Sync documents between Pages and W7

Discussion in 'iWork Forum' started by plsleite, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. plsleite
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    plsleite iPF Noob

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    Hi there.

    Lets get direct to the point: can I (automatically) sync files between Pages and Windows?

    I have been using Dropbox for a while now and expected iCloud to work similarly. I'd like to be able to edit my files both in my PC and in my iPad, and have them automaticaly synced between the devices.

    Is that really not possible or am I missing something here?

    Right now what I am doing is opening my documents from the Dropbox app using Pages, wich imports them. I can then edit the files on Pages, on my iPad, having them saved in the clouds. The thing is, for me to edit them in my PC again I have to download the new file from the iCloud website, and do all the process again (btw, I can't drag my edited files to the iWork iCloud site as they won't open in my iPad, don't know why).

    So, should I download a software for my PC for an iCloud folder to appear in it? I already have apple's software, that created a pictures folder (stream), but it wont show my documents anywhere...

    Thanks in advance, sorry for any spelling mistakes, and hopefully I made myself clear enough for u to understand!
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  2. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Since Pages doesn't work natively in .doc format, automatic syncing is not possible. There will always be a conversion process.

    For instance, when I drag a .doc file to the icloud.com site it copies, but does not immediately display a good thumbnail. There is just a generic Pages thumbnail, which is wrong of course, because it's still a .doc file. You can't even download it from the site again. It be confused. After I open Pages on the iPad and select the document it takes a while, then converts the document. A good thumbnail appears on Pages and a short while after it gets synced back to icloud.com as a Pages document; after which it has a good thumbnail on the site and can be downloaded as a Pages or Word document.

    Only half way there, since it seems to be able to convert from Pages to .doc for downloads, but not the other way around on an upload.

    Anyway, I don't ordinarily consider Pages the best app for moving files back and forth in Windows (Office) format. Documents to Go is far more popular for that for a couple of reasons. One, it maintains better format compatibility, and two, it has better DropBox support. That's hearsay, since I don't use it, but it's based mostly on hearsay from this forum.

    However, if you want to move files back and forth better with Pages I recommend you get the iSMEStorage app and account. The free account will let you add WebDAV support to two other cloud service; DropBox is supported. Once you do this you can sue the WebDAV import/export option in Pages do directly copy files both from and to DropBox.

    You can skip the app if you like and activate the Cloud WebDAV feature from their website, but I recommend getting the $4.99 app. SMEStorage doesn't always update folders and files that are added directly to DropBox (bypassing SMEStorage's app or website), but you can force an update/sync between he cloud services with the app.

    In my opinion the iWorks portion of iCloud.com has a ways to go before it is ready for full mobile-to-desktop workflow; especially with Word and other Office apps. It's ok for occasional transfers, but gets tedious if you have a lot of documents to move around.
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  3. plsleite
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    plsleite iPF Noob

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    Thanks for the answer.

    I understood the converting problem, but I still think Apple should have implemented a desktop folder for syncing documents with Windows, automatically converting pages files to .doc., and the other way around before editing in iOS.
    Does the automatic sync work with Macs? Do they have a dropbox alike folder?

    Didn't quite got the iSMEStorage and WebDAV thing, but I'll google that, thanks for the info.

    About Pages, is there anywhere I can get a manual or something to discover its true possibilities? I really liked the original templates, but I'm quite frustrated when it comes to formating options.

    I really need to be able to create and save my own styles and could use the possibility of creating my own templates. I also can't seem to change outline options for topics, using numeric with sublevels (1.1., 1.2., ...). Is that even possible? Those two options would be decisive for me. Without them the app seems useless. Besides being able to handle pictures and charts amazingly (wich I probably won't use), it apparently can only do really simple text editing. Maybe I should've just bought a cheaper text editor, since I'll have to do all the formatting in the pc. Another feature I'd like to use is adding indexes. In my opinion those are basic formating options... aren't them?
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  4. plsleite
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    plsleite iPF Noob

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  5. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    That's pretty much what I would have pointed at. Don't forget you can also get some decent help in the app by tapping the wrench icon and Help.

    The only iWorks for iPad book I bought was a disappointment, so I don't have any recommendations there.

    You can not create your own templates, but you can save documents to DropBox. Each time you download them you get a new document; so it's almost a template.

