iPad as PDF reader?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by harpy, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. harpy macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2010
    I'm a bit on the fence with the iPad. One of the primary ways that I'd be using the device would be to view and read a lot of pdfs that I have on my PC computer.

    I've never used an iphone or touch, but from what I've read of the apps on those devices the pdf reading was focused on taking the text and reflowing it so that it would work on such a small screen.

    Currently on my PC I view pdfs with a 24" screen giving me plenty of real estate to see two whole pages, a complete book, open at its spine essentially. I know I wouldn't be able to do this on the iPad with any degree of readability, but one page I'd hope would work.

    One big factor with my pdfs is that many of them are archived older material, the pdfs are essentially just scanned images bundled together as a pdf, so there is no OCR, no way to deal with text reflow, etc. So what I'm really interested is understanding how well I could view and read these documents.

    I'd assume that I could pinch to zoom in and out or do other rescaling so that the images would be readable. What about flipping from page to page? I know that iBook doesn't support pdfs, so I wouldn't get that cool page turning effect unless the app was designed to do that, but the graphics aren't all that important, instead just knowing that the performance is snappy enough that I can flip through pages quickly, or be able to search for documents that do have text, just like I'd do with the normal Adobe PDF Reader.

    Lastly, having very little experience with apple hardware, how easy is it to transfer all of these pdf files to the iPad, and once they get there how do I find them. I've read that the iPad doesn't have normal file/directory conventions, so I'm not sure how I'd find these files and then be able to open them.

    Thanks ahead of time for any input? I've got one reserved today at a Best Buy and I'm just trying to figure out if it will be match my needs.
  2. heathpitts macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2003
    So far, PDFs read with goodreader seems really good. You can send PDFs to goodreader using wifi or by connecting to drop box etc. That was one of the main capabilities that I wanted and so far so good
  3. harpy thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2010
    Thanks. So if you send the pdf to goodreader does that mean that the file is somehow stored in goodreader? You open goodreader and then the pdf files are displayed in the app for viewing?

    I guess I'm trying to wrap my mind around a non-file hierarchy world.
  4. heathpitts macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2003
    That's correct. I find it easier just to use dropbox and connect from good reader. It downloads it to the program for offline access as well
  5. Avicdar macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2004
    Do you know if that reader supports protected PDF's? (i.e. where you have to supply a password to open it).

    I have a huge PDF on skin retouching for photographers, and I'd like to read it on my iPad when I get one. Would also like the app to remember where I last was in the PDF, etc.

    I know there's more than a handful of PDF readers out for the iPad - would love to know which is the best for my needs.
  6. RebelRed macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2010
    Just got home and bought PDF Reader Pro for $3.99 from app store. Hope to try it out shortly. It looks like it has tons of good options though. You might keep an eye out for reviews.

    Come on sync, I'm dying here. :)
  7. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    People say you can see the pixels on iPad, due to slightly lower resolution of screen.

    Trying to read pdfs on it sounds like a headache-inducer if you try to do it for any length of time.
  8. pruppert macrumors 6502


    Jan 30, 2008
    I've been quite happy with GoodReader on the iPhone. Might someone post of video of using GoodReader on the iPad?

    . . . waiting for 3G version.
  9. heathpitts macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Goodreader does support password protected PDFs but don't have any to test it out with
  10. heathpitts macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I haven't noticed any problems with viewing PDFs. The text and resolution look great to me
  11. dave-gallagher macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2010
    It does work with password-protected PDF's (just bought the iPad version and tried it). :)

    Syncs with DropBox really well. Basically, you give it your DropBox username/password and it logs onto their server. Then you can select what PDF you want to download. It downloads it and saves it locally. Looks like you have to individually select PDF's one-at-a-time to download them (there's no "download all PDF's in this folder" option). That might be annoying to you if you have a zillion PDF's you want to get onto the iPad.

