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Opening GoodNotes in multiple windows on iPadOS

System requirements

  • GoodNotes 5.3 or later
  • iPadOS (iOS 13 or later)


Introduction to multiple windows

With iPadOS, Apple introduced the ability to open multiple windows of the same app. This allows you to open multiple instances of the same app in full screen, in Slide Over, and pair it with other apps or even with the same app in Split View. GoodNotes 5.3 or higher has full support for multiple windows.

Supported actions in GoodNotes

There are multiple ways to open GoodNotes in a new window:

1. Drag the app icon from the dock
When you already have GoodNotes or another app open, swipe up your finger from the bottom of the screen to bring up the dock. Tap and hold on the GoodNotes app icon until it starts "lifting off" the screen. Then drag it to the side of the screen where it will open in a new window.


2. Drag the app icon from spotlight search
In case GoodNotes is not in your dock and you're using an external keyboard, you can evoke Spotlight search (CMD + Spacebar) and search for GoodNotes. Start dragging the icon, close the search results, and drop it to the side of your screen where it will open in a new window.

3. Drag a document or folder from the library
Every document or folder in your GoodNotes library can be dragged to the side of the screen to open it in a new window. Tap and hold on the document/folder thumbnail until it starts lifting off the screen and drag it to the side. This works across the Documents and Favorites tabs.



4. Drag a page from thumbnail view
In an open document, you can drag individual pages from the Thumbnails view or Favorites view to the side to open it in a new window. This enables you to view two pages from the same document at the same time. Scrolling works independently, so you can view pages 1 and 48 from the same document at the same time, for example.


5. Drag a tab from the document view
When you have multiple tabs open, you can drag and drop one of the tabs to the side to open it in a new window. Tabs in windows are independent of each other which takes your productivity to another level. Now you can open multiple books or PDFs as tabs in one window, and open a notebook and your daily planner as tabs in the other window.

6. Use the action menu in the library
The option to open a document/folder as a new tab is also available from the action menu in the library view. Tap on the document/folder title below the thumbnail and select "Open in new window".


7. Use the split view icon in the tab bar
If there are multiple tabs open, you'll see a "split view" icon in the current tab. Tap on that icon to open the current tab in a new window.


Drag & Drop between windows

Apart from just opening multiple documents at the same time, you're now able to exchange content between two windows easily using drag & drop. This opens up a lot of new opportunities and boosts your productivity. We highly recommend checking out this tutorial about drag and drop if you aren't familiar with all interactions yet.

1. Drag a lasso selection to copy it to another window


2. Drag a screenshot to paste it in another window


3. Move documents between folders


4. Drag converted text from one document to another


5. Move pages (copy and paste) from one document to another


This provides a much faster way to move pages from one document to another. You can drag selected pages from one document's thumbnail view to another document's thumbnail view to paste them there. 

To select multiple pages, use the drag & drop gesture for multi-select or the "Select" button in the upper right in GoodNotes. Once you've selected multiple pages, just tap and hold the screen, which will stack all selected pages so that you can easily drag and drop them over to another document. Since they will still be selected in the original window, you can now easily delete them to complete "the move".


6. Drag and drop images with the image tool to copy them to another window



7. Drag page thumbnails to a blank page to add them as images


Open the thumbnail view in one document and tap and hold on the page thumbnail. Start dragging it over to a blank page in another window, where it will be added as an image. Please note that the text on the image won't be searchable. It only works with one page at a time. This handy trick helps when you need more space to take notes on a PDF.