    If you save a document to iTunes, you can import it again from iTunes. This also results in a new document. These will only go away if you go into File Sharing in iTunes on the computer and deliberately delete them; or restore the iPad, of course.

    Most people don't need to create indexes, so no, I would not call it a basic feature. Pages wasn't designed with authors, or power users in mind. It can do well enough for some of these tasks, but it lacks the high end features that power users have come to expect of Word or other full featured word processors.

    There are no perfect solutions on the iPad. Every word processor has weaknesses. It's just a fact of mobile text apps for now. What you want to do is identify exactly what kind of documents you want to create, and what part you want the iPad to play in that process. Then you can look for an app that that specializes in that type of text mangling.

    There are tons of text apps, so you might be searching for a while; or you can do like me and just buy the interesting ones and try them out. Most are only a few dollars, so you won't break the bank. Right now I'm playing with Storyist, and liking it. But, no, it won't do indexing either. Nor was it one of the cheap ones. ;)
  6. plsleite
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    plsleite iPF Noob

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    Ok, maybe the indexes are too much, but come on, just some outline options and being able to save my own styles! I'll just wait and hope for an update. US$ 9.99 was already too much. Since I won't find a perfect solution, I'll stick to Pages and leave the formating for my PC.

    Thanks for your time!! :)
  7. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    No problem. Rumors are that Microsoft will be coming out with the Office apps for the iPad in 2012, and for the same $10 per app price range as the iWorks apps. Just a rumor, but worth watching for. Don't get your hopes up too high though. They will still be limited. Unless Microsoft pulls off a miracle (something they aren't well known for :D ) it will still be far more limited than the desktop versions.
  8. Bob Maxey
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    Bob Maxey iPad Addict

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    I agree. Lots of folks seem to want MS Office on their iPads without knowing if MS will bring anything to the table. Could be the iWorks suite ends up being a better suite than Microsoft Office. I'll make my decision when it is released.

    I do wonder what would happen if Apple does not allow MS to play in their word processing playground.
  9. Bob Maxey
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    Bob Maxey iPad Addict

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    I disagree, twerppoet, sorry, Smiley!

    Pages is not as feature filled as Word and certainly, if you rely on some of Word's features, Pages will let you down.

    That said, I consider Pages to be a well-designed word processor for authors because it does absolutely every possible thing a working writer needs to do. Case in point, I am currently writing a book under contract about a well-known software program we all know and love. I am editing it on Pages and updating several chapters using Pages as well. All I need to do is generate a Word doc and send it to a shared folder on Dropbox.

    You should perhaps define what that word, "author" means these days. Are you saying actual writers, or hopefulls that also design their books, handle layouts, and pray that Lulu Press/Cafe Press/Create Space will make them rich? Self-publishers must do many things Pages is not well suited to do, but if all you do is sling words, Pages works well. Pages isa lovely WP in my opinion.

    I have no problem writing and getting paid and I often use my iPad and Pages. All most writers need to do is churn out documents with simple formatting.
  10. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    I certainly hope someone disagrees. :D

    I was making sweeping statements, which means I'm going to be wrong almost as often as right; and not being an author my opinion is strictly second tier. ;)

    I was thinking, as you suggested, of authors that needed to do everything themselves, and also books that needed indexes, glossaries, and end notes, as well as layout. I was surprised the other day when I notice that Pages does have foot notes; which is cools since they are harder to layout manually than endnotes. As you said, writing is a huge field, and authors in each specialty have very different needs (and personal preferences); ranging from the total control of every aspect of the document to a simple text editor.

    When I toy with the idea of writing myself I tend to like the lower end. I figure the main challenge is getting the writing done. Layout can come later, or be someone else's job.

    I apologize to any authors that may have felt , before or now, that I am slighting their favorite tool(s). :eek:

    I love Pages myself. Its half layout, half word processor approach to things is perfect for someone like me who occasionally needs to throw together one to a few page, good looking, documents on short notice. I'm pretty sure I'm the target audience of Pages (because I'm self centered, of course). That it serves a wider range of uses is not surprising. iOS in general was originally designed for a consumer market, and yet like any well designed product has found uses far beyond that original target.

    Not that I believe for a moment that Apple didn't/doesn't have plans to grow iOS as far as it can go; or the iWorks suite as well if the market looks favorable.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011

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