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Effortlessly View PDFs Side by Side with UPDF: A Comprehensive Guide

Viewing PDFs side by side enhances productivity and facilitates comparison. Whether you're using Windows, Mac, Android, or just a web browser, solutions vary. This guide explores methods to display PDFs side by side, including using UPDF, Adobe Acrobat DC, and Chrome's built-in viewer. Keep reading to find the best approach for your needs.

Part 1. Can You Display Two PDF Documents Side by Side?

Yes, displaying two PDF documents side by side is entirely possible and can significantly enhance productivity, especially when comparing texts or working on multiple documents simultaneously. This functionality is not inherently limited to a specific operating system; users of Windows, macOS, and Linux have various tools and methods at their disposal to achieve this. Each platform offers built-in solutions like split-screen features and third-party software designed to cater to this need. Whether you're a student, a professional, or anyone in need of multitasking with PDFs, there's a suitable solution available to help you work more efficiently across different operating systems.

Part 2. How to Display Two PDFs Side by Side on Windows

Displaying two PDFs side by side on Windows is useful in scenarios where users need to compare texts, analyze documents, or reference multiple sources simultaneously. This feature significantly benefits professionals working on reports, students comparing academic papers, and anyone involved in extensive document analysis.

Enter UPDF, a dynamic and versatile PDF editor designed to enhance your document management experience on Windows. UPDF stands out for its easy to use interface and robust features, including the ability to split view PDFs. This functionality is a game-changer for users seeking an efficient way to work with multiple documents side by side without compromising on quality or performance.

To leverage this capability in UPDF, follow these streamlined steps:

  1. Download UPDF for free and install it on your Windows device. This software offers free access to a wide array of its premium features.

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  1. Open the desired PDFs in UPDF. For the second document, long-press the window tab and drag it to create a separate window.
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  1. Activate the split view by dragging one of the PDFs to the first split view option.
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  1. Click on the second UPDF window to bring both PDFs into view simultaneously, allowing for side-by-side comparison or reference.
pdf side by side updf windows

With UPDF, managing and comparing documents becomes a seamless process, enhancing productivity and document workflow on Windows.

Part 3. How to Display Two PDFs Side by Side on Mac

Transitioning from Windows to Mac, users will find that displaying two PDFs side by side is equally manageable but through different means. Mac's built-in functionalities provide a seamless way to work with two apps, making it ideal for users engaged in tasks such as comparative reading, academic research, or any scenario requiring reference to two documents concurrently.

Here's how you can make use of this built-in functionality:

  1. Open the two PDF documents in UPDF that you wish to view. Please note that you should drag the second PDF to make it displayed on a new window and tab in UPDF.

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  1. On the first PDF opened in UPDF, locate the green button at the upper-left corner of the window; don't click, just hover over it. A dropdown menu will appear shortly.
  2. From the dropdown menu, select "Tile Window to Left of Screen" for the first document.
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  1. On the other side of your Mac screen, choose the second app, which is the second PDF opened in a new UPDF window.
  2. Your Mac will automatically display these two PDFs side by side.

By following these steps, Mac users can efficiently display two PDF documents side by side, making it easier to compare, edit, or reference documents simultaneously.

Part 4. How to Display Two PDFs Side by Side on Android

As we move from Mac to Android, the capability to display two PDFs side by side extends to the mobile realm, offering flexibility for users on-the-go. This feature is particularly useful for professionals needing to reference documents during meetings, students comparing notes, or anyone looking to multitask effectively on their mobile device. Android devices, particularly those from Samsung, provide an intuitive method for activating split-screen mode, allowing for efficient side-by-side viewing of PDFs or any other type of document.

To utilize the split-screen mode on a Samsung Android device, follow these simplified steps:

  1. Download and install UPDF.

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  1. From any screen, press and menu button and swipe to find UPDF, then tap the app icon.
pdf side by side android
  1. Choose "Open in split screen view" from the available options.
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  1. Now, browse through your apps to find the second PDF reader app or any other app you wish to view alongside and tap on its icon.
  2. Then, tap on All PDFs in UPDF.
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  1. Tap on the three-dot icon behind the first PDF that you want to view side by side, choose "Open in Multi Window".
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  1. After that, UPDF will open it in the second screen. Then, you can open another PDF from the first screen, this will allow you to view two PDFs side by side with ease.
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This process transforms your Samsung Android device into a powerful multitasking tool, enabling you to compare, read, or work on two documents concurrently without the need for additional software or tools.

