Pages for iPad: sharing and printing your documents

Pages is Apple’s answer to Microsoft Word.  For the Mac, it is a pretty robust and full featured word processor aimed squarely at consumers.  Word is geared more for business use, though the latest version is more consumer friendly.  Pages for iPad is a subset of the Mac version and is more than usable.  Better than the word processor in Microsoft Works, not quite as robust and full featured as Word or Pages for Mac OS X, Pages for iPad is, nonetheless, a pretty complete word processor.  Given that you cannot directly print from iPad (at least, not without help) you might wonder why you’d write on the device at all.  Well, there are many reasons to use iPad for a writing device, portability being one of them.  You can take this thing pretty much anywhere and its usable, with or without an Internet connection.  However, there will come a time when you need to share a document or, at least, print it.  Pages sharing options

There are three ways to share documents and, consequently, print them as well:

  • You can email them to yourself and/or anyone you need to share them with
  • You can export them to iWorks.com (more on this later)
  • You can export them to the shared folder in iTunes

Pages document formats In order to do any of the options, you have to pick a format in which to share them.  You can use the Pages format, export to PDF or to Word.  Regardless of the method you choose, you will be presented with a file format selection box.  Touch the format you want and Pages will create your export.  Depending on the method you choose, you will then see the appropriate dialog box.  Export and Send via Mail are fairly straight forward.  Mail will present the standard email dialog with the document already in the body.  Simply enter the destination email and the subject and tap SEND.  Export is even easier.  Select the format and off it goes. In iTunes, once you connect your iPad, select the iPad in the left pane and then click the APPS tab.  You’ll see the Pages shared folder.  There, you’ll see a list of the documents you’ve exported.

iWork.com

iWork.com is Apple’s online shared documents service. It is currently in beta and free.  You will need an iTunes app folders Apple ID in order to access the site and you must have already exported something there in order to sign in.  Your Apple ID is the same ID you use for iTunes.  Once you’ve shared via iWork.com, you can go to www.iWork.com and log in. Once in, you’ll see your documents.  Select one by clicking on the document icon and it will open.  Now, you can download to your computer, print from the website, make notes, invite others to view the document or mark it for public consumption.  While the site is not as functional as, say, SharePoint or Google Docs, it is a great way to share material you create on your iPad and it solves, or, at least, helps, the printing issue.

Apple has an FAQ available for Pages for iPad, but it is rather sparse.  Go here to read it.

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