More evidence that God uses a mac

I’ve discovered an even better method of using my iPad as a preacher, and surely further proof that there will be no Windows in heaven. One of those serendipitous discoveries when searching for something else … I think it might help others too. Now I imagine there might be ways for the recalcitrant to do this from a PC, but I wouldn’t know. Another reason to repent of your Windows allegiance .. (but I digress .. )

I discovered that Pages ((current) ’09 mac desktop version – not the iPad version) can export to the .epub book reader format, which is the ebook format recognised by iBooks (and also some other book readers). If you then load that file into “Books” in iTunes, and sync your iPad, you then have your sermon notes as an eBook rather than a PDF. So that means you’ll find it in the ‘books’ section of iBooks on your iPad, rather than the ‘PDF’ section.

That’s where the beauty starts 🙂 You have much more reader interface power at your disposal than with a PDF:
• You can increase or decrease the font size right on the device with a few finger taps (so no more bothering about font size, page size and margin size in your desktop word processor), and
• You’ll notice that swapping the iPad between landscape and portrait orientation also has the effect of offering you the choice of a single page / whole screen view, or a paperback-novel-type view with two small pages side-by-side – and the illusion of flipping real pages in a real book as you read.

The latter feature means, in theory at least, easier adaptation from paper notes to electronic – irrespective of whether your brain is used to speaking from full A4 single-side notes or from something like an A5 ring binder or display book printed double-side. My 30-year pattern has been the latter, so having made this discovery I’m now using landscape mode and it almost feels like I’m using my familiar binder 🙂

What you can’t, of course, do with this method is annotate your notes on the iPad. So if doing that is important for the way you work, then I guess you’d be wiser sticking with PDF and something like GoodReader. But if it works for you to do all your annotating, highlighting etc on your desktop before syncing – then I think this method would be hard to beat. It would mean buying Pages for your mac if you don’t already have it, but you don’t need to spend a cent on any iPad apps.

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