Part 5. Other Ways to View PDFs Side by Side

Exploring beyond device-specific features, there are universal solutions for viewing PDFs side by side that cater to a broader audience. Adobe Acrobat DC and Google Chrome offer versatile options for users across various platforms. In the next section, we'll dive into these alternatives, expanding your toolkit for managing PDF documents with ease.

1. Adobe Acrobat DC

Adobe Acrobat DC stands as a premier choice for professionals and individuals seeking a split view functionality for their PDFs. This feature is especially valuable in scenarios requiring detailed document comparison, extensive editing, or when multitasking between different sections of a lengthy document. Adobe Acrobat's split view enhances productivity by enabling users to open multiple pages of the same document simultaneously, facilitating a seamless navigation experience.

To utilize the split view in Adobe Acrobat DC, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure you have Adobe Acrobat DC installed; this feature is part of the Pro version, which is subscription-based.
  2. Open the PDF document you wish to view in split screen within Adobe Acrobat.
  3. Navigate to the "View" menu, then select "Window" followed by "New Window." This action will open a duplicate window of your current document.
  4. Arrange the two windows side by side by manually adjusting their size and placement on your screen.
pdf side by side split view pdf split viewing adobe


While Adobe Acrobat DC is a powerful tool for managing and editing PDFs, it comes with notable downsides. Primarily, its advanced features, including the split view, are locked behind a subscription model, making it a costly option for some users. Additionally, the software can be hard to navigate and overwhelming for beginners, with a steep learning curve to navigate its extensive functionalities. Finally, its heavy resource usage can impact the performance on older or less powerful computers, potentially slowing down your workflow.

2. Chrome Built-in PDF Viewer

For users seeking a straightforward method to view two PDF documents side by side without the need for specialized software, Chrome's built-in PDF viewer offers a practical solution. This approach is particularly suitable for quick document comparisons or when working on tasks that require referencing multiple PDFs simultaneously. Here's how to utilize Chrome's PDF viewer for split viewing:

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Drag and drop your first PDF file into the browser window to open it.
  3. Open a second Chrome window and drag and drop the second PDF file into it.
pdf side by side split view pdf split view pdf in chrome
  1. Arrange the two Chrome windows side by side on your screen to view both PDFs simultaneously.


Using Chrome's built-in PDF viewer for side-by-side document viewing presents some limitations. While it is convenient for basic viewing without the need for additional software, it lacks the advanced features found in specialized PDF editors, such as annotation, editing, and document manipulation capabilities. Additionally, this method does not offer the same level of document interaction or organization options, making it less suitable for more complex or interactive PDF tasks. It's a practical choice for straightforward viewing but falls short for users requiring more from their PDF software.

Part 6. Bonus Tip: UPDF for PDF Split-View… And more!

After reviewing all the methods of split-viewing a PDF, UPDF stands as a superior tool. UPDF not only offers split view, it also has nearly a dozen other features to help with document management. This includes the following:

  1. UPDF AI: UPDF's AI capabilities enable you to summarize long PDF contents, translate them into different languages, and provide explanations for better understanding​​.
  2. Convert PDFs: Quickly and accurately convert PDFs to and from various formats like Word, Excel, and more, maintaining the original layout and format integrity​​.
  3. OCR PDF: The advanced OCR feature in UPDF can recognize text in scanned PDFs across 38 languages, making your documents editable and searchable​​.
  4. Batch PDF: Insert a single PDF into multiple files collectively without quality loss​​.
  5. Edit PDF: UPDF allows you to edit text and images in your PDFs as easily as you would in a Word document​​.
  6. Organize PDF: Efficiently manage your PDF pages by extracting, splitting, rotating, reordering, or adding new pages​​.
  7. Compress PDFs: Decrease the file size of your PDFs without compromising quality​​.
  8. View PDF: Improve your PDF readability with multiple layouts, including single-page view, two-page view, scrolling, or two-page scrolling
  9. Annotate PDFs: UPDF offers extensive annotation tools, including highlights, text boxes, attachments, and shapes, for an intuitive reading and editing experience​​.
  10. Fill and Sign: Design and add electronic signatures to your PDFs​​.
  11. UPDF Cloud: With the power of cloud computing, you can view your PDF from any device.
pdf side by side AI-powered UPDF


In conclusion, while there are several ways to view PDFs side by side, UPDF stands out for its ease of use and versatility across different platforms. For an efficient and seamless PDF viewing experience, we recommend giving UPDF a try. It's an optimal solution for managing your PDFs effectively.

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