Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Get PDFs onto Your iPad into iBooks

PDF is an acronym for "Portable Document File" and is a convenient format used for reading documents on all sorts of devices, regardless of application, device, or operating system you have.

There are many popular readers available to access and read PDFs from your iPad.  In fact if a PDF is emailed to you, you can click on it from your Mail app and it will open and you will be able to read it.  iBooks on the iPad is another good way to read PDF files and to store them for offline reading.  Often times when we are traveling, we don't have convenient access to wifi services, and it is nice to have a way to read our stored PDFs to read whenever we wish.

How Can You Find PDFs

There are many PDFs already on the web. We just need to find them.  The quickest way to find a PDF is to use Google Search from your Safari browser on your iPad.  For example, if you want to find a reference manual for your iPad, you can google for it.

Type in a phrase like, "iPad 2 manual pdf"  Using the additional word "pdf" will help find the file in pdf format. 

The search results will appear in a list.  The following result appears to be the best option as it is an Apple pdf file.  Clicking on this result will bring up the pdf.  Now, you can read the resulting pdf directly from your Safari browser; however, it may be something you want to keep as a reference for later.  In that case, after the document has fully loaded into the browser page, simply tap twice with your finger on the pdf and an option  bar will appear at the top of the page.  The option to read/save in iBooks will be one of the options.  If you select this one, your PDF file will be saved to your iBooks bookshelf.  You will be able to access this document offline at any time. 

Other Ways to Transfer a PDF to your iPad

Via Email. You can email a copy of a file by dragging it from your computer desktop to your new email window and send it to yourself.  You can then retrieve it from your mail on your iPad and can save it from there.  To save, merely open the PDF file while in your mail app by touching the opened file with your finger.  Once open, you should notice a small square with curved arrow in the upper corner menu bar.  If you tap on this icon you will be given the same option to open in iBooks.  If you select this option, your pdf file will be saved in iBooks.

Via another app.  Using GoodReader or Dropbox app one can transfer a pdf to their Mac.  You merely drag the PDF into the GoodReader of Dropbox app on your Mac or PC.  Then open the same app, either GoodReader or Dropbox on you iPad and select the document and option to transfer to iBooks. These methods do not require that you sync with iTunes.  Using iTunes to sync books or pdf files is not always convenient.

There is a way to transfer PDFs via iTunes without having to sync

Connect your iPad to your PC or Mac via the cable and run iTunes app on your computer. In the left hand column you will see the name of your iPad under Devices. Select Apps tab at the top in the right hand window.  Scroll down until you see the File Sharing section. Select either GoodReader of Dropbox from the list of apps that have file sharing capabilities on your iPad.  Drag the PDFs into the list for that app on the right-hand side.  They will appear on your iPad retrievable by the app.

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