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In iPad Tips and Tricks, author Christopher Breen provides expert tips for getting the most out of the Apple iPad (first generation) and iPad 2, including gesturing, typing, and adding content, as well as troubleshooting common device issues. The course explains how to download and manage apps, configure email accounts, create presentations, and set up videoconferences. The course also demonstrates both built-in and third-party solutions for opening and editing files, streaming video and audio wirelessly, and troubleshooting common device issues.
Wonderful as the iPad is, it's likely that you're going to find yourself in the position where you can't open or edit files that you've synced to the iPad or that you've received via email. In this movie, we'll look at a few ways to get around these roadblocks. First of all, let's go back to the way you traditionally move files to your iPad. We're now in iTunes. I'm going to move this file to Pages. I've got a Microsoft Word document here. I drag it into Pages, and it immediately syncs to my iPad.
Now to open it, all I have to do is launch Pages, I tap the Import button and Copy from iTunes. And here's my document, and it opens in Pages, and as expected, a lot of times you'll find a message that says that certain fonts aren't available and it's substituting a different font. That's perfectly okay, so tap Done. And there is your document, ready for you to work on. Now, that's good, but suppose you have a document that's already on your iPad, one that's attached to an email message, for example.
That's not a problem either. In this case, we'll launch Mail, and we'll select a message that includes a Microsoft Word document. Now when you do that, you see a Preview window of the document. Now from this window, you can then tap the screen and then tap the Send icon, and you see you have a few options: Open in Pages, Open In, and Print. Let's tap Open in Pages and see what happens.
Pages opens up, the document opens up, and again, we see that warning. We tap Done, and here is the document, once again, ready for us to work on. Let's look at some of those other options. Back in Mail, here is the preview, Done. Once again, I'll tap on a document, and we'll look at the Send icon. Now, let's take a look at Open In. In this case, I see a list of any app that will open this document.
I have Pages, which I've already done; DocsToGo, which we'll look at in a second; GoodReader, we'll also look at that; and then LogMeIn, which is the remote application we looked at in a different movie. Let's take a look at GoodReader. GoodReader for iPad is a $5 app from Good.iWare. It's reason for being is to display a wide variety of document types, including Microsoft Office documents, HTML, and Safari Web archives, PDF and text files, and audio and video files. In this case, I've opened up my Word document, but what about a document type that's a little more challenging? Let's look at a PDF file. Here is PDF.
I tap on it and I can Open In, go to GoodReader, and here it is in GoodReader. Now at this point, I can scroll through the document, I can flip pages, and I can expand the text, or I can contract it. I'll go back to my documents within GoodReader. If I tap Manage Files and then select a file or multiple files, I can then move them into folders I create. I can email them, I can mark them as read or unread, and so on.
I can even create a new blank document, select it, and then type in it. In a way it provides some of the basic file management capabilities that your Mac or Windows PC provides. There's also an intriguing Connect to Servers command, but we'll save that for a little later. One thing that you'll notice about GoodReader is that while you can create new text documents, you can't edit existing documents of any kind, and that's where DataViz's $17 Documents To Go Premium Office Suite comes in. Let's return to Mail and choose a message with a Microsoft Word attachment.
I'll select it, choose Open In, and choose DocsToGo. Documents To Go launches and displays the file. Unlike with GoodReader, you find editing controls at the bottom of the screen. All I have to do to edit the document is tap the screen where I'd like to insert the cursor and I can start typing. If you look at some of the other things at the bottom of the screen, you see you have options for formatting the text, increasing the indent or decreasing it.
You could add bullets or outline form, and there's also Find and Replace, Word Count, and Full Screen. So what makes this any more special than Pages or one of the other iWork documents? In large part, the answer is access, the ability to move documents on and off your iPad without a USB connection or having to resort to email or one of the more arcane export settings offered by pages. And that brings us to Dropbox. Dropbox, found at www.Dropbox.com, is an Internet-based storage service that provides you with two gigabytes of free storage.
The idea is that Dropbox appears on your computer as a destination for storing files. When you place a file on a Dropbox folder that file is then uploaded to Dropbox's web site, where it's also stored. You make a change to the file on your computer and that change is made to the stored file too. Okay, that's good enough, but how does this help us? Well, first of all, there's a free Dropbox app. Using this app, you can view documents stored in your Dropbox folder on your iPad. So let's say that you're on a business trip and you've forgotten a presentation file you need.
If you've stored it in Dropbox before you left, you could grab it via the Dropbox app. It works this way. I will launch Dropbox here, and here is my Dropbox. So I can tap on a document to view it, and here is a PDF file that we'll open. At this point, I can not only view the document, but also tap the Open In button at the top of the screen, and I can then open it in GoodReader, DocsToGo. I could open it in iBooks because it's a PDF file, or again, we have the option to look at in LogMeIn.
Better yet, some applications will let you access your Dropbox directly. GoodReader is one of them. Let's go back to GoodReader, and here we'll look at Connect to Servers. You tap that option, tap Add, and you see you have a variety of new connections you can add. One of them is Dropbox. So I'll enter my username and my password and tap Add, and here is my Dropbox.
I tap it within GoodReader, and then I can see all the documents that I have on my Dropbox. I can choose one to open, choose Download, choose where I'm going to download. I'll download it right here, as it asks. Download has started. Close that window. Now I see I have that file on my iPad. I can tap it and now I can view it. So it's stored directly on my iPad because I was able to download it from Dropbox.
Tap the document, go back to My Document. Before we leave, take one last look at Connect to Servers. You see not only Dropbox there, but you have lots of other options, for example, your MobileMe iDisk, Public iDisk, Google Docs, SugarSync's, box.net or an FTP server if you like. So there are lots of ways that you can add things to GoodReader, including Dropbox. Documents To Go is no slouch in this regard either. Just launch it, launch to tap online, and tap one of the services in the Select Account Type.
Here we have Dropbox and once again, I can enter my username and my password and then my Dropbox becomes available to Documents To Go as well. Using these resources for transferring files, along with the iWork, GoodReader and Documents To Go apps, makes your iPad a far more productive partner.
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