Multi-Device Deep PDF Options?

Using my incredible powers of reasoning it looks there are only a handful of PDF apps that support deep links and of those Adobe Reader is the only one that I can use across both MacOS and iPadOS.

Can someone correct me if that is incorrect? I try to avoid anything made by Adobe when possible…


Welcome to the Hook Productivity Forum , @russmcb.

this is the section on deep linking PDF apps, which you’ve probably read. But the links to those files are not cross platform unfortunately.

Thanks for the welcome.

Ahhh, bummer. So, if I create deep links on the Mac they will only work on the Mac, and if I make deep links on the iPad those will only work on the iPad?

Maybe I should explain some of the background. I’m building various workflows around Zotero, with PDFs stored on DropBox, and LiquidText using those same PDFs. I understand that LT handles links differently and I’m ok scripting some solutions to help with the glue. But I would like to be able to use deep links to reference specific sections of those PDFs in various places. Will a deep link work cross-platform (across both the Mac and the iPad) if the source file PDF is centrally located on a DropBox folder? Or will deep links in the iPad LT reference only the iPad LT project and the a deep link on Mac LT reference only the Mac LT project?

Similarly, deep links on Adobe Reader on the iPad will be fixed to the PDF on the iPad, even though the PDF is stored in DropBox?


I’m pretty sure the deep LiquidText links work on all platforms. . And they are deep. So that may be a good option for you.

You’ve probably seen this: Using Hook With LiquidText – Hook. We’re in discussion with Craig Tashman of LiquidText about deeper integration. The first step is for them to simply provide a keyboard shortcut for copying links. That would allow us to get some UI-scripted automation going. Step number 2 is of course to get a proper API for copying links. That would be something to ask them about.

The compatible deep linking apps currently use hook://file/ URLs which are not currently functional on iOS. First, our iOS app is not yet out. It’s in TestFlight beta. Secondly, it does not currently resolve hook://file/ URLs. The workflow was too cumbersome. But when we get there, we are in discussions with one PDF app developer to make the hook://file/ deep links work there, and we hope that others would follow.

I’d recommend checking whether PDF Expert links work well across devices. There’s no official integration with PDF Expert. However, on this forum there are work arounds including with deep links. Readdle have pledged to add support to their Spark email client, and I hope they will then press on to PDF Expert. There certainly are many Hook users wanting PDF Expert to be URL-friendly.

Oh , I forgot to mention a great option: DEVONthink. They already have deep links and they sync across devices. We haven’t done anything special yet to serve deep DEVONthink links yet, but that is coming. That would be my recommendation.



I’m hesitant to add DEVONthink into my already complex workflow but I appreciate the suggestion.

For now I want to get the basics working and that requires LiquidText and another cross-platform PDF annotator (there is some fast annotation/reading that I don’t want to crack open LT for). I will look into PDF Expert. Adobe Reader’s annotations are too weird… And it’s been a decade+ since I’ve used DEVONthink so I’ll try that again for fun.

I’ve talked with Craig in the past and suggested Hook integration. I hope they provide a proper API. They don’t seem interested in OSA (AppleScript) support… but I see that many have used basic system control to manipulate an unsupported app’s menu items–whatever works!

Unrelated question: How do I get Hook to work with Zotero? When I select an entry in Zotero and hit control-H I get a Hook error message: “No linkable item found in Zotero”.

Thanks for helping me think through all of this!


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Sorry for the delay. Zotero is discussed here: Zotero 6/beta compatibility - #24 by echej. Some Zotero might want to condense that in a new forum topic. Hook has a lot of Zotero users.

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Dear LucB,
I am very very excited to see that Hook will support deep link in Devonthink. Hope to see it as soon as possible!

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