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Skim Reviews

19 September 2020

PDF reader and note-taker for scientific papers.

Aargl
09 June 2019
Version: 1.5.1

Most helpful

v1.5+ crashes when closing a document's window.
(1)

How would you rate Skim app?

Read 110 Skim User Reviews

4
breitpeterviola
12 August 2020
Version: 1.5.11
Will try it out and comment. If from Adobe, I am confident
(0)
2
Eric•Woehler
27 June 2020
Version: 1.5.10
Unable to change default print settings - app wants to print each page at 100% even if bigger than preset page size, so EVERY time I print something I have to manually check and set print settings wrt zoom/shrink/fit page size VERY annoying and getting to the point of ditching it - it's not hard to set preferences for an app to default settings, but not possible for this app
(0)
3
476429
29 May 2020
Version: 1.5.9
Skim is a great app, but it has one significant limitation. Search doesn't support wildcards or booleans. You can search for a word or a phrase. That's it. If you need to find a page where two words appear separately, then you are out of luck The other day I needed to find the title capitalization rules for infinitives. I needed pages that used the words capital, capitals, capitalize or capitalization. And the word "infinitive" also needed to appear anywhere on those pages. In Skim, you can find where any form of "capital" appears. If you type "capital", it will show pages that contain capital, capitals, capitalize, and capitalization. However, as soon as you hit the space bar, you are locked into a search for the exact word you typed. Any search for two or more words will be an exact phrase search. You can find where "infinitive" appears. But there is no way to find where it appears anywhere on the same page with some form of "capital". The exact phrases "capital infinitive", "infinitive capital", "infinitive capitalization", "capitalize infinitive", etc. produce zero search results And that exhausts the Skim search capabilities. I opened the document in Preview and searched for "capital* AND infinitive". It immediately found the exact page I needed--where the words "capitalization" and "infinitive" appeared in different parts of the page, about three sentences apart. I searched Skim's "Issues" page on GitHub and found that someone had brought this to the developer's attention a few years ago. The developer said Skim was using the search capabilities provided by Apple's PDFKit so if you want improved search, then you should talk to Apple. He then marked the issue as closed. In other words, it is unlikely Skim's search capabilities are going to get any better . . . at least not anytime soon. If you need to annotate PDFs, there is nothing better than Skim. If you require anything more than the most basic search functionality, you will need to use a different app.
(0)
5
Krupnix
24 March 2020
Version: 1.5.7
After Apple Preview screwed up all my meticulous notes from a tutorial I was taking (losing some, changing colors, blanking them out in the highlight TOC), I looked around and found Skim. It works great! I have done several tutorials now, without a single issue in Skim. You can search either the pdf doc contents (left side), or your notes (right side.) Thanks to the developer!! And thanks for the new update, which allows for line returns etc.
(0)
Aargl
09 June 2019
Version: 1.5.1
v1.5+ crashes when closing a document's window.
(1)
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1
Aljuk
04 June 2019
Version: 1.4.41
As of version 1.5 it appears that Skim can no longer print documents.
(1)
1.5
ami.go
15 November 2018
Version: 1.4.37
Version 1.4.37 crashes on start. No Problem with Version 1.4.36.
(0)
Trance
11 February 2018
Version: 1.4.32
The last couple of versions set off the "distnoted" process to use all my cpu when I open a pdf file.
(0)
3.5
Aargl
10 February 2018
Version: 1.4.32
I've been using Skim as my default pdf viewer for years but I'm finding a few lacks and bugs now: - it doesn't support 256 bits password protection (Acrobat X and up) - some pdf have some parts of them not displayed at all! (this bug is common with my 10.9.5 Apple Preview, while Acrobat X reads them correctly — they might be malformed pdfs, but here's a superiority of Acrobat, anyway, because you never can be sure what you've been sent is malformed or not...)
