Did you know you could create PDF on iPad from Documents, Emails, Webpages, and Photos without using wifi or a service on the internet?
In this post, I’ll show you how to make a PDF version of your file with the iOS app PDF Converter, and take you deep into the topic of PDF to explain the benefits of converting your documents to the Portable Document Format. I’ll also take you through one of my PDF workflows to give you a real-world example on how working with PDF on the iPad can be easy to adapt and beneficial.
What You Will Learn In This Post
- Why convert your documents to PDF?
- What is a PDF file?
- The benefits of converting files to PDF?
- How to create a PDF file on the iPad from Emails, Webpages, Photos, and Microsoft Word Documents.
- The advantages of using a native app on the iPad vs. a (free) online service.
- The top 3 PDF management apps that I consider essential to work with PDF files on the iPad.
Why Convert Files To PDF
In the post: “Getting stuff from Mail to OmniFocus for iPad,” we looked at the task management app OmniFocus for iPad, and I explained the important role that a PDF document plays when attached to a task inside my task management app. But as you continue reading this post, you’ll find that creating PDF files out of the many documents that magically appears on my iPad and then send on their way to my favorite productivity tool is just one of the many uses that I have for the Portable Document Format.
For example, as a way to manage projects and share information with my team and clients outside the office, I turn to this handy file document standard to keep things flowing. One way that I can achieve this while working mobile on the iPad is by sending all my converted emails and reference documents (for each project) to a notebook in Evernote. The notebooks are then made accessible to all those involved with the project.
To learn more about Evernote read (later) my post: “An Introduction to the Green Elephant.”
My PDF Workflow On-The-Go
Here’s how I manage the documents inside those notebooks. I like to start by converting my selected documents to the PDF format (on the iPad) — just before uploading my files to Evernote. It might seem kind of unproductive at first, but the extra step has two awesome benefits.
The first one is that Evernote has a great method for searching PDF formatted documents. They use a nifty tech call Optical Character Recognition or OCR. And this secret sauce is what’s behind finding all my documents quickly. Which is an essential part when working mobile.
Then, I like to make sure that no one has any problems opening my documents. So, the best way to do this — is to send them using a standardized document format. And that’s one of the reasons why the PDF format was created. This ensures that everyone has the same experience when opening and reading the file. Without any hiccups or errors. A serious matter that happens too often between different file formats.
What Is A PDF?
According to Wikipedia, the Portable Document Format (or PDF) is a file format used to represent documents in a manner independent of the application software, hardware, and operating systems.
In non-technical terms, this simply means: that by converting a file (i.e., a Microsoft Word document) to the PDF format. The person who receives the file is not required to have Microsoft Word installed.
Useful right? I think so! Especially, since they’re more folks now sharing stuff on mobile devices. Which is a good thing, but can also lead to a bad mobile experience if the file was created on a different platform and can’t be open on a mobile device. So, by sharing files using a standardized format. It also minimizes incompatibility issues between desktops, tablets and mobile devices.
One other well noted advantage to why I convert my files and documents to the PDF format on the iPad — is that I like to have accessibility to my files when mobile. I strongly believe that you simply can’t rely on storing your files in one location. That’s why, I depend on online services like iCloud, Evernote, and Dropbox to store all my shareable documents. Plus using these services helps to bypass the iPad’s internal memory limitations — with regard to the amount of files that I can access.
How to Create A PDF On iPad
So how do you get busy converting your files to the PDF format on the iPad? One of the fastest and simplest ways to create a PDF on the iPad is done by using the iOS app PDF Converter.
PDF Converter - Save Documents, Web Pages, Photos to PDF
by Readdle6.99 USD
Category: Business, Productivity
With PDF Converter, you can make PDFs from:
- ✓ Email Attachments
- ✓ iWork and MS Office documents
- ✓ Web pages
- ✓ Files from other applications
- ✓ Clipboard content
- ✓ Photos
- ✓ Documents on Dropbox
- ✓ Contacts
- ✓ To save a wed page, just change “http” to “pdfhttp” in the safari address bar and tap GO.
★ PDF Converter supports the following document formats Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, TXT, HTML, JPG, PNG, Safari web archive
Why An App VS. a Free Online Service?
Here are three reasons why I recommend using a native app to convert documents to PDF instead of using a service online.
- With PDF Converter, you’ll able to create PDF on an iPad without connecting to the Internet.
- All the magic happens securely and on the iPad/iPhone. NOT somewhere on the internet.
- The converting is fast and simple to do.
How To Create a PDF With The PDF Converter App
To show how to create PDF on iPad using the app PDF Converter, I made a quick video tutorial.
The Top 3 PDF Management Apps
Okay, now that we’ve gone over the benefits of converting documents to the PDF format and seen how to convert files with the app PDF Converter. Let’s turn our attention to three apps that will help manage and edit all the PDFs you’ll soon be creating.
Category: Productivity, Utilities
My first pick for managing PDF files is the app Evernote.
Evernote– handles the task of managing PDF by allowing users to…
- Search through their files (or notes) using the OCR feature.
- Organize and manage PDF by assigning them to notebooks.
- Share notebooks – by sending a link to a contact.
- Markup PDF files using the Evernote capturing app Skitch.
- Present PDF documents as slides with Evernote’s Presentation Mode.
PDFpen Scan+ with OCR, PDF text export
Category: Business, Productivity
A misconception most people have about the PDF format — is to believe that the content of these files are locked down and not editable. But that’s not true, just as you can modify a Microsoft Word document and resave the file, the same can be done with a PDF document.
For example, the app PDF Pen for Scan+ by Smile software has great features to edit and annotating a PDF documents. This well-designed iOS app is what I use as part of my PDF workflow to add my signature and make corrections to documents when I’m my on-the-go.
Category: Productivity, Utilities
And finally, you can’t write about PDF management tools if you don’t include this next app.
Dropbox — is an online storage service that can hold all your PDF files in the Cloud. The files and documents can be accessed, shared and downloaded for offline use to the iPad via the Dropbox iOS app. I like to think of Dropbox as a digital filing cabinet for all my PDF documents.
Note: If you are looking to test drive Dropbox, please consider signing up using this -> Dropbox referral link. By doing so, the kind folks at Dropbox will give each new subscriber (and me), an extra 500 mg of bonus space after signing up. Please know that you will not be charged for using my referral link – so thanks for considering it.
As we arrive at the end, I hope this post has helped you see the advantages to using the PDF format on the iPad — and how fast and easy you can create a PDF on iPad from your documents using the app PDF convert.
Do you have a workflow or system in place to manage document on the iPad?
Use the comment section below to share your thought.
*Photo credit: Mike Rosenberg (CC BY 2.0)