How to Manage Your iWork Documents on the iPad

By Nancy C. Muir

The data for your iWork documents is stored in files on your iPad, possibly on your Mac, and also sometimes on shared webDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning, used for collaboration and managing of files on the web) servers and, as you will see, on iCloud, if you choose.

You can also take advantage of the fact that iWork documents can by synced across all your devices via iCloud.

Deep down inside the iPad operating system (iOS) are files and folders, but most of the time you manipulate them through apps. When it comes to apps, the files and folders are in a special area reserved only for that app (it’s called a sandbox).

The storage areas for files on your iPad are kept separate for each app. If you install Pages and then remove it from your iPad, your Pages documents disappear along with the Pages app. Before uninstalling any app from your iPad, make certain that you have backed up any files you’ve created.

Sharing documents

You’ve copied a file from another place onto your iPad, and now it’s time to reverse the process. To share a file you’ve created in iWork on your iPad, follow these steps:

  1. From the Documents window, open the document you want to share.

  2. Tap the Share button.

    The Share popover allows you to Share a Link via iCloud (which allows others to make changes to your document); Send a Copy via AirDrop, Messages, or Mail; or open the document in another format such as PDF and share it in that format.

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Moving files with iTunes

You can move files to and from iTunes on your computer with a cable or with a Wi-Fi connection.

You can also use cloud storage programs such as Dropbox to manage files, which is sometimes simpler and avoids certain constraints imposed by Apple-centric iTunes.

Moving files to your computer from your iPad

Each iWork app has its own storage area for your files. You move files from your iPad to your computer using iTunes and these steps:

  1. Connect your iPad to the computer where you want to move the files.

    Your computer can be a Mac or PC. It must have iTunes installed.

    You can also sync between your iPad and your computer using a Wi-Fi connection rather than a cable. On the iTunes Summary screen, select Sync with This iPad over Wi-Fi under Options. If you have that option turned off or do not want to use it, you can connect your iPad to your computer with a cable.

  2. When iTunes launches, find your iPad in the Devices section of the Source List and select it by clicking once.

  3. Select the Apps tab from the group of tabs running across the top of the pane.

    If you’re running iTunes with the OS X Mavericks on a Mac, you won’t see an Info tab to the left of the Apps tab, but you will if you’re running Yosemite.

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  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the pane and select the iWork app you’re interested in.

    The documents on your iPad for that app are shown.

  5. Select the document you want and click Save To.

  6. Choose the folder and the name you want to use for the saved file.

    The file is moved to your computer.

Moving files to your iPad from your computer

To copy files from your computer to your iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPad to the computer from which the files are to be moved.

    You can use a cable or a Wi-Fi connection if you have selected that option.

    You can use a Mac or PC, but you must have installed iTunes on it.

  2. Find your iPad under the Devices section of the Source List and click it.

  3. Select the Apps tab from the group of tabs running across the top of the pane.

  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the pane and select the iWork app you’re interested in.

    The documents on your iPad for that app are listed.

  5. Click Add in the lower-right portion of the window.

  6. When prompted, select the file on your computer’s hard drive.

    When you select a file, it moves to the list of files in iTunes and usually moves immediately to your iPad. If it doesn’t move immediately, click Sync.

You can also simply drag the document icon from the Finder or Windows File Explorer window into the file list area.