(0)
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3
Iliketrash
09 November 2017
Version: 1.4.30
This app contains bugs which never get fixed. For example, there is apparently an error where the size of the display part of the main window is miscalculated so that on long documents a white band appears at the top and grows shorter as you scroll through the document. The size of the white band is proportional to the length of the document. On very long documents (1000 or more pages, I suppose), the entire display area of the window is blank. When I complained on the users' list, the developer suggested that I upgrade my operating system. I did, but the problem remains. Another example of a long-standing bug is that the PDF -> Use Current View Settings as Default has never worked. For example, it makes the left-hand thumbnail pane whatever size it wants. A recent bug is that that attempts to update result in an error. The developer is actually pretty hostile when faced with bug reports and has responded to me personally with an arrogant attitude that basically denies there is a problem Other than that, great piece of software
(1)
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5
Orlando-a
16 January 2017
Version: 1.4.25
Excellent free app to manage PDF files on a Mac. Skim offers a range of nice tools for making annotations with different colors and various types. Never used PDF files with such pleasure.
(9)
2.5
Jpwgibson
16 November 2016
Version: 1.4.24
Not sure if the current version is responsible, but freehand and line in Note Tools are broken again. These functions seem to come and go, and I find myself crossing my fingers whenever a new version appears. In short, freehand lines disappear once one lifts one's finger off the trackpad/mouse, and the line function gives one a resize or grab cursor - and doesn't actually draw a line.
(0)
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Pfackelmann
01 October 2016
Version: 1.4.21
1.4.21 is out. I can't select areas anymore (Sierra?) Any hints? Peter
(0)
4.5
ronn-2
22 September 2016
Version: 1.4.21
This is still my replacement for Adobe's product and works with only a few minor bugs.
(0)
5
cubanpete
24 June 2016
Version: 1.4.20
Great app! The best. Love it. Thank you very much.
Gatekeeper will block this as unidentified developer so first select "Allow apps downloaded from anywhere" in the Mac's "Security & Privacy" tab of the System Preferences.
And by the way - no MacUpdate installer present in the download. Checked by Sophos.
(0)
OhEssex
22 November 2015
Version: 1.4.15
Beware everybody - clicking on MacUpdate download link yields a dmg for the MacUpdate Installer. They're doing this awful, sleazy thing more and more lately.
(8)
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3
Jpwgibson
03 November 2015
Version: 1.4.15
Since version 1.4.14 freehand notes no longer work (on El Capitan): they appear while being drawn, but disappear once the mouse or trackpad is released.
(1)
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5
MichaelHaeusler
18 August 2015
Version: 1.4.12
New version great as ever. Would like a trackpad signature feature like in Apple's Preview though. Or did I miss it?
(0)
Pwenzel
17 June 2015
Version: 1.4.12
Skim is presently hosted on Sourceforge, which has recently seen many applications compromised by malware. Proceed with caution if downloading this application from sourceforge.net. Hopefully Skim's developers can move it to a safe hosting provider soon. Malware on Sourceforge is NOT the fault of Skim's developers, so please consider this an advisory and not a negative comment about the application.
(1)
5
Hkim
17 June 2015
Version: 1.4.12
This is still one of the most indespensible tools for working with PDF files that is free. This software has almost never let me down. The only improvement I could mention would be to have choices for font selection, for notes that are placed inside PDF files.
(0)
5
timmerk
26 May 2015
Version: 1.4.11
One of my favorite Mac apps! Favorite feature is that you can add highlights and notes without permanently disfiguring the PDF, as Preview.app would do.
(0)
5
MichaelHaeusler
16 May 2015
Version: 1.4.11
Hands-down the best PDF reader for Macintosh. Fast search, handles large scanned PDFs well, customizable, notational functions etc.
(1)
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5
cubanpete
29 April 2015
Version: 1.4.11
Great software. Beautifully designed and a joy to use. I'm so glad I found it. Thank you so much!
(0)
5
Funjoy
18 December 2014
Version: 1.4.10
I've been using this app for years. Mostly bulletproof, handles gigantic files easily.
