If you use an iPad in your legal practice, sooner or later you’ll discover that you need a good app for storing, organizing and reading the various forms of documents that you receive in the course of your practice including PDF and DOC files. Goodreader ($4.99) is by far the most popular and well reviewed iPad/iPhone app for the task.
It’s easy to see why it’s become so popular. Goodreader can read all of the most common file types including PDF, TXT, DOC, PPT, XLS, high res images, HTML, and many audio and video formats. Additionally, it easily integrates with cloud based applications such as MobileMe, Box.net, Dropbox, Google Docs, mailservers, and so forth, making it easy to transfer files to and from the app. Not only that, Goodreader also allows you to annotate PDF files by adding text boxes, sticky notes, highlights, drawings, and more to your files. You can zoom into files with up to 50x zoom for closely examining small details in pictures and PDFs.
The power of Goodreader in handling PDF files is one of the reasons it’s become especially popular as a tool for lawyers. After all, federal court filings must be in PDF format, large document productions are quite often received in PDF format, deposition transcripts are often made available in PDF formats, and many forms and templates are in PDF format.
It’s easy to use too. When you open the app you’ll see two columns. On the left hand column you have a list of your folders and unsorted files. Simply tap a file to open the document.
There are multiple ways you can add documents to Goodreader. First, when your iPad/iPhone is connected to your computer, you can drag and drop files into the app through iTunes. Select your iPad/iPhone under “Devices” and then select “Apps” from the options on the right. Scroll down to your “File Sharing” apps in iTunes. Select Goodreader and then simply drag and drops files into Goodreader Documents.
If you use services such as Dropbox, Box.net, MobileMe iDisk, or Google Docs, you can add files through those services as well. In the right hand column on the Goodreader page, you’ll see a heading that says “Connect to Servers.” Select that and click “Add” to see a list of available servers you can connect to. Once connected you can set Goodreader to sync with those services, or you can choose to manually download documents to Goodreader.