    Remembers where I last had a PDF opened up at.
  12. 3Pedals6Speeds macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2010
    ,pdf's can be converted to ePub with a variety of free applications, and can then be read in iBooks.
  13. JS82189 macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2010
    I just downloaded Good Reader and its great, except the only upload feature that seems to work is through iTunes...

    conversely, I need a PDF reader with ANNOTATION, i made a new thread but I thought i'd try here... something like Preview annotation would be perfect.
  14. Alchematron macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2007
    Maui Hawaii
  15. harpy thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2010
    Does a program like Goodreader allow multiple pdfs to be open at the same time and switch back and forth with tabs? I can live with only one pdf open at a time, but I'm quite used to having a dozen open for reference.
  16. jeffgtr macrumors regular

    May 9, 2005
    My main reason for purchasing was for pdf

    Yes it works well for PDFs I have a boatload of tech documentation on PDF. I am using readdledocs and it works great. You are even able to use the index. You are safe to purchase if handling of PDFs is a concern.
  17. RebelRed macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2010
    Happy with the PDF Reader Pro ($3) so far.

    I opened my iPad's IP#+port on my main computer and uploaded some PDFs to it in the folders I created. From there I opened them up on the iPad and they looked great. So happy.

    I plan to try other readers just to see what functionality is like though.

    Maybe the Kindle can be read in direct sunlight, but I'll take my iPad with me to the center of the Sun. :)

    Love the official black Apple case too.
  18. RebelRed macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2010
    Just wanted to point out that I bought ReaddleDocs for the iPad, but can't connect to my iPad.

    With the other program, connecting via ip+port works fine, but not this one. Who knows why. I've emailed support though. I don't know of any other reasonable way to import (got 100s of PDFs).
  19. JS82189 macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2010
    I was using GoodReader which is really nice, but I downloaded PadNotes so I can annotate my notes... the only problem is that there must be a bug because there is no way to actually upload a PDF because of a missing button... so annoying
  20. JS82189 macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2010
    GoodReader is a great app for .99c but it only does one app at a time, although you can switch relatively quickly. No annotation.

    iAnnotate PDF does have tabs but beware having too many media rich PDFs or it will crash. I learned this because it crashed and a little pop-up box explained this when I re-opened it. A+ app IMO. Great (and ONLY) annotation, which is what I really needed, and is apparently the only app that can pull this off, with style i might add. PDF uploading requires their program, but the app is going to see an update soon. As well as a price-hike from the end of their sale @ their first update.

    I wasted cash on PadNotes, which is still buggy and I couldn't upload a PDF. I asked apple for a refund. I also did not like the interface of PadNotes. And there is literally ZERO support, not an e-mail or anything. The linked website only has a youtube video where I tried asking for support on his youtube channel.. avoid this app.
  21. gillybean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I got Goodreader so far, which has been pretty good at opening PDFs. Even 170-page thesis PDFs open fast. The search feature is nice too. I uploaded my PDFs from my computer to Goodreader over Wifi pretty easily. I think you can't annotate the PDFs with Goodreader though.
  22. mac-slap-happy macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2007
    Goodreader does seem to work very well so far for a low cost option. I also splurged and bought Papers since I also have Papers for the Mac. It seems to work very well also, and syncing is a breeze.

    Not sure which I will settle on. I need more time to make a final call.
  23. skivvis macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2010
  24. garyfri macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2008

    I have tried all three. Goodreader is basic reader with a great interface. PadNotes and iAnnotate PDF are going to be great for school and marking PDFS and documents. PadNotes is a little weird to get used to but once you get it down it is great. IT allows you to save PDFs to background so you can mark it and type on it. Iannotate PDF is the same but does need the update and wifi syncing is missing.

    Anybody else got a iAnnotate vs PadNotes review. What do you think?
  25. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I have. Works well with Google Docs, including uploaded PDFs, but the app needs a 1.1 version - kinda buggy with a few forced quits.

    Reader only - no uploads or editing. But it is free.

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