A number of tools are available that allow you to access Word documents on your iPad. Microsoft's Office Web Apps, for example, enables viewing and editing of Microsoft Office files to anyone with a free Microsoft account, though you must have an active Internet connection to do so. Apple's Pages, on the other hand, does not require an active Web connection, offers seamless integration with the Pages software on your Mac, and imports and exports documents in Microsoft Word format. Google's QuickOffice app gives you access to documents on nearly any cloud server, allowing you to create PDFs, Google documents, spreadsheets and presentations in addition to accessing your Office files.
Office Web Apps
Upload your Word document to your SkyDrive account. Alternately, you can navigate the Web browser on your computer to the Office Web Apps page (link in Resources); sign in using your SkyDrive or Microsoft ID and password, and then upload your Word document using the "Upload" link at the top.
Launch Safari on your iPad, navigate to the Office Web Apps page (link in Resources), and sign in using your SkyDrive or Microsoft ID and password.
Tap the name of the document you wish to access. Swipe with your finger to navigate through the document.
Tap "Edit Document" and select "Edit in Word Web App." Tap within the document to place your cursor and use the on-screen keyboard to enter text. Use the tools along the top of the screen for basic editing. For example, you can modify the font, make text bold and change the alignment.
Save the document by tapping the floppy disk icon at the top. The document will be saved in your SkyDrive folder. It can be accessed -- and downloaded -- from any device with a Web browser.
Purchase and install the Pages app from the iTunes App Store. Do not launch the app yet.
Import the document onto your iPad using iTunes File Sharing, download it from an email attachment or access the document in iCloud. For more information about File Sharing and iCloud, see Tips.
Launch Pages on your iPad. Tap your Word document's thumbnail image in the "Documents" view to open it.
Swipe your finger to navigate through the document. Tap within the document to place your cursor and then use the tools along the top of the screen for basic editing. For example, you can modify the font, make text bold and change the alignment. Your changes will automatically be saved to the iPad's Pages app as well as iCloud, where the document will also be pushed to all iCloud-enabled devices.
Upload your Word document to the cloud using your computer -- supported providers include MobileMe, Dropbox, Google Docs, Egnyte, Box.net, Huddle, SugarSync, Evernote and Catch.
Install and launch the QuickOffice app on your iPad. Tap the "+" at the bottom of the screen and select the cloud provider you used for the Word document.
Enter the appropriate cloud provider logins and approve your iPad's access to your cloud storage.
Tap your Word document's name to open it. Swipe with your finger to navigate throughout the document.
Tap within the document to place your cursor and use the on-screen keyboard to enter text. Use the editing icons to facilitate document changes. For example, you can modify the font, make text bold and change the alignment.
Tap "Close" when you are finished with the document. From the menu that opens, tap "Don't Save" to exit without saving, "Save" or "Save As" to save the document to a location on your iPad or in the cloud, or "Cancel" to go back to editing the document.
- The free version of QuickOffice is only for Google Apps for Business subscribers, so if you do not have an active subscription, you must purchase and install QuickOffice Pro HD to your iPad. Be sure you do not purchase and attempt to install QuickOffice Pro, which is designed only for iPhones and iPods.
- Information in this article applies to iPads running iOS 6. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.
- Microsoft: Introduction to Office Web Apps
- Information Week: Microsoft Office Web Apps for iPad a Game Changer
- Apple: iOS Support: Pages Help
- Macworld: Editing Word Documents on an iPad
- Macworld: Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite for iPad
- Google: QuickOffice Support: Create, View & Open Files with Quickoffice
- Google: QuickOffice Support: Add a Cloud Storage Account to Quickoffice
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images