Evernote for Windows Update: Major PDF Improvements

Evernote for Windows Update: Major PDF Improvements

Posted by on 24 Jan 2012

Posted by on 24 Jan 2012

Today’s Evernote for Windows update (4.5.3) is full of PDF-related improvements. So if you store PDFs in Evernote, this update will make you very happy. Everything about the way PDFs work in Evernote for Windows is better than ever.

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The new PDF functionality lets you do things that weren’t possible before. Search results will be highlighted inside of PDFs, you can easily drag PDFs out of Evernote, and you can even copy text. Also, when you mouse over the PDF, you’ll notice a new toolbar. Here’s how it all works.

Search inside PDF
If you have a scanned document or a digital PDF in Evernote, then search results will be highlighted in yellow right inside the PDF. You can also use CTRL+F to search inside a specific note.

Drag PDFs out of Evernote
Besides allowing you to move from page to page of your PDF, the new PDF toolbar also lets you drag a PDF out of Evernote and into other apps, your desktop, or just about anywhere you like. To do this, click and drag the middle section of the toolbar, then drop the file.

Copy and paste
If your PDF contains text that can be selected, you can now copy that text and paste it into other programs right from the note pane.

PDFs are even better with Evernote Premium

One of the great features of Evernote Premium is that it automatically performs OCR on any scanned document PDFs in your account and makes them searchable. This feature is made all the more powerful now that search results are highlighted right inside the PDF. Learn more about Evernote Premium »


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52 Comments RSS

  • nan

    This is so cool! I love having a place to save my pdf’s to use on the go, and this will make it even easier. Many thanks!

    • Rob Richards

      Nan –

      I am a brand new Evernote user. I am having difficulty learning how to get a pdf document into evernote. I’m tired of clicking on links trying to find the answer. Can you give me a cliff note version?

  • Steve K.

    You may want to update the blog post and clarify that you don’t click on the PDF icon to drag the pdf file out of Evernote. In order to get this to work, I had to click and drag over the middle area where the page numbers are.

    • Andrew Sinkov

      Thanks. Updated.

      • Rob Richards

        Andrew –

        I am a brand new user to Evernote. I want to put some pdfs INTO Evernote and can’t seem to find instruction to do that. Most everything is working with it while in evernote.

        • Kasey Fleisher Hickey

          Rob, you can attach a PDF by either dragging and dropping it into a note, or finding the paperclip icon in the Note Editor (on your desktop).

  • Cameron

    It’s great that you can now drag PDF’s out!!!

    However I just tried to drag a pdf from evernote to gmail in chrome and the file is not being dropped correctly saying it has 0 bytes.

  • David E Y Sarna

    This is a really great feature that I have been wishing for for a while.
    Thank you.

    • Heather

      I agree, Evernote needed simplifying. I have just purchased it and have yet to work out how to use it. I feel I need a step by step starter’s program from Evernote.

  • Mark

    This is huge. Thanks!!

  • Denis-Mark hock-Brustolon

    Highlighted search results in PDFs work perfect as far as I only use one-sided documents, right? But if the PDF includes several pages, Evernote doesn’t jump automatically on the page of the result. Could this be improved?

    • James McLellan

      My two cents: I underscore this thought strongly! I have many large pdf’s in Evernote (e.g. manuals and such) that are 100 pages and more. The find and highlight functions while welcomed are not much use if the text I’m looking for in a pdf is on page 70

    • Christoph

      I fully agree! Even though the new feature helps me find which documents contain the search term, in practice I still have to open those big pdf files in acrobat and do the search there once again in order to find the page…

      Please bring this feature to its logical end!

    • Daniel Gehriger

      Yes, please add this feature! This is how it works on MacOS.

    • EvernoteSnob

      Guys, I just tested search on a large cookbook in PDF. Evernote will highlight and open the specific page it is in!

      To do this:
      – Open the note by double-clicking on it.
      – Press CTRL-F.
      – Highlighted word plus page it is on will show!

      I heart Evernote!

      • Richard Collier

        Unfortunately, thats using the search WITHIN the PDF. Heres my meaning. I have a number of pdfs, each containing the index pages from a single cookbook (and named as such) and search “balsamic chicken”. The matching list shows me which books contain a recipe for balsamic chicken but I dont want to have to then open each PDF and search again to find which page its on.

        I would like to click each matching pdf and it skip to page x, highlighting the match.

        Hope that clarifies!

    • Richard Collier

      +1 for the above. I have a pdf of the index pages of recipe books. If i search for a recipe I can see from the results which book its in but if it went to the right page of the pdf and highlighted the match, I could also see which page it was on right away.

      Again, highlighting works fine for me if the document is only 1 page.

      Great product but this update was just a little short.

      B- must try harder! 🙂

  • rob

    This was a feature I had been waiting for for a long time. But it doesn’t work!!! If I drag out a pdf as instructed and drop it into an email, I am told that the file cannot be found! however I can drop it onto the desktop, but that’s the same as “save as…” so not really an improvement!

  • Peter

    It could have been great – but it misses out.

    When you open a pdf – you get the possibility to make annotations and it updates fine in the windows version – but the changes doesnt carry through to the IPAD.

    The file changes size but the PDF doesnt show the annotations.

    This is not good!




    • iCoco

      Totally agree. PDF annotations should be shown on any device. They are not even shown on my Mac in Evernote App. Everyone who needs this (I guess that’s everybody who works with PDF docs) should send feedback to Evernote.

      • iCoco

        Sorry, that was incorrect. Annotations are just not shown on iOS devices, but are shown in the iMac app. However, those iOS apps should be updated.

