Bypassing iBooks to Properly View PDF Files in iOS

Bypassing iBooks to Properly View PDF Files in iOS

Range Govindan
Jan 3, 2012

Recently, we started to leave our MacBook Pro at home more and more in favor of using the iPad 2 to consult ebooks. iBooks is great for viewing Epub files, but when it comes to PDF files, we've found it somewhat lacking in polish. That's why we found this handy workaround that will allow you to view PDF files how they were supposed to be viewed.

Most of our class texts are in PDF format, and since we use our iPad to view them, it's important that the result is the best possible. We've found that iBooks doesn't handle PDF files as well as it should, so we decided to try and find a workaround. All of our other ebooks on the iPad 2 are in the Epub format, so reading them is quite enjoyable in iBooks. When it came time to start working with our class text books, we were a bit disappointed by how iBooks displayed PDF files.

Adobe Reader for iOS was launched last October, and contrary to some of the other available options, it's free. There are a couple of ways of viewing files this way. In order to do so, you'll need to see the 'Open In' dialog option, if you're using a non-jailbroken iPad.

In order to get this, the easiest way we've found is to just drop the PDF files into our DropBox. You'll need to have the free DropBox app installed for this to work. Since we only transfer small PDF files this way, we never manage to need more storage, at least for this use. In the DropBox app folder, you can now select the PDF file and open it with the dialog. After that, there is a copy stored on your iPad. You won't need to open it through there again.

The other way to get the 'Open In' dialog in iOS is to simply email the document to yourself. Once it's in your inbox, you can choose 'Open In' to view it. These two ways allow you to use the Acrobat Reader app to view PDF files, which makes the files fit easily to your iOS screen, without any fuss.

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(Images: Flickr member Errka P. licensed for use under Creative Commons and Flickr member Ulf Hednar licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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