One of the first note taking apps designed specifically for the Apple iPad, Note Taker HD has long been known as a powerful and stable application for writing and organizing handwritten notes and diagrams. It can also be used to annotate PDF files. It can shrink your writing so you can easily fit a lot of text on a page. You can read the reduced-size "ink" as if you had written those letters with a very fine pen. It gives you solid functionality and control to produce the pages you need.
Documents are flexibly organized by tags, date/time last modified, favorites, and more, with a scrolling list of thumbnail images of part of each page to help you find them later. You can email one or more pages as a single PDF file, "Open In" other apps, or, if your iPad supports it, print.
Note Taker HD lets you create pages by writing on the screen with your finger or an iPad-compatible stylus. You can either write directly on the page for large drawings, or have the "ink" you write shrunk down. You can write in large letters on the screen rather than trying to make tiny motions like a pencil. You just keep writing and Note Taker HD automatically adds new writing next to the old. To quickly correct mistakes, it has multi-level undo and redo buttons as well as an eraser -- just drag your finger over the page to erase the "ink" under it.
You can zoom in and out on a page using the pinch gesture while viewing or editing. The Zoomed Editing window lets you see both a zoomed-out overview and a zoomed-in close-up writing area at the same time.
You can use "Open In" in other apps or iTunes to send PDF files to Note Taker HD for annotation.
Other features include:
- Pages organized into documents and folders
- Typed blocks of text with optional borders
- 60+ highly customizable shapes
- Insert and crop images from Photo Albums, Pasteboard, or the iPad camera
- Custom backgrounds from images or PDF pages
- Free templates and clip art on the support web site
- VGA/HDMI/AirPlay support with zoom, pan, and a moveable pointer
- Wrist guard to avoid inadvertent touches
- Layout variations better suited to some left-handed users
- Optional fields in output footers like in a word processor
- Extensive built-in help
- Smooth and crisp ink on screen and in PDF output
- Share editable copies of your documents with others
- Backup to a single file for off-iPad storage
- Password protected folders
- Support for the iOS Data Protection API
- Support for languages written right-to-left
- Full-screen preview mode
- Support for the retina display on new iPads
- Automatic advance and auto-return in zoomed editing
- Copy/Cut/Paste between pages, rotate/resize ink
Note Taker HD was designed and programmed by Dan Bricklin, the same person who over 35 years ago came up with VisiCalc, the pioneering electronic spreadsheet that made working with numbers on a personal computer so easy.
To see it in action, click on the Support link here or go directly to www.notetakerhd.com.
Version 6.11 addresses a change in iOS that resulted in folder names and some other file listings not being in alphabetical order. Version 6.11.3 added a message for first camera access. iOS 11 or later is required for this release.
Ratings and Reviews
Most Used App on my iPad
I work as a proofreader and copy editor for a science fiction author. I have used this app for years. The author and I do not live near each other, and we do everything electronically. She sends me a manuscript as a PDF document which I then load into Note Taker HD. It loads a 400 page document in a matter of seconds. I read through the document making notes as I go along. After I have edited a chapter, it is very simple to have Note Taker display only the pages which I have marked up. I then export only those pages and send them back to the author as a PDF document, which she uses to incorporate my changes into her master manuscript.
Note Taker provides many options for highlighting in different colors and writing remarks in different colors to call attention to problem areas. It is also simple to include photographs, drawings, sketches and any other thing that you would like to include. Once they have been incorporated into your document you can then write on them, draw or whatever you need to do.
I highly recommend this app for anybody who does intense work with PDF documents!
VERY useful app
UPDATE: December, 2017 - I need to upgrade to iOS 11 for the new major release of another app that's important to me, but if I upgrade, I'm afraid that that this program won't work, as mentioned by someone who tried it (in their review here).
This is distressing because this is an absolutely rock-solid app programmed by one of the earth's great programmers. I don't want to lose this app. Don't know what to do...
Original review: Wow, these guys have thought of EVERYTHING. And even more impressive, they've made it simple to use. I use it every day, and have deleted several other note apps. This is all I ever use, and I use it all the time. It works fantastic with my brand new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil - beautiful ink - and has a slider to protect writing in unintended areas...
If you want to use it simply, and intuitively, you can do that, right off the bat, like I did. If you want more functionality, then it is right there for you. If you want to delve into the Help Files, they are well-written and easily understandable.
I recommend this above all others, both for professionals in the office, and for folks at home - from sketching out plans for a new invention, to taking notes at meetings, to jotting down recipes.
I think this would be the most useful app for everyone from kids (think Etch-A-Sketch) to cartoonists, stay-at-home Moms to stay-in-space astronauts!
Excellent App, but needs a little more to make it Perfect!
I began using this app as a simple way to take notes on pdf files. As I explored its abilities for generating notes and diagrams, I discovered some really useful features as well as a few that need to be better. I would love to be able to group objects together similar to the way PowerPoint does. The app allows you to layer drawing for items and text, however, if you have too many layers or layers close together (i.e. trying to make a box with equally spaced lines or hash marks) it is impossible to go back and select a single image. Also, I would love to have the ability to under line, bold or italicize text that I created within the text box. When typing notes, I would like the ability to provide emphasis without having to draw or manually add underlining. Please keep updating this app!!!! It is so close to being the one stop app for note taking and creating study aids! Thank you.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.