Printing *to* the iPad

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Crispy75, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Crispy75 macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2010
    My boss has caught the bug and is about to order an iPad. He's an ideal user for one - computer illiterate, yet loves his gadgets.

    What I think would be incredibly useful in our office is to be able to use his iPad as a printer. Due to his computer illiteracy, we waste a lot of paper printing documents/images/drawings for him to approve/markup. Is there a simple method for adding a 'printer' to our windows workstations that actually creates a PDF that is instantly synced to his iPad over wifi (or even better, over 3G while he's out of the office)? Markup is not neccesary, but would be nice. We have a linux server, but also a windows machine that hosts the printers, if a server app is required.
  2. tico24 macrumors 6502


    Jun 17, 2007
    Eastleigh, UK
    Just use dropbox.

    Save document on windows pc, it's automatically uploaded to dropbox.
    Download using the dropbox app on the iPad.
  3. spammerhamster macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2010
    dropbox is mentioned, mobileme is also possible.

    But if your boss is one of those who just gets tons of docs through email and prints them, then you could just tell him to open his mail from within the ipad and the docs will open for him to read already ;)

    If you need him to sign or comment something. Have him open it up with iAnnotate to draw his signature below the line, or just to mark things :)
  4. bluedog3401 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2008
    I agree, dropbox will make it immediately accessible to your boss from anywhere if they have a 3G, or wifi only when available.

    But I suggest printing PDFs of the documents to the dropbox folder and create the folder structures you'd like to organize the files.

    iAnnotate (an app from the AppStore) then allows for doing markup and notation about changes needed or approval.

    The opening/saving of native Word/Excel, etc. needs some work. Often the fonts, tables, and other minor formatting is not preserved when opened on the iPad. Anyone who has found one that does the better job of this, please let us know your results. In my testing its almost not worth the time unless it is a very simple document.

    The markup will likely be more efficient than having your boss directly edit the files.
  5. Crispy75 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2010
    Yeah, I considered dropbox and it's what I use myself for making stuff available everywhere. I just wondered if there was an even more streamlined solution (ie. no SaveAs dialog for the PDFs)

    tbh, I'm just excited that the old man is finally getting a computer of his own, maybe he'll read emails now :D
  6. gatearray macrumors 65816

    Apr 24, 2010
    You can save PDF files right to the iBooks app since the latest update. They will be arranged in the "bookshelf" as you might see your collection of novels, etc.

    Another option would be GoodReader. Attachments like PDFs can be saved directly to it for later viewing, emailing from there, opening in other apps, etc. It's as close as you're gonna get to a filesystem on the iPad without jail breaking it. Also, Dropbox and other FTP servers can be saved and at the ready for downloading files directly to the iPad, and you can also drag and drop files to the iPad via web browser on your computer right to Goodreader over your local wifi network. It's pretty sweet!

    Check out iAnnotate and there might be one or two others if he needs to mark-up PDFs once he has them on the iPad...
  7. deskjetian macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2010
    The Midlands, UK
    If I want to print to a PDF on my pc I use Bullzip PDF printer.
    Then I use the goodreader iPad app to xfer it and view it on the iPad.
  8. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    Dropbox may be your best choice

    The biggest pain on what you are trying to do is synching the files to the iPad.

    IMO, using Dropbox or similar service, as someone else already recommended here, would be the easiest and faster solution.

    Give it a try; it's free. Create one account, then connect all PCs to it (or even better, connect only one PC and then share the Dropbox folder with the other network users. Then, configure Dropbox on the iPad.
    Then start saving PDFs on the PCs to the Dropbox folder and see how it seamlessly it syncs your files with The iPad. :D
    Have fun!!
  9. FanBoyTroll macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2010
    I agree with everything: Dropbox + iAnnotate.
  10. beejam macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2007

    This will do exactly what you want. Scroll down to ACTprinter. I've been using it for years and very happy with it.
  11. PhelpsiPhan macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2009
    New Jersey
    i agree with Dropbox!

