I use PDFExpert. I have colleagues who like Goodreader or Notability.
posted by grouse at 6:15 AM on July 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It looks like it's the default behavior of the built in PDF viewer, the iPad version of Preview. Unfortunately I don't think there is anything that can be done to hide the thumbnails when in editing mode. There's an option to 'hide' the edit controls, but it leaves the thumbnails visible on the side.

I'd definitely try downloading a PDF app like everyone else has suggested to handle the markup. Hopefully this behavior is fixed in iPadOS 14.
posted by rambling wanderlust at 6:57 AM on July 23, 2020

Best answer: You can get silicone pencil grips in a wide variety of shapes to alleviate finger pain. Just google "apple pencil grip".
posted by ananci at 7:23 AM on July 23, 2020

Best answer: Huh, I had never seen that viewer. There is no way to remove the thumbnails.

You should definitely get something better. I’m partial to iAnnotate PDF myself.

Something that might help with your future iPad explorations is that the whole system is oriented around apps instead of documents. So normally you would open a particular app, and then inside that app you would open the document.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:47 AM on July 23, 2020

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone who took the time to help me with this Ask. Today was a very stressful and trying day for various reasons, and struggling with the iPad was nearly the final straw, but thanks to your generosity the problem has been solved. I really appreciate your kind and patient assistance!
posted by mydonkeybenjamin at 8:29 AM on July 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

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