How to Read PDF eBooks on Your iPad With DropBox
The internet is full of free PDF eBooks, from marketing guides to classic literature to free short stories by new authors. These free files are easy to download and compatible with across many operating systems, but there’s one major problem: people just don’t like to read lengthy works on their desktop computer screen.
If you have an iPad, there’s an easy solution to this annoyance. All you need is a Dropbox account to easily send PDFs from your desktop to your iPad.
Dropbox is free for about 5G of space, and you can pay to purchase more space if you find a need. Matter Deep uses Dropbox to share pictures too big to email and to pass iBook files back and forth when we’re formatting them. I’m currently using Dropbox to collaborate with an artist on an Olympia Heights comic spin-off.
Once you sign up, you can choose to install it in your operating system. Windows and Mac users can access Dropbox on their desktops without going to the browser site. I have it installed in the toolbar at the top right-hand side of OSX.
1) Copy and paste your PDF into a Dropbox directory.
As you can see, I have a folder called “To iPad” where I put PDFs I want to read on my iPad.
2) Open Dropbox on your iPad and find the file.
You’ll have to install Dropbox onto your iPad through the App store. It’s free to install and has the added Bonus of letting you upload photos from your iPad to the cloud so you can access them on your desktop without having to plug your iPad into the USB port. This is especially great for Windows users who can’t just Airdrop files from iOS to their desktop.
3) Click the Share Button on the Top Right-Hand Side and Select Open In…
The share button looks like a little sheet of paper with an arrow pointing up. The “Open In…” button looks like three empty circles and will populate a list of apps that can open the PDF. It might say “Exporting” for a moment, but once it searches your iPad, you’ll see a list of programs that should be compatible with your file.
4) Select iBooks (Or Something Else, If You’d Prefer)
I recommend iBooks for reading your PDFs. When you return to iBooks to find the file afterwards, you’ll have to swipe horizontally in your library to access a separate menu. The default screen shows all your iBooks files, and then another shelf houses your PDFs.
5) Enjoy reading!
Now your book is on your iPad and ready to be read. Of course, you can always read the file from Dropbox, but I find the interface in iBooks to be much more pleasant to work with.