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Editing Word Documents with Pages on iPad

Unlike the iPhone and iPod touch, the iPad was designed with the needs of typists in mind. The screen size, the large virtual keyboard in landscape orientation, and the support for external keyboards make the iPad a natural choice for word processing on the go. For many people, that means reading, editing, and saving Microsoft Word documents. Even though there’s no iPad version of Word, you can work with Word documents on your iPad if you’re willing to accept a few compromises.

How to Edit Documents on iPad?

Editing Word documents is a bit trickier. Apple’s $10 Pages for the iPad can import documents in Word format and offers most of Word’s major features. For example, you’ll find paragraph styles, lists, columns, tables, charts, shapes, imported graphics, named paragraph styles, headers, and footers. However, Pages for the iPad doesn’t support footnotes or endnotes, hyperlinks, tracked changes, or comments, so any of those items present in a Word document will be removed when you import it, and some other elements (such as fonts, grouped objects, and multi-page tables) will be altered as necessary.

One way to get a Word document into Pages is to e-mail it to yourself. Then, tap and hold on the attachment icon in Mail, tap Open In, and then tap Pages. (Most third-party file-transfer apps, including the ones mentioned earlier plus Dropbox, SugarSync, and numerous others, also have an Open In button that lets you send imported documents to Pages.) Once you’ve done this, Pages imports the document and displays a message listing any changes made during the process, such as font replacements.

After editing a document in Pages, you must export it before you can open it in Word on your Mac. To do this, tap My Documents (with your iPad in portrait orientation) and then tap the arrow icon under the document’s name. To e-mail the document to yourself, tap Send Via Mail, and then Word. To transfer it via iTunes, tap Export, and then Word. Attach your iPad to your Mac with a USB cable, open iTunes, select your iPad, and click on the Apps tab. Select Pages in the list under File Sharing, and then drag the exported document to your Desktop.