What’s the best mark up app for cross stitch patterns?

A lot of people like to keep track of cross stitch patterns on their computers, ipads, tablets or phones, but what are the best ways to mark up your cross stitch patterns? We’ve reviewed the biggest solutions on the market to help you pick.

Jump to Android
Jump to iOS
Jump to Windows & Mac

Best ANDROID markup software:

XODO (FREE) – 9/10

Based on 450,000+ reviews
Free, and therefore right up there with favourability, XODO is a good alternative to ezPDF. It’s not as easy to use, and that’s why it gets a worse score, but there is one advantage XODO has over ezPDF; it can be used across devices. All you need to do is set up an account and you can use the android app or go online (through your computer, iPad, phone or any internet-enabled device (including your smart TV)) and you can pick up where you left off. Great for those who want multiple devices.

Pattern Keeper ($10.50) – 9/10

Based on 100,000+ reviews
This app is still in beta, however has still been downloaded and reviewed over 10,000 times. It works with any pdf and has a great list of tools. It tracks stitched and unstitched threads, you can track the use of the parking method (the only app to do so), count how many threads are left, and it combines pages of patterns into one large pattern for you. I cannot recommend this app enough. It initially looks like a free app, but be aware, the trial ends after 2 weeks, and it costs just over $10.

Markup R-XP ($9) – 9/10

Based on 136 reviews
Whilst Markup R-XP is a relatively new player, they have quickly shot up as a great app. They operate much like other mark-up apps, however unlike others, they offer a suite of tools that are perfect additions. Our personal favorite is the pattern scanner; simply take a photo of your pattern and it automatically identifies the pattern and converts it to a pattern you can mark up! PatternKeeper appears to be much more favoured by cross stitchers, but R-XP has a great set of tools which most prefer if they give it a try.

Foxit (FREE) – 8/10

Based on 179,000 reviews
Foxit is a great app for editing pdfs on the go, however, it’s built with that purpose, and therefore doesn’t easily control cross stitch markups. It still works, its free, and its great at opening any PDF, however, the app is considerably larger than the alternatives, and it’s just not as good on our tests.

ezPDF ($4) – 4/10

Based on 25,800 reviews
Frankly, ezPDF has everything you want from a markup app. It’s lightweight (doesn’t take up too much space on your tablet/phone), can open any pdf with ease, and its mark up tools appear to be designed especially for cross stitch. You can undo incorrect markups, even if they were from weeks previous, and the app saves as you go, meaning no mistake app closing losing your work. However with more and more bugs being reported, with no customer service, and a VERY questionable set of permissions required to use, it’s no longer as good as it once was.  

Best iOS markup software:


iBooks (FREE) – 10/10

Based on 1091 reviews
iBooks probably wasn’t what you were thinking when you read this list, but as a built in-app, it does everything you need a cross stitch mark up app to do. Not only is it built-in, therefore free, but it is lightweight, has an easy to use format, and saves as you go. It’s not fantastic at loading times but will open anything you throw at it.

Markup R-XP ($9) – 9/10

Based on 89 reviews
Specifically made to be the best mark up app for cross stitchers, most agree that this truly hits the brief, however the only downside is a yearly subscription model, which many prefer not to have.

Cross Stitch Markup (FREE) – 9/10

Based on 78 reviews
  The new app from Ursa software (the makers of WinStitch and MacStitch) is a dream to us and is the ONLY app on this list specifically made for the purpose. It’s frankly, brilliant. But there is one big issue, and that’s its dependency on .chart files, a file format specifically made for the app. One day I’m sure they’ll be everywhere, but at the moment, finding a .chart is actually kinda hard.

Goodnotes ($12) – 8/10

Based on 27 reviews
Goodnotes is a brilliant app, it’s on its 4th generation, its been made to do pretty much anything you can think of to a pdf with ease, and its a dream to use. But its also the most expensive app on the list. If you’re aching for a great app that’ll be supported for decades to come, Goodnotes is it, but with many free alternatives, I wouldn’t go with it for my first choice.

GoodReader ($8) – 7/10

Based on 18 reviews
GoodReader is pretty much a carbon copy of Goodnotes, so the same applies from a review perspective, but with the lower cost comes less innovation. They’re always playing second fiddle to Goodnotes.

ezPDF ($2) – 2/10

Based on 312 reviews
ezPDF reviewed with our android users as the best app by far, but with the iOS app, everything is different. Hard to install, barely works, late updates, large install file, and not as easy to use as the android version. I’m afraid ezPDF just lets the side down on iOS.

Best WINDOWS/Mac markup software:

WinStitch ($52 ($40 with discount)) – 10/10

Based on 1834 reviews
Use discount code LLWINWHG to save yourself $12/£10 when you buy!

WinStitch is expensive for a markup app, but its not a markup app. In fact, its a fantastic bit of software for making your own cross stitch patterns, it even reviewed as the best windows cross stitch pattern software. What makes it helpful however, is its also able to mark up cross stitch patterns. Unlike its iOS app brother, it can do it on all pdfs too. The issue; they should be made from within WinStitch to start.

XODO (FREE) – 9/10

Based on 185 reviews
  XODO is a great app, it’s a great online platform, and therefore, it’s great on PC or Mac. You see, so long as you have a login, you can access your patterns on any computer and pull up its great markup software. It’s easy to use, free, and fast.

Updated Jan 2023

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This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. HollyWd

    If you have a Windows computer, you can open a png, jpeg, etc. of your pattern in Microsoft Paint. You can zoom in and out, scroll around, and mark it up with the drawing tools or text boxes for counts and notes.

  2. Sharon Munday

    I’d like a piece of software that I can download to my laptop. Take a picture of my paper pattern. Load it into the software and be able to mark my stitches off. So rather than having the paper pattern I use it in the laptop

  3. tina

    Will you be revisiting the Android Apps now that EZPdf has changed so that unnecessary permissions are required for use?

    1. LordLibidan

      If I’m honest, I was hoping they would reverse the decision, but that doesn’t seem likely anymore… :/

  4. paul

    I use OneNote to keep my records of my cross stitch. I have a cross Stitch note book. Each project I do has it own section plus pic

  5. Jo Hobbs

    I have a question about WinStitch/MacStitch, you say “What makes it one step better, is its also able to mark up cross stitch patterns. Unlike its iOS app brother, it can do it on all pdfs too.”

    Does that mean any PDF patterns you download from, say, Etsy, can be opened in there and you can markup on that file the progress? The problem I have, is I have bought some PDF patterns from Etsy, but they’re tiny when printed and they haven’t included the 10 stitch guidelines (all lines look the same) so I need some mechanism to zoom in (I have a mac next to my cross stitch chair) and highlight the ones I’ve done.

    1. LordLibidan

      That reads confusing; I’ll rewrite it. You have to have made the pdf within WinStitch or MacStitch for this to work.
      Its also very pricey for a mark up app, so if you wanted it just for the mark up ability, I would strongly suggest getting one of the android/ios apps instead.