Business Resources for Authors

Using GoodReader for On-the-Go Critiques

Once you create a system and critique a couple of manuscripts this way, you’ll be addicted!

We’ve been approached by a few people asking how to best read and critique manuscripts on the iPad. Our app of choice for on-the-go critiquing is GoodReader ($4.99 via App Store or iTunes). GoodReader allows you to read a variety of file types, including pdf, doc, xls, ppt and more. However, if you need to annotate (highlighting, comments, etc.), then pdf files are the way to go.

Kelsey’s critiquing work flow looks like this:

  1. Receive .doc file from critique partner.
  2. Open file in MS word and “print to a .pdf” file.
  3. Save .pdf file into Dropbox account.
  4. Connect to Dropbox via GoodReader (connection should be created beforehand and once set up, you should always see Dropbox in the “Connect to Servers” area.)
  5. Choose appropriate file and click “download.”
  6. Choose download target folder.
  7. File should now be in the folder in My Documents wherever you saved it.
  8. Open .pdf file and access all toolbars by tapping center of iPad screen. You will see a variety of annotation options on the righthand side of the screen. In manuscript critiquing, you may find the comment bubbles, highlighting and bookmarks most helpful.
  9. To create a comment, click on the on the comment bubble, then click on text area on which you wish to comment. Type comments in yellow pop-up bubble and then save.
  10. Once you are finished critiquing the entire file, you can email it directly to your critique partner (or yourself) by tapping the center of the screen and choosing the second to the right option on the bottom toolbar (looks like a box with an arrow in it). This will allow you to do several things, but if you plan to email the file:
  11. First, flatten the copy of the file. (If you choose email, GoodReader will prompt you, asking if you want to flatten the annotations.)
  12. Once the file is flattened, then you may email it directly from the app.

In the flattened .pdf file, all annotations will have a corresponding number beside the original text with a link to the comment at the end of the document. You can toggle back and forth from the comments at the end of the document and the corresponding text by tapping the yellow annotation number.

Sounds complicated, but once you create a system and critique a couple of manuscripts this way, you’ll be addicted!
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  1. I wish I had an iPad. I really want to critique on my Nook tablet as it’s more portable than the laptop but it’s hard to type on the pads. Love this site!!

  2. Christine –

    I don’t have a Nook, so I’m not familiar with it’s capabilities. That being said, I do love my iPad because it’s a multi-functional device. I agree that it’s harder to type on these smaller tablets, but for critiquing purposes, I would now be lost without it. I’ve critiqued my CPs’ work while sitting in the pedi char. Can’t get much better than that!


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