Store User Manuals in the Books App?

Store User Manuals in the Books App?

What a brilliant idea!

My most favorite podcast is Mac Geek Gab, a weekly potpourri of Apple tips, computer gear, and more. As they themselves say, you don’t need to be a geek to listen, but if you listen long enough, you might become one.

This week I was especially interested because a listener called Tigg described using the Apple Books App to store PDF’s of user manuals and receipts. That’s something not many people would think of doing, but when you buy new gear of any kind, it either comes with a small paper manual or a link to something larger on a website. Unfortunately, you can’t assume that the paper won’t get lost or deteriorate over time, or that the website link will still work when you need that manual years later.

I have been doing something similar for years, but I use Notes. In addition to receipts and manuals, I store health info, taxes, ID{s, copies of credit cards, where I put things and much more.

So is Books better than Notes?

You can search both Notes and Books, and can annotate text in books, though you cannot search from inside or outside a book for those annotations, while you can search for text and text contained in any photos within Notes, and search in or out of a specific folder. For me, that’s a big plus, but if you were only storing manuals, finding the product name in Books would be enough.

Books requires a PDF, Notes can take just about anything and is often a direct target of a Share action — for example, I can (and often do) share an email directly to a new or existing Note because the email has license keys, support information or other useful info.

You can target Books with a Share also, but I don’t see any way to add to an existing book — you’d have to create two PDF’s and combine them manually. Tigg didn’t mention if he/she combines the manual and its product receipt; I would think that would be a bit clumsy and annoying, but maybe there is an easier way that I do not know.

See Share to Notes if you don’t know how to do this quickly and easily.

Who wins?

All in all, I think Notes is the better choice in general, though reading a manual and annotating specific parts is better in Books. I think I will continue using Notes for manuals and everything else, but also stick a copy of the manual in Books for the convenience.

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