How to manage .pdf's?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by lanray, May 1, 2005.

  1. lanray macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2005
    I'm a medical student (soon to graduate! yippee!), and I've got a lot of .pdf's that I've downloaded of medical articles and the such. Does anyone have experience with an inexpensive program that would manage the files and make them easily accessible/organized?

  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    What do you mean by managing? Why not organise them into sub-folders within a folder?

    You can open PDFs in Preview or use Adobe Reader.

    Preview is fast, Reader is much improved and offers other features that Preview doesn't.

    Preview is on your Mac if you have OSX. Reader is free.
  3. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004

    If you have / get Tiger, it should be able to search inside each PDF document, so you can have them all thrown in one folder if you like, but you'll still be able to find the relevant one. (it even opens them up on the first page containing the words you searched for)
  4. lanray thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2005

    Thanks for the quick replies. I don't have Adobe on my computer; I usually just use Preview. It works well. What would be nice is a filing system that would allow me to list things by title, subject, maybe even author. I realize that Tiger may make all this obsolete. I do remember a buddy of mine having a program like this a while ago. Do you anything like it?
  5. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    Smart Folders in Tiger is how i manage my School documents

    Spotlight is also another way
  6. sacear macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2005
    iTunes. Yes, iTunes. As inexpensive there is. You can drop pdf files on the iTunes icon and the pdfs will enter the iTunes library database. Then you can make a Playlist or Smart Playlist to organize the pdfs!

    Hope that helps.
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Who'da thought? Brilliant idea! :D
  8. mfacey macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2004

    Hahaha, thought you were just joking. How on earth did you find that out. I can't say the thought dumping pdfs in itunes ever crossed my mind. Great tip though!

    Just another thought on that though, if I add it to my library, does it get synced to my ipod aswell? :confused:
  9. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    If it was me, I'd run an earlier & different version of iTunes with a different library for this.

    Great idea, though. Am thinking of how I can use it at work...
  10. JDar macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2003
    The iTunes recommendation sounds neat. I've got to try that.

    In case you'd like to combine pdf's of similar type into one pdf there is a freeware program to do so called, appropriately enough, "Combine PDFs 1.0" from and also from VersionTracker.

    I've found this useful to collect scanned pages of documents or letters into one document.
  11. abrooks macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    London, UK
    I just create a playlist called PDF's :D
  12. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    If you have a lot of PDFs, you can organize them with EndNote. This will allow the kind of searching you are looking for -- as a bonus (actually the primary purpose of the software) it will automatically format your citations correctly when you use them in a paper. Not a cheap program, though (although compared to med school tuition, everything seems cheap).

    Edit: I just remembered this article by science writer Steven Johnson. He uses Devon Think to organize his research notes. Might be something to try.
  13. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    It may have other uses than only PDFs... :cool:
  14. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    I did try some other document types - it appears that the only one that I tried that worked were QuickTime movies (.mov and .mpg; I didn't have .avi's to try). They don't give any real information on them, but you can store and export them. Interesting...

    I like your idea of having a separate Library for this so that you can have doc-only playlists. Kind of a poor-man's DAM, but could be useful for certain things.
  15. JDar macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2003
    tried the iTunes pdf thing

    iTunes can "add to library" your pdf files but to see the pdf it opens your selected viewer, so iTunes seems like an unnecessary middle step to organize pdf's.

    BV, if you figure some wonderful way to combine iTunes and pdf organization please let us hear.
  16. live4ever macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2003
    Thunder Bay, ON
  17. sacear macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2005
    I just have a curiousity for grabbing a document file and sliding it over all the application icons in my OS X dock. When one of the app icons indicates it can open the doc file, then I let it go and see what happens.

    About syncing to iPod, i think the pdf files do not sync with the iPod. Altho' maybe they can with a color iPod. iTMS has a few albums that include liner notes in pdf format. U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" was the first, followed by pdf liner notes for the iTMS U2 box set. Anyone who has purchased either of those and has a color iPod want to check and see if the pdf liner notes sync to the iPod? Is there a pdf viewer in the iPod? I think only album art, which is embedded in a song file, syncs to iPod with a song file.

    That is correct. iTunes is not a pdf viewer. iTunes is a means to easily manage pdf files using the iTunes database, in order to easily organize them and access them easily in one place, which is what the original poster asked for. Using Smart Playlist parameters is a great way to organize pdf files.
  18. lanray thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2005

    Thanks everyone for some great suggestions. So far, DevonThink, EndNote, and BookEnds seem more useful for what I have in mind. Specifically, I have several research projects going, and I'm downloading articles and summaries of research done in each area. Does anyone have experience working with any of these programs? One question would be what's the difference, really, between these programs? And, is is worth several hundred dollars to go for EndNote, or would one of the others suffice? Thanks again!
  19. Pianoman1a macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2008
    Yep from Ironic software works for me

    Yep is a software program that I have found works great for me, and was in the price range I wanted to spend. The nice thing about this software is that you can also add tags to each PDF.

    It's worth looking into since the price is only $34.

    Hope this helps!
  20. reubs macrumors 68000

    Jun 22, 2006
    What's the oldest threadbump in MR history? Might this be it?

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