How to Transfer Files To and From the iPad - Page 2

By Helen Bradley
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At iCloud.com you can also upload files to your iPad. To start, you need to select the appropriate application on the website. If, for example, you want to upload a document, click Pages, if you want to upload a presentation, click Keynote and click Numbers to upload a spreadsheet.

Next click the button in the top-right corner of the browser window and choose Upload Document and then choose a document from your computer. For example, the iPad apps Keynote, Pages and Numbers are compatible with the older Microsoft Office formats doc, .xls and .ppt. Once uploaded, the file will be synced with your iPad, and it will appear in the file list on the iPad for that application.

The iCloud option is the best way to sync files even though it is cumbersome to set it up, and it doesn't currently work with any apps other than Keynote, Pages and Numbers.Dropbox online storage and file syncing

Storage in the Cloud

For other file-sync applications that you might be using -- such as Office2 HD, Quickoffice or Documents to Go -- check online storage services for an output solution that is both cost effective and that works with the application that you're using. Dropbox is one of the easiest and most cost effective online storage tools, and it works with most applications. You can also use it to get files into Numbers, Keynote and Pages -- but not out again.

You can download the Dropbox app free for the iPad from the App Store. You can also download a version for your PC at Dropbox -- this installs Dropbox as a folder in your file system. To share files with your iPad, you drag a file into this folder or you can login to the online service and upload a file there. When it is all synced the files in your Dropbox account will appear in Dropbox on your iPad.

Unfortunately there is currently no way to know when the sync down to the iPad is taking place, and you can't force the sync to take place -- you have to wait until the file appears on your iPad. Once it appears you can click to view it and then click the Open In button to choose from range of installed applications that the file is compatible with.

The basic 2 GB Dropbox account is free, and you can buy more storage if you need it. Dropbox is one of the more popular tools for syncing across devices, and you'll find that most business applications available for the iPad make use of Dropbox for storing files.

If the application you are using won’t work with Dropbox, there are other cloud storage apps that you can use but, if you have to pay a fee and if you have to jump through hoops to set them up, then email might be your smarter alternative.

There's little question but that syncing work files between an iPad and a desktop is the least intuitive, most cumbersome and all-round user-unfriendly process. For a device that is so well designed in so many ways this is a big disappointment. However the tools I've detailed here should get you on your way until someone devises a smarter, simpler and more effective solution.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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This article was originally published on November 17, 2011
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