PDFs in iBooks

In this tutorial, we are going to tell you how to get a PDF file on your iBooks shelf for safekeeping and easy access.

So, your friend just sent you a PDF copy of Dan Brown’s newest novel and you want to read it on your iPhone. I’m not going to ask how your friend got a free copy of a brand new best seller, but I am going to tell you how to add it to your iBooks app.

You can save any PDF file to iBooks by following a few simple steps. There is one prerequisite: you must already have the iBooks app installed on your device. iBooks comes pre-installed on all new iOS devices, but in case you are running an older version of the operating system, you can download iBooks for free from the App Store.

The following instructions work for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

How to save PDF to iPhone or iPad

First, open the file from somewhere in your iOS device. It can be sent to you through email, saved in your Dropbox folder, picked up from a Web browser, or anywhere that a PDF file can be saved. Now the way to add the PDF to iBooks slightly varies depending on where you are getting this PDF from.

If you are getting the PDF from Safari

save safari PDF to iBooks

When the file is open, tap on the screen to call up the Open in iBooks tab (in Safari, the tab will show up right after the download is complete, but will disappear after about a second). So briefly tap once on the screen to make it appear again. At that time, you can select Open in iBooks, which will open up iBooks and save the file there.

If you are getting the PDF from other apps

PDF Share menu

Other apps, including the Mail application, will require you to select the “Share” button first. The Share button looks like a square with an arrow pointing upward. For example, if you have opened a PDF file in Dropbox, you can save it to iBooks by tapping the Share icon. When you tap the icon, a list of options will appear. Select Open In and then select “Copy to iBooks”.

copy PDF to iBooks

After the file opens in iBooks, it will automatically be saved to the reading app. So, when you go back to your iBooks library, you will see it sitting on your PDFs shelf.

You can switch between books and PDFs by selecting the tab at the center-top of the bookshelf. Depending on which shelf you are in, it will either read, Books, Audiobooks, or PDFs.

You can save any PDF to iBooks on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. You just have to make sure the app is installed on your devices before you select the Open In tab or the Share option. Now you can save all of those digital role-playing game books you backed on Kickstarter right in iBooks. Game on!