Wednesday March 29th 2017

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iPad: a pattern workflow

Okay, as promised, if a little late.

After saying that I hadn’t tried iAnnotate, I thought perhaps I should give it a go.  Pricey for an app ($9.99), you can use it to read PDFs if you like, or you can go ahead and use another reader such as GoodReader and then use iAnnotate to mark up your PDF. At this point, I tend to think that it was worth the $10.

Why would you use GoodReader as well as iAnnotate? Well, from what I can see, iAnnotate is excellent at pulling PDF documents off the Web, but if you have patterns loaded down onto your computer or phone already, it’s a bit more difficult to get it directly into iAnnotate.

However, it’s fairly easy using GoodReader or ReadDLE to pull your document to the iPad and then markup using iAnnotate. Here’s the workflow I use on my iPad with GoodReader and iAnnotate, and it’s working out pretty well for me.

Let’s say you have a pattern PDF on your desktop or laptop (I’m on a MacBook), which is on a wireless network, along with your iPad.

Open up GoodReader on your iPad. On the bottom right, choose the WiFi Transfer icon, second from the left. The WiFi-transfer window opens. See where it says “Use one of the following addresses”? Leave this window up and move to your laptop or desktop.

On a Mac, in the Finder, choose Go > Connect to Server. A Connect to Server window opens. Under “Server Address”, enter the full IP-address exactly as you see it on the iPad in the WiFi-transfer window. Click Connect. Your desktop will now connect to the “server”, aka as your iPad. A window opens up titled with the IP-address of your iPad.

You may now simply drag and drop any files from your computer to your iPad or vice versa. When you’re done, click “stop” on your iPad in the WiFi-transfer window.

With me so far? (If you’re on a PC, iAnnotate does give pretty comprehensive notes in their support how to do the same thing on your PC.)

Okay, now let’s say you want to start knitting.

You’re already in GoodReader. (If you’re not, just open GoodReader.) On the left-hand side of GoodReader, you’ll see a list of all of your available documents. Make sure the one you want to open is showing in the list, and touch the Manage Files button on the right side of the screen. The list of documents will show radio buttons beside each file. Touch the radio button beside the document you want to open.

Over on the right, next to the Delete button, there’s a button that reads “Open In…” Touch this button. An “Open In” dialogue window opens. Choose iAnnotate PDF.

GoodReader closes, and iAnnotate opens with your document.

You can now use iAnnotate to mark up your document. (From here on out, so long as you want to see the marked up document, open it in iAnnotate rather than GoodReader. If you want a fresh, unmarked version of your document, go back to GoodReader and pull another copy into iAnnotate.)

So far I’ve used iAnnotate to help me track mods to a pattern, taking notes and saving the math on the PDF. I can use it as a row counter, but my preference is to use iPad for reading the pattern and marking it, and using one of the knitting apps on my iPhone as a counter. In fact, because you can’t use two apps simultaneously on the iPad, it’s handy to use my phone apps as calculator, counter, and other such miscellaneous apps, while keeping track of it all on the iPad in iAnnotate. This made it really handy when I was changing the gauge of a pattern and needed to track all the changes to the pattern for the new size in a new yarn.

You can make notes, highlight text, and draw (for a given definition of “draw”) on the PDF. Cross off a row on a chart, add a size to the pattern, flag a pattern change so you’ll remember to do it, whatever you like.

The developers seem to be pretty good at making requested changes, so stand by for improvements to the app in the future.

This has been pretty general, so if you have specific questions, let me know below and I’ll do my best to answer.

Anyone else have other uses for iAnnotate in your knitting that I haven’t found yet?

Next week: how to find apps, and some apps that you might not have considered using for your knitting.

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