How to read PDFs on your iPhone

ebook, iphone, pdf, Old Blog Import

The iPhone happens to be a great eBook reader. Despite (or because of)
its small size, it is actually a very pleasant reading interface. This
is partially because of the screen’s high resolution, and partially
because the width of the screen is just about the same as that of a
column of newspaper print. Unfortunately, few webpages or documents
are properly formatted for such a screen size. While the iPhone’s
interface makes it easy to zoom by pinching and scroll by sliding your
finger, it is a real pain to read text which isn’t wrapped to the
width of the screen. For anything longer than a short blog post it is
Fortunately, there are some solutions. If you are reading a webpage,
there is the wonderful instapaper:
I highly recommend the instapaper pro iPhone application, which has a
wonderful tilt scrolling” feature which makes use of the built in
For eBooks there is Stanza:
Which is allows direct downloads of thousands of eBooks as well as
documents from your desktop.
But there is a problem with one kind of document I use a lot: PDF
files. PDFs are a pain. You can open them on your iPhone, but they are
sure to not be formatted properly for such a small screen. There are
some PDF-to-HTML converters, but they seem to mess up the line breaks
and paragraph spacing, etc. After some exploring, I finally found a
Calibre is a clunkly, but free e-book software for all platforms which
can convert PDF files to the eReader format used by Stanza. (Be sure
to use the eReader format and not the default format used by Calibre.)
After converting a file open it in Stanza, and follow these
Although you might need to fiddle with the settings (I had to turn off remove spacing between paragraphs”), I found this made nicely formatted documents I could read on my iPhone.