PDF app for clutter-free presenting within window

Although I use Keynote for most of my talks, every once in a while I’ll present something that’s a PDF source. Since it often involves Zoom, I prefer to display in a window rather than in full-screen presenter mode. In the past I have used simple Preview for that. However, every time I do I have to reconfigure it for this presentation purpose: remove sidebar with thumbnails, remove toolbar, set to single-page advance, increase zoom to fill window, etc. And once the talk is over, I have to set it back to what I need for my usual PDF viewing use.

All that is not a huge deal, but it occurred to me that it could be easier if I just used another PDF viewer app for this specific presentation purpose. Set it up correctly for presenting once and then that’s that, no back and forth.

Does anybody have a good suggestion for such an app? Should be very simple and clean, but provide for this specific type of use.

It may not meet your definition of simple but I do all my Zoom/Teams presentations from my iPad which AirPlays to my desktop where the AirServer window is shared in Zoom/Teams. GoodNotes and several other note taking apps have a presentation mode that shows just the document in AirPlay. I get the benefit of being able to use my Apple Pencil to write, highlight, and use a pointer on the PDFs as I speak. To summarize, GoodNotes on iPad via AirPlay to AirServer on desktop window, window shared in Zoom. (Added bonus, I switch often between PowerPoint and GoodNotes and since the switch is on the iPad, no having to switch windows in Zoom.)

Look into PDF Viewer.

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I’m sorry to say I don’t have a good recommendation for you (there are just so many PDF viewers out there!). But I did want to acknowledge your frustration with the need to “fiddle” with Preview (or any other app) for your purpose.

The amount of opening, closing, moving, and resizing of windows for presentations, video chats, and screen sharing is mind-numbingly frustrating and unproductive. And it’s worse when you have a large widescreen display you’re sharing and the viewer at the other end has a much smaller display.

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Skim is another good alternative that uses Apple’s PDFKit. Free, lightweight and fast. It remembers the last state of toolbars and other UI elements and allows you to set a desired zoom % for the presentation you are giving in advance and use that as default. Lots of options for customizing the toolbar. My favorite: the “Zoom to Fit” button. See images of some of the Preference panels below.

Initial View & Full Screen settings:

Presentation Options:

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I like using PDF Viewer for this. It’s nice how it gets out of the way. Perfect for presenting.

However, it’s a bit of a bummer that no matter what I do, I cannot get it to remember a window size or position. Neither for all PDFs nor specific to a certain doc.

And there’s a graphics glitch around the window bar. that doesn’t go away even with resize. Not a big deal, just a minor blemish.