iPad for Engineers – GoodReader

This is probably the first App that I found for the iPad that I use. While I use it for reading my growing library of PDF’s, it can also be used to handle TXT files such as the pile of RFC’s that I seem to collect. Since starting to use GoodReader, it has continued to grow as I have learned new ways of using it.

To put things in perspective, I have close to 2000 PDF’s on Cisco and other technologies that I work with. You can organize your documents within GoodReader to as granular of a degree as you may need to. One thing that I would suggest is that you periodically backup the files you have in GoodReader to another system. This is easiest to do when you ave connected to iTunes via a cable. I have tried this via the Wireless Sync option and I would suggest doing that if you have as large of a PDF collection as I have – it will take quite a long time. If you dont have your sync cable handy, it is better than nothing, just dont expect to do anything with the iPad while you are backing up the directory.

You have several options for getting files into GoodReader. The option I use most is to click on the Wireless icon and then connect to the iPad using a web browser from your PC. This is the easiest way to put files on the iPad direct from one machine to another. If you dont have a wireless network where you are, another option to getting files into GoodReader is to use Dropbox. You can upload your files to Dropbox and then when you have access to a wireless connection, you can download the files from Dropbox to GoodReader using the Connect to Servers option. Another file transfer option I have used is connecting my iPad to my desktop and uploading the files via iTunes. The point I am trying to make here is that you have a variety of ways to transfer files. Check the GoodReader website to see what the different options that are available (http://www.goodiware.com/goodreader.html). If you find a pdf that you want to add to GoodReader while you are browsing using Safari, you can either open the pdf from the website and select that you want to open it in GoodReader or you can safe the file to GoodReader using instructions on the Goodware website. Bottom line here is that you can find a host of new ways to use GoodReader by going to the How-Tos tab on the website.

My favorite feature in GoodReader is the ability to “mark up” documents I am working with or using as a reference while I am studying for a new certification. A document that has been created by printing to a PDF can be marked up or highlighted very easily. If you scanned a document in, you can still mark it up but will have to do that a little differently. When you select the option of marking up a document for the first time, you are given the option of saving the changes back to the file you have opened or saving it to another file. I have always saved the changes back to the original file and havent had a problem yet. There is a modest charge for this App but it is well worth the charge.

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