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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > How to read PDFs on the iPad?

How to read PDFs on the iPad?
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starman
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Apr 4, 2010, 03:29 AM
 
So, I thought Pages was going to take care of this. Nope, export to PDF only. There are some apps out there that are pay apps and claim to do it, but I don't want to drop money on an app that might not work.

So how can we do this?

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subego
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Apr 4, 2010, 04:46 AM
 
GoodReader is probably worth a dollar. I've only heard positive things so far, and from a bunch of people who got the iPad to use as a PDF reader.

I understand the iPhone version is popular, so you have that as a point of reference as well.

I'll probably get it, and I'll report back.
     
subego
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Apr 4, 2010, 05:10 AM
 
Definitely worth a buck.
     
Nergol
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Apr 4, 2010, 05:39 AM
 
     
solofx7
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Apr 4, 2010, 09:29 AM
 
I tried the built in reader with a 25 mb file out of drobox and it was brutally slow.
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Cold Warrior
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Apr 4, 2010, 12:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by solofx7 View Post
I tried the built in reader with a 25 mb file out of drobox and it was brutally slow.
You could try marking it as a dropbox favorite, then it should save it locally to the iPad dropbox app. Might improve the reading experience.

However, if dropbox doesn't have an iPad app yet, then the x2 may also make reading unpleasant.
     
turtle777
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Apr 4, 2010, 01:09 PM
 
GoodReader is awesome. It can directly access Dropbox, too.

-t
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Apr 4, 2010, 02:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
GoodReader is awesome. It can directly access Dropbox, too.

-t
And MobileMe, and GoogleDocs, and other servers. It really is the best choice for viewing PDFs, office docs, etc.
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chabig
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Apr 4, 2010, 06:13 PM
 
Air Sharing is very good.
     
starman  (op)
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Apr 4, 2010, 06:34 PM
 
What makes Air Sharing ($10) better than GoodReader ($1)?

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chabig
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Apr 4, 2010, 08:07 PM
 
That's a good question. I haven't tried Good Reader, but it looks nice. Air Sharing for me was a great solution to carrying files on the iPhone. It turns the phone into a drive of sorts, where I can read, write, rename, and email them any time from local storage, so I don't have to download large files from Dropbox. I some of these features, like email are paid add-ons in Good Reader.

For $.99 though, I might try Good Reader too.
     
turtle777
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Apr 4, 2010, 08:30 PM
 
Uhm, Air Sharing does not have a good PDF / doc viewer.

I don't have much use fornit anymore. Between GoodReader and Searchlight! all my, viewing and access needs are met.

-t
     
chabig
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Apr 4, 2010, 08:55 PM
 
I've been happy with Air Sharing's pdf reader, even for really large files. But it doesn't have a pdf search function. I'm anxious to try Good Reader for that reason.
     
solofx7
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Apr 4, 2010, 08:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
You could try marking it as a dropbox favorite, then it should save it locally to the iPad dropbox app. Might improve the reading experience.

However, if dropbox doesn't have an iPad app yet, then the x2 may also make reading unpleasant.
I am going to try this.
The file will open, but if you zoom or go through the pages, it just locks the app up.
This is kind of sad for me since it is just a PDF.
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Apr 5, 2010, 09:42 PM
 
GoodReader all the way.

Worth way more than $1.

Will download AND upload to iDisk, Google Docs, Dropbox and other cloud servers. Will download email attachments from POP and IMAP, has a file manager to rename, copy, delete, make folders, etc., supports iTunes File Sharing like Apple's Pages/Keynote/Numbers, can transfer files back and forth via WiFi, and has a really nice PDF reader. Will also edit text files.

By far my favorite iPad app so far. I'd have paid $10.00 for it, but it's a steal at 99 cents.
     
solofx7
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Apr 11, 2010, 01:19 AM
 
Thank you for whomever suggested good reader. I was very skeptical, but it is well worth the dollar like no other app. It is actually worth a lot more. I am not normally one to endorse many apps, but this was is worth it's weight in gold.
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turtle777
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Apr 11, 2010, 09:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by solofx7 View Post
this was is worth it's weight in gold.


-t
     
slugslugslug
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Apr 11, 2010, 11:20 AM
 
If you’re in the sciences (or maybe academia in general), I’d recommend Papers since it keeps track of metadata like journal, author, and keyword. It also syncs with the Mac version, which is a mostly wonderful way of finding, downloading, and organizing scientific papers (though apparently there are some issues with syncing on the current iPad version).