(1)
4
SMS1
20 November 2014
Version: 1.4.10
The release notes for 1.4.10 notwithstanding, the functionality of the Page-down and Page-up keys in Yosemite remains decidedly flaky -— sometimes they work, sometimes they work backwards and sometimes they don’t work at all. The only work-around I’ve found is to use Keyboard Maestro macros to redfine these keys in Skim -— calling the “Go Previous” or “Go Next” menu items.
(0)
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5
Mt3
19 May 2014
Version: 1.4.8
Greatest pdf annotation software in the world.
(1)
Schmye-Bubbula
17 May 2014
Version: 1.4.8
A couple of years ago I begged the Skim developer to add a menu item & command key to toggle between fit-page-height-to-window & fit-page-width-to-window, something this presbyope need umpteen times a day. But of course, like most programmers, he put his convenience ahead of usability, functionality & user-friendliness and insisted that he "didn't want to add too many command keys that make an app confusing to the user." So that left us with the user-hostile machinations of having to make sure PDF > Automatically Resize was enabled, then switch between PDF > PDF Display > Single Page & Single Page Continuous. Grrrr!! So I wrote this AppleScript to do it, which can be assigned a command key to execute it in Keyboard Maestro, QuicKeys, FastScripts, etc. (The version of Keyboard Maestro that will run on Snow Leopard doesn't have the ability to check for menus with checkmarks.) For this AppleScript to work, you have to check the checkbox for "Enable access for assistive devices in System Preference > Universal Access. tell application "System Events" tell process "Skim" tell menu bar 1 tell menu 1 of menu bar item "PDF" tell menu item "Automatically Resize" set menuChecked to value of attribute "AXMenuItemMarkChar" try if menuChecked = "✓" then set menuChecked to true end if on error set menuChecked to false end try end tell if menuChecked = false then pick menu item "Automatically Resize" tell menu 1 of menu item "PDF Display" tell menu item "Single Page" set menuChecked to value of attribute "AXMenuItemMarkChar" try if menuChecked = "✓" then set menuChecked to true end if on error set menuChecked to false end try end tell if menuChecked = true then pick menu item "Single Page Continuous" else pick menu item "Single Page" end if end tell end tell end tell end tell end tell
(1)
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ososX
09 March 2014
Version: 1.4.8
Is there a way to "add a page" to a pdf document, or to "move pages" between two pdf documents with Skim ? Tnx
(0)
2.5
Surfspirit
14 November 2013
Version: 1.4.6
Biggest advantage, it doesn't destroy OCR data from Clear Scan PDF Documents, biggest disadvantage it does not save comments and annotation to the PDF file making it very limited. On the other hand OS X Preview saves the annotations to the PDF but destroys the Clear Scan OCR Data, so the only good choice is the heavy bloated Adobe Acrobat Pro, that to be fair is getting lighter.
(0)
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5
Alex8602
31 October 2013
Version: 1.4.6
Neat freeware with important features that Preview lacks – e.g. support for embedded fonts. This feature is essential for handling your Adobe ClearScan documents properly, which Skim perfectly does (Preview on the other hand ruins your documents by silently deleting these embedded fonts!)
