Download and Store PDFs On Your iPad or iPhone

You can view PDFs on the web in Safari on your iPad and iPhone. You can also download those documents to store in either iBooks or the Files app. In Files, you can store them locally or in iCloud so you have access to them on all of your devices.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Download and Store PDFs On Your iPad or iPhone.

So when we're looking around on the internet sometimes we come across PDF documents and we'd like to save them. If you're on the iPhone and the iPad it's not as easy as just doing a Save As or drag and dropping them out. You need a place to put them. There are several different places you can put PDFs on your iPad or iPhone. Let's use the iPad here as an example.

Let's say you're browsing the web and you come across a PDF like this one. Now you could just bookmark this page and revisit it each time. But that means it needs to reload the page. It would be nice, since this is a fairly long document, to be able to Save it so you just have a copy of it on your iPad.

So let's go to the top here and use this Share button to save it. One of the ways you can save it is to save it to iBooks. iBooks handles documents like PDFs so it would be nice just to have a copy of it there. So if you'll look through the options you can see that one of them here is Copy to iBooks. It's right there in the first row with the color icons. So let's tap that. It's going to save a copy and open up iBooks. So now it's in iBooks and we can get to it. iBooks is nice because now we can annotate it and do all sorts of things with it. If you're using iCloud you'll have this PDF then on all your devices as well.

You can setup iBooks to show you all your books or just the PDFs. So you can see just the ones that you've saved. You can see I've saved a bunch of things here. I've got a bike map. I've got some chapters from different PDF books. I've got even an airport map there. Things that I thought would be handy to have on my iPhone and iPad I've saved to iBooks and I have easy access to them even when I'm offline.

Now if you want to instead put it somewhere else. Like, for instance, let's go back to Safari here and I'm going to hit the Share button again. Instead of putting it in iBooks I'm going to hit Save to File. This will save it to the Files app and put it in your iCloud Drive space. It actually gives you options here. So for instance there's the Documents app which I installed which allows you to save things there. There's saving it just to My iPad or iCloud Drive. If you have other services configured like or things like that, that will appear here as well.

So let's save it to iCloud Drive and I can just put it in this folder here, just the main folder that has Add, and that saves it out. Now if I switch to my Files app I can see it added it there. There it is. The Constitution. I can tap on it and actually view it inside of the Files app. So this is kind of a viewer that appears in various places and you can see its got pages on the right. You can still actually do annotations a bit. At least markup. So it's a nice place to be able to put things. I can put Folders and arrange things as I would say on the Finder on the Mac.

So, there are two great places to save PDFs right from the web. One is to save them to iBooks and the other is to save them to the Files app to say iCloud Drive or just a local file on that one device.

Comments: 2 Responses to “Download and Store PDFs On Your iPad or iPhone”

    11 months ago

    Hooray! Thank you…l needed that!

    kim sinclair
    11 months ago

    wonderful instructional video–not only do you solve problems, but you give ideas one might not have thought of.

    thank you, gary


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