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Basic Liquid | Reader, 09 Jun

Last updated on June 13, 2017

The Liquid | Reader app is an iOS iPad Pro app for reading PDFs, highlighting sentences and viewing and searching the highlighted sentences later.

The idea is that a user can highlight text in a PDF on their iPad, then see and search all the highlighted text in a Document Listing view and they can easily copy the highlighted text to be automatically available as a citation in their word processor.

Document Listing

  • When the user opens the app, a view of documents exactly the same as the iOS 11 ‘Files’ application appears, with an important visual difference: Any PDF document which has been annotated in Liquid | Reader will show all annotated text under the document name, with a line break after each annotation.
  • In this view the user can pinch in and out to show or hide this annotation text, in the same way that the user can pinch to show and hide body text in Liquid | Author.
  • The Search field at the top of the screen features a toggle to Search All/Annotations Only (iOS interface standard to the right of the dialogue).
  • To the right of each citation text, where the ‘download from iCloud’ icon is for the document, there is also an iOS Share icon. Tap on this to get the option to Copy (the annotated text) As Citation. This uses the same format as Copy as Citation from Liquid | Flow to Liquid | Author uses, with information about the document author included, if this was created/added during the opening of the document. With modern iOS and macOS this then allows the user to tap this option and then Paste on their Mac, and if they use Liquid | Author all the citation information comes along.

Document View

  • The document view has no visible interface elements. Going from one page to another is the same action as in iBooks (no animation though, just swipe right and left).
  • The user can use an Apple Pencil to highlight text (stripe draw over it and it’s highlighted, just like using an analog pencil – no need to highlight and then choose ‘Highlight’ in a menu, the text is simply drawn on and highlighted). This highlighted text is what appears under the document name in the Document Listing view and is what needs to be searchable in that view.
  • To un-highlight draw over the text again.
  • To exit the reading mode and return to the Document Listing pinch out.

Development Notes


Version 2


  • When the user opens a document (by tapping on it) the system opens the PDF and if it’s the first time it’s been opened it asks the user to highlight the name of the document (Dialogue: ‘Please select the title of this document’ [Ignore] [OK]), which should be on the first page. Once done, the system presents a dialogue presenting the user with the Author’s name and publication date (as retrieved from Mendeley, see below). This is then used to re-name the document and to create a basic About/’Get Info’ record of the document for later use. The way this happens is that the app searches Mendeley based on the document name and auto-completes a dialog which is called ‘About this Document’ and which is identical with the Citation dialogue in Author.


  • Pinch out to only see annotations in the document. This does not interfere with the pinch out to close the document, as that would be another level of pinch out.
  • When a document is open the user can select text and get a black iOS menu with the same Search and References menu as Liquid | Author in Read Mode.
  • To exit the reading mode and return to the Document Listing pinch out.
Published inAuthorThoughts


  1. Daniel Slupskiy

    Hello. I can help you building this app for a good price. I work as iOS Developer for more than 3 years and have over 20 developed projects. I’m from Ukraine and can provide you really interesting price. Please, contact me if interested –

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