Did you know you could create PDF on iPad by converting your Documents, Emails, Webpages, and Photos to the PDF format?
In this post I’ll show you how to create PDF versions of your files with the app PDF Converter. I’ll also take you deep into the topic of PDF to explain the benefits of converting your documents to the Portable Document Format and walk you through one of my daily iPad workflows to show — how to manage (and share) your PDF files while working mobile on the iPad.
What you’ll learn from this article:
- What is a PDF file?
- Why convert your files to PDF?
- The advantages of converting files on the iPad vs. using a (free) online service.
- The 3 (iOS productivity) apps I consider essential to work with PDF files on the iPad.
- How to Create PDF on iPad from… Emails, Webpages, Photos, and Microsoft Word Documents.
Why convert your 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 saw how important and easy it was to attach a PDF file to a task. But as you continue reading this article, you’ll find that this is just one of the many uses I have for the Portable Document Format.
For example, at my office to help manage projects and share information with my clients, coworkers, and outside contractors, I turn to this handy file document standard to keep things flowing. One way this is done while working mobile on the iPad, is by sending all my 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, visit my post: “An Introduction to the Green Elephant.”
So how do I manage to update all those notebooks throughout my day? This is done by converting all my documents and emails to the PDF format on the iPad — just before sending them over to Evernote.
Why — because besides using the OCR feature that makes all those documents quickly searchable (in Evernote). One of the best way to know if my documents are received and read, in the same way that I send them — is by converting them first to the standardized document format known as PDF.
What is PDF you ask?
According to Wikipedia, the Portable Document Format (or PDF) is a file format used to represent documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. To break this down this simply means: that by converting a file (i.e., a Microsoft Word document) to the PDF format. The user receiving the document doesn’t need Microsoft Word installed.
Useful right? I think so! Especially since more folks are using mobile devices, that sometime may have difficulties opening all the file formats found on a desktop computer, (as a result of licensing issues or the company’s decision to use their own format).
One-other well noted advantage to convert your files and documents to the PDF format on the iPad — is to be able to save and carry them wherever you go. A great tip to enhance this type of PDF workflow, is to use cloud-based services like Dropbox, iCloud and Evernote to securely save and store all your PDFs. Not only do I consider this to be a much better method to-overall manage and sort your documents. But this will also help you to free up the iPad’s internal memory.
How to create PDF on iPad
One of the fastest and simplest way to create PDF on iPad is done by using an app called PDF Converter.
PDF Converter - Save Documents, Web Pages, Photos to PDF
by Readdle2.99 USD
Category: Business, Productivity
Here’s some of the things you can do with this app .
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 web 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 webarchive
BUT WAIT! — Why pay for an app, when you can use a free online service to convert documents to PDF?
Great question… and here’s why:
- With PDF Converter, you’ll able to create PDF on iPad without connecting to the Internet.
- Also, why trust sending your private information to an online server, not knowing… who’s looking at it or how long will it stay there? When the same task can be done securely on your device.
- And finally, we did say fast and easy. Right!
How to converter to PDF with the PDF Converter app
To show you how to create PDF on iPad using the app PDF Converter, I made a quick video tutorial.
3 Apps to help Edit, Organize, and Manage PDF
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 me turn your attention to three apps that will help you manage, organize, and edit all the PDFs you’ll soon be creating.
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.
- Mark-up PDF files using the Evernote capturing app Skitch.
For example, one such app that not only helps me to manage and organize all my PDF files, but also includes features to edit and annotate my files directly on the iPad is the app PDF Pen for iPad by Smile software.
This well-designed iOS app is what I use daily in my workflow to add my signature to PDF documents on the iPad. Plus, I also like the way it syncs with iCloud and Dropbox. To read more about this app visit my post: “The iPad college checklist 8 essential apps for students.”
And finally, our last app not only makes great use of its features for managing and saving PDF on the iPad, but is also considered by many as an essential app to have installed — even as soon as a new iPad is purchased, unboxed and powered up. This popular application is Dropbox.
Dropbox - Together with its iOS companion app, is a (free) online storage service that you can use to save and store all your PDF files to the cloud. The files and documents on your account then can be accessed and downloaded for offline use to the iPad via the Dropbox app. I like to think of Dropbox as a digital filing cabinet for all my PDF documents, because anywhere I go, all my files are updated, synced, and ready to be read and shared, across all my multiple devices.
Note: If you are looking to test drive this (free) online service, please consider signing up using my 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 charge for using my referral link – so thanks for considering it.
As we arrive to the end I hope this article has helped you see — just how fast and easy you can create PDF on iPad from your documents to the PDF format standard.
And like always if you have any questions or valuable insight to add to our topic I would love to hear them in the comments. Also… if you know someone who would benefit from this article please consider sharing it with them. Thanks!
*Photo credit: Mike Rosenberg (CC BY 2.0)