How to import documents to Pages on your iPad

This brief tutorial will show you how to import documents from your Mac or PC to Pages for the iPad.

Creating a new document in Pages for the iPad is easy enough – but what if you want to work on an existing document that you created on your Mac or PC? Using iTunes you can quickly import (copy) it to Pages for the iPad.

  1. First things first – make sure your iPad is connected to your Mac or PC and then select it in iTunes.
  2. an ipad in itunes

  3. Now select the Apps tab from the top.
  4. apps tab in itunes

  5. Scroll down to the File Sharing section. From the Apps list in the File Sharing section, select Pages. In the Pages Documents section you’ll now see a list of all the documents that Pages for the iPad currently has “saved”. By default, you should see one document – Getting Started.doc. This is the document that Pages for the iPad comes with.

    To upload a file to your iPad so you can edit it with Pages, click the Add… button.

  6. file sharing section of itunes with Pages selected
    click to enlarge

  7. Navigate to the document you wanted to transfer to your iPad, select it and click the Choose button. Note: Pages for the iPad currently allows you to edit Pages ’09 for Mac documents, Microsoft Word – Office Open XML and Office 97 (or later) documents.
  8. open file dialog box
    click to enlarge

  9. Now the document you selected will be listed in the Pages Documents column.
  10. a list of pages documents in the apps section of itunes
    click to enlarge

  11. To export, or download documents from your iPad to your Mac or PC – select the file from the Pages Documents column and click the Save to… button.
  12. save to button in the pages section of itunes
    click to enlarge

  13. Navigate to the folder you want to save it in and click the Choose button.
  14. save as dialog box
    click to enlarge

  15. That file will now be in the folder you opted to save it in. That’s it!

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32 thoughts on “How to import documents to Pages on your iPad”

  1. I just find it strange that there is no option to tranfser more than one file at a time to the iPad. You have to use the methods above to it one at a time (at least from the iPad’s perspective – Plus sign -> Copy from iTunes. No multi select from here…)

  2. Comment on Nick’s answer: In step 4. You go to the Pages program, first, then press the + button and select “Import from iTunes”. That will then bring up the file you want. You don’t even have to sync, as long as it is in iTunes, it seems to work for me on a Word file created on a PC, not even close to a Mac. So remember Nick means to get into Pages, then import the file.

  3. I was stumped for a while, but I think I solved it. The trick seems to be that you must:

    1. Connect the iPad to the PC and start iTunes on the PC.
    2. On the PC, select the iPad from “Devices” (on the left), choose Apps (at then top), then pick Pages from the list of apps under File Sharing (bottom left), then finally add the document to the Pages documents (bottom right). You can do this using the “Add” button or by drag and drop.
    3. Sync.
    4. Go to the iPad, then press the + button to add a document. Then choose “copy from iTunes”. If you do this, Pages will import a Pages or Word document. (It will show PDF documents grayed out and you cannot import them.)

    That last step is counter intuitive. Hope this saves someone else the hour it’s taken me to guess how it works!

    Patty, you can remove documents from the desktop window by selecting them with your mouse and then pressing the Delete key on your keyboard. Apple’s UI design skills for Windows are not very good!

  4. How do i remove doc already transferred or old copies from the desktop window on the app page. I want to avoid transferring the wrong copy the next time after working on it

  5. iPad Pages app will NOT store nor display Word documents.

    According to Apple’s Genius Bar geniuses, iPad Pages will not recognize and display any Word .doc files, even though you can drop them into iTunes. However, don’t do it because you will have .doc files sitting in Pages folder in iTunes and the only way to remove them is to uninstall the Pages app.

  6. Trying to send a DOC from my PC to my iPad. Instuctions above are great all the way up
    until the last step. When I go to “save to” the only thing that comes up that are otions on my PC like DOCs file etc. I see my Ipad listed but when I try to save it to my ipad I get a message that says “The folder name is not valid”. I cannot find where to “save it to”
    Any ideas? I am running windows 7.

  7. veronique bellaiche

    How can I find a document among hundreds in Pages. There is no search field. When I use the general Search Ipad, typing a part or the full doc name does not show any doc saved in Pages.

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  9. Sam –

    I solved that problem by exporting the iWork ’08 files I was working on to .doc. If you do that, it seems to work ok. It’s still kludgy and the formatting and stuff doesn’t transfer back and forth, but with luck that will eventually get solved.

  10. I tried this (thanks! very useful!) but got the message that my files (pages files) can’t be imported because iPad will only read ones saved with iWork ’09. I’m annoyed. Maybe I need to try AirShare. I can pay to upgrade to iWork ’09 but I don’t see why I should have to? The old version works just fine??

  11. angeles-

    I ran into this, too. In fact, even .doc files wouldn’t transfer using these directions through Pages. Or any directions people told me to try. I had to buy AirShareHD app to get my .docs to my iPad. Stupid and annoying, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

  12. Hi!

    I just have bought iannotate and dowload the free aji but I don’t know how to transfer the pdf files. Any idea?

    Thank you

  13. I can read PDF if the are host in Internet for instance but I want to have the PDF files stored
    on my iPad. Thankmyou

  14. Angeles – you may be able to view PDF files in Pages for the iPad, I just don’t think you can edit them. I could be wrong. There are a number of PDF viewers (in case Pages really doesn’t even allow you to view them) for the iPad. Just go on the App Store and search for PDF.

  15. Hmm, when I try to add pdf files from my computer into my iPad, it allows me to add them, but when I open Pages on my iPad, they are not available for me to open. Any ideas?

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