An Easy Way to View Virtually Any Document or File on the iPhone w/o Safari or Mail

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by G4R2, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. G4R2 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2006
    There is actually an incredibly easy way to save and view most kinds of files on your iPhone. This includes:

    - PDFs
    - Excel Files
    - Word Files
    - Safari webpages

    The application that you need to use on your iPhone is neither Mail nor Safari.

    It is, instead, the Photo application on your iPhone. You will be able to scroll, zoom, and organize the files however you like. They will be stored automatically in a folder in iPhoto with virtually no effort.

    The OS X function that does this is the Print function found in most applications. Print has a special item on the PDF button called Save PDF to iPhoto. This will convert whatever you are printing into a picture instead of a PDF file and send it to iPhoto.

    Here are the instructions to do this:

    1. Open the PDF file you want to view on your iPhone in Preview in OS X.

    2. Select Print. In the dialog that appears select the PDF button on the bottom left hand side.

    3. Now scroll down the pop up list and select Save PDF to iPhoto.

    4. iPhoto will now launch and you will be prompted for an album name to store the new files. Type in the name of the document or if you prefer just "iPhone Documents" if you'd like to make this album the repository of all your converted documents.

    5. Sync your iPhone. You'll have to go to the Photo page in iTunes to make sure the folder is selected and that the images sync.

    6. On your iPhone click photos and you'll see the PDF has been broken down by pages and is viewable, scrollable, and zoomable like any other photo.

    Note: It helps if the document you want to view doesn't have small text. I suspect there must be a way to control the quality of the converted documents somewhere so if anyone knows it would be great.
  2. catdog02481 macrumors regular


    Oct 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Thank you

    Thank you so much for making this observation; i have been emailing myself pdf to my yahoo account but every time i need access it seems to have to redownload them so this is truly an awesome suggestion. Thanks a million!
  3. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    Wow. Thanks. That is a great tip. I just sent a MS PowerPoint presentation to the iPhone. It looks great.

    Huge, huge tip.

    btw, it looks like that "Save PDF to iPhoto" was created with Automator. There could be tons of great new things to build when we start to think like this.
  4. G4R2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2006
    Thanks to another reader on another thread with a similar hint, I found the Automator workflow that is responsible for this action. Information for this is located here:

    It is called, appropriately enough, Print PDF to iPhoto and is located in /library/PDF Services.

    You can open this workflow up in Automator and INCREASE the DPI to improve the image quality and the compression of the JPEG files that are created. I suppose it will be a matter of trial and error to determine what the best settings for this are for the iPhone.

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