iBooks is a good way to store and organise your pdfs.
PDF Expert is a much better – in fact a great way – to store, organise, annotate and share your pdfs.
Whole day Australian Curriculum T & D, English / History focus (not my teaching areas). Download curriculum documents from the Australian Curriculum site onto my PC. My iPad is on the same wireless network, so I enter the iPad network address into the PC browser and I’m presented with an explorer-type interface. Hit the upload button and a minute or so later the five pdfs are safely in their folders.
On the day, the handouts begin; mainly excerpts from the curriculum documents. Call up doc in PDF expert, then use the annotation tools to mark up the electronic document. The notes are still there and I don’t have a pile of paper I probably wouldn’t sort through.
So why’s it so good?
Pdf editing. Yes, you can remove pages (just like Acrobat). Yes you can insert pages (just like Acrobat). Yes, you can copy and paste pages between files.
Sharing: You can DropBox files, copy them from iBooks, copy them from another copy of PDF Expert running on a second iPad (and that one I only discovered half a minute ago!)
Speed: It’s fast to render, you can thumbnail a document and add bookmarks to assist with finding your place quickly. The history function is handy too.
Annotations: There’s a great selection of tools: pens, colours, lines, shapes, stamps, digital signatures, text boxes.
Other files: PDF Expert may need to change its name. It can also store, display and manipulate (although not edit) Word Docs, mp3s and jpgs. AND it will open zip files – and zip files into it. Oh, and it will email them too.
And what would I use it for?
- Curriculum documents
- Manuals for all the equipment in our Performing Arts Centre
- All this year’s school newsletters
- Teaching documents such as timetables, class lists
- All my home manuals, such as my camera, TV, AC
- Catalogues (including Ikea!)
- Software manuals – it’s easier to look at them on the iPad while you’re in the program
- Magazines, including inDesign magazine, Computer Music, Offscreen Scenic Design and Before & After
There’s a menu at the top of most screens that you access by pulling the screen down (like a refresh). If you don’t read the manual (and I didn’t until later although it was, ironically, stored in my ‘manuals’ folder) you’re unlikely to find it accidentally. And it’s a pretty important menu too…
You can’t drag and drop in list mode but you can in thumbnail mode. Swap between the two a few times to work out the best one for you.
Er, that’s about it. It works. It’s brilliant. Get it.