Import files from iCloud Drive in Notability

Discussion in 'Productivity Apps Forum' started by mrgou, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. mrgou

    mrgou
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    Hi,


    I have course material in my iCloud drive that I would like to annotate on my iPad Pro in Notability. These are mostly docx, pptx and PDF files.

    However, I can't find how to import these files in the app. The import drop-down shows Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, etc but not iCloud, although I did set iCloud sync in the app settings.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

    R
     
  2. J. A.

    J. A.
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    iCloud Drive is part of iCloud, that's why you can't "import" the files. They are already in iCloud.

    When you select one of the files, and then the Share button, you'll find apps that will work with the file. That's where you can export it to on your iPad. If Notability is installed on your iPad, and it can handle the files, it will appear there as well. Select it, and you should be able to annotate them.
     
  3. mrgou

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    ok got it, thanks. Now is there a way I can import an entire folder content at once? Unless I can find a way to keep a local copy of all iCloud drive content locally on my iPad to access it offline while in class, I'd need to import dozens or even hundreds of files one by one!
     
  4. J. A.

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    You should be able to sync files between devices connected to iCloud Drive. If you add a file to a certain folder/app in iCloud Drive, it should also sync to the app on the iPad.

    If the files don't sync, the only way to get them to an app on your iPad, would be to import them one by one.
     
  5. mrgou

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    Correct, but when I'm offline, I can't seem to be able to access the files. I don't have WiFi in class, so I need the files to be available locally offline from my iPad.

    Thanks!
     
  6. twerppoet

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    Once synced, iCloud Drive files should be available offline. If you are using another cloud service like DropBox or Google Drive, you need to mark the files and/or folders to be avialble offline.

    Are the files stored in iCloud Drive in the Notabiltiy app, or in some other app's folder, and how did they get there?

    While Notability uses iCloud Drive to sync between devices, it does not maintain a folder in the iCloud Drive app for you to access. I suspect that's because it uses it's own propriatrary format.
     
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  7. mrgou

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    So, I stored all my course material on the iCloud Drive folder of my MacBook and let things sync.

    On my iPad, they show up, and I can open them in Notability like J.A. explained (Select > Share > Notability). However, if I'm offline (WiFi disabled), I get a message telling me that I need to connect to the Internet to download the file:

    [​IMG]

    I really appreciate your patience in explaining all these basics to me. I'm used to seeing and opening all my files from Finder on my Mac, so I'm a little confused with how it works on the iPad.
     
    #7 mrgou, Nov 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  8. twerppoet

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    Looks like I was wrong.

    I put my iPad into Airplane mode, and browsed my iCloud Drive. I checked a lot of files, and only found one that was not stored locally, but that's enough to prove I was wrong. I'm guessing iCloud Drive does like many other iCloud services do, and only keeps the files local that it thinks you're likely to use. How many files probalby depends on how much storage you have on the iPad. I have the 256GB iPad Pro, so I'm unlikley to see this limitation often.

    There is nothing I can think go that will change this behavior for iCloud Drive (if it is intentional behavior and not the result of some other overlooked issue on my part.)

    If you must use iCloud drive for this, the only work arround I can think of is to tap and preview each of the files on iCloud Drive while you have a wi-if connection. Provided you are not running low on iPad storage, they will probably stay local for quite a while afterwards.

    Otherwise I suggest using another cloud storage solution. You could use Dropbox, but it requires you to identify each file you want to stay local. That would be nearly as awkward as having to tap on individual files in iCloud Drive. Doable with a few files, but quickly unmanageable when the numbers grow.

    Box.com is another popular cloud storage service with a free tier. It's more complicated to use than DropBox, but you can specify entire folders to sync locally; along with a lot of other sharing controls.

    Google Drive will allow you to keep folders local as well. You 'star' them. I haven't used Google Drive for this, so I can't say how well it works.

    In all of these cases you will need to open the apps on the iPad now and then to make sure they stay synced.
     

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