Creating a PDF Handler for Apple Notes

Creating a PDF Handler for Apple Notes

iOS 13 has yielded many beautiful and welcomed additions to life on the iPad. One of my favorite has been the ability to take screenshots of a full page. This can be fantastic for logging things on websites that may change or be inconsistent at a later date (for posterity’s sake), and when I put the whole thing in Notes, it becomes searchable.

Unfortunately, Apple Notes is a little quirky.

Unfortunately, Apple Notes is a little quirky about what it’s willing to handle in the share sheet, and is especially picky about (AKA won’t take) PDFs.

For a while, I was taking the full page screenshot ( Power + VolUp or drag the pencil from a bottom corner straight up), then using the Share Sheet to copy the PDF to the clipboard, then opening Apple Notes and pasting the PDF into a new note. Of course I couldn’t live this way for long I was itching every time I had to go through the routine, just waiting for a fix… That never came…

So finally today I stopped whining and made a shortcut to deal with it. It takes all of about 14 seconds to create.

First, create a new shortcut. Name it something memorable, then select Shortcut Input as the option for Create note with.

Quick and Dirty Shortcut

Next, hit the next to your note title, and tick on Show in Share Sheet, tick off Show in Widget, and under Share Sheet Types select only PDF. Hit Done and then Done again.


Guess what? You’re done. That’s all it took.

If you don’t feel like going through all of that, you can use this link and it should open right up for you.

Featured image by: unsplash-logoNatalie Grainger


About Will Puckett

A 20 year veteran of the San Francisco Bay Area, Will Puckett is an author, artist, and guide. He enjoys styling CSS, and helping friends move furniture. When not parked in front of his iPad, he rescues, restores and rides bikes. Will has been lucky enough to take long rides on both coasts of the United States, and encourages people to explore the world by bike. He tries to lay in his hammock as much as possible reading and planning his future container home, but does enjoy periodically escaping to skate. And of course ice cream.