  • Phil B

    Way cool. Another reason I do over 50% of my work with Evernote in one form or another

  • Jon B

    This upgrade is both useful and appreciated, but I have always felt that the primary missing element in preventing me from making Evernote the center of my research efforts is a set of pdf annotation tools: highlighting, commenting, geometric shape drawing, et. al., similar to what is available in PDF Expert (an iPad app). I use Evernote for Windows, OSx and iPad across platforms, and having these tools available would really make an enormous difference in E’note’s utility.

  • Pete Goodear

    You have made the best piece of software / utility that I use even better. Evernote is simply awesome. Don’t know what I used to do before I discovered the power of Evernote.

    Well done Evernote Team

  • Chris Massey

    the pdf dragging doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried it multiple times. What gives?

    Also, on a related note, why do I have to continuously manually type in emails when I am sharing notes from the Windows version of Evernote, but on my Mac, it utilizes my address book (as it should)?

    thanks for a great product

    • Martin Liebermann

      I have asked Evernote to re-introduce a proper email functionality ever since they REMOVED it from Evernote for Windows (when introducing Ver. 3).

      I work a lot with Evernote to prepare emails, and this featre being REMOVED is very annoying. I consider a proper email functionality to be a basic feature.

      Evernote really needs to listen to their customers on that. Never got any reply for any suggestions and/or complaints on this.

      • Neil Hinrichsen

        I second this!

        I’ve also been asking EN to pls bring back NATIVE email client support, so that I can access my address book.

        I’m fully aware that calling the native email program fails for lots of users, so I suggested making this an Option that can be enabled by more advanced users.

  • Nathan Jones

    My one lingering PDF gripe: lack of control over sizing. If I have the Evernote window maximised, the PDF shows up on the screen at well over 100%, because it automatically expands to the full width of the note area.

    Eventually, some more control over PDF display would be great, but as a rudimentary beginning, what about showing the PDF as 100% when there’s enough width, or shrunk to fit when the note area width is smaller?

  • Kerry H

    Wow! I had learned to work around the cumbersome way of working with PDFs. This opens it up for wonderful time saving and eliminates the risk of not having multiple copies of the PDF not collaborated.


  • Will Kelly

    Thanks for the update. These are some much needed PDF updates for Windows users.

  • Cath

    Thanks! This is a great update. Dragging the pdf out of evernote works well.

  • Jonas L

    This sounds great! When will it be available for Mac as well…?

  • Heather

    Yes I agree, I need it for Mac too.

  • Christen

    I’m not sure that image only (as in not OCRed before put into Evernote) PDFs that Evernote does the OCR on will actually show searched text as highlighted, because Evernote does not appear to “embed” the text into the image, but rather just makes another PDF with the text in it that it “attaches” to the original image PDF.
    At least, that is how it is happening for me. Am I missing something?
    If what I am saying is true, then the last paragraph is misleading.

    • Sean

      Likewise,it doesn’t work on PDF’s of scanned documents for me despite having a premium account. This post is really misleading.

  • Samir

    What about dragging into Evernote for multiple PDFs? I have about 100 PDFs in this one directory that I want in Evernote, but each as a separate note. Anyway to do that?

    The only way I thought of was to write some sort of Mail Merge in Microsoft Word to E-mail each one individually.

    • Heather

      Go to Tools->Import Folders and point to that directory. Evernote will import all the files and create one new note for each file.

  • Tommo

    Good sftuff e remote


    This new PDF featur is the only reason I user Evernote, it’s perfect for storing my scripts.

    Arthur Daley

  • My

    I don’t know what I do for jod

  • My

    I don’t know what I do

  • Debbie

    This sounds wonderful. I plan on going back to school. next Sept. and this sounds great.

  • Anthony

    I’ve got a number of PDFs loaded in my Evernote (not the premium) and its great that I can now do a search for a term and pull up material that’s in these PDFs. Shouldn’t I have to be using premium to be able to do this though (OCR)?

  • Plarval

    Mac Mac Mac Mac

  • Ron Haggin

    I can’t get the search to work consistently in my pdf files. Sometimes Evernote will highlight the occurences – sometimes it won’t. I must be doing something wrong?

  • Jimmy

    Fantastic! Evernote is the first choice for our Chinese friends. Thanks and keep moving!

  • Travis Weaver

    Great update. REQUESTED FEATURE(S):

    1. I’d love to be able to copy/cut the embedded PDF from one note and then paste it into another. It’s certainly possible to save the PDF, then move it, but I do this often enough I’d appreciate the convenience.

    2. If guys can ever implement basic PDF notation (notes, highlighting, strikethrough) in the iPad app, it will pretty much be the greatest thing ever.

    • Sydney

      What I’ve been doing is using Jing to do a quick capture of a section of a page for note-taking when I read on my computer. When I read PDF’s on my iPad, I use iAnnotate, which allows me to send my highlighted sections to EN via email. I am moving that way as it gets me both search capability on my notes, but retains highlighting. The PDFs are stored in a Dropbox folder and accessible to Endnote that way.

  • krystle

    I am trying to download for Windows 7 but I get this error:
    Cannot open file (/opt/logs/evernote-downloads-2012-05-19.log)

    Please help!

  • Irfan

    It’s not working on my side. Im using evernote on windows xp. I’m trying to search text within pdf file in evernote. But search result is NOT highlighted.

  • Irfan

    It’s not working on my side. Im using evernote on windows xp. I’m trying to search text within pdf file in evernote. But search result is NOT highlighted.

    Anybody to help me?

  • Mark

    This would be great, except for the little bug that won’t let you open a PDF in Evernote. One of our users gets the “Open In” option when they try to view a pdf in Evernote. And the list of apps to open is so limited they can’t view the pdf. Wonderful stuff!