PDF files on the iPad

I was trying to find information on how to get PDF files onto the iPad and pretty much everything I read turned into some overly complicated, convoluted mess. As it turns out, it’s incredibly simple. Basically you just drag and drop the files to the iPad using iTunes and that’s it.

To start with, you need a reader. I’m using Stanza which is free and also lets me download hundreds of books from other sources like Project Gutenberg. It’s a great reader on its one and it has lots of other benefits. It can read files in multiple formats.

So here’s what you do:

1. Install Stanza

2. Plug in your iPad

3. Click your iPad within iTunes

4. Click the Apps tab

5. Scroll down until you see the File Sharing section. (If you don’t have Stanza installed you won’t see this)

6. Drag you PDF file into the window, or click the Add button.

7. The file will be copied over to the iPad where you will see it the next time you run Stanza.

And there you have it.

I was reading articles that said I needed to convert the files and buy all these special apps. None of that is necessary. You can buy specialized readers if you like, but I copied 4 straightforward eBooks over to the iPad and they all rendered fine in Stanza. I don’t know what the limitations are on PDF files so who knows if every one of them out there will work, but so far, it’s all working fine.

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