Update: Evernote for Mac – Better PDF options

Posted by on 15 Feb 2011

Posted by on 15 Feb 2011

Today, we released updates to both Evernote for Windows and Evernote for Mac. While many of the improvements to Evernote for Mac aren’t visible (read: lots of bug fixes), there is one notable new feature:

View PDFs as attachments

Evernote for Mac (version 2.0.4) now lets you right click on a PDF to view it as an attachment. By default, Evernote for Mac displays PDFs right inside notes. This is really useful for reading the PDF  and searching within the document without having to launch an external viewer. There were two slight annoyances with this inline view that have now been solved: no more waiting for large PDFs to load and you can now easily drag a PDF out of Evernote.

Simply CTRL+click on a PDF and choose the “View as attachment” option. The PDF will immediately switch to an attachment. You can do this while the PDF is still loading. If you want to go back to the inline view, CTRL+click on the attachment and choose “View inline.”

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54 Comments RSS

  • doug

    i installed the update and now my evernote app won’t open.

    • Andrew Sinkov

      Please contact Evernote support:

      • Francisco

        I have the same issue and I try to find a solution on the support pages but so far, no solution yet. I am paying a fee for EV.

  • Kaminix

    Been waiting for this feature, nice one!

  • Die_Monkey

    Nice feature…one thing I didn’t like about Evernote was that it was easy to get stuff in, but hard to get it out. Thanks!

  • Eric

    Any idea when this will hit the Mac app store? thx

    • Andrew Sinkov

      We have submitted this update Apple for approval. It should be available shortly.

  • Jeff

    Just in time because tomorrow I’m going to a conference where I’ll be presenting about GTD and Evernote in front of maybe 100 people! I was worried about the bugs I’ve noticed lately, and how it would be embarrassing to be singing Evernote’s praises and then have it crash on me while displaying it. So glad you guys fixed the bugs!!

    • andy

      jeff, i’m a gtd / evernote user. I’d love to connect and hear how you are using the two tools together.

  • Larry Shields

    When I click on update button, it show that I’m running the latest Mac version 2.0 . When will the the Mac 2.0.4 be available for downloading?

  • Jarrod Job

    ScanSnap users rejoice.

  • Francisco

    I tried to upgrade my EN desktop version (Mac) it didn’t worked.
    I’ve got this message: The operation can’t be completed because the item “EvernoteHelper” is in use. I have not been able to use it since… what can I do? thanks.

    • Allan Wexler

      I tried to download the update for Evernote for Mac but it didn’t work.
      I’ve got this message: The operation can’t be completed because the item “EvernoteHelper” is in use. I have not been able to use it since… what can I do? thanks.

      • Andrew Sinkov

        Make sure to exit Evernote by clicking on the elephant in the menu bar before trying to update.

  • Robert Homes

    How do you install the update? (Can’t find any menu option or preference to do this)

  • Matthias Vohwinkel

    Checking for updates Evernote tells me that I am up to date (mac), however, the view as attachment feature does not come up when right clicking. Am I missing something?

    • Andrew Sinkov

      If you downloaded your version of Evernote from the Mac App Store, then Evernote will update as soon as Apple approves the release, which should be very soon.

  • Robert Homes

    I left an earlier message asking how to install the update. Later, I saw the link at the bottom of your news item and clicked that and downloaded the update. But when I tried to install it, I was asked if I wanted to overwrite the earlier version, and answered Yes to that. I then got an error message stating I didn’t have authority to “change” some of the “items.” I am an administrator of my computer. Is the problem with my setup or your installation? Is it okay to just delete the old version of Evernote from my computer and then install the new one? Will that affect any of my data or settings?


    • Grant McMurray

      While installing the latest version of Evernote I got the following message. “The operation can’t be completed because you don’t have permission to modify “”.

      I have never had this problem and never received this message before. Just to check I ran the permissions utility on my disk and repaired the ones that needed fixing. I ran the installation sequence again and got the same message.


  • Robert Homes

    If and when I get the foregoing problem solved, I still think the Evernote program should have some item on the menus or preferences tabs to ask to check for updates and if found install them.

  • Robert Killington

    I thought this was too good an upgrade to wait for the App store to upgrade, but the app appeared to be refusing to open. It took nearly five minutes to open the main window. There was no dialogue box to tell me whether it was upgrading the database. This happened on the previous upgrade. Needs to be addressed – or a health warning to leave upgrades until after work 🙂

    • Andrew Sinkov

      Robert, since you’re using the App Store version of Evernote, you’ll need to wait until they approve the update.

  • Sherry

    How do I get the upgrade? When I tried the download for mac from the blog site my mac said “the operation can’t be completed because you don’t have permission to access some of the items” – looks like it’s a replace instead of an update process?

    • Andrew Sinkov

      You might be using the App Store version of Evernote. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to wait until Apple approves it, which should happen shortly.

  • Jefferson Harkins

    When I drag a PDF into Evernote, I used to see the whole PDF, which was necessary as I needed to enter the title, date, etc. Now I have to click a button for a Quick Look. This is a horrible extra step, not to mention that the Quick Look covers where I’ll be entering the meta data. Please, please tell me I have a setting wrong. (I’ve tried changing the setting in Prefs>Clipping to Inline, but it doesn’t make a difference.)

    • Andrew Sinkov

      CTRL+click on the PDF and choose View Inline. That will display it as before.

      • Jefferson Harkins

        That’s not my problem. Once a PDF is in Evernote, I can display it as before. It’s when I first drag a PDF into Evernote, it only shows it as an attachment. I think the Pref>Clipping>By Default, view newly clipped PDS: InLine should work, but it doesn’t. Newly clipped PDFs ONLY show as attachments.

        • Andrew Sinkov

          Thanks for clarifying. We’ll look into that.

