How to Store a Pages Document As a PDF in iBooks [iPad]

It’s something that seems like it should be easy, but it isn’t. Working in Pages on an iPad, if you create a document you want to use later, the logical progression of thought is to save it as a .PDF and store it in iBooks. However, getting it there isn’t an easy process. It actually takes more steps than you would imagine, and involves going back to your Mac or PC as well.

I actually created this document in Pages on my Mac, but I had transferred it to Pages on my iPad long ago. As a martial arts instructor, I have to read off a test fairly frequently, so rather than keep paperwork for it, I put it in Pages on my iPad to read it that way. However, if I read it off Pages, I accidentally make edits while I scroll through it, so I wanted a copy that I wouldn’t be able to accidentally edit, that I could scroll through easily.


To save your document as a .PDF, you can either email it to yourself, or you can send it to iTunes. Click on Share a Print, then choose send to iTunes, followed by PDF. To get it into iBooks, we need to first send it to iTunes. There is no option to immediately send it to iBooks, but it definitely seems like there should be.


The PDF document doesn’t even show up in iTunes on your iPad as is. Yet, if you sync to your PC or Mac, you will see that it is stored in your books in iTunes, along with any other PDFs, audio books, or e-books you have in your collection. I only have a few, as I prefer to read books on the Kindle app, rather than iBooks.


If you find your device in iTunes, then click on the Books tab, you’ll see all the e-books and PDFs stored in iTunes. It allows you to check off the things you want on your iPad. It’s very manageable.


Once you’ve checked off the items you want to appear in iBooks on your iPad, whether they be e-books or PDFs, click apply, and iTunes updates your iPad, deleting the items you no longer want, and adds the new items.


Going back to the iPad, open the iBooks app, and you’ll see all the books that you checked off from iTunes. All of them are there. You can also add e-books at this point by going to the store within the app and buying new books. Again, I prefer the Kindle app for this.


Yet, it was the PDFs I was looking for. Once I view the PDFs in iBooks I find the testing document finally added to iBooks. Hopefully Apple will make some changes to this process at some point. It’s not a laborious process, but it does seem to take some extra steps that shouldn’t be unnecessary. The process shouldn’t have to involve going back to your Mac or PC.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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