I'm looking for an iPad app that will 'play' a large PDF file as a slideshow.

I've tried the major popular PDF apps, including GoodReader and ReaddleDocs, but none seem to have a 'slideshow' function.

I've also looked into a few Music Notation viewers, but they all seem to require a screen tap to advance to the next page.

Ideally, I want to be able to view a large, graphic-intensive PDF file and then hit 'PLAY' and have it auto advance it's pages. Bonus points if you can zoom, or flip back/forward a page and then after preset interval, the slide show resumes.

4 Answers 4


Presentations are meant to be presentations. If you're going to do the process that 3rdparty suggested, I highly advise that you convert the PDF into a presentation friendly format (jpgs are fine if you want to "fudge" it), but invest in Keynote for the iPad and use it!

Keynote iPad's presentation skills are really astounding. Digital Laser Pointer, private presenter's notes on the iPad and the external display you connect to displays the full screen presentation (requires the VGA video out cable or some equivalent products, the composite/component video cables might work too). Transitions, animations, rich media, everything.

It sucks that you already have it in a PDF, but if you do the work to convert it, the iPad will help you present it wonderfully.

  • 2
    PDFtoKeynote makes it easy to get PDFs into Keynote: cs.hmc.edu/~oneill/freesoftware/pdftokeynote.html
    – user588
    Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 0:50
  • That's REALLY helpful to this subject. Thanks mankoff. This makes the transition of media types quite a bit easier. Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 0:58

One solution I've come up with may be to convert the PDF document to individual JPG images, then sync those 'photos' via iTunes.

They can then be viewed individually or as a slide show.

Caveats are:

  • limited resolution once iTunes downsamples the photos for syncing
  • slideshow stops once you zoom in or manually disrupt it: ideally would like it to automatically continue (hoping there is a better slide show app to do this...)
  • So this seems to work well - HOWEVER - the text in the PDF gets pixelated when I export/convert the PDF slides to JPG or PNG. If I bump up the resolution (600dpi or even 1200 dpi) it crashes the photo viewer on the iPad. Any suggestions for optimizing a JPG or PNG for display on an iPad? Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 3:39
  • Turns out Automator has PDF -> Image workflow built in: superuser.com/questions/88379/… - this worked nicely Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 18:56

Use Apple iBooks, recently renamed to Books.

  1. Open the PDF in Safari
  2. Press the Share icon and select Books. The PDF will then be imported into Books
  3. Opening the PDF will be full screen, and you can present it like a presentation. Swiping left and right between the pages.
  • While this does work, the OP specifically says that they want to "hit 'PLAY' and have it auto advance it's pages".
    – agarza
    Commented May 21 at 14:09

mobile document viewer, mobile PDF notebook X1

  • 3
    Can you make this answer a little more complete? Tell us about these apps, your experience with them, and how much they cost. Thanks. Commented May 22, 2011 at 3:55

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