What about my patterns that aren’t PDFs?

We all have a huge collection of patterns that are not in PDF format.  Some are html, some are paper patterns or in books.  The very good news is that it is pretty easy to create a PDF from these other formats.

Let’s start with patterns that are html or other electronic forms. Programs like MS Word or Pages make it easy to generate PDF.  For patterns on the web (say in HTML format), you can just paste the content into one of these programs and generate the PDF.  In addition, you can also convert right on your iPad, here is an example (many thanks to sonalita for these steps!):

  • Open safari and browse to the pattern (I’ll use Lingerie Sock from knotty.com)
  • (optional step) Sometimes the website will have a special “print” version which removes some of the superfluous content such as ads and navigation controls – and may be styled differently so it looks good on the printed page. In this case, we see that there is a “print only essentials” speech bubble under the beauty shot picture. Click that to get to a cleaner version of the page. In this case, it takes us to a new page and pops up a print dialog. We ignore that print dialog, we just want the URL.
  • Now we’re on a version of the page we’re happy to import into knitCompanion. We need to grab the url from Safari’s address bar as follows:
  • Tap the address bar so it has focus. Tap it again and hit “select all”. Now hit “copy”.
  • Now we go to www.pdfonfly.com. Once that page is loaded, click the “convert url to pdf” link
  • Paste your url into the URL input box (tap the box to give it focus, tap again to paste). Fill in the Captcha box (the funny looking digits) and hit “convert to pdf”
  • After a few moments, you get a generated link to your pdf (you can click the link, which takes you to an ad page where you click the link again)
  • Now your pdf should load (this part can take a minute or two, especially on 3g)
  • Once the pdf loads, click anywhere on the page to activate the “open in:” button, click that button and select Knitcompanion.
  • Name your project and the then proceed to setup the project pieces as usual.
  • At this point it would be wise to sync the iPad so you don’t lose the imported pdf.
  • You might find it easier/faster to create the pdf on your pc using the same steps above, and once you get the pdf displayed, save a copy to your pc hard drive and then sync it to knitcompanion via itunes.

Now, let’s explore paper based patterns.  If your pattern is paper based (either a loose pattern or in a book), many copier/scanner machines can scan directly to a PDF.  If you pattern is in color, we recommend you scan in color.  You might want to play around a bit, but I’ve found that for color a resolution of 200 dpi is good enough for most patterns. Any lower and its too blurry, and higher resolution scans make a larger PDF that is more cumbersome to work with on the iPad due to its size. For my black and white patterns, I general scan in grey scale and a resolution around 300 dpi.
Another helpful tip, especially for charts, is that you will want the scanned image to be “square” to the page.  A flat bed scanner can help with this.  If you’re scanning a bound book with a tighter binding, you might find it helpful to use something like photoshop to do the squaring work for you, just save the results out to PDF.

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