    I have it on all my computers and iDevices, it is perfect for transferring files
  12. blackNBUK macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2010
    I think that DropBox is over complicating your situation. It sounds like the key step will be to convince your boss to read his email on his iPad. Once you've done that then you can use the email client's built in support for reading PDF, Word and Excel attachments.
  13. PaperQueen macrumors 6502


    Aug 16, 2007
    Just this side of insanity (Minneapolis)
    Need to limit which Dropbox folders go to iPad

    I’ve searched the forum but can’t find this, so forgive me if it’s a repeat of something I missed.....

    I use (and adore) Dropbox on my laptop, with it syncing all Dropbox folders to two other computers. The snag is that I want it to also sync to my iPad and iPod Touch, but not all the folders—just one specific folder, since otherwise, my 100 Gb Dropbox account will overflow my iOS devices.

    I know how to use Selective Sync to limit which folders sync to which full blown computers (read: desktops and laptops) but can’t find a way to limit what lands on the iOS devices. Help, anyone....?

    Thanks in advance!
  14. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    Try GoodReader. You can upload whichever folders you wish to.
  15. PaperQueen macrumors 6502


    Aug 16, 2007
    Just this side of insanity (Minneapolis)
    I actually use GoodReader but am looking for a more streamlined solution (read: fewer steps). Until GR incorporates the ability to upload folders containing documents—not just individual documents—there’s too much hassle factor involved.

    As it stands now, when I get on the road for work, I need to (1) upload the individual documents to GoodReader, then (2) switch over to the iPad to manually recreate the folders, plus (3) manually sort/copy/move each individual item into its correct folder.

    Too many steps, too much hassle...especially for someone like me who needs several folders’ worth of content for each trip.

    What I’d like to do instead is park the original folders on my current Dropbox account, then have only that set of folders automatically copy to the iPad. It would keep the folders and their content in place; all I’d need to do before each business trip is fire up the iPad, then star each item I wanted a copy of on that device. Much easier.

    Selective Sync allows that kind of folder “cherry picking” on desktops and laptops, but not on iOS devices yet, thus my frustration. :(

    Anyone figure out a workaround for this?
  16. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Dropbox doesn't automatically download files from Dropbox onto your iDevics. It downloads only the files you tap to view, and then only keeps it while you view it. It doesn't store files locally unless you mark it as a favorite. So it doesn't matter if you have a 100GB in your Dropbox, just go ahead and install Dropbox app on your iPad and give it a whirl.
  17. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    Dropbox file folders for the mobile devices synchronize on demand...not all of the files. Space shouldn't be an issue really, at least not for mobile devices.

    Right, and furthermore, Dropbox puts a 2GB limit on files it can store on iDevices.
  18. PaperQueen macrumors 6502


    Aug 16, 2007
    Just this side of insanity (Minneapolis)
    Timing is everything.....

    Wow, talk about ironic. Just got the GoodReader update on my iPad, and boy, has it been fine tuned. While yes, you still have to manually enter documents item-by-item (no complete folder uploads yet), the UI on the iPad has moved forward considerably when it comes to moving documents into folders created there.

    Looks like that may be the easiest method for the time being (says someone who just loaded a two week trip including eight cities, their hotels, contracts, notes, etc. into GR on iPad).

    Now....if only they’d add folder uploads.... ;)
  19. kaibob macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Prescott, Arizona
    ReaddleDocs allows you to download/upload/delete selected files and folders to and from Dropbox. Also, ReaddleDocs retains the source directory structure when uploading/downloading files and folders. In some important respects I prefer Goodreader, but I stick with ReaddleDocs because it is so much more versatile with Dropbox.
  20. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    Not really what you are looking for, but thought I'd share it in case its useful.

    Use Dropbox to print files from the iPad or iPhone directly to your printer, without needing to use any fancy 3rd party "Airprint" type of applications.

    Pretty cool:
  21. blackNBUK macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2010
    Quick thought; can you workaround the lack of folder uploading by compressing a folder tree into a ZIP file, uploading the ZIP file to GoodReader and then decompressing it. In theory I think that should work but I haven't tested the idea yet.

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