Word processing choices

Discussion in 'iPad at Work' started by Curt Monash, May 17, 2012.

  1. Curt Monash
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    Curt Monash iPF Novice

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    I'm about to get my first iPad. My wife, who goes back to the iPad 1, just lost hours of work yesterday to a corrupted file. In both our cases, the most important business-like use cases are word processing.

    Features we both want include:
    • Doesn't rely on internet connectivity to work.
    • Has an AutoSave that works. Failing that, has a really simple UI for saving a file (in particular, one that doesn't require entering a new file name).
    • Has a Save As that works. Failing that, has some other way to make snapshots, preserving one version of document while one goes ahead and tries out further edits.
    • Saves documents in a format that Microsoft Word is happy to read and write.
    We differ in how completely seamless we want Microsoft Word interoperability to be. I'd be happy to read/write .txt files, and have a separate program that handles .docx files well but suffers from other limitations. She wants something that plays nicely with .docx. Neither of us is relying much on formatting beyond basics such as italics, bold, and bullet points.

    Is there anything that actually meets our needs? Thanks!
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  2. dhewson777
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    dhewson777 iPad Addict

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    QuickOfficeHD ticks all the boxes IMHO.
  3. Curt Monash
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    Curt Monash iPF Novice

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    QuickOffice, I gather, claims to be autosaving without really autosaving. Is that an unfair characterization?

    Anyhow, QuickOffice is what ate hours of my wife's work, the day before yesterday.
  4. KevinJS
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    KevinJS Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Pages will do what you require, and of you are sharing an AppleID you can collaborate on documents, since they will update on all devices automatically.

    Sent from my iPad 4 HD mini
  5. Curt Monash
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    Curt Monash iPF Novice

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    Thanks.

    Are there issues with Pages and Dropbox playing nicely with each other? How would you gets documents moved between Microsoft Word on a Windows PC and Pages on an iPad?
  6. Curt Monash
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    Curt Monash iPF Novice

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    Also, according to iTunes, reviews, Undo/Redo wasn't working well in Pages as of March. Is that still a problem? It's a feature I should have put on my list ...
  7. KevinJS
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    KevinJS Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't use Dropbox, so I can't answer that one. Other users here swear by Dropbox though, so I assume it does as it is supposed to.

    Two ways to get docs into Pages. Either email them to yourself and open them in Pages, or plug the iPad into the PC and use the file-sharing section of iTunes to transfer them into Pages.

    In iTunes, click on your iPad, then go to the APPS tab, scroll down and select Pages in the file sharing section. Click Add... , browse to the file you want to add to your iPad, and click Apply. Your document should now be available in Pages, and will automatically be copied to other iDevices sharing your AppleID.
  8. KevinJS
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    KevinJS Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Unless I'm missing something, Undo/Redo works perfectly. When I was exploring Watermarks for another user, I used it extensively and it works. I'm using the latest version of Pages. It could be an older version that had the problem, although I've never noticed it.
  9. dhewson777
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    dhewson777 iPad Addict

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    As with Microsoft Word, you need to initially give your file a name (save for the first time) or else it has nothing to save to. I'm not sure if Quickoffice claims to autosave, but I know that if I jump out of QuickOffice to another app, I can come back and continue where I left off.

    And it is always a good idea to build good saving habits and no rely on the software to make you lazy.

    The big plus though is the cloud storage compatibility with the likes of Dropbox, Evernote and others. Pages does not give you that currently.
  10. Curt Monash
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    Curt Monash iPF Novice

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    Does Pages at least do it through iCloud?
  11. KevinJS
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    KevinJS Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes. You need to turn on iCloud in Settings/Pages.
  12. Curt Monash
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    Curt Monash iPF Novice

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    Thanks!

    Based on this advice, I bought Pages. What I seem to have discovered includes:
    • Dropbox is not an option.
    • iCloud works, although the documentation is a bit annoying in that it talks about iCloud predecessor alternatives but not iCloud. (You need to look for iCloud documentation online, basically, rather than going through Pages' Help.)
    • Pages can read .docx files and emit .doc ones.
    • Every time you move a document from Pages (on the iPad) to Word (on your Windows PC) or back, an extra copy is created, in honor of the fact that Pages and Word have different native formats.
    • Undo and Redo work fine.
    • There is no "Save As" or other easy option to fork versions while on your iPad. Changes you make are mirrored on-screen and in any stored copy as you go. That includes changes to the document's contents and to its name. (Documents, when created, have a null name of "Blank Document" until you change it.)

    Does that sound about right?
  13. KevinJS
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    KevinJS Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That sounds about right to me. Once you have gotten used to its idiosyncrasies I think you'll grow to love it. Of course, it is a cut down version of a true computer WP package but for $10 I think it is better than I would have expected.

    I think you'll like the ability to collaborate on documents. I use the feature to switch between using my iPad and iPhone depending on where I am, and what I'm doing, and it's handy to know that wherever you happened to be on a document, both devices have the most up to date copy.

    Keep your eyes on the iWork's section of the forum. As I discover new features, I'm going to post them there.

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