How to combine PDF files into one document?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by zen2go, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. zen2go
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    zen2go iPF Novice

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    I'm using the ForScore app to read music. I can scan my music score one sheet at a time into individual PDF files. Now I need to combine them into a book (to load into ForScore via iTunes)

    How can I do this? thanks!
  2. zen2go
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    zen2go iPF Novice

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    After searching other forums, I finally found some possible solutions.

    If you're a Mac user (which I'm not) then it's as simple as dragging/dropping files into the Preview screen.

    If you're a Windows user, there are free tools such as PDFBinder, PDFSam, etc. You can also buy Adobe Acrobat, which does all things PDF (for a fee).
  3. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Glad you got it figured out. Afraid I had a bit of tunnel vission when I read this the first time; was only considering solutions on the iPad itself, and did not know any. Preview on the Mac is what I use, but I've heard of the others.
  4. zen2go
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    zen2go iPF Novice

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    Follow up question: Is there a way to scan pages directly to the iPad as PDF files and have some iPad app collate those individual pages into a book?

    Right now I have to:

    1. scan the pages to a memory card
    2. transfer them to my HP laptop
    3. collate/bind them into a book
    4. load the book into iTunes
    5. add book to the app I'm using them for

    Lots of steps :-(

    btw, my printer/scanner also has a USB port, so theoretically I can hook up either my laptop or the iPad to it directly.
  5. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Scanner Pro is an iPhone app, but it will work with the iPad 2. The quality is low, lower on the iPad due to the camera's limitations, but you can create multi-page PDF files from a series of pictures. Calling it a book would be far fetched.

    I dont' know of any way to use a real scanner with the iPad. The Camera Connection Kit on the iPad does not support printers, let alone scanners.

    I can think a few other workflows, but they all need a computer at some point, and will need a similar number of steps.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  6. variador
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    variador iPF Novice

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    I use JotNot pro on the iPhone. Once all the pages have been scanned with the camera, the PDF goes to dropbox. Forscore imports from dropbox and it's done.
    This seems to be the path of least resistance for me. JotNot gets around the trouble of scanning pages to big for a scanner. Resizing is never a problem although that seems to be a feature of Forscore.
  7. zen2go
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    zen2go iPF Novice

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    Thanks a million. This looks like the perfect app for what I'm doing.

    Of course, if I had an iPad2 with a built-in camera it would be even simpler. (theoretically)
  8. peled
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    peled iPad Junkie

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  9. zen2go
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    zen2go iPF Novice

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    Happy to report that JotNot works even better than I thought.

    It allows you to manipulate the pages and create PDF docs from them on the iPhone, so no need for a third-party app like PDFMerger etc.

    There is also a "Wi-Fi Transfer" feature (found in Settings) to wirelessly transfer saved docs on the iPhone to another device on the same local Wi-Fi network, e.g. iPad.

    If you go into the Wi-Fi mode, JotNot displays the local IP address of your iPhone which you enter into a browser on your receiver device. A list of docs are shown (including a zipped version of each) which you can select.

    Once you have the document displayed in the browser (Safari), you can optionally Open With a different app, in my case ForScore. Done!

    No iTunes sync'ing! Woohoo!
  10. zen2go
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    zen2go iPF Novice

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    A friend of mine is trying to decide whether to get a iPad 1 or 2 to use as music reader. She's a pianist/accompanist and carries around a lot of music scores. She's asked me to pose this question here:

    Does anybody know if the JotNot app works on the iPad2 using the built-in camera, so that the file transfer step between her iPhone and the iPad will be eliminated altogether?
  11. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    The camera in the iPad 2 is substantially inferior to the iPhone's. The quality of the documents made with JotNot, even it it works, might not be good enough for her purposes.

    I'm attaching two documents. The first is an picture of a page from the iPad, unedited. The second is from the iPhone, cropped and downsized to a similar similar size to fit on the forum. You can see the difference in quality.

    The page, btw, is just something I cobbled together to see how hard it would be to make a basic newsletter on the iPad. I should probably find something better for an example, especially because I might be skating on thin ice copyright wise. So, moderators, be patient, these pics will be replaced soon.

    Edit: Ok, new photos with latin filler, ala Apple.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  12. zen2go
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    zen2go iPF Novice

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    Thanks for the pics.

    After using JotNot, I think I'll need to go back to using a real scanner for my music sheets for sharpness and clarity. Unless I'm doing something wrong, the picture quality of the iPhone is nowhere near the real scanner's. And since the iPad screen is already small compared to a typical music score, I need the notations to appear as sharp and clear as possible.
  13. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Even a medium quality scanner is almost always going to result in a better document than a camera, no matter how many pixels. You might be able to match the number of pixels captured, but unless the lighting, position, and stability of the camera is perfect, it's just not going to get as good an image. And that's ignoring the distortion you're probably going to get by using most phone lenses. Because they are usually wide angle they will distort the edges of the photo, as you can see in both images.

    The only reason there is less distortion in the iPhone photo is that I took advantage of the higher quality camera to place the page in the center of the photo and then crop out the worst of it.

    I like the ability to capture a page this way, but it is definitely a quick and dirty solution for when you don't have a scanner available.

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