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Editing Documents with iFile and USB


iPF Noob
Jul 9, 2011
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I understand that since I've jailbroken my iPad 1 4.3.3, and I have iFile installed, I am able to open a large amount of files if I plugged in the Apple Camera USB kit with a USB drive, rather than just photos.

However, I am unsure whether to buy one or not unless someone can answer this question:

Am I able to plce files such as .doc or .docx (Word Documents) onto my USB drive, open them with a document editor on my iPad such as DocsToGo/Pages, etc, using iFile, edit them, and then save the edited versions on my USB drive, so that when i plug the USB drive into a PC or Mac, the documents would be how I edited them on my iPad.

Can i open, edit, save documents using iFile and USB drive on my iPad.
Simple answer: Yes.

One point though - a lot of people have had trouble using USB drives with the camera connection kit (CCK) due to Apple's downgrading of the power to the iPad's port. That said, no one has reported trouble using up to a 32GB SD card...

That said, here's what you can do using DocsToGo (D2) as an example. Mount the SD card/CCK to the iPad. Using iFile, locate/open the doc/docs file with D2G. D2G will open, make your edits and save them to D2G's "local" files.

Go back to iFile and go to the D2G application. Copy the edited document back to the SD card. Now you can put the SD card into your PC.

If your PC is not new enough to use SD cards, there are USB convertor "sticks" that will act as a connector.

It takes a bit of fiddling, but once you get the hang of it, it'll take you less time to do this than it took me to type it out - or you to read it, especially if you make bookmarks in iFile to easily to to each application you want to use.

I consider the CCK, next to Dropbox, to be one of the best ways to move stuff on/off a jail broken iPad. Of course, and as always, YMMV.

Hope that helps.

Thank you for the very informative post.

I already own a USB SD convertor stick if a USB flash drive doesn't work due to not enough power.
I also completely agree with Dropbox being a great way to access files on different machines easily, and I use it most days without fail, however, I cannot download/upload documents to it on my iPad, since sometimes I am editing in a place with no internet connections, therefore I want to use the USB idea.

So overall, you're saying that if I just click 'save' on D2 after editing a document, it won't save to where it is saved on iFile, which is the USB drive. And instead I'll have to manually move it to the flash drive from the local D2 save location. I guess this isn't a major problem if shortcuts are created in iFile.
Okay, I just tried this:

I opened a docx document in D2G. Edited it and saved it in D2G with a different name (because D2G said the original document was "protected").

Then, from within D2G, I did an "Open In..." of this new, edited document and selected iFile. After selection, iFile opened up with the document showing in the /var/mobile/Documents folder. I then was able to copy/paste the file back onto the SD card. Note that because I had to save the document to D2G's area, I'd have to go back and remove the "old" file from D2G later - should I wish.

So, in a roundabout way, yes, you can't just save back to the SD card. However, and again, it sounds a bit more convoluted that it is. I would figure that after a couple of tries at this, it'd be quick. And, because you can open the file right into iFile, it will save you from having to go digging into the app's (such as D2G) folder, or making bookmarks so you can get to the app easier...

Hope that helps.

Great help. :)

Thank you for trying it out to make sure that it worked and explained perfectly on how I can do it. Now that I know that this can be done, I'll buy a the camera kit ASAP.

Thank you again. :D

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