ipad folders

Discussion in 'iPad 2 Forum' started by S_krystal, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. S_krystal
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    S_krystal iPF Noob

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    I am new to ipad :) is there a way to make folders for things such as word docs and such as you do on a windows PC?
  2. ragual
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    ragual iPF Noob

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    Can you be a little more descriptive in what you mean?
  3. starmel18
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    starmel18 iPF Noob

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    Yes, with a file management app such as readdle docs or good reader and a cloud storage system like Dropbox.
  4. Asharp
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    Asharp iPad Enthusiast

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    Yes, there is is the short answer, but as the first responder said: You need to be more specific. There is a way to make folders for your for documents depending on the specific app in question. Which one(s) do you mean?
  5. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    The answers above are technically correct but the OP is asking a common question for those new to the iPad, i.e. Where's the common file system I'm accustomed to looking at on my computer? The answer to that question is that it does not exist. "Files" are not stored on disk and available for multiple applications to access. Instead, the data associated with an app is "private" and managed by that app. There are some qualifications to the following, but basically it means that every application has a separate copy of a file to which it has access.

    This can be an inefficient and frustrating approach to file management and the best way around it is (as described above) to use an external data store (such as Dropbox or now iCloud) and a specific application like Good Reader to access the file. It's not a complete solution because as you can guess, you often end up with the same content stored in different files. (This is especially obvious if you try to create multiple photo albums; there is simply no good way to put a photo in one album and remove it from the "Camera Roll" where almost every image is deposited, whether a photo or not.) You can get around the problem to some extent by backing up files on a computer (either Mac or Windows) and manipulating them there and then sync with your iPad but it's a well-known PITA.

    So why does Apple do it this way? Two answers. First, it is Apple's belief that managing a file system is not something those who use iOS should be engaged in doing. And for many iPhone users, they're probably right. It does introduce complexity in the way one thinks about the device. It makes less sense when you're talking about the iPad but since the iPhone and iPad share an OS, iPad users (without a jailbroken device) are forced to live with it.

    There is another reason, however. And it's a somewhat more defensible one. By forcing individual apps to manage their own data, iOS places an app and all its data in what is sometimes called a "walled garden" where it is very difficult to imbed "weeds" (malware and viruses) that can "get out" into the rest of the OS and infect other apps and the OS, itself.

    It does take getting used to and many of us who are used to a very different system model are constantly frustrated by it. But it's really only one step further down a road that has been around for a long time. Note, for example, in Windows that a particular application e.g. Word can only "see" (by default) files that end in .doc or .docx. The iPad approach is a bit more extreme. Not only can an app not "see" data objects that it cannot manipulate, it can only see the data objects that it has created or stored for itself.

    You'll probably get used to dealing with the different model, especially if you use a cloud-based data store (e.g. Dropbox or iCloud) and a somewhat more powerful app that can at least "see" and manipulate (to a limited extent) data it did not create, i.e. Good Reader. (For the record "Good Reader" is a terrible name for a very powerful tool. It's the Swiss Army Knife of iPad apps. And if you don't yet have it. Get it. )

    And after that needlessly long-winded answer to your question, here's the short version. If you get, say, Pages it will store word processing documents that you can then access with Pages. But unless you jailbreak your iPad (which you cannot yet do if you have iOS 5 or any OS version after 4.3.3) you won't be able to see or manipulate those documents with anything other than Pages. Same with Numbers. Same with Keynote (the Apple version of PowerPoint.) The ability to move between apps and import/export data created by one app with another is very limited. (Although if you use the Apple iWorks apps you'll have some of this capability.)
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
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  6. Asharp
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    Asharp iPad Enthusiast

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    QuickOffice HD includes the ability to not only nest folders but to drag documents between them. I use it as an app for storing duplicate copies of folders on my laptop although I could use it for creating more folders. The main reason I don't find it of greater use than as a storage of files and folders is that the word processing, and PowerPoint functions are incredibly rudimentary versions of the laptop programs. It does have the capacity for creating Excel documents as well, but I don't have a need for Excel and so know nothing about this aspect of QuickOffice.

    I've found Pages and Keynote vastly superior, but the drawback is that the folders cannot be nested. However, since Pages is one of the top apps I use daily, I needed a way to keep them organized, so I add spaces in front of names to move folders to where they are most easiy accessible on the screen and subtract the spaces I had placed in front of folder names to move them to where they'll be out of the way.

    The only app I have that uses nested folders that are icons like on a laptop is iAnnotate PDF. It's an amazing multifunction PDF app. You can also drag PDFs between folders as well as add and delete them.

    Your question is an interesting one. And so is jsh1120's explanation for the reasons why folder creation is not more systematic.

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