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HOWTO  sync your iWork Documents to iCloud & iOS5 iwork without (!) browser

45098 Views 41 Replies Latest reply: Jul 21, 2012 4:49 AM by ch4r1ie RSS
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Sjazbec Level 4 Level 4 (1,665 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 15, 2011 4:56 AM

*Please forward this also to seeking Numbers and Keynote Users. I know that all over Apple's support board the same questions are spread.*

 

 

Like so many of iwork09 v9.1 users on Lion I learned that there is virtually none syncing to icloud possible, but only a manual down- and upload to a Mac using a Browser at www.icloud.com.

 

I fiddled all night long based on observations from users of this support forum ( respect whomever, I don't remember  but I also do not want to get famous .. don't worry ) that found hidden directories on the Lion user library , and have come to a usebale solution that might not be perfect, but at least makes the AUTO-UPLOAD from MAC iwork to the icloud and your iOS5 iwork  a reality WITHOUT needing the clumsy Browser "drag and drop" or Up-and download solution.

 

To make use of the  following workaround and enable automatic syncing you need :

 

- for the Mac : LION 10.7.2 and iCloud enabled "documents and data" in the iCloud preference pane under Systempreferences.

- iWork v9.1 or if you purchased individual apps using MacAppStore the individual latest apps with a .1 release version ( pages in this case would be v4.1 )

 

- for the Mobile Part iOS5 on your iPod/iPad/iPhone and have of course the ( at least iOS pages for this here )  iWork for iOS apps installed on them ( versions 1.5 ).  Versions 1.4 are NOT iCloud enabled but must be updated using the AppStore's update feature. The update to 1.5 is free.

 

- You also need to have of course icloud enabled both for the iOS5 as well as for the individual mobile apps ( see the app's Settings ).

 

 

The solution is very simply - we need to save Pages documents to a specific folder, no longer in "some" place, but to a specific one. Rule is : Everything that lands there, will go up to the cloud and thus be visible on both www.icloud.com and also in your mobile pages.app's document manager.

 

First you must understand that in Lion there is no access to a users's library folder. Apple decided to hide it. We could unhide it, but that is not needed, because we only need one subfolder visible in the Finder's save to dialog.

 

-- On Lion 10.7.2 use Finder's "go to folder" menu and point it to ~/Library ( that's short for /users/YOURACCOUNTNAME/Library )

Bildschirmfoto 2011-10-15 um 13.05.15.png

 

You are now inside your own personal Library that stores settings and data;  You will find a Folder "mobile documents" . DRAG IT TO Finder's Sidebar to create a permanent reference to this folder ( this or other folders  does not need to be unhidden )

 

(depending what iCloud enabled apps you have installed on your iDevice, you will see for each app a folder, as for me I have keynote,numbers,pages and Sketchbook on my iPod - and these are all iCloud syncing apps ). 

Bildschirmfoto 2011-10-15 um 13.16.06.png

 

Notice : All the subfolders here ( coloured ) are representing the app on the iPod.

 

Each of these coloured folders contains a "Documents" subfolder.  Only that is our important folder and the ones we need to save/export/manually put our docs into .( the other folders in the apps contain miniatures and versions, but they are not of interest for the initial sync process. The other folders will fill themselves with needed infos over time when the file is opened and re-synced from the iOS device , so do not care about )

 

Our files MUST go there to sync across the cloud immediately , no further intervention needed. You Export/save  your files in to the "Documents" folder underneath these apps-folder and they will be in the cloud instantly ( ok, few seconds maybe, depending on network speed ).


Why ? Basically we need to use this "mobile documents" folder as a starting point to save our Desktop App's files in to the individual subfolders to make them appear also on our iOS apps . Because the App's Name is included in the com-apple- naming scheme, we can easily figure out which folder belongs to what file-extensions.

 

You do not want to save a .numbers or .xls file in the Document's folder of "com-apple-Keynote" because keynote can't open spreadsheets, so we would use the "com-apple-Numbers/Documents" place to save such. For Pages we can put docx/ doc / rtf .

 

Sounds complicated, it is not :

 

 

So now you would create a pages file, empty or from template as usually on your Mac , do as you wish, and then EXPORT to the "Documents" folder within the "Pages" folder . We Use the Sidebar's "Mobile Documents" as our navigator help to find the folder we need  :

 

Bildschirmfoto 2011-10-15 um 13.41.50.png

it ends up then this ( notice that "SyncMePlease.doc" has not yet a surrounding folder -- this will later come automatically once this is opened in your iDevice's app ) :

 

Bildschirmfoto 2011-10-15 um 13.42.26.png

 

Now, let's fire up Safari only to look if "SyncMePlease.doc" gone up in the iCloud, it is. It is a generic icon but it is there :

 

Bildschirmfoto 2011-10-15 um 13.43.28.png

 

And now a look at iPod's pages :

 

 

( continued next post , image limit )
iPod touch, iOS 4.3.3, 09/2011 ipod touch 4G
  • dignanmorse Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Nice set of instructions. That's what I have been doing and it works just as described. The only problem comes when you want to go the other direction, as the files modified or created in the iOS versions of the iWork applications are not synced back to this folder in a form useable by the Mac versions of iWork. For now I will use is as an easy way to get documents into the iOS iWork applications, but have to wait for a solution to the two way sync problem.  