(1)
4
Mrtomato
27 October 2013
Version: 1.4.6
I am still working out how to best use pdf annotation software, so I readily admit that some problems that I have with all of the applications I've tried may not be problems at all. Problems such as writing notes - the equivalent of writing in the margins on a hard copy. Skim, PDFpenPro etc. all have these anchored notes that are nothing short of inconvenient. They're more like Post-its/stickies and just like those big yellow eyesores, they get in the way of the text. You can sort of hide them, but the little anchor is still in the way. The ideal for me would be something like the reviewing function in Word, but as a separate layer so I don't accidentally edit, delete, or simply select a note when I'm working from the document. Also, a nice looking font and layout preset for notes would be welcome. But Skim specifically. Overall, it's a great little program. I learned about it on an academic blog in a post about the writer's workflow. On the whole, I'd agree that it fits an academic workflow quite well. My only major gripe is that it does not yet, years after Lion, have fullscreen mode. This was actually not too bad on 10.7 and 10.8, but now Apple has finally fixed the multi-monitor bug, it's time Skim has fullscreen mode. Why is fullscreen mode so important? Partly because of the slightly illogical way Apple has set up Spaces. If, say, you have several documents open in Skim in its current full screen setting (with each document open on a different Space), and then open another application, that application may open on top of an open skim document. Not the end of the world, but rather annoying. My other little gripe is that Skim will not restore windows when it is reopened. There is an option to "Reopen last open files at startup" but this seems to do absolutely nothing. Still, this is free software and it is, in my opinion, much better than PDFpenPro. Hats off to the developer for the work put into this application. A lot of free software is kind of like a generic drug - almost as good as the real thing. Skim, however, is better than the paid applications available.
(2)
Sampler
17 April 2013
Version: 1.4.2
OS X 10.7.5 Major issues with last few updates. Creating a selection just creates a dark overlay, making the text beneath nearly unreadable. Clicking on URL, Mail, or page links doesn't work any more. I've uninstalled Skim reverted to Adobe Reader and PDFPen Pro; both have decent annotation capabilities. I've had to rely on AR in any case for very large, complicated documents that choke Skim (e.g. Stata documentation, 100's or 1,000's of linked documents in a single TOC. Writing here because the bug reporting system for SourceForge is Byzantine. I've had to rely on AR in any case for very large, complicated documents, e.g. Stata documentation, > 100 linked documents in a single TOC.
(0)
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Aargl
20 March 2013
Version: 1.4.2
I've just found a nice little trick! Years ago, on Tiger I found that when you renamed Skim as Preview (after renaming the original Preview.app into something else), you could use the "preview" button in the pdf menu (when you print a document) and it was sent to Skim. Unfortunately, this nice trick wasn't working anymore in 10.5. By chance, today, I discovered that you can modifiy that menu with the + sign (which I knew) and add directly an app! (I thought you needed a service or something...) I haven't found a way to change the name and order of those items, so "Skim" appears at the bottom, but it works fine ! ;-)
(2)
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outer
07 February 2013
Version: 1.4.2
Anyone else see Little Snitch getting upset from time-2-time after running the Help system in Skim 1.4.2?
(0)
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5
Aargl
04 February 2013
Version: 1.4.2
Way beyond the ridiculous OSX Preview! :-) Indispensable!
(1)
5
Peter-Van-Den-Einde
14 January 2013
Version: 1.4
Fantastic and essential free PDF annotator app!!
(1)
4.5
THEE:LEE
10 September 2012
Version: 1.3.22
Great PDF annotator and it's free, I can't help but feel the interface is too busy for my liking. But that only knocks off half a star as it's still brilliant.
(3)
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4.5
Cgc
14 April 2012
Version: 1.3.20
Great pdf reader but doesn't save filled pdf forms. Preview does but not Skim. Other than that omission, Skim is perfect.
(2)
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5
Antoniez
01 April 2012
Version: 1.3.20
Great!!! Much better than Preview as a PDF viewer, specially in searching. Thanks!!!
(3)
4
mugsuk
07 March 2012
Version: 1.3.19
Great app. 1 MAJOR problem - the annotations that are made are not viewable in other PDF viewers. This is a disaster really, as files you have marked cannot be shared, and of bigger concern is that if you leave the mac platform, or end up using another pdf viewer, all your work is wasted. The application "preview" (version 5.5) shipped with OS does not have this problem, and has pretty much all the functionality of Skim. This is a lovely app to use, but for me the above mentioned problem makes it crazy to use when we have preview 5.5 available.
(3)
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5
Djq
19 February 2012
Version: 1.3.19
I'm finishing up my dissertation and Skim has been essential!!
