PDFpen icon PDFpen logo logo

Help: How to Import Documents

PDFpen can import several document formats: PDF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF (including multi-page TIFF fax formats), and compressed ZIP files that contain PDFs. To import, from Documents tap on the “+” in the upper left. Select from a list of import methods, except for Safari and Mail, which use the “Open in...” method.

All imports are copies of the original document. If you want changes made in PDFpen to appear in the original document in the other app, you will need to export a copy out of PDFpen when you are done. See How to Export for details.

Open In… via Safari

  1. View a PDF from Safari.
  2. Tap on it. A menubar will appear along the top.
  3. Tap “Share” in the upper right. Tap “PDFpen” from the list of available apps.

Open In… via Mail

  1. Locate a PDF attachment in your email.
  2. Tap on the PDF attachment. A popup menu will appear.
  3. Tap “Open In PDFpen” from the list of available apps.

iCloud Drive

  1. From documents view tap “+” in the upper left then tap “iCloud Drive.”
    • From the following iCloud menu locate any document stored in iCloud and select it. You will see different app folders with iCloud documents to choose from.
    • To import a document not in iCloud, from another sync service or a server, tap “Locations” > “More…” to open the “Document Providers” menu. Switch on your preferred provider service to allow iCloud access to it and tap “Done.” You will then exit and re-enter the iCloud Drive menu to find that provider listed in the “Locations” menu. Open it to locate your document. If you are trying to access a server, you will need an app which supports iCloud Drive.

Dropbox, Evernote, Google, Transporter, WebDAV, FTP

You will need an account with the given service to use any of these methods. For Box and Alfresco, we recommend using iCloud Drive, steps above. A copy of the document will be placed in PDFpen, the original will remain in the cloud.

  1. Open PDFpen to documents view and tap “+”.
  2. Tap the service you want and you will be taken to a login window. Login with your name and password. Your login will be saved for future uses. For WebDAV and FTP you will need a server address as well.
  3. Navigate through your files and tap the document you wish to import. It will appear with your other documents in PDFpen.


Make sure both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network.

  1. Open PDFpen to Documents. Tap “Tools” then “Settings”.
  2. Under “Document Transfer” tap “Wi-Fi Transfer”.
  3. Set “Wi-Fi Transfer” to “On”. You will be given a URL.
  4. On your computer, type the given URL into your browser. From that page click “Choose file”. Locate the PDF on your computer and click “Choose”. Back in the main page click “Upload selected file”.

iTunes (USB)

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad via USB to your computer. Open iTunes on your computer. You will see your device appear in the left-hand column under “Devices”.
  2. Select your device and, on the right, go to the “Apps” tab.
  3. Scroll to the bottom, under “File Sharing” in the “Apps” list select “PDFpen”.
  4. Click “Add” and locate the document you want to import. Select that file and click “Choose”.
  5. Open PDFpen on your device.
  6. From Documents, tap “+” and select “iTunes” from the list of input methods. You will see a list of possible files.
  7. Tap the document you want to import.

iTunes (wireless)

Set up an iPhone or iPad running iOS 14 or higher in order to connect to iTunes wirelessly over your local Wi-Fi connection.

  1. Plug your device into your computer via USB.
  2. On your computer, in iTunes, click on your device in the left column.
  3. In the main area to the right, under the “Summary” tab, scroll down to the “Options” section.
  4. Check “Sync with this iPad/iPhone over Wi-Fi”. Your device will now be able to sync with this computer when both are on the same Wi-Fi network.
  5. Follow from step 2 above for iTunes (USB) export.



© 2003-2016 SmileOnMyMac, LLC dba Smile. All rights reserved.
PDFpen and the Smile logo are registered trademarks of Smile.