  • Gary Minor

    AWESOME FEATURE! Thank you for the sweet upgrade.

  • John Knight

    This update is still not in the app store. Any idea when it will show up?

    • Andrew Sinkov

      We expect it very soon.

  • Richard Schink

    When I click the update selection in Evernote Help, I’m told I have the latest version 2.0. Why doesn’t it know there is a 2.0.4 update out there. How did the people that commented on this article get the update?

    • Andrew Sinkov

      If you downloaded Evernote from the Mac App Store, then you will get the update once Apple approves it. We hope that will happen very soon.

  • Homeion

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Joe

    When will this be available for the Windows platform?

  • Sterling Zumbrunn

    Thank you, thank you. I’ve been wanting this feature forever. Can’t wait for the Mac App Store version to drop.

    Now, can we have the reverse for web and iPad? I’d like to have the inline display start loading automatically as soon as I open a note with a PDF in it. I don’t want to have to click on an attachment.

  • Dave Saunders

    YAY! Attachment support has been a bit weak in the app. This is a great step forward.

    Now…when recording an audio note from the iPhone, how about autotagging it with audio so it can be more easily found in my stream? there’s no apparent way to search for an audionote that gets lost in a busy Evernote collection.

  • Will

    How do you keep it where it’s still inline by default? I like to skim through my notes when looking for a particular one, instead of having to right click an view inline for each one. Thanks!

  • Neil Chapman

    I want to echo the consternation expressed by Jefferson Harkins above. I scan documents into EVERNOTE with a ScanSnap scanner. It’s a big step BACKWARDS to require an extra CTRL + click to view a PDF inline!

    Before all documents would be visible “inline” by default upon scanning. This is critical because you want to title the document and assign keywords before closing the window. Now we have to take an extra annoying step to do this, before we can name the document. My assistant is especially troubled by this, since she does the lion’s share of scanning. Please update this update so PDFs will be viewable inline by default upon scanning.

  • Neil Chapman

    One step forward, two steps back. Like “Will” says above, this is major drag. Documents scan into attachment form by default, so you can’t view the documents without right-clicking each one. Please fix that ASAP! Before the documents would be visible as soon as you scanned them, making identifying and tagging the documents very easy.

  • Jim From Anaheim

    PDFs scanned into attachments by default (with, apparently no way to change it) is absolutely annoying as hell.

  • Darryl Burling

    What I’d love to see is the ability to mark up a PDF in an evernote note. You can annotate in Preview (on the Mac) but it would be nice to be able to have one app open while I take notes and annotate.


  • Greg Hankins

    I like this! I often need to be able to get PDFs out of Evernote more easily. Two suggestions:

    1. I’d like to be able to drag them out of Evernote to the Finder or wherever even when they are in inline mode. Maybe by holding command or option and then clicking and dragging.

    2. As others have mentioned, the View PDFs Inline by Default Preference doesn’t work at the moment. It would be handy if it worked, because that’s the most convenient way to view a newly saved PDF in order to title and tag the note.

    Thanks for a great product!


  • JFW

    I don’t usually comment on the Evernote blog, but I have to say this-Lovely work on this, and an awesome compromise for the users. I remember discussing about this on the EN Forums. 🙂

  • Neil Chapman

    Thank u thank u thank u for fixing the “view inline” bug. Now I can scan directly to inline view like before. Guess I can stop whining about it now. 😉

  • Kenkenken

    I think it is amazing how “o-rid KYBER” came up with digitizing text with 99.999% accuracy and now it can be used in Evernote!!

  • kaim

    I remember quite some time ago a screen shot describing Premium features where PDF and other files showed up as attachments.
    Files getting in my way in-line even after becoming a Premium user has kept me from moving my files collection into EverNote so it keeps living on other services. It is nice to have the attachment option now for PDF, if only for PDF, and hopefully for Windows too. – I wonder is it really so difficult to make appearance of PDFs, docs and other stuff switchable from in-line to attachments?

  • tguarino

    Hey guys, what about the windows version?
    As you have implemented it on the Mac version, please, implement on the windows one.
    Waiting for a response…

    • John E

      Still no answer from Evernote, kind of disappointing…

      …a registered, paying costumer.

  • Nathaniel Wallshein

    I have been using evernote for almost a year now, and I would like to now submit a little ‘constructive criticism.’

    First of all, great program. The UI in general is very straightforward and easy to use; and the syncing ability is a must for my notes.

    1) When opening a note in a separate program, there is no way to collapse the ‘hide URL; click to add tag’ bar. Can you please include a way to get rid of that?

    When sorting notes, reading 1 through reading 10 will sort numerically; however reading 11 will show up under reading 1. Can you please implement a smarter sorting algorithm that notes that reading 11 should be placed after reading 10?

    There is no way to edit a table once created. Sometimes I need to add columns/rows.

    Is there any way to add mind-mapping functionality?

    There is no way

    • Nathaniel Wallshein

      got cut off:


      there is no way to print multiple notes at once.

      these are all small qualms, but I appreciate the forums to be able to look into improving the software. Great job!

  • Caroline

    I’m a new Premium user and have recently noticed that since this update (not an option unfortunately), anything added in my Windows copy, is turned into a .bmp on my Mac copy, causing the “quick look” thing to show, making it really freeking annoying to look at JPGs, PNGs, etc.

    I dont use PDFs in Evernote, so this is highly annoying!

  • yyaboo

    I have tried to use the download PDF feature on the mac (file then print) from a web article. It saves it to my Evernote but it only saves it as a screenshot and therefore I am not able to access the additional pages of the articles other than the 1st page. Anyone have any ideas?


  • Steve

    This feature seems to have disappeared in the latest version. Am I missing it ? Did it move?