  • mh987 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Great idea -- Unfortunately the automatic transfer isn't happening. I can See the Mobile Documents folder as you describe, but there are no sub folders - putting a keynote file there doesn't work. I tried creating the com~apple~Keynote/Documents folder and dropping files there, but that didn't work either. Use iCloud is on in Keynote. I can manually move Keynote documents to iCloud using Safari and they appear in Keynote on my iPad and to my address book updates in both directions automatically, so something's working right. Do I have something set wrong for the Keynote transfer?

  • kszucsmunich Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your advice, I seem to have a bit of a problem, I do not have a Mobile Documents folder in my Library, although

     

    1- I have MAC OSX 10.7.2

    2. I have Icloud

    3. I have enabled the Documents and Data sync

    4. I have pages on my Mac (v 4.1)

    5. I have pages on my iphone (v 1.5)

     

    so I am kinda stuck here

     

    ca you please advise

     

    thanks

  • nevermind82 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am having the exact same problem. There is no mobile documents folder in my library even though I am on Mac OS X 10.7.2 and it actually shows me the docs I am supposed to have in there in the iCloud manager. But I have no idea where they are supposed to be kept. Not in Mobile Documents. Perhaps that is hidden as well?

  • kszucsmunich Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    On the meantime my problem solved....

     

     

    I am not sure why but here is what I have done

     

    1. turned off in syspref the doc and data sync

    2. restart computer

    3. turn ON in syspref the doc and data sync

    4. restart computer

    5. le voila in library there is the folder....

    6. make sure you go to the pages, documents subfolder....

     

     

    hope it will help you

     

     

    kristof

    Icloud, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Christopher Mckinney Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Absolutely REDICULOUS that iCloud sync does not work with iWork apps on the computer.  That is whole point if iCloud.  What good does it do me to sync docs between my iPad and my iPhone?????  How stupid.

  • atferli Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    These are great directions. 

     

    However, it appears that documents are now getting back into the Mac from iCloud automatically if they are put there through the web interface or the hidden folder procedure described in this thread. 

     

    That is, two-way syncing seems to be partially functioning, although the Mac doesn't give direct access the documents.

     

    • If you put an iWorks compatible file into the hidden Mobile Documents folder, it will go to iCloud and appear on all devices, Macs and iOS.
    • If you put a document in iCloud through the web interface, it will automatically appear in the hidden folder on the Mac and all iOS devices.
    • If you create a document on an iOS device, it will go to iCloud, but not come back to the Macs.  (But a support folder for the document will be placed on the Mac.)

     

    It appears that two things need to happen. 

     

    1. iWorks on the Mac needs to save files to the appropriate hidden folders and look for them there.
    2. iCloud syncing from iWorks on iOS devices to the Macs needs to be implemented.

     

    However, knowing that items I sync to iCloud from any Mac are already on my other iCloud-enabled Macs is making things easier, now that I know where to find them. 

  • atferli Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Unfortunately, the behavior described my previous message suddenly stopped. 

     

    It appears that a function that was turned on temporarily has been closed. 

  • dignanmorse Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Actually, nothing has changed. What you're seeing is the product of the documents being reformatted for iOS versions of iWork. When you add a document to one I the iCloud sync folders on your Mac it seems to sync to the cloud and other devices fine. However, as soon as the document is accessed from an iOS version of an iWork app it is reformatted to be compatible. At this point the Mac iWork document you saved to this folder ceases to exist, and in its place you have the characteristic ".tef" file version of it, which was synced there by iOS iWORK, and is now unusable by Mac iOS.

  • n0sm0 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Turns out to have iWork file in sync accross all devices, when it comes back to the Mac, users have to ditch iCloud afterall.

     

    If you happened to have a MobileMe account and moved to the iCloud, there's just one thing that didn't got moved, and still available for use: iDisk.

     

    With iDisk, you don't have to login to a web browser to keep on downloading the very same file onto your Mac all the time but once, in the iOS devices and in your system preferences. iDisk sits nicely in your Finder and act as if it is a native hard drive in your Mac. Sure, it took a little file managament effort, but less hassle than logging in to iCloud and browse your Finder on where you might want to download the file to.

     

    And yes, it also took a couple of touches to put the previously iOS altered file to the iDisk folder but the one in your Mac's iDisk will still enjoy the advantage of "versions", so you won't miss a thing also. Just make sure you "save a version" after altering the document in your iDisk, thus when you made some changes from your iOS device, you can still transfer your file to the iDisk by overwriting the file.

     

    You also might want to erase the same file on your iOS device when you want to grab your altered document from iDisk or else the file in iOS will get duplicated. Not that renaming the file a hassle, but it doesn't hurt for being precautious.

     

    I find this way of keeping iWork document files in sync between devices more simple than going to iCloud via web browser.

     

    And here's where I think Apple yet again flawed this kind of cloud base service. MobileMe will cease to exist by 2012 (which is soon) where iCloud saddly don't support iDisk, so unless they update the iWork in iCloud, the other only possible way similar to that I mention above is probably WebDav.

     

    I kind of facing a hard time looking for the right WebDav host that also has a compatible OS X client apps so that I don't have to be a system integrator to choose which WebDav to use and which client apps that easier to use to keep my iWork files in sync between my Mac and my iOS device. So if anyone in this community can fill me in on this one, please let me know.

  • n0sm0 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Okay, I feel like stupid... WebDav worked just fine... iWork across all devices, iDIsk and WebDav.

    Saves you a lot of headache than wondering why iWork team missed out the simplicity they put in iCloud's photo stream and many other features...

  • blckspder Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I tried your fix and still was not able to get the Mobile Documents folder to show. I have all the requirements enabled but the folder still doesn't show..

     

    Has anyone else run into this and may know why it isn't showing for some?

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