Sharing PDFs to/from Notability

Hi there,

I have the PDF presentations from a course that I’m taking online, that I’m storing in DT3 database that’s being access via WebDAV. For each class, I’m exporting the particular course PDF to the iPad app Notability, so that I can use the Apple Pencil to write notes on the presentation.

  1. When Sharing the PDF from DTTG to Notability, I’m presented with the option the option to “Create Separate Notes”, “Create Single Note”, or “Add to Another Note”. If I chose the Create Single Note, the text of the notes are overlaid on the PDF, covering the PDF text. As a result, I simple create a Separate Note and then delete it, keeping the PDF. Is there a better way to go about this, and actually have the notes included in the PDF, but not cover the text?

  2. After I’ve added my handwritten notes to the PDF, and want to return the document to the database via the Share option of iOS 13.1.3, is it better to “Copy to DEVONthink” or select “DEVONthink”? Coping to DT is currently producing an error that states “Error - Couldn’t move the file .pdf into the database package”


Hi Kappabear,

to your questions:

  1. Notability cannot really open a document but creates a copy of this and import it. Therefore, you get the message from Notability what you want to do with the PDF.

As Notability can only copy documents but not really open them but their own file format you would need to create a copy within Notability.

  1. What I tend to do is, that I share a document to my note taking app - import it - work on it and within the notetaking app to share it as a PDF back to DevonThinkToGo.

In this instance, your PDF will be updated but not copied.

Another solution would be to open the PDF from the document provider in iOS and then share it back and replace.

As far as I know, Notability uses WebDav for backups only and these should not be used as a productive file. Maybe Notability will have a “proper” WebDav with both backup and opening the location - therefore, it would be a good idea to ask them for WebDav support. I have tried it several times w/o avail and use ZoomNotes instead. This got the feature.

Hope that helps

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