(1)
Aargl
10 February 2012
Version: 1.3.19
HUUUUUGE problem with version 1.3.19 here on PPC 10.5.8! Some of my pdfs are not printing! (while it's ok with version 1.3.18!) I've only tested some, it appears that they have skim notes or tables or have been edited somehow, I'm not sure of the reason — while one that contains only a scan of an image prints ok.
(0)
5
THEE:LEE
03 February 2012
Version: 1.3.19
Awesome app especially for free, you should charge for it on the MAS as other people have ripped it and put it on.. How is it fair that people are making money from the work you have done, when your not!
(2)
Garlicbreath
20 January 2012
Version: 1.3.19
In the app store there's something called "PDF Reader" with the exact same icon as Skim, and nearly identical description. Did someone rip off this open source project?
(2)
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5
taja
16 January 2012
Version: 1.3.19
Best PDF reader and annotator for students and academics in all fields, no competition. Fast, lean, flexible and applescriptable. If you use its annotation features with keyboard shortcuts and multi-touch gestures (BetterTouchTool), this becomes an incredible aid to productivity. The main limitations on it are mainly imposed by Apple's PDFKit, which causes problems for page numbering and saving Adobe Clearscanned OCR documents (which are much smaller and sharper than ordinary OCR, but PDFkit destroys that layer when it saves a PDF using it). It would be great if it could perform some table of contents editing and page manipulation functions as well (like Preview, PDF Clerk Pro and the new PDF Nomad). But its also understandable that the devs want to keep Skim focused and avoid feature-bloat.
(2)
5
sea-hare
22 November 2011
Version: 1.3.18
Great!!! Especially for AUCTeX/LaTeX with Aquamacs! I was getting really jealous of sumatra pdf on windows, and skim is exactly the light non-locking viewer that does SyncTex right! I hope the name gets out there, because it was not the google obvious choice it should have been. PS whats up with preview in lion? I can only imagine the developers have never actually used the application, it's infuriating! PPS See http://mactex-wiki.tug.org/wiki/index.php/SyncTeX for minor needed configuration for Aquamacs to play with Skim
(3)
4.5
Uniquepito
10 October 2011
Version: 1.3.18
Great APP! Perfect and effective replacement for acrobat reader and preview with many improvements to preview.
(0)
4.5
Anon-Bud
10 October 2011
Version: 1.3.18
Great. Has become my replacement for Acrobat/Acrobat Reader. My only complaint [and the reason for the 4.5 stars rather than 5 stars] is that it does not copy text as well as the Adobe products do: it does not save formatting. Otherwise, as I first stated: Great!
(1)
Kees-De-W
07 October 2011
Version: 1.3.17
It would be wonderful if the developer could add image support, so Skim could be a true replacement for Preview in Lion. I find the new autosaving of scans and photos etc. in Lion's Preview incredibly annoying and time consuming. If you are considering support for these features, please make them optional!
(0)
3
Unique-Ish
25 September 2011
Version: 1.3.17
First of all, Skim is a great application and, as far as I know, the only real workaround for the ClearScan bug in OSX (owing to the native PDFKit only supporting PDF version 1.5) that turns any searchable text in ClearScan PDFs into commas and periods. For that reason, it is invaluable to me, as ClearScan allows me to shrink crappy pdf scans from my professors into a much more manageable size, and improves readability immensely, especially when zoomed in. I love this program. However, its built in auto-restore feature has never really cut it for me. At least for me, it only works when I launch skim directly, and not when I launch it from opening a pdf file. What is the rationale for this behavior? It's a huge pain to try to find every file I had open before, especially when doing research, or in the event of the OCCASIONAL crash. Disabling the Lion auto-restore feature is a step backward because of this. I understand some people prefer the Skim version of this feature, but is there any way future updates can allow us to choose between the 10.7 and the Skim approach? What is the advantage of keeping the built-in function?
(0)
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