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Saturday, December 29, 2012

iPad BIM Supertip - Markup Safari Web pages on your iPad

Let's say you're on your iPad using Safari and are on a vendor's website and want to make some notes about products.  How the heck are you going to do that?  

Here's the list of ingredients.
1 iPad (or iPhone)
1 Safari web browser opened to a web page
2 javascripts (in the next section)
2 bookmarklets (which you'll create in the Setup section)
1 GoodReader app ($4.99 which you really want to buy)
1 bored human (you) - There's a super duper tip at the end, so pay attention.

SETUP  (not that complicated)                    
First, install two javascript bookmarklets on your iPad's Safari app.

1. click here for a link to the first text file: http://goo.gl/6dGyq
2. once the page opens, highlight the text and press copy - make sure to copy the text itself, not the whole block
3. at the top of safari, next to the address bar, click the icon with the arrow in it and click the Bookmark button
4. Delete what's in the top box and call it ">PDF"
5. in the bottom box, choose a bookmark folder location. I recommend you use the 'Bookmarks Bar' so you have quick access to this shorcut.
6. Click Save
7. Now, click the Bookmarks button at the top (it looks like an open book) and scroll to the folder where you saved the bookmark above. 
8. When you're in the folder that has the '>PDF' link, click the Edit button at the top right of the window.
9. Now tap on the bookmark and click in the second row.
10. Tap the 'x' on the right side and then tap once in the empty box
11. Now tap Paste and tap Done on the keyboard
12. Tap Done again on the Bookmarks Bar and you're done.

Now, on to the 2nd javascript.
Do everything exactly the same in the steps above, but click this link http://goo.gl/dLISx  and call it ">GR"

That wasn't so painful, was it? Ok, now, this next part is going to cost you $4.99.  You're going to buy GoodReader for your iPad. It also works on your iPhone.  Don't complain about the price because it's the most important app in your iPad BIM Efficiency Training Plan.  It's worth every penny.  Read more and download GoodReader at this link.

Ok, ready for some fun?

Using Your New Toy:                      

  • Open a website in Safari on your iPad or click here for my blog homepage
  • Click the '>PDF' bookmarklet - It will launch a new tab that just converted the web page into a PDF
  • Click the Download PDF button on the page
  • Click the '>GR' link and the PDF has now been copied to GoodReader
  • Find the PDF on the list on the left side and tap on it
  • Your PDF has loaded and on the right hand side is a toolbar of PDF markup tools which included text, highlighting, lines, arrows, boxes, circle and a freehand text tool
  • Tap the freehand tool, it's the squiggly line at the bottom.
  • A window will pop up, Save to this File or Create an annotated copy - It's your choice to markup the original, or to make a copy of the file to annotate.  
  • Draw on the page and then click Save on the top right
  • Now, tap in the center of the page - that activates the menu
  • On the bottom right, tap the icon that's a square with an arrow (the email button)
  • Tap E-Mail File and tap Flatten annotations (which embeds the annotations into the PDF)
  • You can now email the file to someone
  • Tap the middle of the page again and tap the 'x' on the top of the tab to close the file or click 'My Documents' on the top left to go back to the GoodReader main page
It's not required that you use GoodReader.  From the PDF that was created in Safari, you can click the 'Open In' button and choose whatever PDF annotation program you may have installed.  

Why GoodReader?  I'm glad you asked. Because you can add servers including: Mail Servers like Exchange, Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL  IMAP,  Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, SugarSync, Box, WebDAV, FTP, SFTP, AFP, SMP and you can even connect to your office server or other computer via Wifi.  That's why you have to have GoodReader, because it connects to everything. They should have called it GreatReader. It isn't just for PDFs either.  Docs, spreadsheets, powerpoints, movies and images can be opened and viewed in GoodReader too.  

One of my favorite things about it is the Sync feature.  You can have a folder in GoodReader and have it sync to a folder on your or someone else's computer via Sugarsync.  Personally, I keep a folder on my desktop with files I want access to on my iPad.  I just tap the sync button (after you set it up) and files are synced between your iPad and desktop, but that's another post.  

Forget everything above and just consider that you can have access to a folder of all of the PDF files of a project set of plans and you can view and mark them up and sync them with others on your team.  Someday I'll figure out a way to get my boss to buy iPads for all of our project managers and 'Red-Liners' and add this a super efficient tool for our field people.  

iPads, GoodReader and Sugarsync (or other cloud connectors) must be a part of your BIM workflow.

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KEVO January 23, 2013 at 3:34 PM  

I have tried multiple times to copy the link although it doesn't allow you to. Anyone else get this to work?

KEVO January 23, 2013 at 3:35 PM  

Anyone else get this to work? It doesn't allow copying the link.

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