How to Split/Annotate and Merge PDFs on Chrome OS

Chromebooks are cheap and portable, and hence are targeted towards students who need to regularly work with different file formats. This can be quite a hassle considering that Chrome OS does not have downloadable software available for managing PDFs, unlike Windows or Mac OS. Hence, we must rely on Chrome apps and online PDF managers to do the job for us on a Chromebook. Working with PDFs online can be quite a hassle, and hence it is important to have the right set of tools to work with. Here are some of the best Chrome OS compatible apps and websites that can get the job done :-

Converting to PDF

Students need to type out essays and then submit them in PDF format. If you’re using a Chromebook, you’re probably doing all your writing on Google Docs. Fortunately, Docs lets you directly download your document in PDF format.

To download a Google Docs project in PDF format, navigate to File from the header options and then hover/click on Download as. There, you will find the option to download your file in PDF format (and a variety of other formats as well).

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If you need to convert other file formats like docx or jpeg to pdf, we recommend Smallpdf. It has a nice user interface and can convert a whole range of file formats to PDFs.  All you need to do is choose the file that you want converted, and Smallpdf will automatically generate the pdf and provide you with the download link.

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Merging and Splitting

We don’t have to look much further for our merging and splitting needs because Smallpdf offers that functionality as well. Simply drag and drop the file(s) you want to merge/split and your job is done. It also allows you to preview the split/merged file before downloading.

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Annotating PDFs

For annotations and highlighting, the Chrome Web Store has a well built app called Kami. Kami is optimized to work offline (a rare thing in Chromebooks) and syncs the annotations with Google Drive, so you never lose your valuable notes and mark-ups. Once you upload your pdf, it works pretty smoothly and has a good interface. You can also share your annotations with other people and have them contribute to your document.

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With the right set of tools, Chromebooks can offer almost the same level of functionality as Windows PCs and Macbooks when it comes to working with PDFs. However, an all-in-one PDF manager is still something that Chromebook users desperately need, and will hopefully get sometime soon.

Nishant Kauntia
Nishant is a tech-enthusiast, and keeps experimenting with new apps and tweaks on his Chromebook and Android smartphone. Innovative user-experience developments fascinate him. Apart from keeping a keen eye out for updates in the tech industry, Nishant is interested in Philosophy and Creative Writing.

Expert Tip

How to Split/Annotate and Merge PDFs on Chrome OS

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