Connect Pages, Numbers & Keynote to your My Files area

In a recent update of the Apple productivity apps for iOS WebDAV support was added. The productivity apps, known as the iWork suite, include:

  • Pages – similar to MS Word (edits .docx) – £6.99
  • Numbers – similar to MS Excel (edits .xlsx) – £6.99
  • Keynote – similar to MS Powerpoint (edits .pptx) – £6.99

What does this mean?

You can now add a connection to My Files within each of the aforementioned apps. This means you can open a file directly from My Files, edit it and then save a copy back to My Files (WiFi connection is required for My Files access). This provides a secure and integrated alternative to dropbox and also allows you to temporarily save files to your device for offline editing. It is important to periodically remove files from your device as they can take up valuable disk space on on your iPad/iPhone and also bear in mind the sensitivity of files which you plan to edit – do you really want to keep them on your device? The technique outlined below means that you can easily save documents back to My Files directly from within the iWork  apps and when you’re happy that they are saved (worth double-checking on a desktop computer) you can delete the version stored on the iPad.

IMPORTANT: you must have a pincode on your device; this workflow could potentially involve handling university data which will temporarily be stored on your device.

The staffcentral app also features online editing tools and the option to open and edit files in any compatible apps which you have on your device and it is a great option too – it is also FREE! Instructions for setting up that  app for iOS are available here.


The process is the same in any of the three iWork apps. I have used Pages for demonstration purposes below.

documents area

1. When you open Pages you will be take to the Documents area. Quick Tip: press and drag files on top of each other to create folders for organisation purposes.

credentials in pages

2. Press on the + button on the top-left and then select Copy from WebDAV.

My Files credentials

3. You will be prompted to enter your My Files credentials. Server address is: (substitute user123 for your alpha-numeric username). Enter you username and password in the spaces provided. Press Sign In on the top-right to complete the process.

Open a file in Pages

4. Select a readable document in your My Files area (labeled with “W” for word document in Pages).

file conversion

5. The word document will now be converted to a Pages format for editing.

import message

6. A report will come up describing any features or formatting changes which occurred as a result of the conversion. These changes are generally related to fonts, you can avoid these changes by using simple, common fonts like Arial, Trebuchet, Helvetica etc. In the example above Arial-Black was not available so Arial was substituted; this is a minimal visual change.

send a copy

7. Work on editing your file. When you are finished and want to save it My Files, use the share option (square with an arrow icon – top-right) to “send a copy“.

send a copy to WebDAV

8. Select WebDAV as your “send a copy” destination.

desired format

9. Choose your preferred format for the document.

where to send the document in My Files

10. Decide which folder or location you would like to send your document to in My Files. Then press Send (top-right of window). Your file should now be saved to My Files. As I mentioned before, it is worth opening the file on your desktop computer to make sure that it saved alreight before deleting the iPad version. I have tested this quite a bit and it has worked very well thus far.

I have been working in the Educational Technology field within Higher Education for eleven years. A big part of my job is finding new and innovative ways of integrating technology into current teaching and learning methodology. This can include assisting academic staff with Virtual Learning Environments/Learning Management Systems (Blackboard), implementing specific software packages, maximising current technologies and championing new ones. I find this profession both riveting and rewarding. I really enjoy life on the cutting edge, but I also enjoy being able to help staff achieve small and meaningful efficiencies; sometimes that makes all the difference.

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