Paul McAleer

Moving Pages Documents from Mac to iPad: A Comedy of Errors

Paul McAleer

I use Pages on my Mac (though I’m going to give Ommwriter a shot) and, for instances when print presentation matters, Pages on my iPad. A few nights ago I was writing stuff on Mac Pages and thought I’d keep all my bases covered by moving or copying them to my iPad, where I could open them with Pages.

This was surprisingly awkward. Here are the steps I took.

First, note that iTunes has an “Apps” tab and a file sync section. This section breaks out which files live on the iPad and allows you to add new ones as well as save said files on your Mac.

I tried dragging and dropping my files to this panel. No dice. Then began the comedy of errors: I chose “Add” and selected all the files via a dialog box. The files were then copied over (thus, if I changed them on my Mac, I’d need to recopy them.) I opened up Pages on my iPad and was surprised to not see my files in the carousel. “Weird,” I thought. I scrubbed all the way left and right, just in case.

I tried out the import icon below an existing document and, sure enough, found a “Copy from iTunes” button. I pressed it and was presented with a list of files from the iTunes holding tank. Surprise! Here are my files.

Relieved, I pressed one of my Pages files, got a progress bar, and… an error message! The version of Pages I was using on the Mac is slightly older and, for some reason, the iPad version couldn’t open the file. Note that the only time I got this error was after I copied the file over and chose to import it - the absolute worst time, that is. So none of my files worked and they’ll never work. Gee, thanks.

The whole concept of a holding tank for files I’ve copied over is absurd, because it’s not made perfectly clear in either iTunes or iPad’s Pages that these files are just out there in space. I’ve already dinged Pages for its poor file management, and this little oddball syncing mishap only underscores how tacked-on the whole thing feels.

So in the end, I used RTF files in Dropbox, and everything just worked. As it should.