Can I copy the PDFs I have on my Mac to the iPad ?

I want to download them from example from Google Scholar with the Mac (or iPad) and then read them on the iPad.

3 Answers 3


Yes you can, drop them into iTunes or email them to an account you can check via the iPad. You can choose to either read it in the Maill app or read it in iBooks. Or just use Safari on the iPad to go to http://scholar.google.com/ and download the PDF to iBooks right there.


There are 3 main routes to get PDF to your iPad:

  • Drag them into iTunes and have iTunes sync them in the iBooks tab. Other apps will allow management of PDF as files at the bottom of the apps tab in iTunes.
  • Use another program like PhoneView to drop them directly to the iPad via USB.
  • Move them within iOS - mobile mail, mobile safari and other apps will detect that iBooks (and other apps) can read PDF's and offer to move them for you. There are truly hundreds of apps that will receive PDF just like iBooks will. Just a few that are mature, widely adopted and well designed are iDisk, Dropbox, AirSharing but I'll keep this focused on your transport question and leave the comparison of which app on iOS is best for it's own thread.

Which one is best depends on your workflow, but knowing all three may help you be more nimble.


Use Dropbox. You should already be using Dropbox, of course, because it's awesome. But it's also one of the easiest ways to get docs onto your device.

Drop it in your dropbox on your desktop, fire up the iPad Dropbox app, download the file, and choose which iPad app you want to open it in. Ta da!

  • I would use dropbox for this, you can combine that with the Adobe Reader app as well. Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 18:58

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