When I get my 3G iPad, I plan on using Papers for papers and trying out GoodReader for other PDFs. Although, really, I’d prefer a reader app that handles both PDF and ePub, since I imagine any non–journal-pub PDFs I’ll have on my iPad will be books.
     
solofx7
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Apr 11, 2010, 12:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by slugslugslug View Post
If you’re in the sciences (or maybe academia in general), I’d recommend Papers since it keeps track of metadata like journal, author, and keyword. It also syncs with the Mac version, which is a mostly wonderful way of finding, downloading, and organizing scientific papers (though apparently there are some issues with syncing on the current iPad version).

When I get my 3G iPad, I plan on using Papers for papers and trying out GoodReader for other PDFs. Although, really, I’d prefer a reader app that handles both PDF and ePub, since I imagine any non–journal-pub PDFs I’ll have on my iPad will be books.
I did use that on my Mac for a little bit, but I already bought it. I think that $14.99 is a lot to read pdf's vs .99 unless you need the other functions.
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slugslugslug
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Apr 11, 2010, 11:12 PM
 
^Well, yeah, that’s why I started that post with “If”.

When you’re collecting hundreds of PDFs and they all have a journal name, year, abstract, and authors in addition to the title; and you usually get them from PubMed or Google Scholar or one of the other databases tha Papers accesses and reads metadata from; the app is downright indispensable. So, while it’s pretty pointless for lots of people (including many with large PDF collections), I just thought I’d bring it up in case there were science types around who didn’t know about it
     
amangelomike
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Apr 14, 2010, 08:50 AM
 
There are a bunch of apps which allow you to read PDFs. The best way to load and read is to install Apache from community resources that comes with installer.app. It really works well for me. The iPad app use the e-pub format, which works on just about every reader out there except the Kindle. Even if the iPad doesnt rock PDFs or other ebook formats there are a couple of online converters that can change PDF to epub.
     
turtle777
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Apr 14, 2010, 01:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by amangelomike View Post
There are a bunch of apps which allow you to read PDFs. The best way to load and read is to install Apache from community resources that comes with installer.app. It really works well for me. The iPad app use the e-pub format, which works on just about every reader out there except the Kindle. Even if the iPad doesnt rock PDFs or other ebook formats there are a couple of online converters that can change PDF to epub.


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-t
     
mattco72
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Apr 14, 2010, 10:53 PM
 
I was going to bring this up but I will post it here, my situation:

1. I am looking at buying the iPad for work and I am a superintendent in construction.
2. I can get all of my plans in pdf format, but some of the files contain 50-75 pages of large resolution and range in the 75 mb range. This is a large pdf that I need to be able to thumb through to find a detail on a set of plans.
3. Can the iPad handle this type of file in this size?
4. I can build all my spreadsheets in numbers, no issue but I need to be able to print them. I have never used printshare and I have had some people say that it is good. How well does printshare work?

These are the two biggest factors in my buying an iPad, if it can't handle it then I will wait it out and see how the google tablet is. I want something I don't have to boot up and shut back down everytime I want to pull a detail, so the phone os setup is better for me.
     
turtle777
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Apr 14, 2010, 11:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattco72 View Post
2. I can get all of my plans in pdf format, but some of the files contain 50-75 pages of large resolution and range in the 75 mb range. This is a large pdf that I need to be able to thumb through to find a detail on a set of plans.
I'd be happy to try if you make a file available for download.

So far, GoodReader is very snappy. But I haven't tried a file close to that size.

-t
     
JohnM15141
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Apr 15, 2010, 09:14 PM
 
I constantly read a 1400 page technical manual that is 25mb, full of drawings and schematics. It takes Goodreader about 15 sec to search the entire manual. It handles it very well, much easier to read and search then the actual paper copy.
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wilsonng
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Apr 15, 2010, 11:52 PM
 
GoodReader doesn't choke on larger PDF files because it reads the PDF one page at a time. Most PDF readers will try to bring the whole PDF into the iPhone's RAM (or whatever it is) and it will choke.

I originally bought Air Sharing but switched over to GoodReader to handle my larger PDFs.
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solofx7
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Apr 16, 2010, 01:03 AM
 
I will again csign for good reader. As a user it has 2 big functions to me. First it reads really large PDFs with ease. Second it accesses web storage sin s splitq second. At the moment, you will not find a better app for what you want to do. Also for .99 it is a steal
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jackhan
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Apr 25, 2010, 12:59 AM
 
GoodRead , it is really good for reading PDF and Microsoft Words docx files
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Apr 25, 2010, 02:13 PM
 
Another vote for GoodReader. Worth $10 despite its $0.99 price tag.

Can download and upload from MobileMe, Google Docs, Drop Box, email attachments, WebDav servers, others.
     
   
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