How to open multiple PDF files at once?

by Gustavo   Last Updated November 05, 2016 09:04 AM

I would like to open two PDF files at the same time. However, it seems like "doing more than one thing at once" is a concept which has yet to be invented in the tablet world. Is there a way to do it?

Ideally I'd like some sort of MDI interface where I can view files side-by-side. The next best thing (option 2) is a tabbed interface where I can see the files one at a time but switch between them. The next after that (option 3) would simply be to have two files open but use the app switcher to jump back and forth between them.

At first I thought that I'd be able to use Firefox as a container and could make option 3 work - but Adobe don't seem to have released their NSAPI plug-in for Android. So files are opened in their standalone "Reader" app.

The next failed idea was to use Firefox and PDF.js. This actually works, but PDF.js is so ridiculously slow that this is not a viable option.

Then I heard about "Dolphin" which supposedly has a PDF plugin, but after trying the browser out, before even getting to the stage of downloading the plugin, it's clear that this app is buggy and useless.

Frankly, I'm not in love with the idea of using a web browser for this task anyway.

The other idea is to install several different reader apps, but this is a horrible, ugly solution, and I assume I'll have to either pay up or accept ads.

Are there any simple ideas that I've missed? Is there some way to get "Reader" to not close the current file when I want to open another PDF?

Tags : pdf

Answers 6

To answer my own question: while I haven't found a completely satisfactory solution to this problem, I have discovered in Adobe's Reader app the "Recents" list - which shows recently read documents in the descending order of last-opened date. This, combined with the fact that the Reader app remembers the position of each document that you read, and the fact that the "Recents" menu is only a click of the back button away, gives a workable solution to reading multiple documents at a time, albeit slowly.

I wish that someone from 1998 could come back in time and give us proper multitasking. How great it would be!

For now, I hope this idea helps someone else.

October 13, 2013 14:48 PM

Use Stick App in android hope it helps

November 06, 2013 09:17 AM

Try Kingsoft Office...

It can open and edit all sorts of Office files, and view PDF. It allows you to have several documents open and switch between them in a tabbed interface.

November 18, 2013 10:21 AM

I had same problem, I searched forums, but couldn't find a nice solution. Than I switched to test some appps, and Kingsoft office and pdf is quite good. If you open a new pdf file, it will appeae as a new tab. And the same with docs, but all different file tipes are in a new window link

I started to use it today, so a cant tell anything about bugs or stability of the app

April 22, 2014 08:46 AM

The only app I know in Android that provides this functionality is iAnnotate.

PD. Right now (4/21/2015) seems to be a bit resource hungry, I'm not sure if it's leaking memory.

April 21, 2015 08:06 AM

Aside from WPS office & PDF, I used to open two applications instead. One Adobe reader, and another pdf reader. I then switch to between the two applications.

Vince Banzon
Vince Banzon
November 05, 2016 07:23 AM

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