Researcher iPad Solution: GoodReader + iAnnotate + iFile

After using iPad for a few weeks, I realised it is a wonderful device for reading ebooks/pdfs etc. One of the most common activity of a researcher is to read tons and tons of research papers. While reading, it is often the case that we want to highlight certain points, make notes etc. iAnnotate which is an iPad apps make it a perfect solution. The way to sync (upload) documents to the iPad is through the Aji PDF Service (desktop application). However, I’m quite reluctant to do that. Instead I’ve been using GoodReader which provides a very easy way to upload/download documents.

In this guide I will provide a method to combine the benefits of both.




iFile is a file manager with capabilites to email, edit, delete, copy, cut, paste, rename, view, compress, uncompress, install and transfer files. This can only be installed on a jailbroken iPad

You would want to create bookmarks for iAnnotate and GoodReader since the application folders are not really that readable (in /var/mobile/Applications/)

Go to the GoodReader Application folder, the documents will be in the Documents folder

Select the PDF and copy it

Go to the iAnnotate Application folder

Paste it into the Documents folder of iAnnotate

And when you open up the iAnnotate, you should be able to see the PDF and annotate as usual 🙂

It would also be nice if there’s a way to combine Zotero with iAnnotate.

2 thoughts on “Researcher iPad Solution: GoodReader + iAnnotate + iFile

  1. Hi, great review! We just updated iAnnotate with several easy ways to upload and download pdfs to the app.

    Here’s a quick list of new features:
    – A redesigned and streamlined interface
    – You can receive, modify and send annotated docs through email!
    – Transfer PDFs via iTunes USB
    – Download any PDF link with the integrated web browser
    – Share files with other apps.
    – A redesigned document finder now includes favorites, tag search, new/recent documents, and more.
    – Text annotation summaries are available to read and share.
    – Two finger scroll allows lets you scroll while editing
    – Many other minor interface improvements and bug fixes based on excellent user feedback!

    We’d love to know what you think, and we’re super attentive to our forum if you have any questions at all.

  2. hey, thank you so much for this. For some reason iannotate gets really muddled up with metadata and becomes a nightmare when you have a big load of pdfs to sync. But the goodreader tip works wonders!

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