The iBooks App
Many folks know that their iPhone and iPad can read books using the iBook App from the App Store. Its free and very simple to install. What many folks don’t know is, it can be used to store things other than just ebooks.
My iPad is full of PDFs I’ve pulled from the web, mostly application development ebooks and camera gear manuals. A simple google search can find you a manual for just about any device or software on the market.
iBooks is a very simple install. Open the App Store and search, its that easy. Its free and works on both iPhone and iPad.
Adding PDF Files from the Web
While in Safari, locate a PDF file you want to save and view it. Usually this is after searching on google and it taking you to a page with a link.
While the PDF is open on your device, click at the very top of the screen, just below the URL and Search bar (see screenshot right).
After tapping in that area, you will get a dark menu bar, with an option for Send To, click that option.
Next you will be asked where to send the PDF document, select iBooks. iBooks will open and the document will be saved to the PDF collection (you can move it later).
Adding PDF Files from Email
If you have a PDF on your desktop, or one that someone has sent you, you can send it directly to iBooks from the Mail app. This works exactly the same way as saving from the web, however your PDF may not automatically download when you retrieve your files. It helps to have a fast internet connection (wifi).
Tap the PDF attachment in your email, it will either open, or start downloading and then open. After the PDF opens, look for the Send To icon at the top right side of the screen; the icon is a little box with an arrow. Tap that icon and select “Open in iBooks”.
Adding Content that is not already PDF Files
This can be tricky, or simple, depending on your set up. If yo have a Mac, saving a file to PDF is really simple. You save the content (Text file, Image, etc) to PDF using the Print function. Then as described above, email the file to yourself and open it on your phone.
You can “screen shot” content on your phone and convert that to PDF as well. For example, if you are on Google maps, screenshot the area you want to keep (but not keep searching for). Then edit that file with any one of several PDF conversion utilities.
Then you can import that directly into iBooks as a PDF
Arranging Documents in iBooks
Once your PDFs are in the iBooks PDFs collection, you can move them around, including creating Custom Collections. In this example, I’m saving all of my travel, shoot info and some maps for my photography trip to Alaska.
In the end, I have all of my documents and maps in an easy to access location, and can even share the Collection with my iPad via wifi for a larger view or share with others.