There are two must-have apps from Readdle on my iPad that make working with PDFs a dream. They are: Documents [free] – serves as both a file manager and a reader/viewer/media player for PDF, MS Office, ePub, images and videos. PDF Office [$4.99/mo – $39.99/yr] – create PDF documents and fillable forms from scratch or from a scanned form, scan documents and receipts, annotate, edit and even sign…
If you have a relatively new Mac computer running either Lion or Mountain Lion versions of OSX, then you probably also have Air Drop. This is a new feature in Finder that will allow you to quickly and easily move files from one nearby computer to another. What’s different about Air Drop is you don’t have to have a Wi-Fi connection to do it. To see if you have Air Drop, open your Finder app and…
If you have an iOS device that you use regularly, chances are good you have one or more cloud storage accounts. These accounts not only provide file storage that can be accessed from just about anywhere, they also serve as off-site backup. Now the question is how to get to those files from your mobile devices. Sure, each cloud service offers its own app for managing files, but iOS users will find the free Documents app is not only an impressive reader but an amazing file management system too.
Here you see the main screen in Documents on an iPad. The folders and files you see displayed here are all contained within the storage area in the Documents app. The sidebar displays the cloud storage services I use.
With Documents installed on your device, you can download a file using your browser by tapping the Open In . . . command located just below the tabs bar then choosing Open in Documents.
Once downloaded, the file will appear in the Documents main screen. Opening attachments in email messages works much the same way. The Documents app is also an impressive reader app and can read PDF, Microsoft Office and ePub files as well as view photos and videos.
Obviously, I don’t want to keep every file I download on my iPad. Documents also has an impressive collection of file management tools. Start by tapping the Edit icon at the top right corner of the title bar. A screen appears similar to the one shown below.
The first step is to select the files you want to work with by tapping on them. In the example above the checkmarks show which two I’ve selected. The sidebar presents the options available to me. In this case, I want to send them to my Dropbox account so I tap on the Upload icon in the sidebar.
Documents displays my cloud storage options – in this case Dropbox and Box. [NOTE: iCloud has its own “area” in Documents and doesn’t appear with the networked services.] I tap the Dropbox item which will display my list of folders then I select the folder I want. It’s that easy.
As you can see in the sidebar, there are a lot of other things I can do with Documents. I can copy, move, rename and delete files currently in the Documents app. I can also merge PDF documents and create zip files. Want to add a file attachment to an email message? Select a file and tap Mail to.
Documents is an impressive app providing a full range of reading and file management features. It won’t take long for it to become indispensable.
There are two must-have apps from Readdle on my iPad that make working with PDFs a dream. They are:
Documents [free] – serves as both a file manager and a reader/viewer/media player for PDF, MS Office, ePub, images and videos.
PDF Office [$4.99/mo – $39.99/yr] – create PDF documents and fillable forms from scratch or from a scanned form, scan documents and receipts, annotate, edit and even sign PDF documents.
Here’s a quick look at the business side of PDF Office . . .
PDF Office is also a powerhouse app for research. Here are some examples:
The built-in scanner can capture pages from books, documents and other research ephemera. Use the annotation tools to highlight interesting information and add notes. You could even use a note to create a source citation that stays with these research snippets.
Create your own fillable PDF forms with PDF Office and then use it to fill them in while you are researching. If you prefer a form that already exists, scan it using PDF Office and turn it into a fillable PDF form in seconds.
Edit text in existing PDF files.
Use these features to download your favorite research worksheets and forms, customize them and turn them into forms you can fill in right on your iPad, then send the completed form to Evernote, your research notes folder or even a research cousin.
How does Documents fit into the workflow? Although PDF Office has a PDF reader built into it, Documents can read all kinds of files. If someone emails you a Word file, you can open and read it in Documents. It also has an impressive file management system giving you access to your online storage (iCloud, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, OneDrive and more) and even your desktop if you wish. It also has annotation capabilities, can fill in PDF forms and it handles large files with grace.
Keep you forms, reference guides, user manuals and other frequently-needed research material in Dropbox folders so you can get to them from just about anywhere without overloading your iPad. With Documents, these materials are always within easy reach and it’s just as quick to return them to their online “shelf” once you have finished using them.
It will also manage your growing collection of PDF forms. Use it to retrieve a copy of a blank form, fill it in and then forward the completed form to the appropriate folder and/or Evernote.
Documents file management features make it easy to keep things organized between multiple online storage accounts. It copies/moves multiple files with ease.
These two apps add some amazing capabilities to my iPad. Not only are they useful when researching on the road, they make life a lot easier when working at home too.
One of the most amazing features found on today’s computers and apps is the saved search. For the family historian with a growing archive of digitized files and research material, this little jewel is a dream come true. It will save you a tremendous amount of time and effort. No, I am not exaggerating.
I first learned about saved searches in my photo organizer app. iPhoto not only captures…