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A PDF Reader and Note-taker for OS X

4.6 Stars (78)
3,754 Downloads (This Week)
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Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher.

Skim Web Site


  • Viewing PDFs
  • Adding and editing notes
  • Highlighting important text, including one-swipe highlight modes
  • Making "snapshots" for easy reference
  • Navigation using table of contents or thumbnails, with visual history
  • View all your notes and highlights
  • Convenient reading in full screen
  • Giving powerful presentations, with built-in transitions
  • Handy preview of internal links
  • Focus using a reading bar
  • Magnification tool
  • Smart cropping tools
  • Extensive AppleScript support
  • Bookmarks
  • Saving passwords in Keychain
  • Export notes as text
  • Automatic download of remote PDFs
  • Support for Apple Remote Control
  • Interaction with LaTeX, SyncTeX, and PDFSync
  • Integration with BibDesk and other third party applications
  • Spotlight support
  • Highly customizable
  • And much more...


User Ratings

ease 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
features 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
design 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
support 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 3 / 5
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User Reviews

  • cogitoxin
    1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    I found that every time I tap with 3 fingers a snapshot will appear but actually I just want to look up a world in dictionary. Can the snapshot function be turned off?

    Posted 01/28/2015
  • imartinez921
    1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    I absolutely love Skim. I love how you can view all your Notes (typed, freehand, lines, arrows, boxes, ALL) separately in their own sidebar and easily locate where they are within the PDF. You can even edit the text that the lines, arrows, or boxes say by double-clicking them. I also love the universal bookmarks – eg. I have a Pharmacy Calculations PDF textbook with a page of unit conversions that I need to reference often, and it is SO convenient not to have to scroll through huge virtual textbook files like that just to reference one page. I am a pharmacy student, and the professors in my school like to use PDFs as their slide format. A select few of them keep their presentations in powerpoint form, which I usually export as PDF just so I can use them in Skim! One improvement I'd like to suggest is to allow word-for-word font formatting when editing ALL texts posts, even from Tools like underline and highlight (non-Note tools) as well as the Text Note tool. I'm talking about when I double-click an underline or highlight or Text Note I made on the PDF and it allows a text box that can then show the text in the Note sidebar. I would like to be able to make individual words in this box bold or underlined or italic, just like you can in an Anchored Note. The last thing that would make Skim perfect to me would be audio recording capability. It would be extraordinary to be able to record my professor's audio within the Skim file, with a playback bar similar to Pear Note, and then click on any of my markings and reference the audio at that time. Also, I do not currently have a tablet, but perhaps in the future, I would want Skim to be mobile somehow. If Skim were to be mobile with audio capability, and yet still keep the Notes and Table of Contents and bookmarking functions it has now, I think it would be superior to many other apps, even Notability. The only thing that would keep Evernote ahead at that point would be its image-text recognition capability, but that's another battle for another day. Audio capability please~!

    Posted 08/31/2014
  • sdsmpie
    1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    Better then build in os x viewer, if only there was a night reading theme Needs one more thing that build in viewer is missing! The ability to change the background color of the paper to any RGB color one want's

    Posted 05/14/2014
  • jrussell88
    1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    Skim doesn't have basic measuring tools for drawings, so I'm rating features as poor. It also has a limited help function - it took me a while to figure out that when I opened it, it sits on the task bar but doesn't open a programme window; it waits for me to use Finder to open a file. So I'm also marking it down for not conforming to usual usability modes. However it does look quite pretty and seems to have the basic text markup tools, slightly more than are offered by OSX's Preview application. PS To the user who requested coloured notes... OSX's Preview app offers that.

    Posted 05/14/2014
  • nitin_sf
    1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    Easier and more feature-full than OSX builtin viewer.

    Posted 04/06/2014
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Additional Project Details


French, Dutch, Italian, English, German, Spanish, Russian

Intended Audience

Science/Research, Education

User Interface

Cocoa (MacOS X)

Programming Language

Objective C


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