Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Preparing textual PDFs for easy reading on iPhone iOS devices
This hint facilitates right-sizing text documents so that you can save them as PDFs for easy viewing on iPhone, typically in Stanza or some other reader app. I haven't used it on iPad, since the screen is large enough that the special preparation is not usually necessary. It has not been tested in iBooks, but I think it would work well there.

It's probably most useful with small text documents, not book-sized docs or images. I used it to create a list of requirements and prices for use while selecting a pay-per-use-cell phone at the store.

The key is to make the text narrow enough that it is readable on the iPhone without requiring continual horizontal scrolling. A downside is that the PDF will probably be unreadable on iPhone until you zoom in on it some.

Prepare your text in TextEdit or some other word processor that has the concept of a page width; I'll describe the process for TextEdit in 10.6.7 (probably the same for all 10.6 versions).

Once it's ready, select File » Page Setup, and in the Paper Size menu select Manage Custom Sizes.

In the resulting dialog, click the '+' near the lower left to add a custom paper size.

In the Paper Size field at upper right, set a narrow width (I used 15 cm, about 5.9 inches). Set Height as you wish, or leave it unchanged. The width is the important setting.

Below that, ignore Non-Printable Area, and move on to set the margins so:
  • Top: .2 cm (.08 inches) or whatever suits you as whitespace
  • Left: 0.0 cm
  • Right: 0.0 cm
  • Bottom: 0.1 cm (.04 inches) or whatever suits
It's important to make left and right margins small; 0.0 is suitable, as you'll see when you view it on iPhone.

Double-click 'Untitled' in the top left and rename the setting suitably; I chose 'iPhone text PDF'. Hit OK, and you're done with this part, which only needs to be done once.

Whenever you want to use the setting, select it in the Paper Size menu in the Page Setup dialog.

After selecting the paper size and hitting OK, you may need to go to TextEdit's Format menu and select 'Wrap to Window.' Once it looks nice and narrow on the screen, probably surrounded by a thin box, you are ready to select File » Print and print it to PDF (menu at bottom left of Print sheet), or select File » Save as PDF. Note that if it's still wrapped to the window width, it won't create a narrow PDF, so hunt down the setting you need to do that.

Now you can transfer it to iPhone, using your favorite method to get it to your favorite app. It may look tiny on-screen, but it will zoom up to an easily readable size which doesn't require horizontal scrolling.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described.]
    •    
  • Currently 2.67 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (6 votes cast)
 
[6,308 views]  

Preparing textual PDFs for easy reading on iPhone | 6 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Preparing textual PDFs for easy reading on iPhone' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Preparing textual PDFs for easy reading on iPhone
Authored by: TF on May 16, '11 08:24:48AM

Correction? I think the hint should say, "After selecting the paper size and hitting OK, you may need to go to TextEdit's Format menu and select 'Wrap to Page.' " That uses the new Page Setup settings and adds the thin box mentioned.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Preparing textual PDFs for easy reading on iPhone
Authored by: scottbayes on May 16, '11 07:24:34PM
Correction? I think the hint should say, "After selecting the paper size and hitting OK, you may need to go to TextEdit's Format menu and select 'Wrap to Page.' "
Thank you for the correction.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Or use iWork
Authored by: zpjet on May 16, '11 08:43:01AM

Or, if you happen to have iWork (you should, it's lovely), you can export text as ePub.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Preparing textual PDFs for easy reading on iPhone
Authored by: fahirsch on May 16, '11 08:49:31AM

No need to make it a PDF if it's a text. I use a width of 2 inches and just save as text and make sure that it has the .txt extension



[ Reply to This | # ]
Preparing textual PDFs for easy reading on iPhone
Authored by: llee on May 16, '11 11:44:53AM
I would rather use Calibre or iWork (mentioned in a previous comment) to create an epub so I can make formatting choices on the fly.
Reading free works on your IOS device
Edited on May 16, '11 11:49:30AM by llee


[ Reply to This | # ]
Preparing textual PDFs for easy reading on iPhone
Authored by: marook on May 17, '11 12:03:06AM

I think it's a non-hint! PDF's on iOS is the LAST thing you wanna do!
Make ePub books with iWork or Calibre and enjoy the fact that you can format the book on the device!

---
/Marook



[ Reply to This | # ]